Oysterponds: Meeting people in the darndest places

Orient childhood friends Jeff Sharman and Lee Fitting met up recently in Eugene, Ore., at the Stanford-Oregon game. Lee was attending in his role with ESPN and Jeff lives in Eugene, where he works as a cancer doctor. After the taping of “Gameday,” Lee and Jeff reminisced about their Orient youth, caught up on each other’s lives and watched an exciting football game. You “old-timers” may remember a Suffolk Times article from over 25 years ago that told of the Orient Point Golf Association’s nine-hole course, where Lee, Jeff and Al Rose, at age 10, painstakingly dug holes, planted flags and played endless rounds of golf in the Sharmans’ back field. What a great memory!
I started this small world thing close to 15 years ago and the six degrees of separation — or as Gail Horton called it, “meeting people in the darndest places” — gets more amazing by the day. A few weeks back Gail was at the Dublin airport, lamenting her foolishness in not realizing that the sandals she wore from home, where it was 93 degrees, just wouldn’t make it in the 50-degree Irish weather. After she struck up a conversation with the folks at the bus stop next to her to make sure she was headed in the right direction, the “where are you froms” started. When she said Greenport, as Gail put it, “sure and begorrah” they were thrilled, as their cousin had been a priest there decades ago. Father Virgil Power served at St. Agnes 1968-74, and later served as pastor of Our Lady of the Isle on Shelter Island. The couple had been married by Father Power in their native Ireland and Gail conjured up great memories of being a young bride, when husband Dave worked with Father Power on funerals. His wonderful brogue and the twinkle in his eye will always be remembered. That one touches me also, since my dad was a good friend of his on Shelter Island. Small world popped up again when I just realized they died a week apart in 2002, an ocean apart.
All the Friends of Floyd Memorial Library turned out Saturday to help with the annual fall fundraiser. They had stiff competition, with many other events on the North Fork, but their enthusiasm for their mission was clear. The money raised will benefit children’s programs at the library. As with every organization around, Floyd Memorial’s population of volunteers is aging and they are in desperate need of more folks to join their ranks. To become part of this effort, call Orienteer Mary Turner at 323-2570.
East Marioneer MaryAnn Dzenkowski got in touch after reading my 10-10-10 notations. When she sat down to write a birthday card for daughter Denise (GHS Class of ’69, married to Orienteer Dick Reed of the same class and now living in Washington state), she realized a coincidence: Her granddaughter Shelly is also a 10-10-10 “kid.” Other Sunday celebrators were Jennifer Franke, whose brother Danny flew north to honor his sister’s 22nd; Linda Bahrenburg; and, even more far-reaching, Harold Pinter, Thelonius Monk, Brett Favre, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Helen Hayes.
Next Saturday, Oct. 23, all Orienteers are invited to an Open House/Family Picnic sponsored by the fire department. I’ll post all details next week.