Kids

MEN-AT-ARMS: Members of the Huntington Militia held a colonial-era encampment at The Arsenal on Park Avenue in Huntington last Sunday, Oct. 14. The free event featured a tour of the 1740 building which was used to store grain until it became the home of Job Sammis and his family in 1748. It was expanded to accommodate weapons and gunpowder for the local militia during the American Revolution. Other activities included musket firing, colonial demonstrations and the loading and firing of a canon on the adjacent Village Green.

Photos by Heidi Sutton

A HISTORICAL TRADITION: 

The Huntington Historical Society hosted its annual Apple Festival on the grounds of the Dr. Daniel W. Kissam House Museum Sunday, Oct. 14. The event, which drew more than 800 visitors, featured live music by the Huntingtonians, craft demonstrations, old-fashioned kids games, pumpkin and face painting, a haunted tractor ride and, of course, apples. The museum’s latest exhibit, Poetry in Thread, which explores the history and technique of lace making, was also open for tours

Photos by Heidi Sutton

Girl Scout Mary Lynch unveils her completed Gold Award project at St. Louis de Montfort R.C. Church in Sound Beach. Photo by Gretchen Lynch

A Miller Place Girl Scout hoping to earn her Gold Award applied some of her own personal skill and creativity to brighten up a Sound Beach church.

Girl Scouts looking to achieve their Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, are tasked with identifying an issue in their community, conducting research, pitching a project, and shepherding it to completion in a leadership role in the hopes of achieving some greater good for the community. Mary Lynch, a 17-year-old senior at Miller Place High School and a member of Girl Scout Troop 1090 decided to take “shepherding” quite literally in completing her project — a painted mural at St. Louis de Montfort R.C. Church depicting Psalm 23, a Bible verse that starts, “The Lord is my shepherd.”

“My Gold Award project was to bring a bright illustrative work in the form of a mural to my local church,” Lynch said in an email. “I chose to pursue a mural for my Gold Award project because using my art skills is the best way I can bond with my community and help out.”

Lynch said the project took her more than 80 hours to complete, and required help from her mom and troop leader Gretchen Lynch, though she also credited The Home Depot and Brinkmann’s for helping with gathering materials used for the project.

“The ‘labor’ was enjoyable most of the time as I was painting, something I do in my free time and will be doing my whole life,” the Scout said. “After putting in so much of my time and effort for years into my project, it’s relieving to finally be finished with it.”

Lynch is one of just five Scouts from the troop’s original 20 members to achieve Gold status, according to her troop leader.

“As a parent and troop leader, I was very proud and relieved that Mary persevered through the years to complete her Gold Girl Scout award,” Gretchen Lynch said. “It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice from other activities and social events which showed a lot of dedication … The project of painting a mural for our church was very special because she could share a skill she has with others in the church community she grew up with. Her painting lights up the walls in the religious education area, which I hope will inspire other young artists to paint on the other blank walls.”

Lynch’s completed project was unveiled during a ceremony at the church Sept. 30.

The Wading River Shoreham Chamber of Commerce hosted its first Fall Festival Oct. 13, and while cold rain fell throughout the morning, the community still came out in costume to celebrate the arrival of autumn.

While Halloween is still weeks away, kids dressed up in costume as zombies, firefighters, superheroes and many others, to march in a short parade from St. John the Baptist’s Church to the Wading River duck pond. Though not many kids participated in the walk because of the rain, young people still got to participate in a pumpkin decorating contest, crafts and shop at booths featuring local vendors.

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Smithtown resident Aiden Eddelson, 9, in the booth with SportsNet New York’s broadcasters during the bottom of the third inning. Photo from SportsNet New York

If you asked Smithtown fourth-grader Aidan Eddelson about the New York Mets, he could tell you the batting average of most players on the team. He could tell you where most pitchers like to pitch to outfielder Brandon Nimmo and can tell you which player thinks he’s the best dancer.

“[Shortstop Amed] Rosario’s from the Dominican Republic, he bats right, and he also thinks he’s the best dancer on the Mets,” Aidan said, speaking live from SportsNet New York broadcast booth Sept. 26.

The 9-year-old fan was given the opportunity to be the SportsNet New York’s kidcaster during the bottom of the 3rd inning of the Atlanta Braves versus New York Mets game Sept. 26. The SNY Kidcaster Contest asks young Mets fans to submit a video of them broadcasting a home run made by Nimmo in a previous Mets game. Only a few days after Aidan mailed his submission, he was asked to join the station’s veteran broadcasters Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling in their booth. The professionals said they were surprised how knowledgeable young Aidan was about the team.

“I did not know that,” Hernandez said, when he heard Aidan comment on Rosario’s dancing capability.

Aidan was paying attention to the players warming up for their turn at bat.

“Aidan’s been a fan since birth, whether he’s known it or not.”

— Roie Eddelson

“I actually saw him dancing over there before, and he was dancing when he was getting ready,” the young Mets fan said.

Aidan and his father, Brian, spent several hours in the days before the broadcast researching the team so they could be prepared. While Aidan knew those at bat would be at the bottom of the lineup, he didn’t know who exactly would be standing at the plate.

“Aidan’s been a fan since birth, whether he’s known it or not,” Aidan’s mother, Roie, said. “To be 9 years old and accomplish that is just something we’ll never forget.”

Everyone in the Eddelson family is a Mets fan, especially with his parents being born in Queens and Brooklyn. That enthusiasm has bled down into Aidan and his 6-year-old brother, Jack.

Aidan, who attends Mount Pleasant Elementary school, watched his first Mets game during the 2015 World Series when the Mets faced the Cincinnati Reds. He has been a dedicated fan ever since, saying he and the rest of his family have done their best to never miss a game.

Despite the family’s lifelong commitment to the team, it will never stop them from complaining about how they perform each season.

“They always do well in the beginning 30 games in the season, and then they downfall for some reason,” Aidan said. “They were first this year and last year, and then they just went down.”

“[The Mets] always do well in the beginning 30 games in the season, and then they downfall for some reason.”

— Aidan Eddelson

Nonetheless, Aidan’s mother said she and her family will always believe in their home team. Her husband confirmed it.

“This year, they ended on a high note,” Aidan’s father said.

Aidan said he plays little league hockey, soccer and baseball, where his favorite position is catcher. If he had a choice of career, it would either be a major league sports player or sports broadcaster. Therefore, it was really heartening for Aidan to hear, at the end of the broadcast, the veteran game pundits had only encouraging words for the young superfan.

“You did a fantastic job, you were so well prepared, and you had great notes,” Cohen said. “Ronny might become the general manager, Keith might retire, so there might be a spot in the booth before we know it.”

This post has been amended to reflect the correct spelling of young Eddelson.

JAZZ HANDS The cast of 'A Kooky Spooky Halloween'

By Heidi Sutton

With Halloween just around the corner, Theatre Three has all the bases covered. While mature audiences enjoy a creepy and spooky “The Addams Family,” young theatergoers can have fun as well with an adorable show titled “A Kooky Spooky Halloween.” The original musical written by Jeffrey Sanzel and Steve McCoy returns to the theater for the second year in a row through Oct. 27.

A scene from the show

The story centers around a friendly ghost named Abner (Steven Uihlein) who has just graduated from Haunting High School and is given a medallion of invisibility. Abner is immediately assigned to haunt Aberdeen’s Boarding House, famously known for being the most haunted house in Harrison County U.S.A and for serving the best toast. There are only two rules he has to follow — he can only haunt at night and he can’t lose the medallion or he’ll be seen by the living.

But Abner has a secret — he is afraid of the dark, which is “like a vampire who’s afraid of necks!” according to his best friend Lavinda the Witch (Michelle LaBozzetta). She promptly gives him a night-light to wear and promises to help him with his haunting duties.

When Abner and Lavinda arrive at the boarding house, they find Ma Aberdeen (Ginger Dalton), the finest toast maker in the land, and her boarders, Kit Garret (Nicole Bianco) and the Petersons — Paul the periodontist (Andrew Lenahan), his wife Penelope (Chrysovalantou Tsoumpelis) and their son Pip (Eric J. Hughes), whose alliterations using words that start with the letter P are positively perplexing, in the kitchen getting ready for Halloween.

When Pip puts on a pumpkin pullover and starts to tell pumpkin jokes (okay I’ll stop), Abner puts a speed spell on the group, making them stuff Halloween goodie bags, do jumping jacks, quack like a duck, sing and dance in fast motion. He then casts a spell to make them get stuck to each other.

Abner casts a speed spell

In a sudden twist of events, fellow graduate and ghost with a grudge Dora Pike (Beth Ladd) shows up and steals Abner’s night-light and medallion of invisibility and hides them in Black Ridge Gulch, the deepest, darkest gorge in the entire world (where it’s really, really dark). Now visible, Abner must try to convince the boarders, who are still stuck to each other, to help him and Lavinda get his property back. Will they help him? And will Abner be able to overcome his fear of the dark?

Directed by Sanzel, the eight-member adult cast delivers an energetic performance that touches on the power of friendship and the importance of helping others.

Accompanied on piano by Douglas Quattrock and choreographed by Bianco, the song and dance numbers are terrific, especially “Into the World I Go” by Abner, the downright creepy “It Will All Fade to Black” by Dora, the sweet “A Witch Is a Person” by Lavinda and the fun group number, “It’s Ma Who Makes the Toast.”

The end result is a hauntingly fun afternoon that children and parents will love.

Snacks and beverages are available for purchase during intermission and booster seats are available. Costumes are encouraged and souvenir cat, pumpkin, vampire and ghost dolls will be available for purchase before the show and during intermission for $5. Meet the cast in the lobby for photos on your way out.

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson will present “A Kooky Spooky Halloween” through Oct. 27. Children’s theater continues with “Barnaby Saves Christmas” from Nov. 23 to Dec. 29. All seats are $10. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

All photos by Peter Lanscombe, Theatre Three Productions Inc.

From left, Legislative Aide Bill Maggi, Hobbs Farm President Larry Corbett, HF Vice President Ann Pellegrino, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore, Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle and HF Treasurer Cindy Gallo. Photo by Heidi Sutton

By Heidi Sutton

Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) was honored at the Bethel Hobbs Community Farm’s Harvest Fair Oct. 6 for his many years of dedicated support of the farm’s programs. The legislator was recently able to secure a $29,616 grant for the 11-acre Centereach farm, which donates 90 percent of its vegetables to area food pantries.

Children enjoy the farm’s Harvest Fair. Photo by Heidi Sutton

“This is a great place in Centereach — the last remaining farm we have in this area. Legislator Muratore was the one that really turned me on to Hobbs Farm and what was going on here,” Brookhaven Town Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden) said before presenting a plaque to the legislator along with the farm’s President Larry Corbett and Vice President Ann Pellegrino. “He’s been, for years, a huge supporter of this farm, whether it’s been working with me to do the Run the Farm to raise money, to bring in grants, to help out any way possible.”

“I can’t do enough for Hobbs Farm. This is our jewel here in the district. We love this place – it brings so much,” Muratore said, pointing to the families enjoying the festival. “I thank Ann, I thank Hobbs Farm and, most of all, I thank you my community. God bless you.”

Lord Celestant

By Kyle Barr

There — on the battlefield — the Stormcast Eternals, bronze warriors crafted from lightning and forged by a god, stand with warhammers clenched in armored fists. Their boots shake the ground as they march forward, and their leader, a Lord Celestant, wields the power of celestial energies and is mounted on a Stardrake, a hulking, dragonlike being of taught muscles and scales harder than steel.

Ian Craig in his studio

Across the field the sound of malevolent drums beat, making the sky pulse like a frantic heart. A dark and infernal energy swirls above the heads of the opposing army, the frayed host known as the Blades of Khorne. They stalk forward with axe in hand and slaughter on their minds. Dressed in obscene symbols and blood red armor, they pay tribute to a god of chaos that grants his disciples power as long as they only kill, maim and burn. The two armies clash up and down the field, as order and chaos struggle in an unremitting conflict.

Then Huntington resident Ian Craig takes a step back. That field of battle is just a table made from insulation foam and sand. The soldiers are just pieces of plastic less than 1/32 the scale of a human being. It’s all a game called Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, which uses dice and tape measurements to decide the outcome of a battle instead of martial prowess.

Craig is a professional miniature artist, and all those figures and terrain below him took hours upon hours of painstaking work to build and then paint, but it is a love for a craft he perfected since he was a kid, and a love of a game that has helped him find lifelong friends.

Beastmen

“That is what I enjoy most –— when you have this all together, the game transcends a board game, it becomes its own experience,” said Craig during a recent tour of his studio. “It’s really quite a different experience with that kind of beautiful terrain with those kinds of well-painted armies. One of the greatest things about this is we’ve lost, in general, so much of the connectivity between people.”

But it is perspective that matters. In terms of miniature war-gaming, looking at things at such a small scale, perspective is everything. The table and miniatures are so detailed because in it, while playing, everything becomes immersive. The game becomes more than a game; it becomes a narrative that unfolds with each decision and roll of the dice. “My favorite thing is sharing the hobby, and I think why I’m doing this primarily is because most people don’t get the full experience,” Craig explained. 

Now the professional artist wants to turn a portion of his property into a gaming club, one that can facilitate all kinds of gamers, from old hands to young novices. Craig, who recently opened a painting studio called Old Well Miniature Studio in his home, said the game brings people together, and he envisions a space that has the beauty, narrative and immersion that makes the game come alive. “I want people to walk in, start playing and feel like they’re right in those books,” he stressed. “The place will be built to be an immersive experience.”

Until recently, Craig was a teacher at the nonprofit Love of Learning Montessori private school in Centerport, where his wife Lille has recently been named director. Ongoing seizures have forced him to leave teaching, and he misses the kids whom he got to know from first grade all the way to fifth grade. But this hobby-turned-profession has long been Craig’s way to look at things differently. 

Knight Titan

The setting of the game borrows elements from history, but plainly the entire thing is ridiculous. Warhammer’s tone in particular is so dark, despairing, yet ludicrous all at once. The game has been a way for the Huntington resident to enjoy something that does not take itself so seriously.

“It was my escape,” Craig said. “You can mirror your own life situations with that theme, then laugh at it and turn it into something humorous.” 

It is a mindset that allows the artist to turn out project after project. Craig spent several years in the early 2000s as a miniature artist for Games Workshop, the company that makes Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and its sister product Warhammer 40,000. 

“As an adult I got good at it,” Craig said. “I would go so far as to say it is not an obsession. It’s becoming a profession.” He is still working on his designs and is waiting for the necessary space to become available, but in the future, he already has plans for tournaments, community painting sessions and even after-school programs for kids. 

Craig sees many advantages to learning a game like this, especially as a teacher. “You’re teaching fine motor skills, patience, math, reading comprehension to read these rules, interacting, being able to discuss something and come to a consensus, being able to communicate with different people, tactics and imagination, are all engaged on so many levels,” he said. 

House Goliath, Necromunda

By next year Craig envisions the 1,500 square feet of space will make you feel like you’re stepping into another reality, straight out of a Tolkien-esque fantasy story. The space will include a downstairs area for war-games with multiple tables, and the upstairs for a role-playing game library, a separate rentable room for role-playing sessions and the ability to videotape and live stream games so they could post them online. 

Even with all that work, Craig doesn’t plan to make much money for this venture, and only needs enough funds to keep the lights on because when all the miniatures are out on the table, with armor-clad warriors stomping through the brush, yelling battle cries and swinging axes the size of an average-sized human being, it reminds Craig what has made the whole thing such a lasting passion.

“There’s so much to this hobby that’s so good,” Craig said. “We have a community that needs something like this.”

Mount Sinai Scout Michael Muroff stands with his completed Eagle Scout project Sept. 29, the front door of the Miller Place-Mount Sinai Historical Society. Photo by Alex Petroski

A Mount Sinai Boy Scout literally restored an entryway to local history to complete his Eagle Scout project.

The front door to the William Miller House on North Country Road, a centuries-old building that has long served as the headquarters for the Miller Place-Mount Sinai Historical Society, was in a state of disrepair for longer than historian Edna Giffen could remember. Now, thanks to 17-year-old Scout Michael Muroff from Troop 1776, a brand new door constructed with a nod to history in mind hangs from the hinges, serving as a refurbished entry to local history.

Boy Scouts hoping to achieve Eagle status, the highest rank attainable by a male Scout, are tasked with completing a project that demonstrates leadership and benefits the community. Repairing the front door of the historical society met the criteria for Muroff, who said he and his family had been attending events — like the annual Country Fair that took place Sept. 29 during Muroff’s project unveiling — at the house since he was a kid.

Eagle Scout Michael Muroff, center, receives a proclamation from Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner, third from right, after unveiling is project Sept. 29. Photo by Alex Petroski

“I’ve always had an interest in local history, and it was always a subject I excelled at in class, and I thought by doing this project it would be a good way of giving back to the community and something that I really enjoy,” he said.

The work started with four to five weekends dedicated to just stripping the old paint off of the door frame using a heat gun and metal stripper, according to the Scout. With help from a local woodworker and others, a new, yet true to the original batten door was constructed. Batten doors traditionally have between six and eight wooden planks bound together. Muroff’s door features seven planks and includes the door’s original hinges, restored and repainted as well as part of the project. He also found authentic galvanized nails to match the original and maintain the new door’s historic integrity. The door’s original handle was left as is though, according to Muroff.

“The old door was falling apart and dilapidated, so we had to just completely make a new one,” Muroff said.

Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) attended the event and joked she had never seen the front door of the building hang so straight and close so tightly.

“We always like to take time out of our day to recognize and honor our Scouts,” she said. “So much attention is focused on the bad things our kids are doing and not on the good things they’re doing. It makes me feel good to know that we’re surrounded by some really great kids.”

In August, Muroff’s sister Rebecca completed her Gold Award project, the equivalent to the Eagle project but for Girl Scouts, which entailed cataloging the historical society’s vast collection of historic photos. The Scouts’ dad Greg Muroff served as Michael’s Scoutmaster throughout his time working through the program.

“It’s just wonderful that many years coming down to the Country Fair and to see Postman Pete, just to have my children Rebecca and Michael give back to the historical society and the community is just a wonderful thing,” he said. “Mike has a tremendous love of history and this was an ideal project for him.”

He said it will be special for both him and his son to drive past the house on North Country Road for years to come and see his hard work front and center.

“I have to say, as his dad and Scoutmaster I’m especially proud,” the Scoutmaster said. “The Eagle Scout award is more than just a project, it’s a culmination of their Boy Scout career. It means a lot of leadership, service to the community and self-discipline.”

From left, Shane McGlone, Makayla Connolly, Lizzie Dolce, Meaghan Maher, Danny Feldman and Olivia Freiberger

By Heidi Sutton

The John W. Engeman Theater’s latest children’s production, “The Little Mermaid Jr.” opened last weekend with a big splash.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, Disney’s animated film “The Little Mermaid” was adapted for the stage in 2007 and made it to Broadway in 2008. Now a condensed children’s version of the Broadway musical swims over to Northport and does not disappoint. Kevin F. Story expertly directs a cast of 20 talented young actors in a shimmering production that runs weekends on the Engeman stage through October.

Meaghan Maher as Ariel. Photo by John Gadbery

The story centers around Princess Ariel (the incredible Meaghan Maher), the youngest of King Triton’s daughters who longs to leave her ocean home to live with humans. She often visits the surface to observe these strange creatures with legs and even has a secret collection of man-made thingamabobs and dinglehoppers.

One day she sees Prince Eric (played by the handsome Shane McGlone) on a ship and immediately falls in love. When his ship is caught in a storm caused by Ariel’s evil aunt, Ursula the sea witch (Olivia Freiberger), Eric falls overboard and is quickly rescued by the mermaid princess.

When King Triton (Theron Viljoen) finds out Ariel has been visiting the world above, they argue and she runs away, only to be ambushed by Ursula’s slippery minions Flotsam and Jetsam (Meaghan McInnes and Amelia Freiberger, respectively) who convince her that the sea witch can make her wish to be human come true. The catch is that Ariel will have to give up her voice and Eric must fall in love with her in three days or she would lose her soul forever. With a new pair of legs and help from her friends Flounder (Makayla Connolly), Sebastian (Danny Feldman) and Scuttle (Lizzie Dolce), Ariel sets off to follow her heart. Will she get her wish or will Auntie Ursula get in the way?

Ursula and her minions Jetsam and Flotsam. Photo by Jessie Eppelheimer

With music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glen Slater, the show features all the wonderful songs we have come to love including the fun-filled “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl,” the hilarious “Les Poissons” by Chef Louis (Scott Cousins) and the chilling “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” which has the profound underlying message that “a woman doesn’t know how precious her voice is until she has been silenced.” The highlight of the afternoon, however, is hearing Maher perform a breathtaking rendition of “Part of Your World.” What a voice! No wonder Ursula wants it!

In the name of Poseidon, bring your children to see this show. They’ll love you for it. Running time is 1 hour and 20 minutes including a 15-minute intermission. Booster seats are available and costumes are encouraged. Meet the cast in the lobby after the show for photos and autographs. An autograph page is conveniently located toward the back of the program.

The John W, Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport will present ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.” through Oct. 28. Children’s theater continues with “Frosty” from Nov. 24 to Dec. 30 and “Seussical the Musical” from Jan. 26 to March 3. All seats are $15. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

*This article was updated on Oct. 5.

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