Community Columns

Oysterponds News: OHS Beach Plum Shop opens Nov. 29

This Sunday, Nov., 23, the Congregational church altar will be adorned with the annual Fruits of the Harvest display honoring the farming and maritime heritage of the North Fork. It is always memorable. 

I took a trip down memory lane as I was typing this and envisioned decades past where farmer Mary Van Nostrand (Bob’s wife) was orchestrating the display. I can still see her in my mind’s eye wearing her bib overalls and lugging around pumpkins, squash and decorative kale. If you also have memories of Mary, she has been moved to a new retirement facility and you can send her a card at Arden Courts, Plum House Room 40, 620 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406. She’ll be happy to hear from her old friends.

This year’s joint Thanksgiving Eve service for the Methodist and Congregational churches will be at Orient United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. It’s a great time to take a break and remember what you’re grateful for in your life.

The monthly fellowship supper at the Congregational church will be Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall. It is open to everyone. Bring a dish to share.

Nicolle and Jordan Bogden flew to N.Y. last month for a whirlwind visit, during which they picked up their new “furchild” Luna, a beautiful black Lab from a litter of one of Carol Tuthill’s champion-bred “fur children.” I’m sure Luna will be happy to spend her winter in the Sunshine State and give Jordan a daily connection to Oysterponds.

Orienteer John Holzapfel will once again present his “Nature’s Journal” (a science/natural world discussion) Friday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m. at the Peconic Landing Community Center. Admission is free; go to to sign up.

The much-anticipated opening of the OHS Beach Plum Shop will be Saturday, Nov. 29, at noon. It will be open for three weekends from noon to 4 p.m. offering an assortment of many unique and local gifts. Save the date for the OHS Holiday House Tour on Dec. 13, also from noon to 4 p.m. Details to follow.

OHS is still welcoming donations of artificial Christmas trees, which will be decorated and auctioned at the Winter Benefit. Call 323-2480 regarding any of the above events.

Congratulations to Oysterponds sixth-grader Thomas Haley (son of Karen and Mike), who won the annual Poetry for Peal contest for his grade level (across all North Fork Schools) for a poem about Peace Across Borders. The Oysterponds kindergarten class as a whole took the prize for their grade level so Oysterponds fared well.

The East Marion Community Association is planning a fundraising cocktail party for Saturday, Dec. 6. There will be more details to follow.

When I mentioned gas prices, my friend Anne Teague, who lives in Mesquite, Tex., chimed in with $2.49 but topped after she heard gas was $2.27 in Houston. With that, we’re talking some serious good news in the pocketbook and relief in the family budget.

About 15 years ago, Ritchie Latham said to me, “Do you ever sit down? You are always going.” Well, that was a great example of projection because until recently, even though he had more than three decades on me, he, too, was always in motion. He was in motion to serve his family and his/our community. He and his bride were always front and center for everything good or bad that would affect Orient, his lifelong home. It’s hard to imagine not seeing Ritchie pop up here and there. Even though he had a great long 96 years, and died peacefully, we all still mourn his passing. Oysterponds extends sympathy to his bride, Kathleen; his sister Ann Bliss; his children, David, Priscilla, Jim and Zoe; and his many grandchildren, extended family members and friends. Visiting hours will be Friday, Nov. 21, at Horton Mathie and funeral services will be at Orient Congregational Church Saturday, Nov. 22, at 11 a.m. RIP, Ritchie; you will be missed.

Contact Oysterponds columnist Carol Gillooly at [email protected] or 323-3899.