Years ago
Sam Randy, sponsor of a model-building contest in 1968, holds a model of a stallion alongside the young winners (left to right): Larry Brass of Islip Terrace, first prize; Nicholas Roberts of East Islip, second prize; and Bob O-Con, Great River, third prize.

Islip Bulletin file photo

Years ago


Welcome to ‘Years Ago’

The Islip Bulletin has been in print since 1949. It’s an understatement to say that a lot has happened locally over the decades. So that’s why we’re bringing our readers back 50 and 25 years of print, highlighting some of the people and events that were part of our “current” news at that time.

This new column will be featured weekly in our paper and will reflect that week’s edition from the past. You might recognize some of the places, names and events that will be reprinted. And even if you’re new to the area that IB covers, you’ll get a unique perspective on what life was like here at that time. As with all of our articles, we welcome your comments and in this case, perhaps your memories as well.

We hope you enjoy reading “Years Ago.”


50 Years Ago 

March 1968


“March came in like a lion, and I ain’t lying,” says Clyde Pearsall, Islip Town highway superintendent. Pearsall’s entire department worked ’round the clock, battling the gale-force winds and snow that wreaked havoc in Islip and left thousands of families without lights and heat. 

Happy birthday to these local leap year babies, who will celebrate their 5th birthdays in 1988 at the age of 20: Lori Ann Kowalchik, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kowalchik of Islip; Arno Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Arno Weiss of Islip; James Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. William O’Farrell Jr. of Brightwaters; and Erin Kelly, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rogers of Islip.

At the regular meeting of the Jolly Grandmothers Club of Islip Village, grandmother Joanna Rothenberg was presented with a beautiful corsage and four-slice toaster in honor of her 50th anniversary. Mrs. Crystal Hazelton, treasurer, announced the joyful news that her son, stationed in Vietnam, is on his way home.

The Restless Wheels Chapter of the National Campers and Hikers Association held their monthly meeting at the East Islip Junior High School, with Doris Cruickshank presiding. Rick Ackerson gave an interesting talk on Citizens Band Radio.

Rev. Augustine Griffin of St. Mary’s Church, East Islip, was named by Division Seven, Ancient Order of Hibernians, as aide to the grand marshal of East Islip’s third annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“Finian’s Rainbow,” a frivolous romance flavored with fantasy and Irish folklore, will be this year’s musical presented by East Islip High School. The cast includes: David Yurkerwich as the sheriff; James Blase as Billboard Rawkins; Allen DeMay as Bud Collins; Christine Schaller as Sharon; Mark Seal as Woody; and Russell Noble as Leprechaun. 

Congratulations to Mrs. Martha Balkau and Mrs. Sally Levy, both of Islip Terrace, who were among the more than 100 employees honored by Smithtown General Hospital for their length of service.

Mrs. Walter Abrams of River Road, Great River, served as a hostess of the Suffolk Chapter of the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at a special “gap” conference held at the Statler Hilton Hotel in New York City. 

Raymond R. Howard has been named superintendent of schools of the Bay Shore School District. 

Mr. and Mrs. H.W. Chapman Jr. of Richland Boulevard, Brightwaters, visited the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Jacqueline Robbins of Bay Shore was declared the winning performer at the 18th annual scholarship contest sponsored by the Music Lovers’ club at the Memorial Building in Bay Shore. Miss Robbins is a cellist who has studied for six years and is a student of David Wills of the Manhattan School of Music. She has been accepted to the Eastman School of Music, where she will study to become a concert cellist. 

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Milligan of Bay Shore-Brightwaters were among those present at West Palm Beach when the Grumman hydro-foil boat was tested and demonstrated.

Playing this week at local Prudential Theatres: Walt Disney’s “The Happiest Millionaire,” starring Tommy Steele and Fred MacMurray and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” starring Clint Eastwood, at the Bay Shore Theatre; “The Battle of Algiers” at Islip Theatre; “Around the World in 80 Days” at Brentwood Theatre; and “Cool Hand Luke” at Central Islip Theatre.


25 Years Ago

March 1993


The BayWay Art Theater’s current production is “A Few Good Men,” starring T. Patrick Shore as Lt. Daniel Kaffee, Ken McGinnis as the megalomaniac Lt. Col. Nathan Jessup, and Karen Rowan as Lt. Cmdr. Joanne Galloway. 

Our movie critic Hilda Fuhrman highly recommends “The Crying Game,” an Irish-British offering which just recently opened for an exclusive run at local Islip theatres. It’s been nominated for six Academy Awards and stars Stephen Rea and Jaye Davidson.

Pvt. Katherine Dozier of Central Islip has completed basic training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. She is a 1986 graduate of Central Islip High School.

Helen Kolinek of East Islip was the guest of honor at her 75th birthday party held at the Irish Coffee Pub in East Islip with 50 relatives and friends in attendance.

Robert L. Folks, Esq., of East Islip, was honored at a dinner hosted by the Board of the Education and Assistance Corporation at La Marmite Restaurant. Mr. Folks is retiring after five hears as chairman of the board.

The Suffolk County Bar Pro Bono Foundation bestowed a special award of recognition upon James S. Kats, a West Islip attorney in private practice, at a reception in honor of Suffolk County’s foremost pro bono lawyers at the Marriott’s Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge. 

Bill Christie, a 23-year-old Brightwaters resident and college graduate, has pledged three months of physical labor to Habitat for Humanity.

The following Bay Shore High School students competed in the Bay Shore Barbell Club’s weightlifting contest/fundraiser to raise monies for equipment in their weightroom and help fund trips to athletic camps: Herbert Najera, Roy McCloud, Liza Fernandez, Allison Johnson, Jen Sobrarer, Karen Dromenhouser, Kerri Ware and Tommy Rodriguez. The club’s advisors are Jim McGowan and Tim Cox.

Airman Brian P. Craddock of Bay Shore graduated from the avionic guidance and control systems specialist course at Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss.

Bay Shore’s boys basketball team will once again be heading to SUNY Stony Brook to vie for the Suffolk County Championship. During the game, Gary Williams, Bay Shore’s star player, scored his 2,000th point, an accomplishment so rare that only three other players in Suffolk County have reached that pinnacle. The occasion was marked with a small ceremony at center court.