Community Columns

Oysterponds News: Kerri Hands graduating from U.S. Naval Academy

Kerri Hands

The North Fork is such a special place when it comes to scouting because parents and the community really support our local troop. Congratulations to East Marioneer Nick Wallace, son of Nicole Wallace and grandson of Kathy and Bob Wallace, who recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. As part of his project he constructed a planter bench consisting of two cedar flower boxes with a bench in-between. The bench has been donated to Greenport High School and installed by the trees near the tennis courts. WTG, Nick! Congratulations on being a great kid.

Speaking of great Oysterponds kids, can you believe it’s been four years that Kerri Hands (daughter of Janet and Billy) has been at the U.S. Naval Academy. She will graduate soon and be commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Currently she is a midshipman lieutenant grade and 3rd Battalion drill officer.

The presidents of three of our village’s civic associations met recently with a few other interested parties to discuss the fate of the Orient Methodist Church building/campus on Village Lane. All agreed it needs to be preserved. They will meet again and if you’d like to be part of this movement, call Geoff Proud at 631-323-3523.

Speaking of Geoff Proud, he will fill the pulpit at the Methodist church this Sunday, May 15, for Trinity Sunday to deliver a homily on the topic of “How We Know God.” As always, all are welcome.

The East Marion Community Association will meet this Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m. for the annual election of officers, as well as committee reports and updates on important issues affecting the hamlet, including the Oki-DO mega-resort, affordable housing, land use, water quality and helicopter noise/East Marion flight path. All members or prospective members are welcome. Be there at 9:30 for coffee and goodies.

The Orient Association will hold its annual meeting Saturday, May 21, at Poquatuck Hall at 10 a.m. Again, be there at 9:30 if you want refreshments.

Oysterponds Historical Society will host a cookbook swap Sunday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the School House lawn. This fun free event will take place rain or shine and refreshments will be served. You can drop unwanted cookbooks at OHS weekdays or at the Country Store on the weekend. For more info, call 631-323-2480.

OHS is also launching a four-part art workshop series. Class sizes are limited and first come, first served. The first class is Saturday, May 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on “Unraveling the Mysteries: Abstract Painting.” The teacher is Suzzanne Fokine, MFA, of the University of Washington, who has an impressive biography. For details and sign-up, visit I’ll remind you about future classes as they approach.

Mark your calendar for an old-fashioned pancake breakfast at the OFD firehouse Sunday, May 29, from 8 to 11 a.m. More info will follow.

Congratulations to Oysterponds/GHS alum Melissa Kondak, who tied the knot with Jeff Blum in a dream wedding April 30 at the Don Cesar in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla. Melissa, daughter of Patti and Dr. Ed Kondak, and Jeff, son of Michael and Gayle Blum of the San Francisco area, were surrounded by many North Fork friends and relatives. The newlyweds are honeymooning in South Africa as I type. Congratulations to all.

Our library’s calendar is chock-full of events for the weeks ahead. Visit and check out all the interesting plans. You can also call 631-477-0660.

A celebration of the life of Alison Millis is set for this Sunday, May 15, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Orient Yacht Club. Please join her children, Andy, Peter and Rob, to share your reminiscences of their mom. If you plan to attend, please email [email protected].

It’s hard to believe we’re just one column away from the official kickoff of the North Fork summer season, when we welcome back summer folks, etc. Until then, enjoy the solitude.

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