01/20/12 2:26pm
01/20/2012 2:26 PM

A happy ending is always nice — even after more than three months. Tasha Bondarchuk got in touch to report that she and her partner, Amber, were thrilled that their missing calico cat had been returned to the barn and was nestled safely in again with their horses. They want folks to know how grateful they are to whoever recognized her and returned her to her family.

OHS is always a beacon of activity. Next Saturday, Feb. 4, it will host a preview of Alan Bull’s “An Oysterponds Sampler,” artwork of his favorite Orient places accompanied by personal anecdotes and essays. The exhibit continues weekends through February.

Also on Feb. 4 is the always well-attended poetry night at Poquatuck Hall. Final details to come next week.

Another Feb. 4 event is the annual East Marion Community Association cabin fever potluck and book swap, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the firehouse. Bring gently used books and magazines. Leave with the same number you come with. I’ll remind you next week.

Oysterponds is lucky to welcome pianist Mary McCarthy in concert at Poquatuck Hall this Saturday, Jan. 28, at 4 p.m. with “Songs of the Hebrides,” Irish and Scottish tunes transcribed for the piano. There will be a freewill offering to support the renovation fund. For more info go to Poquatuckhall.com.

A reminder: Call OHS at 323-2480 for details on John Holzapfel’s lecture, “She Went a-Whaling,” to be given at both Peconic Landing and the Manhattan Club.

Greenport School social worker Jillian Ruroede is putting out the call for gently used formalwear and prom dresses for the annual Prom Boutique. Call her at 477-1950, ext. 220, for details.

Small world was abundant Sunday. I was at the local sports bar for the Giants playoff game and was about to wrap up and finish watching from my couch when I noticed a man with a Giants hat. I did my usual “Where in N.Y. are you from?” He said Northport, I said Orient and he said his daughter lived on Gull Pond and her name was Allison Adams. Then he caught himself, adding, “Oops I mean Allison Wieczorek.” I shared that I’d traveled to Israel with the senior Wieczoreks in spring 2010, and we both whipped out our PDAs to share pics of mutual acquaintances. (He on his iPhone and me on my iPad.) The world sure has changed. Years ago it would have been one photo tucked in the wallet but he had hundreds and I had thousands.

The conversation led to his bride, who was not with him (probably opted for couch viewing). He said her name was Linda and she’d taught for many years at North Babylon High School. The other person who was an institution there was my brother-in-law Rich Meyer, whose brother’s wife, Betty, was watching the game with us at Duffy’s. Sarah rolled her eyes as I chimed in with small world reigns again.

After we returned to the couch and the game got dicey, Sarah, who had already dressed for bed (5 a.m. comes fast when you’re a teacher) felt the need to put her “lucky” Giants clothes back on, so there she sat, decked out in the red/blue hat, shirt, blanket, etc. Laugh at the superstition, but it worked! N.Y. is once again Superbowl bound.

Oysterponds extends sympathy to the Rev. Ben Burns and his family on the passing of his bride, Maureen. North Fork Chorale’s loss will be the heavenly choir’s gain.

01/11/12 3:27am
01/11/2012 3:27 AM

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.

12/18/11 3:28pm
12/18/2011 3:28 PM

The Christian world stops this Sunday to honor the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. There are many opportunities to participate in the church celebrations of this event. Orient United Methodist Church will have its normal 11 p.m. candlelight Christmas Eve service led by Pastor Bev Furey and a 10 a.m. Sunday prayer and worship service with Geoff Proud delivering the sermon. The Congregational church will have its usual renowned 4 p.m. children’s Christmas pageant, which is always a fantastic way to spark the spirit of Christmas. They’ll also have a simple 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday.

Added to St. Agnes’ normal Mass schedule will be a 6 p.m. children’s Mass/pageant and, in order to save Father Tom from answering the phone and the same obvious question every year, the time of “midnight” Mass is … duh … MIDNIGHT.

Oysterponds also wishes all their Jewish friends a special Hanukkah, for which the first candle was lit Tuesday evening, and which continues to next Wednesday.

Another bright thought as this paper goes to print: On Thursday, we all welcome the day when sunlight starts getting longer.

No matter how you celebrate the eve of 2012, please plan to start the New Year at Poquatuck Hall chowing down on a great brunch to support Jake Thorp’s Eagle Scout project. For those who might have missed it, with Jake in the lead, the scouts will restore Poquatuck’s handicapped ramp to make it safe for folks with disabilities. Brunch tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for children. (Children under 4 admitted free.) They will be available at the door, or Jake will deliver them to you if you call him at 477-6382.

Jake and Boy Scout Troop 51 will begin demolition of the old ramp on Dec. 26. If you want to stop by and cheer, you may also want to check out the new community signboard, which was a long time in planning and execution. I hope you’ll agree it was worth it. I will share more on that in my next column.

Speaking of my next column, it will show up on the newsstand Jan. 12. If you want to see something in it, please get it to me by Sunday night Jan. 8.

I’m sure many of us will relate to the thought that 2011 has whizzed by in a nanosecond. Where did it go? Oysterponds has been seriously diminished by the loss of so many incredible residents who wove the special colors of the thread into our hamlets. Even though I am not running for a pageant title, I’m still hoping for world peace and a return to some sort of normalcy and prosperity. So many bumper stickers here reflect “Save What’s Left,” which is such a great mantra, not only for here but for the world.

May God bless America and all of our friends and families. See you next year.

12/09/11 3:40pm
12/09/2011 3:40 PM

It sure was an amazing weekend in Oysterponds. The weather was perfect for this time of year, adding to the success of all events.

A special event Saturday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. in Poquatuck Hall is a concert by award-winning pianist Alexandria Le with flutist Ray Furuta, violinist Dina Nesterenko, cellist Ismar Gomes and violinist Eren Tuncer. Oysterponds is so fortunate to be able to attract such globally renowned talent. There is no charge, but a freewill donation is suggested to benefit the Poquatuck Hall restoration fund.

Speaking of Poquatuck Hall, kick off 2012 there on Sunday, Jan. 1, 8 a.m. to noon, by enjoying an amazing brunch to benefit Jake Thorp’s Eagle Scout project, which will benefit Poquatuck Hall. Jake will be restoring the handicapped ramp, once again making access to our historic gathering place safe and easy. The tickets are $10 for adults; $6 for children under 12; under 4 free. Call Jake at 477-6382 or scoutmaster Robbie Walden at 276-3706 for advance tickets or get them at the door. If you can’t “eat” and just want to support the effort, you can send a check to Jake Thorp, Eagle Scout Project c/o Troop 51, P.O. Box 14, Greenport, NY 11944.

Speaking of events, Ryane Hoeffling and husband, Sean, had a blessed one Dec. 7 at Peconic Bay Medical Center when they welcomed Parker James Hoeffling — seven pounds, nine ounces and 19 inches long — into their family. The proud grandparents are Orienteers Rosie and Jeff Rogers, Mary and Andy Mitchell of Riverhead and James Hoeffling of Florida. And, of course, we can’t leave out big sister Maddie. Congratulations all around. What a wonderful Christmas present.

If you’re a Dune Grass ‘groupie,’ you can catch Orienteer Sandra Chapin and her bluegrass band this Saturday at 2 p.m. at Cutchogue New Suffolk Library’s holiday party.

My mysterious missing soccer mom e-mail came from Debra Kusa, sharing that Xavier and Jacob (Kusa) Kahn of Oysterponds, Ben Webb of Mattituck and Bryce Grathwohl (former Orienteer) received awards as members of the Mattituck Soccer Club U11 and were cited as the B1 NY Cup Group B Champions. They look forward to some great things in the spring. Congratulations, all.

Save the date, Feb. 4, for the annual poetry reading night at Poquatuck Hall. The plans that were shared are exciting to say the least. Really makes me want to stay around to be there. (OK, that’s a lie.) But if you’re an “I like the cold weather” person, it’s a must-attend event.

St. Agnes Church in Greenport will light its Christmas tree Sunday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. in the church garden.

I had my Florida houseguest Cathy Victor with me last weekend when we ran into Linda Apostle at church. Of course, the “you must be cold” conversation started and Cathy said she was originally from Michigan. Linda was delighted, as she also hails from Michigan, but both were astonished that they’d lived across the lake from each other in the same town. Linda kept saying small world. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Thought so; never surprised at anything here.

This Sunday’s OCC service promises to be special. Going back to the custom of years ago, the Lessons and Carols will be read by different people from the community representing OFD, OCA, OHS etc. The 10:30 a.m. service is open to all.

Country store proprietor Miriam Foster thought someone was playing a bad joke on her last week when she arrived to find the cash register and all the previous day’s receipts missing. Apparently it was not a joke, so friends and neighbors, keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around our Village. Incidents like this are thankfully rare, but scary nonetheless.

Next week is my last column until Jan. 12. Please share what you need to before then.

12/05/11 11:26am
12/05/2011 11:26 AM

This weekend in Oysterponds is always that one that Norman Rockwell painted and Dickens spoke about. The OHS annual house tour, Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m., kicks off at the Congregational church, where you can pick up/purchase your tickets. Make sure you stop at the Methodist church, where accomplished organist Jason Cockerill will be playing all afternoon. For more info, visit the OHS website or call 323-2480.

This weekend will also be your last chance to snag a treasure at the beautifully appointed Beach Plum Shop in the OHS Schoolhouse. It will be open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Kudos and thanks to Connie Tupper, who did her normal magical and magnificent job of decorating for the Webb House Winter Benefit last Saturday.

Lucille Naar-Saladino’s students from Mainstage Dance Academy will perform Sunday, Dec. 11, at 2:30 p.m. for residents at San Simeon. Among the dancers are Oysterponds “kids” Marissa Swiskey, McKenna Demarest, Mary Kaffaga, Isabelle Higgins, Andria Skrezec, Brittany Walker and “big kid” Sandra Chapin. All are welcome to this free program.

Also on Sunday, 2-4 p.m., OHS/OCA will host “Winter Sings” at Poquatuck Hall. Ellen Cone-Busch at OHS is still looking for folks to come forward and volunteer to lead the group in a few of their holiday favorites. Call 323-2480 for more info.

You’re not seeing things if you spot Nancy and Bob Hungerford “amongst” the faces around this month. Just like the osprey, they have returned from, as Nancy put it, “the wilds” of Connecticut and have purchased the cottage on Main Road across from Latham’s. That will definitely elevate their stimulation level. Welcome home, friends,

I received an e-mail last week from a mom about the soccer accomplishments of her son and other Oysterponds kids. Then I promptly lost it. Mea culpa. I didn’t ignore it. Please resend it.

With the economy so bad, charitable giving will be lean this year. As you’re going over where to share your money or time, don’t forget Poquatuck Hall needs funds for urgent projects. Jake Thorp, who will be reconditioning the handicapped access ramp, also needs support. Then OCC needs volunteers for cleanup and set-up for John’s Place homeless shelter, whose guests will be ramping up with the colder weather.

East Marion lost a very special resident last week with the passing of lifelong Oysterponder Genevieve Salminen on Nov. 28 at the age of 94. Gen was born in East Marion, went off to New Paltz and returned to East Marion, where she lived for 92 years. She began teaching in Orient and met her Shelter Island husband early in her teaching career. She raised her three boys on Marion Lake. Her son Jim recalled a fond memory of visiting her when she was well into her 80s and she would say, “Let’s go visit the elderly.” That’s what makes our community so unique. She was very devoted to East Marion Community Church and spent many an hour volunteering there. We all have visions of our loved ones after their death and Jim said his is her catching up with her beloved Ed and planning a cruise or a Florida vacation. Oysterponds extends sympathy to Jim, Chris and Karlo and their families on her death. May you all be warmed by your great memories.

There are only two more columns before the end of 2011. Please get me the info you want to see here by the Saturday morning before it needs to be seen.

11/25/11 12:54pm
11/25/2011 12:54 PM

Small Business Saturday was a success in Oysterponds since customers at the Beach Plum Holiday Shop were lined up around the building this weekend. You’ll get another shot at this special boutique Dec. 10 and 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at the schoolhouse.

The annual OHS winter benefit is this Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Webb House. It’s always a magical evening as long as it doesn’t rain and create mud, and a delivery vehicle doesn’t get stuck, spin its wheels and cover the OHS president with splatter. Just ask Taz Smith; he knows firsthand. It’s a wonderful excuse to dress up and experience the holiday season as our first settlers did. Call 323-2480 for info.

A person who will be sorely missed there this year is Skip Wachsberger, whose passing last Sunday saddened the Village. Not enough room here to write more. See my letter to the editor.

Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. at the Congregational church is the North Fork Chorale’s last 75th anniversary performance. Special guest artist will be Ann Welcome, whose dad, Walter Williams, founded the original group, known as the Southold Town Choral Society. Ann will play organ and piano when Chorale accompanist Karen Bull Haley joins in with her beautiful gift of song.

The East Marion Community Association invites you to a Holiday Open House on Saturday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to noon, at the firehouse. There will be seasonal music, yummy baked goods and socializing with neighbors. In the spirit of the season, please bring an unwrapped gift for a senior or a child, to be distributed by CAST. For more info call 477-2175.

Bob Sorenson, newly elected Rod and Gun Club president, got in touch to inform the community about the new conservation program the club hopes to launch. They’ll build osprey nests, wood duck nesting boxes and bluebird boxes. All labor is being provided on a volunteer basis, but donations for building materials will be gladly accepted at P.O. Box 442. Contact Bob for more details.

Speaking of a laborious effort, Jacob Thorp is on the brink of completing his Eagle Scout project. Lucky for Oysterponds that he’s chosen to help with the restoration of Poquatuck Hall, replacing the old decking and railing so the handicapped ramp will be functional for folks with disabilities. Aside from all the planning, he needs to raise close to $2,000 to pay for the materials. Jake will be assisted in the project by other scouts, and they plan to hold a fundraising breakfast at Poquatuck soon so the project can be completed by the deadline in January 2012. Other donations are also welcome, and can be sent to Scout Troop 51, P.O. Box 14, Greenport 11944 or to OCA, P.O. Box 34, Orient 11957. Please make checks payable to Troop 51-Jacob Thorp Eagle Scout project. This is a win-win for our community.

Orient vamps will transport Santa by fire truck on Saturday, Dec. 10, so he can visit all Orient children in their homes. They have a master list but if you are new in town, will have grandchildren visiting, etc, call 323-2445 so Santa will have a present for that child.

The Orient East Marion Park District’s annual meeting will take place Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m. at Oysterponds School. Elections for commissioners will follow from 6:30 to 10 p.m. If you’re a registered voter in Orient/East Marion you are eligible to vote. For more info call 631-300-8470.

11/21/11 4:00am
11/21/2011 4:00 AM

As usual, East Marioneer Paula Thorp is in the middle of a San Simeon “fun raiser” — a trip to Mohegan Sun or Foxwoods on Sunday, Dec. 4, via the 10 a.m. Sea Jet ferry. Tickets are $25. Call Paula at 477-2392 to sign on or get details.

If you aren’t gambling on Dec. 4, the North Fork Chorale will perform their holiday concert at Orient Congregational Church that afternoon at 3 p.m. It’s the 75th anniversary of the group, originally known as the Southold Town Chorale Society. Ann Welcome will be a guest artist.

This year’s Thanksgiving eve church service will be Wednesday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. at the Congregational church. It’s a nice way to calm yourself before the onslaught of family, food and shopping. Speaking of food, as is his custom, Father Tom Murray will bless the wine and bread you plan to serve at your Thanksgiving table at the 9 a.m. Mass on Thanksgiving morning. And as for shopping, Saturday, Nov. 26, has been branded “shop local” day. So after your midnight excursion to Tanger, please patronize our local merchants,

Speaking of shopping local, Oysterponds Historical Society launches an abbreviated season for the Beach Plum Shop this weekend. It will be open at the schoolhouse, noon to 5 p.m. Folks rush Walmart’s doors on Black Friday but if past years are an indication, you’ll be surprised that there will also be a line outside OHS. It’s always popular.

If you see or talk to Alice and T Jester on the 28th, please wish these North Fork originals a happy 47th anniversary. Congratulations, folks.

Orient United Methodist Church will host an Advent luncheon series entitled “Studies in Spiritual Preparedness for Christmas.” The first session is at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 30, and the series continues the following three Wednesdays. Adjunct minister Geoff Proud will moderate. For details call him at 323-3523.

The East Marion-Orient homemakers have been very busy this fall with cooking lessons and outings and planning what comes next. They meet Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon and are always welcoming new members. Right now, they are preparing boxes to send to local military members serving in the Mideast and are seeking addresses for anyone they may have missed. Call Mary Ellen Connors at 477-0095 to share.

Not to be outdone by his sister, Matt Duell is part of organizing the first North Fork All Star Basketball Alumni Game, scheduled for this Friday night, Nov. 25. I’m missing some details so it will be fun to hunt for them.

Jay McKasty asked me to inquire if anyone has an extra filter basket/post for a 36-cup electric coffeepot. OCA is missing these guts for its pot. Please let someone know if you do.
Save the date, Dec. 10, for the annual Christmas House Tour. More details next week.

I heard through the grapevine that Doris Morgan was hospitalized with a touch of pneumonia. I also heard she’s been discharged and is, hopefully, on the mend. If you want to send good wishes to this special 95-year-old friend, her address is 610 Harmony Drive, Apt. 111, New Oxford, PA 17350. Doris, we all send you some virtual chicken soup and a big hug.

As we once again approach the season of thankfulness, I know I don’t have to remind you how grateful we all are to live in such a wonderful community. But I will remind you that it was two years ago on Thanksgiving that a deer decided to try and wreck my day. I was/am thankful that he just detoured it, so my reminder is, once again, watch out for deer and, over the next few weeks, black ice. Aren’t I the bearer of good tidings? Happy Turkey to all.

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11/02/11 6:00am
11/02/2011 6:00 AM

Last week it was the mysterious man in black on a motor scooter. This week’s question is: Who in blazes (as my non-potty-mouth mom would say) was the person sailing a small Opti-like vessel, trailed by a small chase boat, in Orient Harbor at the height of Saturday’s nor’easter? Is she/he alive to share?

As Americans, two of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the world are our ability to elect our government leaders and our freedom of speech. Please exercise these privileges next Tuesday — and if you don’t, don’t “kvetch” about the results.

Speaking of elections, the Orient-East Marion Park District’s monthly meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at the school. If you’re interested in running for a three-year commissioner position, call Albie DeKerillis at 631-300-8470 for a petition. Elections will be held at the December meeting.

Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport invites everyone to remember Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of the Broken Glass, this Sunday, Nov. 6, at 1:30 p.m. with the showing of the film, “The Wave.” Afterward, Sara Marcus will lead a panel discussion with teens from different religious traditions on the Holocaust and its relation to present-day issues. Kristallnacht occurred Nov. 9, 1938, launching the Nazi Party’s violence and pogroms against Jews and setting the stage for the Holocaust and the massacre of millions of innocent people. BTW, I had to look up “pogrom” — a violent mob attack directed against a particular group. I didn’t misspell it and you do learn something every day. For more info call Paula Shengold at 477-1234 or the synagogue at 477-0232.

As I was leaving the post office last week, I caught a man out of the corner of my eye playing the guitar in front of the ice cream parlor. I thought it was the beginning of “Occupy Village Lane” but it turned out to be Scott Tweedie just strumming a few bars. If we didn’t have the storm, it might have become a “happening.”

Speaking of happenings, most of you know that for 20-plus years I’ve hosted a “Cup of Christmas Tea.” The economy and energy level did me in last year, the first I have ever skipped. So I’m passing the baton and throwing out the invitation to anyone who might want to pick up this tradition. It started with 14 ladies and grew at times to over 200. Any day, time or venue (except Dec. 2-3), is fine with me. I’ll show up with the book and the tape, hankies for all and maybe even a few bottles of champagne. OK, the cookie is in your court. Meanwhile never did hear back about the deer whistles question. Anybody?

A couple of fun visuals this week. A few years back I bought a beautiful beaded Halloween sweater in Florida at Steinmart. (You know, the store where Joseph bought his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.) I hadn’t worn it and it still had the tags on so I was looking for care instructions. It said “remove battery pack before cleaning.” I chuckled; imagine me wearing a garment that lit up. (Wink.) So as I dressed to board a plane to Florida during Saturday’s turbulent record-breaking storm — I wish I didn’t have a visual of that. Can you spell air-sick? — I realized the entire sweater was strung with an internal web of lights. Visualize trying to explain to TSA why I was wearing a totally wired garment. It stayed north.

10/26/11 4:00am
10/26/2011 4:00 AM

When I called the school to ask what day the Oysterponds Halloween parade would be held, I chuckled when Ann Hulsmann said, “Halloween.” Duh. Perhaps a similar silly question, like who’s buried in Grant’s tomb? Or, these days, does the Pope tweet? So grab the cameras and head to your favorite viewing spot along the route. The parade starts at the school at 2 p.m., crosses Main Road at the buttonwood tree, follows Village Lane to Orchard, then heads east to Tabor and back to the school. I hear Prince William and Kate Middleton are among the top costumes this year, and if you have an old Big Bird costume gathering mothballs, you can use a glue gun to replace the eyes, add some eyebrows and make it an “angry bird.” This event is always one of the year’s most anticipated, so don’t be late.

On Friday night, Oct. 28, the folks at the Methodist Church invite you to their fellowship supper at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share, wear your costumes and join in the fun. For details call lay minister Geoff Proud at 323-3523.

Speaking of churches, fellowship, community efforts, etc., John’s Place at St. Agnes, one of two homeless shelters under the auspices of Mercy Haven, will host an open house this weekend, where you can see the warm and welcoming environment they create for their homeless guests. Stop by Saturday, Oct. 29, 5-6 p.m. or Sunday, Oct. 30, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The shelter, named for philanthropist John Bendick, is administered by our own Oysterponds angels, Noreen Bischoff, Jane Winsch, Kathy Smith and Barbara Cervone. When the census increases OCC rises to the cause and opens the church to house the overflow. Pastor Ann Van Cleef can use help and donations for Tuesday nights in the colder winter months.

The William Steeple Davis House has given shelter and creative respite to many emerging artists over more than three decades. 2009-11 artist-in-residence Annie Wildey has moved on to Mystic, Conn., with a studio in Stonington. Painter Frank Cirillo became the 2011-12 artist-in-residence last week. Make sure you give him the normal Orient warm welcome.

If you attended Alexandria Le’s piano concert on Sept. 16, you might be interested to know that she was one of three winners of the Pro Musica International Music Competition, which took place the week after her concert. This gives her the opportunity to perform in Weill Hall and several other prestigious global venues. Don’t miss the chance to hear her again on Dec. 17 at Poquatuck Hall.

After my throw-out question last week about the mature man in black scooting around town on a red motorized vehicle, folks told me it was Ted Webb. I received an email from Ted sharing that since it was this time of year, and considering the black attire, it must be the headless horseman.

So as Halloween approaches, watch out for the headless horseman, excited children trick-or-treating (Village Lane residents should expect kids from the Congregational Church collecting for Unicef on Sunday after 10:30 a.m.), ghosts and goblins and, especially, suicidal deer. Last Thursday morning I counted three dead deer on the side of the road in a 10-mile stretch. My next throw-out question here, has anyone hit a deer even with deer whistles on the bumper? We all hear conflicting reports.