Columns

Equal Time: Keep the ‘Joe Cherry Choo-Choo’ on track

After reading the article regarding additional delays that are expected in the now two-year process to get the Greenport Miniature Railroad back up and running on its proposed new site in a section of Moore’s Woods in Greenport, I am compelled to encourage all parties involved to stay the course in working together to bring this project to fruition. I do feel wholeheartedly that there has to be a way to be able to move forward while satisfying all concerns. It is the right thing to do.

I am also encouraging anyone who has an interest in this project to make sure that your feelings are made known in whatever manner you choose to do this. It is important that officials of the Village of Greenport and the Department of Environmental Conservation are made aware of the public sentiment regarding the railroad, no matter what that might be. Your voice is important.

There is a reason why the original railroad operated on Rotary member Frank Field’s property in Greenport from approximately 1985 until 2012. When the train was running, people brought their children and grandchildren there to take a ride which made everyone feel young again. Subsequently, new generations were introduced to the train by those who came before them. Simply, Mr. Field created the railroad and the people kept coming for years and years.

At the urging of long-time Greenport native, businessman and Greenport Rotarian Joe Cherepowich, along with Greenport Village Mayor George Hubbard Jr., an effort was started to revive the railroad. The challenge at hand was great, but under Joe’s leadership, thousands of dollars have been raised in the local community and the club. The village is poised to move ahead. By the way, I should mention that the Rotary Club of Greenport has been working for the betterment of the Greenport area and the world since 1948.

I have always considered Joe Cherepowich, who passed away in late 2019, a great friend. And as a fellow Rotarian, I know that he fully embraced the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self” as much as anyone. He knew what the right thing to do was and always set about working to make it happen. Joe thought that reviving the miniature railroad was worth it and went at it full steam ahead. Like hard-fought projects years before, such as the illumination of the football field at Greenport High School and the carousel at Mitchell Park, this project is worth fighting for.

Joe also went about his life living “The Four-Way Test” Rotarians strive to apply to the things they think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

I am confident that if everyone involved in the approval process of this project would be guided by the above, a way will be found to allow children of all ages to once again experience the joy of the Greenport Miniature Railroad and the “Joe Cherry Choo Choo.”

Mr. Krupski is a member of the Rotary Club of Southold

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