09 July 2007

Small Towns, Long Term Residents

I saw an article in my town's local newspaper about how this year's summer concert series on my high school's lawn will be dedicated to the memory of Donald Luckenbill. He was a music teacher in the school district from 1944 to 1980. Although I never had Donald Luckenbill as a teacher, I sang a song by him in elementary school (essentially an ode to Sagamore Hill, home of Teddy Roosevelt) and later played that song when I was a member of the Oyster Bay Community Band. I also played Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs that he arranged when I was in the boy scouts and performed at a kresh/memorial lighting.
I guess I'm writing about this because I really enjoyed growing up in my town. It's small enough so that my middle school band teacher had my third grade teacher when he was in kindergarten. This teacher could also point to a portrait of a basketball team hanging on the high school wall and point out his father on the wall.
I was at a meeting with the elementary school's principal while I was in high school to discuss a fundraiser that the club I was involved in was doing. He said, so, [D], your parents are long term residents, right? And without really thinking, I said yes. Looking back, I also don't know what this had to do with fundraising.
Afterwards, though, I realized that it all depended on how one defined the word "long" in long-term resident. Sure, my parents lived in East Norwich since right before I was born, but we're certainly not one of the "generational" families that have lived in Oyster Bay/East Norwich since the Revolution, or even since before suburbanization. In some ways, Oyster Bay is different from other towns on Long Island. Unlike other towns, it has a history of its own, and wasn't just potato farms until the suburbanization boom of the 1950s.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Long Island is like Staten Island but worse. Eat a carrot