Community Columns

Oysterponds News: A ‘love letter’ to Orient Service Center

I received a love letter to the North Fork — in particular the Orient Service Center. Nancy Cuccaro of Southold relayed a message from a friend who had come from Huntington and had a car emergency. Nancy took her to our gas station, where the problem was diagnosed and an interim fix was made to prevent a car fire. She said they are grateful to Bill (I assume Billy) and wanted to share how wonderful he is, which, of course, we all know already.

The Orient Congregational Church preschool still has openings for 3- and 4-year-olds. Call 631-323-1316 or check it out at

The monthly supper at the Congregational church is next Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 6:30 p.m. Bring a dish to share. Everyone is welcome.

The Congregational church is also ramping up for a major celebration of its 300th anniversary. Lots of wonderful things are being planned for Aug. 11-13, 2017. Ceil Sharman is compiling stories for a journal to enhance the history of the church. Were you married or baptized there? Or do you have a special memory to share? Contact Ceil at [email protected] or 631-745-8535.

The OCC choir returns from summer break Sunday, Sept. 11, at the 10:30 worship hour.

Orienteer Geoff Proud will be at Orient United Methodist Church on Sunday, Sept. 11. The service will include memorial prayers for the WTC victims, including Kathryn Bristol Lee, daughter of Eleanor Williams, and his seminar classmate Fr. Mychal Judge. This will most likely be Geoff’s last sermon, since the church is scheduled to close Sept. 18. I find that last sentence very, very sad.

Former OUM minister the Rev. Steve Burt threw out a question for a small world this week. Steve met a man in his exercise room who was good friends with a man named Kamerick or Van Kamerick in the early 1960s while serving in the U.S. Navy. This mystery person went by the name of Pete. He attended college on a tennis scholarship and his family had a home within walking distance of the ferry that had a tennis court. Does this ring a bell with anyone? Perhaps a summer person? Let me know.

One of those magical weddings took place in Orient Aug. 27. Thirteen years to the day after they met, Nina Caufield and Casey Kinney tied the knot on her family’s property, at the entrance to the barn by the water tower. Nina’s parents are Orient’s Janice and Ed Caufield and her grandparents are Jeri and Ken Newman and Joan Contento. Casey is the son of Frank and Sharon Kinney of Greenwich, Conn., and grandson of Joan Kinney (who made it to the nuptials). Wow — two Grandma Joans! Two hundred-plus guests dined on steak and lobster followed by the Caufields’ annual square dance. Casey is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Nina graduated from Smith College. The newlyweds bought a home in Orient last year and are here to stay. Congratulations all around!

School opens next Wednesday, Sept. 7. Please be vigilant and watch for excited children on bicycles making their way to Oysterponds school.

It’s hard to believe the summer season is over this week as boats get loaded on trailers and kids get peeled out of the bathing suits they wore all summer. Fun memory: Decades ago, Claire Wright would set up a lawn chair on the causeway by Dam Pond and wave goodbye to the exodus of the summer folk.

If you see Ann Van Cleef Sept. 2, wish her a happy birthday (but it’s not a biggie till next year).

Please send up prayers for Jennifer Franke, who has been hospitalized since Aug. 1, first at ELIH and now at Stony Brook. Hopefully, recovery is on the horizon.

While you’re pounding on God’s door, join me in a prayer to comfort the folks of Louisiana and keep hurricanes away this season.

Contact Oysterponds columnist Carol Gillooly at [email protected] or 631-323-3899.