Oysterponds: Annual poetry night set for Feb. 4 at Poquatuck Hall

Poquatuck Hall is the center of attention this week. Kudos and thanks to Jake Thorp, who certainly did his family and community proud as he finished his Eagle Scout project to restore the hall’s handicapped access ramp. He and his fellow scouts did an amazing job that took a lot of planning and work. I hear the fundraising breakfast on Jan. 1 was also incredible. Many thanks to all who made this project successful.

The new community bulletin board at Poquatuck is also up and functioning. Thanks to the family of Mary Van Nostrand, who funded the construction of the display board in honor of Mary’s many years of service to OCA. It will be sporting a plaque to this effect soon.

Don’t forget: Poquatuck Hall will be the location of the annual poetry night Saturday, Feb. 4. Each year it takes on a new and more exciting persona. This year promises to not to disappoint. Details will follow.

OCA has really cranked up the quality and variety of events over the last few years. (Not to forget the restoration of the venue, which is going through a wonderful historic rejuvenation.) Much of this can be attributed to the persistence of OCA board president Anne MacKay, who has been the mover and shaker of a lot of the all-around improvements during her tenure. Sadly for all of us, she’s dealing with some serious health issues and has passed the gavel to Linton Duell. Oysterponds wants to be sure Anne understands how much she is appreciated for all the effort and time she has contributed to OCA and the community. We also send her warm thoughts and hugs as she struggles with her health.

Another person struggling with medical issues is Elyse Romano, who went under the orthopedic knife once again six weeks ago and continues to suffer through the long ordeal of rehab. Keep her in your prayers for her pain to subside.

Jay McKasty got in touch to say there will be no meetings of the Orient-East Marion Park District until April. I’ll remind you then.

Anne Olsen (mother of Andrew) stopped me to share an add-on to my pre-Christmas small world story. If you remember, my houseguests Cathy Victor and Linda Apostle discovered that they’d been neighbors decades ago across Lake Lancelot in Michigan. Anne had realized a while back that her brother Fred Honerkamp had worked with Ron at Dow Corning but since Fred and his bride, Kathy, spend summers at Silver Springs on Lake Lancelot, there is now another connect-the-dot to Cathy. Anybody else want to throw in more? Aw, c’mon! Somebody must have shaken hands with Fred somewhere.

When I saw DeDe Campbell at the doctor’s office just before I headed south, I said I’d heard she was up for sainthood. She quickly responded, “No, not at all.” I was referring to her devotion to Jack, her husband of more than four decades, who had taken a serious decline in his decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s. She announced that it was all part of what she’d signed on for, which, until recently, had been mostly good. Jack was a respected Spanish teacher at Greenport High School and he and DeDe were always among the first to raise their hands to volunteer. When I first met them 10-plus years ago, they were heading to Alaska to be part of a Red Cross project. Oysterponds extends its sympathy to DeDe, their family, many friends and colleagues. Godspeed Jack, you deserve the rest.