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By Michael Scro

The Leo P. Ostebo Kings Park Heritage Museum held its Irish Night 2023 on Friday, Sept. 22, at the RJO Middle School auditorium, featuring a lively performance by musician Ed Ryan and Irish step dancing by the Mulvihill-Lynch Irish Dancers.

Hosted by Kevin Johnston, chair of Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee and representative of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, he welcomed the audience of about 40 to 50 people — many donning Irish clothing.

Ryan played a powerful and entertaining set of Irish songs from “Whisky In The Jar,” “The Black Velvet Band,” “When New York Was Irish,” “Big Strong Man To The Town I Love So Well,” “Danny Boy” and “Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra (That’s An Irish Lullaby).” 

Between songs, he told a variety of age-old Irish jokes, bringing about laughter from the audience and also gave historical background and reference to many of the songs he belted out with his acoustic guitar.

The Mulvihill-Lynch dancers provided a precise and professional level of dancing that wowed the audience from start to finish. Clapping along to the Irish music, the crowd cheered loudly after each dance.

Johnston thanked Ryan and the dancers, and noted that the dance studio was started about 40 years ago by Gerry Mulvihill. Among those in attendance were Debbie Lynch-Webber who ran the dance group and was a student of the founder, as well as Maureen Hanley who was also a former student.

Steve Matteo discusses his new book ‘Act Naturally, The Beatles on Film’

 Smithtown author Steve Matteo will participate in a Q&A discussion (moderated byTony Traguardo, Fab4Free4All podcast) and book signing event featuring his new book “Act Naturally: The Beatles on Film” at the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF), 97 Main Street, Stony Brook on Saturday, September 30 at 2 p.m. The event is free with admission and open to the public.

Author Steve Matteo

“I grew up on Long Island and have written for many Long Island music and entertainment publications,” Matteo said. “I’m thrilled to be interviewed at LIMEHOF about my new book on the Beatles. The hall is all about honoring and celebrating the legacy of great music. When I write my books, chronicling musical history that give music fans a deeper understanding of artists and their times is very important to me. Long Island has a rich history of popular music and music fans on Long Island are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate in the world.”

This unique event bridges the mediums of books, music and film and is likely to appeal to audiences of all genres, not to mention Beatles fans. Copies of the book will be available for purchase to be signed at the event. LIMEHOF plans to do more author themed events in the future.

“We are excited to have Steve come speak at The Hall of Fame about his book “Act Naturally” and share his insights on The Beatles on Film,” said Kelly Leung, LIMEHOF Board Member and Director of Community Outreach who organized the event. “Having Tony Traguedo from the Fab4Free4All podcast moderate and speak is also an added bonus to what is sure to be a fun event.  We continue to welcome opportunities to introduce Long Islanders to local authors and podcasters on a regular basis at the museum.”

For details on this and upcoming events please visit

About Act Naturally, the Beatles on Film

The Beatles produced five films during their time together: A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, and Let It Be. Some were cinematic successes, and some were not, but—along with subsequent reissues, bonus material, and Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back, a documentary companion to Let It Be—they comprise an endlessly fascinating document of key phases in the group’s career.

In this comprehensive deep-dive into the band’s movies, author and longtime music journalist Steve Matteo follows the origins, filming, and often frenzied fan reception of projects from the 1964 premiere of A Hard Day’s Night through 1970’s Let It Be to the release of Get Back in 2022. Matteo explores the production process, original theatrical film releases, subsequent VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray releases, and bonus materials, along with the US and UK soundtracks. In addition to copious anecdotes and behind-the-scenes details, he also places these films in their larger context, a period of unprecedented artistic and commercial innovation in British and world cinema. Filled with stories and insights that will satisfy collectors, buffs, and casual fans alike, this is the definitive account of an underappreciated part of the Beatles’ creative output.

About Steve Matteo

Steve Matteo is the author of Let It Be (33 1/3-Bloomsbury) and Dylan (Union Square & Company-Barnes & Noble). He recently contributed to The Beatles in Context, which was published by Cambridge University Press.

He is Contributing Editor with The Vinyl District and has written for such publications as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, New York magazine, Time Out New York, Rolling Stone, Spin, Rock’s Backpages, Relix, Goldmine, Interview, Elle, Citizen Truth, Literary Hub and Salon.

He has worked for Pete Townshend of the Who in various capacities for Left Field Services, Towser Tunes and Trinifold. His radio career includes working at WLIR-FM, WNYT and FM Odyssey and he often appears on radio, including on the Sirius XM Volume Channel, Q104, Joe Johnson’s Beatle Brunch, Talk More Talk: A Solo Beatles Videocast, 21st Century Radio, WAAM, WFUV, WUSB, WPPB and WHPC and television in his capacity as a music journalist and an author. He has lectured on Bob Dylan at the New School for Social Research in New York and journalism at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He holds a B.F.A. in Communication Arts from the New York Institute of Technology.


Founded in 2004, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical and entertainment heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Island music and entertainment in all its forms. In 2022 LIMEHOF opened its first Hall of Fame building location in Stony Brook Village. To date, the organization has inducted more than 120 musicians and music industry executives, and also offers education programs and scholarships, and awards to Long Island students and educators. ###

The Whaling Museum and Education Center in Cold Spring Harbor has announced the schedule for its Beyond the Book fall workshops which will include an Author Talk by Kerriann Flanagan Brosky, author of Haunted Long Island Mysteries.  

Beyond the Book workshops invite participants to dive into hand-selected books by museum educators who will explore stories and history related to the museum’s collections for a truly unique experience. Each session includes a close look at artifacts, many of which are not on exhibit, discussion questions that invite participants to make personal connections, and light snacks and drinks to enjoy while chatting.

The first session takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. and covers The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost by Peter Manseau. Participants of this session will explore the intriguing history of Victorian-era spirit photography: supernatural ‘proof’ of ghosts which endured for decades and reflects the human desire to communicate beyond the physical. Historic photographs from the local Jones-Hewlett family will be on view for the group.

“Beyond the Book is one of my favorite programs. We have a regular group of dedicated readers. Discussions are interesting, engaging, and surprising! I love showing people objects from the collections to bring history into the present,” said Baylee Browning, Collections and Exhibit Associate at The Whaling Museum & Education Center who will host the September session.

The October session, held on Tuesday Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m., is a special edition featuring award-winning author and historian, Kerriann Flanagan Brosky, above, along with medium/paranormal investigator Joe Giaquinto. Participants will be delighted with tales of their ghostly adventures which weave local history with the spiritual realm. They will discuss research and investigations behind the making of Haunted Long Island Mysteries, Brosky’s latest book. The lecture will include a PowerPoint presentation of the places they have visited and listening to EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) along with fascinating Ghost Box recordings from their field investigations. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the presentation.

The November session will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. and covers The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann. Participants will explore one of the most gripping true stories from the high seas where in 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell — later challenged by other survivors with shocking twists of disaster, mutiny, anarchy, and murder. With a story based on six years of research, armchair adventurers will enjoy shipbuilding tools from the museum’s collection on view to the group.

“It’s been so rewarding watching our community of readers grow over the months and develop genuine bonds with one another.  I can’t wait for this fall’s sessions!” said Brenna McCormick-Thompson, Curator of Education at the Whaling Museum.

Beyond the Book club sessions are free for museum members and patrons of the museum’s partner libraries, Huntington Public Library and South Huntington Public Library. All others may attend for $15 per session. Register online at

The Whaling Museum and Education Center is located at 301 Main Street in Cold Spring Harbor. For more information, call 631-367-3418.


Freeport teacher Stephanie Arnell is excited to teach the workshops this fall. Photo from LIMEHOF

As part of the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHoF) partnership with rock and roll legend Steven Van Zandt’s TeachRock organization announced earlier this year, LIMEHOF will host the first ever series of free TeachRock workshops for teachers sponsored by Harmony Insurance at LIMEHOF’s Stony Brook location, 97 Main Street, Stony Brook, on Sunday, September 17 and another on Sunday, October 15  both from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

TeachRock founder Steven Van Zandt at a TeachRock event. Photo from LIMEHOF

“We are so excited to give teachers this opportunity to learn more about Steven Van Zandt’s TeachRock curriculum and to give them some time to explore our museum,” said Tom Needham, LIMEHoF’s Educational Programs Director.  “My hope is that this leads to many music themed lessons in the classroom and field trips to the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame moving forward.”

These are free workshop events, sponsored by Harmony Insurance, open to local area teachers with registration. Teachers can register on TeachRock’s workshop registration page The first workshop Intro to TeachRock followed by a 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop themed workshop.

The workshops will be taught by TeachRock Star Teacher Stephanie Arnell who is a veteran Freeport Public Schools educator who has helped her district embrace arts integration and had fun doing it! She’s excited to share her tips and the free TeachRock lesson plans she uses with local educators. All attendees are granted free access to the museum following the event and are eligible for NY CTLE credits through TeachRock.

“Looking at curriculum through a musical lens keeps students engaged while they don’t even realize they are learning,” said Arnell. “For example, learning the history of MLK Day through Stevie Wonder’s song “Happy Birthday” or using data from Beyonce’s Instagram account to practice calculating ratios.  I’ve seen in my classroom the way students’ gravitate towards TeachRock lessons and I’m excited to spread that enthusiasm to teachers and students on Long Island.”

Launched in 2002 by Van Zandt and the Founders Board of Bono, Jackson Browne, Martin Scorsese, and Bruce Springsteen, provides free, standards-aligned resources that use music to help K-12 students succeed in science, math, social studies, and language arts, among other subjects. TeachRock improves students’ lives by filling every classroom with the sound, stories, and science of music. Nearly 60,000 educators—representing all 50 states—are registered at

“TeachRock teachers don’t tell kids to take out their earbuds, they ask them what they’re listening to and then make connections between their favorite music and the core curricula they need to master to succeed in life,” said TeachRock founder Steven Van Zandt. “This partnership will help my TeachRock team create more of those educators whose cool class keeps kids coming to school.”

The workshops are made possible by Harmony Insurance. “Harmony Insurance is proud to sponsor TeachRock’s Long Island Music Workshops for teachers, aiming to inspire and educate through music,” Harmony Insurance said in a statement.

“We’ve seen for years how the shared interest in music helps forge connections between teachers and students, and every year we witness how arts-integrated math, science, and social studies classes pull students from the margins and inspire them to participate,” said Bill Carbone, TeachRock Executive Director. “We’re thrilled to partner with LIMEHOF to help as many LI teachers as possible get excited about inspiring their students through the arts.”

For more information about LIMEHoF’s education programs please visit

Photo from LIM

It’s time to play ball! Preservation Long Island and the Long Island Museum have teamed up to host Baseball on the Farm featuring an authentic 19th-century ballgame with the New York Mutual Base Ball Club against the Atlantics.  With live music, games, prizes, food and more, this one-day special event will take place on the grounds of historic Sherwood-Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Road in East Setauket on Saturday, Sept. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. Rain date is Sept, 17.

Baseball on the Farm is a FREE community event for the whole family featuring an authentic 19th-century ballgame pitting the New York Mutuals Base Ball Club against the Atlantics Base Ball Club, games and craft activities, prizes including Long Island Ducks signed baseball and 4-pack of tickets for 2024, bounce house, live music by The Other Two and food and beverages (available for purchase) from Exotic Bowls, Maui Chop House and Root + Branch Brewing.

Advance registration is recommended. For more information and to reserve tickets visit:

This special day of vintage baseball at Preservation Long Island’s Sherwood-Jayne Farm in Setauket is a collaboration inspired by two exhibitions currently on view at The Long Island Museum in nearby Stony Brook:

Picturing America’s Pastime (May 18-October 15, 2023): Since the 19th century, baseball and photography have grown up together.  This exhibition of 51 historic photographs has been developed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museums, the world’s premiere repository of baseball photographs.

Home Fields: Baseball Stadiums of Long Island and New York City (May 18-October 15, 2023): This exhibition features exciting objects from several private collectors of historic baseball memorabilia.  Many original items from Ebbetts Field (the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers) Polo Stadium, and Yankee Stadium are on view.

Vanderbilt Museum Stoll Wing Diorama. Vanderbilt Museum photo

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road Centerport has announced the upcoming revitalization of its Stoll Wing, a natural-history exhibit space dedicated to the spirit of exploration and learning.

The Stoll Wing project is made possible by generous support from the Roy M. Speer Foundation, which donated funds to honor the legacy of Charles H. Stoll.

The Museum has closed the Stoll Wing and Habitat Hall through mid-October. The renewal of the natural history exhibits represents the deepening of the Museum’s commitment to excellence in public education and stewardship.

This project will include updated signage, improved lighting, and elevated finishings. As part of the architect Ecodepot’s design, the renovation will also create additional vitrines to display ethnographic materials collected on the American Museum of Natural History’s (AMNH) famous 1928 Stoll-McCracken Expedition to the Siberian Arctic.

The eight Stoll Wing dioramas display fifteen animals brought home by Charles H. Stoll (1887-1988) and his wife, Merle, between 1922 and 1969. Charles H. Stoll was a noted explorer, big-game hunter, and jurist who joined the Vanderbilt Museum Board of Trustees in 1969. He funded the Stoll-McCracken Expedition under the auspices of the AMNH, and the donation of his personal collection to the VanderbiltMuseum reflected his belief in the organization’s mission of informal education and enjoyment for the people of Long Island.

“We thank you for your understanding while this project is underway. We look forward to sharing the revitalized Stoll Wing with you soon,” said Elizabeth Wayland-Morgan, Executive Director at the Vanderbilt Museum in a press release.

The renovation of the Stoll Wing is made possible by the generosity of the Roy M. Speer Foundation. Additional support for the conservation projects at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum comes from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, the Gerry Charitable Trust, the Pritchard Charitable Trust, and committed members of the Long Island community.

For more information on how to support the Suffolk County VanderbiltMuseum and its programs, please visit:

'Lost on an Island' by Edward Acosta. Image courtesy of LIM

The Long Island Museum (LIM) has announced its latest exhibit, SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island, a groundbreaking show celebrating the rich cultural heritage and artistic contributions of the Latinx community of Long Island. 

The exhibition, which opens on Sept. 14, includes works by over 80 participating artists—historic, established, and contemporary—and offers a unique opportunity to explore their diverse styles, media, compelling personal stories, and familial national origins.

‘Ride on a Flushing Train’ by Esteban Najarro

From Brooklyn to Montauk, SOMOS showcases the works of creators who have grappled with questions of identity, history, and the many meanings of community. Guest-curated by Mexican-American artist Kelynn Alder, SOMOS situates Latinx artists within the historic fabric and the actively changing shape of the Long Island neighborhoods in which they live.

“When I first moved to Long Island thirty years ago and attempted to exhibit my paintings celebrating my Mexican ancestry, there was very little understanding or appreciation for Latinx art,” says Alder. “I felt very alone. For too long contemporary Latinx art has been marginalized, undervalued, and almost invisible. SOMOS/WE ARE is an overdue opportunity to exhibit a vibrant, diverse array of artwork that shows we not alone. Our cultures can no longer be ignored or thought of as irrelevant as these works bring light to the abundant talents of Latinx communities thriving across this very long island.” 

The exhibition, which will be entirely bilingual in English and Spanish, is a testament to the vibrancy and diversity of Long Island’s Latinx community, which according to the 2020 US Census, comprises approximately 1.75 million people residing in Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. In addition to works on loan from private collectors and the artists themselves, artworks are also on loan to SOMOS from the Brooklyn Museum and the Parrish Art Museum. 

Some participating artists are Lidya Buzio, Darlene Charneco, Eugenio Cuttica, Hector deCordova, Esly Escobar, Marisol (Marisol Escobar), Virginia Jaramillo, Miguel Luciano, Esteban Najarro, Juan Carlos Pinto, Adrián Román, Freddy Rodríguez, Cinthya Santos-Briones, and Juan Sánchez.

“Under the vast umbrella of Latinx artists, there is so much diversity and talent,” said Nina Sangimino, Curator at the Long Island Museum. “We are excited for the public to see the beautiful, poignant, and at times challenging artwork being created within our local Long Island communities.” 

SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island will be on view at the Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook from Sept. 14 to Dec. 17, filling the entire 4,000 square feet of the Art Museum.

A full slate of programming and events will accompany this exhibition throughout its run at the LIM. These events are mentioned below:

1) Thursday, September 21st (5:30-7:30 pm) – Summer Thursday Concert – Mariachi Nuevo Amanecer

2) Sunday, September 24th (2:00 pm) – National Museum of American History Curator Margaret

Salazar-Porzio talks about ¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues / En los barrios y las

grandes ligas

3) ¡ESTAMOS! Symposium

Saturday, September 30th, 2023 (10 am – 3:00 pm)

The LIM hosts a one day symposium featuring a varied group of artists and scholars with

discussion revolving around the exhibition SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island. This

symposium will consist of performances, a panel discussion, gallery tour and much more for a

robust day of art and culture.

4) Tuesday, October 3rd (all day) – East End Bus Trip to artist studios and gallery space.

5) Sunday, October 15th (12 pm – 3:00 pm) – SOMOS tour/Gallery North collaboration featuring

printmaking demonstrations by master printmakers.

6) Sunday, October 29th (1:00 – 4:00 pm) – Halloween Family Fun and Día de los Muertos – crafts (including Ofrenda decoration), music, and much more!

The SOMOS exhibition and associated programming is being supported by the Suffolk County Office of Cultural Affairs (SCOCA). Latino Arts of Long Island (LALI) is a community partner for the project. For more information, visit

Valley Stream resident and Gin Blossoms’ lead singer and guitarist Robin Wilson was recently inducted into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) at their new Stony Brook museum location.

“There are so many great musicians that are a part of this Hall of Fame and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” Wilson said. “People like Joan Jett, Blue Oyster Cult, Billy Joel and the Stray Cats and Zebra and Twisted Sister so to be part of the same Hall of Fame as all of these great artists just means the world to me, I’m really proud to be inducted.”

Robin Wilson is the singer/songwriter/guitarist for the multi-platinum album selling and Grammy nominated band Gin Blossoms and guest lead singer for The Smithereens. Wilson is the voice powering FM radio staples ‘Til I Hear It from You’, ‘Until I Fall Away’, ‘Hey Jealousy’, ‘Follow You Down’, ‘As Long As It Matters’, Allison Road’ and many more.

A longtime resident of Valley Stream, Robin is very involved in community activities and events. He has done several benefit concerts for the Valley Stream School District PTA and has hosted – on his front lawn- neighborhood live streamed concerts featuring a mix of local young musicians along with established performers such as Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Graham Maby of the Joe Jackson Band and Willie Nile.

When the late Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens passed away in 2017, Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros invited Robin and Marshall Crenshaw to perform with the band moving forward as alternating guest lead singers.

“Robin Wilson’s vocals and many of his songs have powered Gin Blossoms to remain being one of the most important and iconic American bands to come out of the creative diverse and influential 1990’s music scene,” said Norm Prusslin, LIMEHOF Co-founder when introducing Robin on stage during the induction. “Gin Blossoms are only one of a handful of successful bands from that period that have remained relevant 20 plus years on.”

Jim Babjak, Guitarist for the Smithereens spoke to officially induct Robin. On stage, Babjak recounted a story how they first met Robin in 1988 when the Smithereens were touring in Arizona and met him when he was 21 years old working at a local record store.

Gray Wilson, Robin’s son also spoke crediting his father with his own interest in music saying he wants to be a musician like Robin, but he’ll be able to play all the instruments.

After the induction ceremony, Wilson was joined on stage first by his son Gray and percussionist Ryan Wall to rock out an acoustic set of several Gin Blossoms classics. After that Jim Babjak (Guitarist, The Smithereens), Dennis Diken (Drums, The Smithereens), Graham Maby (Bass, The Joe Jackson Band) took the stage along with Robin to perform several Smithereen hits.

There was a large turn-out of local music fans and LIMEHOF inductee Albert Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult) was also in attendance to show his support.

“I am so honored to be in this organization,” Bouchard said. “People say it’s such a sin that Blue Oyster Cult isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t give a damn about that! This is the real deal right here. I mean an organization with John Coltrain, Lewis Armstrong, Run DMC, Billy Joel… all these great people not just rock but everything and that’s what I’m into, not just Rock I like all kinds of music…classical, jazz, even country and rap… I like it all.”

To date LIMEHOF has inducted over 120 musicians from a range of music genres from across Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn and Queens (which LIMEHOF considers geographic Long Island). This latest induction marks the fourth in the new LIMEHOF museum location since it opened last fall. The new building offers LIMEHOF more flexibility in scheduling to induct new artists throughout the year. Wayne Robins, Roger Earl and The Fat Boys were all officially inducted at that location since it opened. LIMEHOF plans to induct and honor new artists including in the entertainment field including actors, comedians and more.

For more information about events and future inductions please visit

When Jeff Kappel’s father Lester passed away this May just a few months shy of his 100th birthday, Jeff was faced with the decision of rehoming his father’s extensive collection of ships in a bottle. Ultimately he chose 19 items to donate to The Whaling Museum & Education Center in Cold Spring Harbor. 

“I want it seen. My father collected for years and loved sharing his collection with people, and I want to continue that,” he said.

The art of ship in a bottle is a finely crafted and challenging folk art. The earliest surviving models date to the late 1700’s. Popularized by both American and European mariners who needed to pass long hours at sea, the creator would use a discarded bottle, bits of wood and other materials to create a tiny yet accurate model of a sailing ship. 

With great patience for handiwork, the model was created with complete but collapsible rigging, which was inserted folded into the neck of a bottle, set into a painted diorama, and had the sails raised. Each ship in a bottle is unique, and was often created as a gift or souvenir. Retired seamen also maintained their skills by engaging in the hobby.

Lester Kappel spent a lifetime collecting ships in a bottle, some of which were loaned years ago to the Whaling Museum for a special exhibition about the craft.

Born in Brooklyn in 1923, Lester spent childhood summers in Long Beach. In 1939, his family moved to the area on Belmont Avenue. He attended Long Beach High School and studied aircraft mechanics at Roosevelt Aviation School in 1941 (where Roosevelt Field Mall is located today). He began working for Pan American Airlines, and served in the Navy for 18 months before transferring to the Army, where he worked on aircraft. After the war, he continued to work as an aircraft mechanic, as well as in his family’s printing business in Manhattan.

For 65 years, Lester was a member of the Point Lookout/Lido Fire Department, serving as Captain of the Lido company and fire commissioner for over five decades. He also joined the staff of the Long Beach Public Library in 1983.

The largest ship in a bottle in the collection “was found in Queens for $24. Whenever my father traveled, he would look for ships in a bottle to collect — and yet here in Queens was this find!”

Lester Kappel was not only a collector of ships in a bottle. He and his wife filled their home with antique firefighting equipment, wooden duck decoys, artwork, glass bottles, and household objects such as glove stretchers. The walls of his kitchen are lined with antique and vintage kitchen tools. 

“We are very thankful to Jeff and the Kappel family for gifting these remarkable items to The Whaling Museum’s collection,” says Nomi Dayan, Executive Director. “This is a significant moment in helping us preserve and promote a unique part of our maritime heritage.”

A selection of ships in a bottle from this collection will be exhibited in the Museum’s craft workshop by September of this year and will be on display thereafter. 

The Whaling Museum, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor is open in the summer from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beginning Sept. 3rd, the museum will be open from Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more informtion, call 631-367-3418 or visit

Above, organizers outside the planned veterans museum in Rocky Point. From left, museum curator Rich Acritelli, VFW Post 6249 Cmdr. Joe Cognitore and museum committee member Frank Lombardi. Photo by Raymond Janis

Later this year, members of the Rocky Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6249 will launch a museum showcasing the lives and legacies of local vets.

Each of us has been touched by a veteran. Whether they are our family members, friends or remote acquaintances, American veterans have given much of themselves so that we may enjoy our freedoms.

After completing their military service at home and abroad, many have returned to Long Island to build up and enrich our community. Their examples of duty and sacrifice can offer powerful insight for civilian life. Now, our vets aspire to continue their service by educating us on the trials of war.

At TBR News Media, we uphold the adage that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. We also regret the anti-historical narrative sweeping our contemporary culture.

If we are to strive for peace, we must learn from war. If we are to endure as a community and nation, we must confront our history forthrightly.

Veterans can teach us — especially our youth — some of life’s most important lessons: How can the veteran experience inform our understanding of mental health and trauma? What can the confrontation with death teach us about life? What is the meaning of sacrifice? 

Our service members are an untapped fountain of history and wisdom. They possess firsthand knowledge of some of our nation’s most important events. We must hear these stories. But to get there, we must first lend a hand.

The curators of the Rocky Point veterans museum are actively soliciting donations. Whether by contributing monetarily, sending military gear or books or volunteering our time to build out the facility, we can all do our part to assist in this noble endeavor.

Long Island’s veterans have served our nation courageously, and this museum will soon stand as the next iteration in their long line of service. 

Let us channel and honor their example. May we, too, answer the call by showing our appreciation and sharing the stories of our local veterans. 

To learn more or how to donate, please contact the museum’s curator, Rich Acritelli, at [email protected].