Category Archives: Merrick

Requiem for Booker T. Gibson

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com) 
March 18, 2016

Instead of writing this right now, I’d be at Booker T. Gibson’s funeral at Union Baptist Church in Hempstead, if I’d learned about his March 10th death sooner, rather than a few minutes ago when I read his moving obituary by journalist Scott Brinton.

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282, with ceremony at Merrick Veteran Memorial Park. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 27, 2013. Veteran Booker T. Gibson at Annual Memorial Day Parade 2013, hosted by American Legion Merrick Post No. 1282. (© 2013 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Booker was an active member of the American Legion Merrick Post 1282, and I’m a member of its Auxiliary. We first met on December 10, 2011, at the Northport VA Medical Center, where he played piano to accompany our AL Post members singing Christmas carols to patients. Which was more mesmerizing and expressive: Booker’s big bright eyes, his hands as they played, or his warm personality? I can’t decide.

Close-up of Booker T Gibson's hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center, on Dec. 19, 2011. Light vignette. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Northport, New York, USA. December 19, 2011. Close-up of Booker T Gibson’s hands as he plays piano at Northport VA medical Center to accompany American Legion Merrick Post 1282 singers. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Years ago, filmmaker André Joseph contacted me to license editorial photos for EPYX Productions’ 2013 documentary film on Booker T. Gibson. When we spoke, Joseph’s deep respect for Gibson was clear, as it was later in his 2013 documentary:

AJ EPYX Documentary film:  Book T. Gibson: A Teacher’s Journey

Writing this visual requiem, I feel both sad (quite sad) and profoundly grateful to have known and photographed fellow Merrokean, fellow teacher, fellow lover of music, Booker T. Gibson.

American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade on May 28, 2012, on Long Island, New York, USA. America's war heroes are honored on this National Holiday. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 28, 2012. American Legionnaires, Booker T. Gibson at right, riding in classic car in Merrick Memorial Day Parade. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Photos of Booker T. Gibson playing piano

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Memorial Day Weekend at Levy Park 2015

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 28, 2015

Around 3:30 the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, I went to Norman J Levy Park & Preserve. After parking in the crowded parking lot, I headed to the path with the sign “Shortest Way to Top” – since I hoped to get a hilltop view of the Bethpage New York Air Show in progress at nearby Jones Beach.

At Norman J Levy Park & Preserve, family members point south to contrails in the sky over Jones Beach where planes are performing in the Bethpage New York Air Show. Many visitors watched the air show from the marshland park after several major parkways to the famous Long Island beach were closed when it filled to capacity. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. May 24, 2015. At Norman J Levy Park & Preserve, visitor point south to contrails in the sky over Jones Beach where planes are performing in the Bethpage New York Air Show, Memorial Day Weekend.  (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Earlier that day, I heard that Jones Beach filled to capacity before the air show even started, so major roads leading there were closed. So I wasn’t surprised to see groups of people scattered throughout the hilltop and pointing south to where planes were leaving contrails in the sky. The performers, too distant from Levy Park to identify, included Thunderbirds, Golden Knights, and GEICO SkyWriters, and more.

When the show ended, I headed south on the winding trail leading down to the park’s fishing pier. At the far end of the 500-foot-long wooden pier, I enjoyed the cool breeze and watched kayakers in Merrick Bay, and chatted with fellow visitors Rev. David Lee and his parishioners. They had planned to fish at Jones Beach, but finding Meadowbrook Parkway closed, cast their reels at South Merrick’s Levy Park instead.

Photo Gallery: Memorial Day Weekend 2015

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“The Interview” Opens at Merrick Cinemas on Christmas

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 31, 2014

On Christmas morning, I read that The Interview, the comedy by Sony Pictures Entertainment, was playing at Merrick Cinemas, the only movie theater showing it in Nassau County, Long Island. So, even though I still had most of my Christmas present wrapping left, I headed out to capture news photos before the first show, 12:30 pm.

Merrick, New York, USA. December 25, 2014. The Interview plays at Merrick Cinemas, the only movie theater showing it in Nassau County, Long Island, on Christmas Day. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. Dec. 25, 2014. “The Interview” opens at Merrick Cinemas, in Nassau County, Long Island, on Christmas Day. (© 2014 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

In November, hackers hacked – yes, that sounds like coughing – Sony Pictures computers, and later threatened theaters planning to show The Interview, in which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen play civilians recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korea’s dictator.

Due to the terrorist threats, Sony originally canceled public release of the film, but then changed its plans again, and released the film in a limited way, including several hundred independent theaters. Several people who bought tickets to the movie in Merrick said they were seeing it mainly to protest the attempt to suppress Americans’ Right to Free Speech.

Photo Gallery:   The Interview at Merrick Cinemas

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Final Roll Call – Merrick Memorial Day Parade 2014

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 26, 2011

Once again, three generations of our family attended the Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony.

Merrick, New York, U.S. - May 26, 2014 - A veteran salutes fire fighters marching in The Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick, honors those who died in war while serving in the United States military. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, U.S. – May 26, 2014 – Merrick Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick. (© 2014 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

This morning it was even more moving than usual because Dad’s name was read during the American Legion Merrick Post 1282  “Final Roll Call” near the end of the memorial events at Merrick Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Merrick, New York, U.S. - May 26, 2014 - Mother holds her 2-year-old son who is pointing to a Fire Engine in the Merrick Memorial Day Parade, hosted by American Legion Post 1282 of Merrick, honoring those who died in war while serving in the United States military. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, U.S. – May 26, 2014 –  Merrick Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony. (©2014  Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

We miss you and we love you, Dad.

Photo Gallery:  Merrick Memorial Day 2014

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Nigerian Dwarf Goats Walk in Norman J Levy Park & Preserve

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 5, 2012

Though I first met the Nigerian Dwarf Goats that live at Norman J Levy Park & Preserve about 3 years ago, this week was the first time I saw them as they walked through the grounds with a park ranger.

May 1, 2012 - Merrick, New York, USA - Nigerian Dwarf Goats graze during their walk with Park Ranger at Levy Park and Preserve, Long Island, New York. (© 2012 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

Nigerian Dwarf Goats graze during walk at Norman J Levy Park & Preserve in South Merrick, NY, on May 1, 2012. (© Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

Entering the parking lot, I saw a sign that the goats were out walking, so I asked someone at the Park Station exactly where they were. He called Park Ranger Susan, who had them up by the hilltop ponds and was about to take them back on the trail near the golf course.

This delightful, well-behaved goatherd eats weeds as it walks through the park – each day, early morning and early afternoon – using a variety of routes. It’s one of many ways the park maintains itself in a green, ecologically friendly way for Long Island’s marshland environment.

BTW, the book Extraordinary Goats by Janet Hurst, 2014, includes one of my photos of goats walking with Park Ranger Susan at Levy Park.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats & Birds, Levy Park & Preserve:  Slideshow  |  Gallery

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