Well, the old year is over and we’re at least toe-deep in the new. Nor is there a self-respecting publication extant without its January post-mortem on what has gone before, as well as one or two brave hopes for the year ahead. So be it with the CONCORDIAN which, if it is anything, is a self-respecting publication.
THE CONCORDIAN, 1955
by Larry Elliott
There were, of course, some happenings in 1954 that we’d have been just as happy without, to wit, the monstrous manifestation of narrowness on Halloween Eve and the end — for the time being, at least — to our hopes for street lights. Many Concord Villagers regretted the defeat of the Oak Neck beach and the failure of the town board to provide us with effective dog legislation. Virtually all Concord Villagers wish that builder Nat Siegel hadn’t put himself on the community’s black list by his stubborn refusal to so much as meet us halfway on the matter of the unused foundations and the untended fires. More of that elsewhere.
But all in all, it’s been a full and fruitful year for Concord Village. Thanks to our civic association and the town board’s vigorous support, we are all protected by fire hydrants and we may, in 1955, get those street lights after all. A badly needed new school was added to our expanding educational system and another is only weeks away from opening its doors to West Islip’s ever-growing gang of youngsters. That West Islip is here to stay and grow and prosper is evidenced by the everything you want from beans to ministers shopping center on Udall Road. And, perhaps as mark that Concord Village is here to stay, there reposes on a Concord Village mantle this very minute a handsome gold trophy won by the C.V. baseball team. The inscription, “Third Place,” can’t begin to reveal the spirit and enthusiasm with which the men with the red caps threw themselves into the West Islip League — and, but for a wind-blown fly ball (that was the wind, wasn’t it?) might well have taken all the marbles. Anyway, under the trophy, there’s a placard that, better than anything, tells how we feel about Baseball and Concord Village and a lot of things. It says, “Wait till next year!”
And how did the CONCORDIAN fare during the 365 days just past? Well, we may have better years in the future, but if we do, Henry Luce will start getting nervous.
Your magazine sprang full-blown from a severely limited news sheet into a 44 and 480 page journal of life in Concord Village. It’s hard to resist blowing your own horn, but suffice it to say that he CONCORDIAN has come of age and, as a force in the community, amply demonstrated that it stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Concord Village in the recent school elections — Welcome Charlie Hoffman and Joe Caliril —and that it was on the side of the angels in promoting such diverse CVA affairs as the dance, the Christmas party, the elections and, most important, the CVA itself. May 1955 treat us well— and vice versa.
What about 1955? Your local seer, limb-bound so often in the past, takes another flyer and predicts that:
West Islip will get a post office and be hot after its own bank before another Yuletide rolls around.
Concord Village will be incorporated into a lighting district and the night will be rent by the glow of a street lamp — right outside my bedroom window.
Mac Biggs will decide not to run for the CVA presidency again, will be talked into changing his mind by a devoted band of Concord Villagers and will continue to do the fine job in 1955-6 we all are accustomed to in 1954.
In place of a stop light on the corner of Keith Lane and Montauk Highway, as a gesture of good will, Mr. Siegel will instruct all his men to burn their building trash on that spot so Concord Villagers will have a beacon at the turning-off point.
Tony Sinicropi will donate something for the scouts — or anybody else that asks him.
Frank Kearney will spend a night at home just watching television. At least three times, wife Vivian will ask him, “No meeting tonight, dear?”
Somebody will repair that on-block stretch of North Dyer Avenue between Alwick and Keith before somebody else drives his car into one of those mud holes and is never heard from again.
Hank Gallop will put all that weight back.
Arnold Drab will threaten to arrest a two-year on Center Chicot for throwing her lollypop into the street.
Somebody in the third section will get up at a CVA meeting and say, “My basement leaks.”
The American Tobacco Company will take a full-page ad in the CONCORDIAN.
Pat Cleary will be named an honorary fire marshal.
The next CONCORDIAN staff meeting will begin on time.
The Cub Scouts will put on a super-extravaganza covering the history of the U.S. from the time of Pocahontas; there’ll be a Broadway scout in the audience who will promptly move them, den mothers and all, right to the Edwin Booth theater. Concord Villagers will be admitted at half price.
Hank Meerapfel will fry salami and eggs for breakfast after the next CVA dance. I’ll be there.
Beryl Reubens will put all that weight back too.
Mike Elefante will lead the West Islip Softball League in home runs, runs batted in and most unassisted double plays by a left fielder who works for Shell and lives on South Briarwood.
Every one of those Chinese Elms on North Alwick and North Briarwood will grow 40 feet hight. The telephone company won’t like it.
The Mohawk Players will put on Hamlet. Marty Witter will play the title role. Corny the Clown, not Jackie Gleason as rumored, will take over Milton Berle’s old spot on Tuesdays at eight. Bob Keeshan will get some sleep, at last.
Lola Elliott will tell the manager of the CVA baseball team to take himself out of a crucial game for a pinch hitter. He will.
About the Author
Elliott began his career as an associate editor of “Coronet” magazine in 1948. Six years later he became a freelance writer. Then in 1962, Lawrence became a staff writer of Reader’s Digest. In 1971 he became an editor-at-large of the same magazine.
Elliott was given the awards from Freedoms Foundation in 1951 and Alaska Press Club in 1966. He was awarded for best article from National Marrow Donor Program in 1997.
In recent issues, the CONCORDIAN has had occasion to point with mixture of disappointment and anger to what appeared to be the indifference of town officials to the obvious danger of children and untended fires, one official said, quite simply, “Tell the children to keep away.”
In the news pages of this issue, you will find a complete report of Reporter Pat Cleary’s investigation into the matter of the unused foundations and the trash piles in and around them.
We have told the story as it happened and was told to us and have tried not to put editorial emphasis on any of the facts. Nevertheless, the facts themselves seem so crystal clear that in their light, Mr. Siegel comes off as a man with a job to do.
In response to a letter from the CONCORDIAN outlining the hazards of the unused foundations and asking for help in protecting Concord villagers therefrom, the Long Island Home Builders Institute, Inc., has just replied to CONCORDIAN reporter Pat Cleary as...
In response to a letter from the CONCORDIAN outlining the hazards of the unused foundations and asking for help in protecting Concord villagers therefrom, the Long Island Home Builders Institute, Inc., has just replied to CONCORDIAN reporter Pat Cleary as follows:
With the blessings of Captain Kangaroo, Pat Cleary takes on the Long Island mob.
This Month, meet the Column Editor of the Concordian, her husband, and her children. The husband — Donald Cleary. The wife — Pat Cleary. The address – 633 Alwick Avenue.
Bob Keeshan, editor of the Concordian since its inception, is leaving his post for a tremendous job with WABC-TV.
This letter appeared in The Newtown Bee just before the Sandy Hook Massacre. It contains everything the conspiracy theorists don’t want you to know.