Oyster Bay’s Six Degrees Of Separation

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Tiffany Team members with Denice Evans-Sheppard: from the left: Melanie Derschowitz, Denice, Linda Kikel, Mary Ann Kikel, Nicole Menchise, Linda Darby and Narissa Palmer. (Photos courtesy of the OBHS)

Just what does the Billy Joel song “Billy The Kid” have to do with Oyster Bay? If you attended the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s Fun Fact Trivia Challenge at the Italian-American Club on Tuesday, Jan. 30, you would know the answer.

OBHS Board Member Charlie Doering explained: “The ‘kid with a six pack under his arm’ was Billy Nastri. He graduated from OBHS in ’67 with me. He was the bartender at Uwe’s Restaurant bar in the ’60s when it was the place to be.”

So, while President Donald J. Trump gave his 2018 State of the Union address, the OBHS members tried to “trump the experts” on knowledge of their hometown. It was also the perfect time to welcome their new executive director, Denice Evans-Sheppard, to friends and members.

“It was a great night,” said Evans-Sheppard. “The weather was so bad I didn’t expect as many people to come out and I was so pleased to see the turnout. That included former curator Nicole Menchise, Meredith Maus of the Main Street Association, Richard LaMarca of the OB Civic Association and our weekend docents: Elizabeth Roosevelt and Narrisa Palmer of Cablevision.

“The board really pulled it all together,” she said. “Board Member Butch Garrison designed the tally board and board members brought food and got out the members to attend the event.”

Melanie Derschowitz, OBHS collections manager, agreed.

“We got a good turnout and everyone had a nice time,” she said.

They learned where Typhoid Mary lived (on East Main Street); where the Earle Wightman House was originally located (on South Street); the name of a Civil War soldier buried locally (David Carll); what poet taught in East Norwich (Walt Whitman); and that a bowling alley was the business originally located where Stop & Shop is today.

The historical society will host more events this month. On Feb. 24, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. OBHS hosts a roundtable discussion, When Our Troops Came Marching Home, at the Koenig Center, 20 Summit St. Cost is $10, or $5 for members. Advanced registration required; call 516-922-5032 or email obhsdirector@optonline.net.

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