Village Times Herald

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One of the silver coins discovered by George Will Hawkins on his property in 1894. Photo by Beverly Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

A short distance from the Village Green in Setauket was the home of George William Hawkins, a seventh-generation descendant of Zachariah Hawkins, one of Setauket’s first settlers. The Cape Cod house — Three Village Guidebook no. 92B — built before the Revolutionary War, stands next to the Monastery of the Holy Cross on Main Street.

Hawkins was a teacher for more than 30 years in Setauket, East Setauket and a number of other communities, and during that time, he led a quiet life. The fact that he had discovered an old bag of some 200 Spanish silver coins while digging holes in his backyard for bean poles was not made public until 30 years later in 1924.

When he first made the discovery in 1894, he took the coins to the sub-treasury in Manhattan and to his dismay discovered that they were only worth the silver content. He brought them home and sold a number of them as souvenir pieces. Hawkins once said that many of the patriots during the Revolutionary War took their family silver and money and buried it for fear that the British would raid their homes and take everything of value. He believed that this was why the coins, dated between 1770 and 1775, were buried in the garden to the north of the house.

Hawkins was born in Lake Grove on Aug. 23, 1843. He ran away on a sailing ship. He was on various ships out of Boston, went mackerel fishing out of Gloucester and, during the Civil War, was on the transport Lucinda A. Baylis, running supplies and forage for the Union Army.

After the war he returned to Long Island and on April 10, 1867, he married Amelia Jane Williamson of Stony Brook. They bought the house in Setauket, and Hawkins began teaching at the school near the Village Green in Setauket in 1868.

The schoolhouse, which stood where the Caroline Church carriage shed is now located, was replaced by a new school in the middle of the Village Green in October 1869. From 1868 through 1891, Hawkins was the only teacher in the West Setauket School District. George and Amelia Hawkins had nine children who grew up, married and moved from Three Village.

In 1877, Hawkins was elected to the position of district librarian and chairman of the school trustees. That year the school trustees ordered new books for the students. They purchased “Analitical Reader,” Sander’s “Speller,” Thompson’s “Arithmetic,” Warren’s “Physical Geography,” Reed and Kellogg’s “Grammar” and “Red Path School History” among others.

The school district was beginning to put emphasis on education and Hawkins was helping. In 1882, the inside of the schoolhouse was painted, a school clock was purchased — not to exceed $5 — and a biographica1 dictionary was bought. During the remaining years he taught in West Setauket, Hawkins continued to be a school trustee and to take an active interest in the education of the village’s students.

From 1894 through 1896 he taught at the East Setauket School, District No. 36, in the building that still stands at the corner of Coach Road and Route 25A. During these years the school population had increased to such an extent that he shared the teaching duties, teaching 48 of the older students with three other teachers. The total for district 36 during these years was over 185 students.

After his first wife died on July 8, 1904, Hawkins married Fannie Jane “LeRoy” Hallock and, when she died on May 15, 1913, he married Lizzie Terrell.

According to an article in The Brooklyn Eagle, Hawkins told an interesting story of how he met his second wife.

“He and her first husband Chauncey Hallock were on the same boat. Hallock returned home and Hawkins sent home $75 by him, but when Hawkins returned home a short time later he found that the money had not been paid over. He called at the Hallock home several times to see Hallock about the money and in this manner met the wife, who after the death of her husband became the second Mrs. Hawkins.”

After he retired from teaching in about 1898, Hawkins worked for a time in the grocery business. He died on June 4, 1927, in his 84th year and is buried in the Setauket Presbyterian Church Cemetery overlooking the Village Green where he taught local students for so many years.

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Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, Brookhaven Historian Barbara Russell, Kerri Glynn, Old Field Farms President Sally Lynch, Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn pose for a photo in front the clubhouse. Photo by Giselle Barkley

In the early 1930s, Setauket’s Old Field Club was a recreational hotspot that brought community members together for various events or programs. Now 87 years later, the club is still a reminder of Three Village’s past — especially now that it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) designated Wednesday, March 9, as Old Field Club and Farm Day in the town in honor of that club’s newfound status. He joined Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station), Brookhaven Historian Barbara Russell, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), club member Kerri Glynn and Old Field Farm President Sally Lynch this week to pay tribute to the site and look ahead.

While some clubs have had its setbacks with fires, the Old Field Club’s clubhouse is still the original structure designed by architect Richard Haviland Smythe. Smythe didn’t only design the clubhouse but also the beach cabanas — his original court layout included a plan for the cabanas, which was modified due to storm damage and increased demand for cabanas.

Glynn helped to start the effort to register the club, its farm and the nearby beach and cabanas around three years ago. She said she saw other historically designated buildings and clubs throughout the county with similar stories, making the Old Field Club on West Meadow Road an obvious choice.

“I looked around at various other clubs like [Old Field Club] in the area, like the St. George club and Nissequogue club, and they had both had fires that destroyed their buildings,” Glynn said. “It occurred to me that [Old Field Club] was a very special building.”

Cartright, who represents the town’s historic 1st District, said the designation was not only appropriate, but also necessary for preserving the North Shore’s character.

“The Old Field Club, farm and out buildings reflect the past of the Three Village area all the way back to the 1930s,” Cartright said in an email. “The club continues to serve as a location for community gatherings nearly a century later.  It is a staple in our community.”

Glynn, who has been a member since 1977, added, “the preservation of the beach and cabanas is especially important in light of the loss of the West Meadow cottages.”

The cottages were also added to the register after they were destroyed in the early 2000s. Romaine said that members of the community felt the property should be a natural beach at the time.

The cottages as well as the club were part of the Old Field South, a property subdivision that was being established at the time.

“Having a beach, swimming, tennis club to augment the sale was very much apart of the social life in the 1920s and 1930s,” Russell said.

Members paid $50 per visit at the time to use the club and attend programs and events. Various events were open to all community members, including the North Shore ball. The ball, one of the most important social events at the time, was held at the Old Field Club. The club also organized a number of dances for teenagers, which attracted countless teens.

The Old Field farm grounds were also used for horse shows. The 13.2-acre parcel is divided into the main barn complex and the horse show grounds.

A schoolhouse was also built on the property but was not included in the National Register of Historic Places alongside the clubhouse, farm and beach and cabanas because the building is privately owned.

Although Long Island is bustling with historic sites like the club, Russell said sites must be at least 50-years-old and must have a clear important historic significance, which Old Field certainly satisfied.

Some sites like the Old Field Club have more than one qualification — the club was placed on the register for its social and agricultural significance. The clubhouse includes a large ballroom with four sets of French doors among other characteristics.

Romaine commended those involved, for helping preserve this historic landmark.

“The work done by our historian [and] by these individuals involved, has ensured that these structures [the clubhouse and farm] will forever remain as they are,” Romaine said. “They can be improved upon but they can’t be changed and this piece of history…will forever be with us and remind us of our past.”

An illustration by artist John Rhein is part of the church’s new exhibit. Photo from Barbara Russell

By Barbara M. Russell

The Caroline Church of Brookhaven (Episcopal), One Dyke Road, Setauket, recently unveiled a new exhibit in its History Center.

Titled “Caroline Church in the 1700s,” it is the third exhibit curated by the Historical and Cultural Arts Commission. A self-guided tour takes the visitor through five areas illustrating the church and the community in the 18th century: Settler, Missionary, Clergy, Builder and Patriot/Loyalist. The narrative and artifacts presented in each area assist the viewer to understand the church’s role in a new and growing community.

A feature of the exhibit is a whimsical frog, which greets visitors at the start, and reappears, in colorful illustrations by artist John Rhein.

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts brought Anglican missionaries to Long Island and by 1723, a congregation was formed in Setauket. Five clergy are highlighted in the exhibit; those who led the congregation from its inception, to the building of the church in 1729, through the American Revolution, and into the next century. Some architectural artifacts are on display including a round-top door and early nails.

The Patriot/Loyalist section includes biographies of two parishioners, Dr. George Muirson and his son, Heathcote. Dr Muirson, a local physician, was an ardent Loyalist, and his son, a Patriot. Also featured within the Patriot/Loyalist section is local resident, Benjamin Floyd. The viewer can decide which “side” he favored.

Two permanent exhibits, a timeline of Caroline Church and the Rector’s Gallery can also be seen.

The History Center is located in the lower level of the Parish House and is open Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon. Arrangements can be made to view the exhibit at other times by calling the Parish Office at 631-941-4245.

Drug bust

At about 4 p.m. on March. 4, in a parking lot outside of Upsky Long Island Hotel in Hauppauge, two 25-year-old men and a 20-year-old man, all from Lindenhurst, as well as a 26-year-old woman from Greenlawn, all seated in a 2005 Ford, were arrested for having heroin in the car, police said. They were charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. At the same time and place, a 26-year-old man from Patchogue and a 23-year-old woman from Rocky Point, seated in a 2012 Honda, were arrested for having heroin in their car, according to police. They were also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. A 28-year-old woman in a 2015 Chrysler was also arrested at the same time and place. She was charged with fourth-degree criminal facilitation for enabling another person to sell narcotics.

No license, no drive

A 30-year-old man from Holbrook was arrested on March 4 after he was pulled over for driving a 2009 Hyundai on Motor Parkway in Central Islip with a dark cover over the car’s front license plate just before 2 a.m., police said. He was charged with third-degree unlicensed operation of a vehicle when it was determined he was driving without a license.

Parking lot party

On March 4, a 55-year-old man and a 67-year-old woman from Ronkonkoma were arrested while seated in a 2009 Lincoln outside of Kohl’s in Lake Ronkonkoma. Police said there was crack cocaine in plain sight in the car, and pills found on the man, which he did not have a prescription for. The man was charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and the woman was charged with one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

You can run, but you can’t hide

At about 10:20 p.m. on March 4, a 21-year-old man from St. James, a 19-year-old man from Brentwood and a 19-year-old man from Nissequogue were approached by Smithtown Park Rangers while parked in a 2011 Nissan Maxima at Short Beach Town Park in Nissequogue. As the Rangers got closer to the vehicle, the driver took off and eventually crashed into a utility pole and flipped the car into the woods on Short Beach Road, police said. The driver and front seat passenger were transported to Stony Brook University Hospital by St. James ambulances and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The rear seat passenger was transported via Nissequogue ambulance to the same hospital but was listed in critical condition. The driver was charged with first-degree driving while under the influence of drugs and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Headlight out, handcuffs on

On Nesconset Highway in Smithtown, at about midnight on March 3, a 24-year-old man from Medford was pulled over by police for driving a 1999 Honda with one headlight out, police said. He was later found to be driving without a license. He was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

Lucky to be alive

A 35-year-old man from Dix Hills crashed a 2012 Acura at about 11 p.m. on March 3 while driving on Johnson Avenue in Ronkonkoma, police said. He was charged with driving while intoxicated with a previous conviction in the last 10 years.

Bug bombed

At about 1 a.m. on March 2, an 80-year-old man from Islip was arrested for throwing three 32-ounce cans of indoor fogger, used to kill insects, through a window of a home on Grand Boulevard in Islip, police said. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief with the intent to damage property.

Careful who you steal from

At LA Fitness on Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge, an unknown person stole money and credit cards from a 2014 Jeep parked there on March 5, just after noon, police said.

Put a ring on it

Police arrested a 29-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station for grand larceny, for allegedly stealing an engagement ring from a residence and pawning it on Feb. 22. Police arrested him on March 2 on Route 25A in Port Jefferson.

Axe to grind

On March 3, a homeless man allegedly held a metal axe over his head as he advanced toward another man near a home on Old Post Road in Mount Sinai. Police arrested him for menacing at the scene.

ShopWrong

Police arrested a Hampton Bays resident on March 6 around 10:16 p.m. for petit larceny, after the 36-year-old woman allegedly took assorted groceries without paying from ShopRite at College Plaza in Selden. Police arrested her at the scene.

Bracelet blunder

A 18-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station was arrested for criminal possession of stolen property, after police said the man stole a 14-karat gold bracelet from All Island Jewelry & Loan on Middle Country Road in Centereach on Feb. 29 at 11:15 a.m.

Swiper, no swiping!

A Port Jefferson Station resident was arrested on Feb. 29 for driving while ability impaired. Police said the man was driving a 2000 Toyota Camry when he sideswiped a parked car on Joline Road.

Caught off-guardrail

On March 5, a Stony Brook resident was driving a 2000 Toyota Camry on Route 25A in Setauket when she crashed her car. According to police, the 28-year-old woman struck a guardrail before hitting several trees along the road. Police arrested the woman for driving while ability impaired at the scene, around 2:08 a.m.

People, stop driving impaired!

Police charged a 45-year-old man with driving while ability impaired on March 4. The Lake Grove resident was driving a 2008 Jeep when an officer allegedly saw him speeding on Route 25A. Police pulled over the man on the corner of Route 25A and Hawkins Road in Stony Brook and arrested him at the scene.

Planted into jail cell

A 31-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station was arrested on March 2 after allegedly loitering on Garden Road in Rocky Point. According to police, authorities discovered he was in possession of cocaine and arrested him at the scene for loitering and unlawful use of controlled substances.

Breakfast of champions

On the morning of March 2, police charged a 36-year-old man from Rocky Point with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance. The man was driving a black Toyota Camry on Route 25A in Port Jefferson Station when an officer pulled him over. Police allegedly discovered the man to be in possession of heroin and prescription medication, as well as hypodermic needles.

Emancipating cash

On March 3 around 8 p.m., someone broke the rear window of a residence on Lincoln Avenue in Port Jefferson Station and stole cash from inside.

No photos, please

Police said a man took photos of a female couple on March 4 at Grumpy Jack’s Sports Bar & Grill on Oakland Avenue in Port Jefferson. When the man refused to delete the photos, one of the women hit him in the head with a bottle. The couple fled and the man refused medical attention.

Crazy thief

Between March 3 and 4, according to police, someone pried open the rear door of the Crazy Beans coffee establishment on Route 25A in Miller Place and stole a safe containing money.

Stop that shopping

Police said a woman left her purse in a shopping cart after shopping at Stop & Shop on Pond Path in South Setauket on March 6 and drove off. The purse was stolen before she returned to the store. Police said several credit cards were used.

Rather safe than sorry

Between Feb. 29 and March 4, someone broke into a residence on Magnolia Drive in Selden and stole money from an unlocked safe.

A little housekeeping

Around 1:45 p.m. on March 6, someone stole two blenders and a vacuum from Walmart on Nesconset Highway in East Setauket.

Thief is on fire

Police said sometime between March 1 and March 2, someone stole a Kindle Fire and coins from a car parked on Strathmore Gate Drive in Stony Brook.

Sound Beach slasher

Someone slashed the tires of a 2014 Hyundai Elantra that was parked outside a residence on Blue Point Road in Sound Beach on the night of March 2.

I will avenge you!

Around 11 p.m. on March 2, an unknown person damaged the rear window of a 2008 Dodge Avenger parked near Route 25A in Rocky Point.

‘Linear Leaves,’ watercolor and Sharpie by Jackson Normandin, Rocky Point Middle School, grade 6

Through May 1, the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook will present its student art exhibition, Colors of Long Island: Student Expressions sponsored by Astoria Bank. This annual exhibit affords an opportunity for hundreds of students from across Long Island to display their artwork in a museum setting.

‘Marie Antoinette,’ acrylic on canvas panel by Geraldine Luglio, Miller Place High School, grade 11
‘Marie Antoinette,’ acrylic on canvas panel by Geraldine Luglio, Miller Place High School, grade 11

The museum is proud to include more than 300 works from 135 public and private schools across Long Island. Art teachers from grades K through 12 were asked to submit up to three pieces, either created individually or by groups. Traditionally, the theme, Colors of Long Island, allows for many creative interpretations. While some students refer to Long Island’s landscapes, others prefer to focus on the cultural diversity that makes Long Island so colorful. The varying interpretations of this theme will be portrayed through all types of media, including watercolors, sculptures, quilts, drawings, oil pastels, photographs and computer graphics.

The museum will recognize the achievements of these talented students at two receptions scheduled for March 13 from noon to 4 p.m. and April 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. Parents, teachers, students and the general public are invited to attend. 

Located at 1200 Route 25A, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to American history and art as it relates to Long Island. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.  For additional information call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

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Ward Melville’s Christian Araneo captured his second straight New York State championship title on Feb. 27 in Albany. Photo from Three Village Central School District
Ward Melville’s Christian Araneo captured his second straight New York State championship title on Feb. 27 in Albany. Photo from Three Village Central School District
Ward Melville’s Christian Araneo captured his second straight New York State championship title on Feb. 27 in Albany. Photo from Three Village Central School District

Ward Melville wrestler Christian Araneo captured his second straight win at the New York State wrestling championship on Feb. 27 in Albany.

Competing in the 195-pound weight class, the 6-foot-4-inch Araneo proved to be a tough competitor throughout the championship.

With his technical fall when he reached 16-0 at the 4:57 mark of his matchup against Arlington’s Tanner Nielsen, it was on to the quarterfinals.

Araneo’s takedown of Baldwinsville’s Alex Bowen just 15 seconds into their bout put him ahead 2-0, and the tone was set for him to win the match with a 7-1 decision.

He went on to edge Mike DiNardo of Mahopac, 3-1, to win the title and improve to a perfect 42-0 on the season.

File photo

A dispatcher in training for the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services helped deliver a baby over the phone on Wednesday morning.

According to a press release from the FRES, a man who had been on the way to the hospital called 911 shortly before 10 a.m. to report that his wife was in labor but the baby’s delivery could not wait. He had pulled their vehicle to the side of Nesconset Highway in East Setauket, in front of the Walmart.

Dispatcher Joseph Pucci answered the call. FRES said he verified the couple’s location and that the woman was 36 weeks pregnant, about to deliver for the fourth time. He gave instructions to the 38-year-old woman’s husband, and the couple delivered a baby boy within three minutes.

Pucci, who FRES said has been training for the past five months, instructed the father on how to check the baby’s breathing, keep the infant warm and use a shoelace to tie off his umbilical cord. Then he stayed on the line until Suffolk County police and Setauket Fire Department personnel arrived on the scene.

According to FRES, both the mother and the baby seemed healthy and were transported to Stony Brook University Hospital.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone commended the dispatcher-in-training for his work later on Wednesday.

“Thanks to the knowledgeable response from emergency service dispatcher Joseph Pucci, a baby boy was delivered safely this morning,” he said. “Good training and clear thinking helped this couple and their baby just as it was needed. Congratulations to this family on their newest arrival.”

The author poses with Tyler Christopher, aka Prince Nikolas Cassadine, of ‘General Hospital.’ Photo by Rebecca Budig

By Kerri Glynn

“5 … 4 … 3 …”

Time to move. Walk through the beaded curtain. Pause by the table. Chat with the bearded man. Exit downstage.

But wait! What’s my motivation?  Who is this man? My husband? Lover? Business partner? What was I doing here in Las Vegas — so far from Port Charles?

I was a cast member on “General Hospital.” Okay. I was an extra. But I’d dreamt about this for 39 years and it was finally happening.

Rewind to November 17, 1981. I was one of 30 million people who watched the wedding of “General Hospital’s”  Luke and Laura. I was directing a high school production of “Barefoot in the Park” and my stage manager brought in a small, portable TV — the kind with rabbit ears — and we halted our rehearsal to watch the nuptials. It was the highest rated hour in American soap opera history, and the super couple ended up on the cover of People and Newsweek magazines. They were credited with taking daytime out of the closet so people were no longer ashamed to say “I watch a soap opera.”

I was never ashamed.

I’ve been watching “General Hospital” on and off since 1967. Sometimes I didn’t see it for weeks, sometimes months, even years. But I’d catch up on holidays and summer vacations, and it was pretty easy to do. So many of the same characters remained; so many story lines were recapped script after script. And there was always the Soap Opera Digest magazine to grab and peruse while waiting for my turn at the supermarket counter.

As an English teacher and Vassar graduate, many of my colleagues were shocked to hear me admit my devotion to the show. Why, I wondered? What did Charles Dickens write that couldn’t be classified as soap opera? For that matter, how different is “Downtown Abbey”? The Crawleys just have a bigger house, better clothes and cooler accents.

But I never imagined the day would come when I would join the cast of my favorite show, and it was the star of that early production of “Barefoot in the Park” who made it happen. My former student is now a writer/actor and good friend of the executive producer of “General Hospital.” When he heard I was visiting LA, he asked if I could be an extra on the soap. The answer was yes and my adventure began.

A week before filming, I was contacted by the casting coordinator. Would I be a patient being wheeled down the hospital hall? Or a barfly at the Metrocourt Hotel, swilling a dirty martini? When I was told  I’d play a guest at an upscale Las Vegas hotel, I was intrigued. A Las Vegas hotel? “General Hospital” takes place in Port Charles, New York. Which characters would be visiting Las Vegas? And what would they be doing there?

I received a list of instructions — everything from a confidentiality clause (in other words, I couldn’t share any knowledge of the plot before the episode was aired) to my wardrobe instructions. Since I don’t tweet and still carry a flip phone, the first instruction was easy to follow. The second was a little harder, but it earned me a $10 wardrobe allowance.

I was due at Prospect Studios in Los Angeles at 2 in the afternoon. Most of the cast had arrived at 7 that morning and wouldn’t leave till 7 that night. After getting my ID badge from the guard, I proceeded to the stage manager’s desk to sign in. Then on to the Business Office with my passport to fill out a W-4. I was going to get paid for this? How cool was that!

The studio has seven sound stages and “Grey’s Anatomy” is another of the shows filmed there. The space was huge and held multiple sets. I could walk past the hospital chapel and the Floating Rib to the Quartermaine mansion. I recognized each one.

The other four extras were sitting in the Green Room where we’d wait for our call. Our names were Hotel Staffer and Guests 1-4. The others were professional actors, struggling to book commercials and dreaming of their big breaks. One of them had punched Luke out in an earlier episode, another had sat at Laura’s table at the Nutcracker Ball. Who would I be acting with? Fifty three scenes were being shot that day, and the characters included Scottie, Franco, Nina, Dante — you’ll recognize all these names if you, too, watch the show. (But don’t admit it.)

Then HE walked in — Tyler Christopher, “Prince Nikolas Cassadine,” the character I’d named my favorite cat after. He’s been on the show for 20 years and I’d long had a crush on him. There he was in the flesh … holding his script and getting a cup of coffee with the rest of us. I got up the courage to do it — to introduce myself and tell him about the cat and he laughed. We talked about his long lost love, “Emily” and how I longed to have her dug up and returned to him. It could happen. Characters have been revived even after they had been shot, drowned, frozen and had their major organs given to other characters. He was joined by his co-star, Rebecca Budig, aka “Hayden,” but formerly “Greenlee” from “All My Children.” She was just as nice and welcoming as Tyler. They promised me a picture after the taping.

So, it was sit and wait, and watch the monitors as other scenes were being filmed in the building. There were two directors working that day and multiple cast members. My 10 scenes would be set in the Las Vegas hotel where Nikolas and Hayden were getting married. I couldn’t have been more excited than if I’d won that Mega Powerball.

So many things surprised me that day — the size of the crew, the speed at which each scene was taped, the actors’ voices that seemed to whisper on set but be clear as a bell on video. People may mock soap opera scripts and actors, but everyone was a consummate professional. An average television series has 13 to 22 episodes, some a half hour, some a whole hour. “General Hospital” shoots about 286 one-hour episodes a year.

When my scene was called, the primary actors walked on set with their scripts in hand. The director told them where to stand and when to move. Then two of us extras were brought in. We were given our instructions. On the count of 3, we entered through the curtain. Chatted. Left. I’ll nail it next time, I thought. I’ll create my own back story. I’ll look for the cameras. I’ll …

“Taping scene 39.”

What?

“5, 4, 3 …”

We enter again. We chat. We leave.

“That’s a take.”

Four times I was called to the set. I sat and pretended to check my iPhone. I crossed the lobby with a blond girl. My daughter? Four hours later, we were thanked and asked to leave. The others did. But Rebecca Budig (bless her heart) remembered the promise and found “Nikolas” for my picture. She even took it.

As I left the studio, I looked at all the photos on the walls — pictures of cast members. The original cast — Dr. Hardy and Nurse Jessie Brewer, the Quartermaine family … and Luke and Laura’s wedding portrait. My life had come full circle. The boy I was directing would grow into a man who made my dream come true. Three weeks later I got to see myself on TV — on my favorite show — with my favorite soap star. And two weeks after that, I received a check in the mail for $260. I’d been paid for two days work because my fourth scene appeared the following day.

I’m not ashamed to say it. I LOVE that show. 

Kerri Glynn is a retired English teacher who has lived in Setauket with her husband Tim for many years. Today she is a writer and tutor as well as the director of education for the Frank Melville Memorial Park.

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File photo

By Kevin Redding

“We have a problem, and that problem is heroin. It’s a harsh reality.”

Setauket Fire Commissioner Jay Gardiner spoke at length about the heroin and opiate addiction issue that has swept Suffolk County at a Three Village Civic Association meeting at the Emma S. Clark Library on Monday night.

As guest speaker, Gardiner addressed the importance of having a dialogue with teens and children about the dangerous consequences of these specific drugs and staying on top of how much medication people consume to avoid overdoses. Gardiner also said it was important that residents recognize why heroin has become so prevalent.

According to Gardiner, the county’s affluence plays a large factor.

“Among the most common hard drugs, including methamphetamine and crack, heroin is the most expensive,” Gardiner said. “Out on the South Shore and other areas on Long Island that have different financial demographics, cheap drugs like methamphetamine and crack are much more obtainable while heroin isn’t. High schoolers and college students in Suffolk County, whose ages make up the majority of users, might have an ability to buy the more expensive drug.”

In the United States, drug overdose deaths have exceeded car crashes as the number one cause of injury death, according to U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Two Americans die of drug overdoses every hour and 2,500 youths aged between 12 and 17 abuse prescription drugs for the first time every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids — a class of drugs that include prescription pain medications and heroin — were involved in 28,648 deaths nationwide in 2014.

Gardiner admitted that he can’t lecture on how to control every North Shore kid’s behavior, however, and steered his presentation less on how to prevent the drug use and more on how to recognize when somebody is experiencing an overdose and being able to take the appropriate steps to save their lives. He specifically focused on using the anti-opiate overdose antidote Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan.

Gardiner said he knows of hundreds of cases just last year in which Narcan saved someone’s life from overdose in Suffolk County, and said that number is growing exponentially.

“We use this atomizing medication Narcan when the person we see is not responding,” said Gardiner, who demonstrated how to exert the intranasal spray into each of the patient’s nostrils. “You will revive these patients, if you’re fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, in minutes. We use the nose because it’s a large area where it will be absorbed to the bloodstream and remove the opiate effects in that bloodstream quickly.”

As Gardiner explained in his presentation, it’s nearly impossible to find an IV on a patient who has just overdosed because the veins are often badly sclerosed, as indicated by track marks all over the arm. On top of a quick and effective route for absorption, by using the nose as an entry, there’s a much lower risk of exposure to blood.

Because Narcan is also effective against more commonly taken opiate drugs, pain reducers like morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl, older people especially should be aware of how it’s used in a worst case scenario where too many pills are taken to subside an excruciating pain, and an overdose occurs.

Shawn Nuzzo, president of the Three Village Civic Association who brought Gardiner in to speak, says that despite the war on drugs in our country being a failure socially and medically, normal everyday people can make a difference now.

“It’s like having a fire extinguisher in your house,” said Nuzzo. “It’s not gonna fix faulty wiring, but it’s good to have it there if you need it. It’s so important that people learn how to use antidotes like this. People need to learn how to use a fire extinguisher and they need to learn how to use Narcan.”

Earlier this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that pharmacies across New York State would be providing Narcan to its customers without prescription, making it an extremely convenient and important addition to every resident’s medicine cabinet.

“Addiction’s an illness,” Gardiner said. “If you’re a diabetic, you carry insulin. If you’re bipolar, you have drugs to treat bipolar illness. We can’t treat addiction with drugs but we can certainly have these things around in case of an emergency because it is an illness and it’s so important to have this in your home. We can’t cure the addiction, but we can save the life even if it’s only temporarily.”

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Steven Matz winds up. Photo by Clayton Collier

Steven Matz became the first member of the Mets’ young rotation to take the mound in a Florida Grapefruit League game Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

The former Ward Melville star breezed through the first two innings before allowing a run in the third.

He walked two during his three-
inning stint and struck out the side in the second on only 12 pitches.

Matz was battling against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who walked three in two scoreless innings, gave up two hits and struck out two.

The Mets chose to delay their rotation a week in an effort to make sure each pitcher was strong for their first spring-training start, which will be a scheduled three innings this year rather than the typical two. As a result, the Mets hope to be sharper at an earlier date, and Matz looked that way, with a responsive curveball and a fastball in the mid-90s.