Tag 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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Winter Storm of 2016 Hits Long Island

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)   
January 26, 2016

Travel was strictly for the birds last weekend, when Winter Storm Jonas brought so much gusting snow that Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency and later banned travel.

Merrick, New York, USA. January 23, 2016. Travel is strictly for the birds, when Blizzard Jonas brings dangerous snow and gusting winds to Long Island, and Governor Cuomo bans travel, shutting down L.I.'s roads and railroads, due to hazardous conditions. A red male cardinal and several wrens eat seeds from a variety of hanging bird feeders in a suburban backyard, as the winter Storm of 2016 already dropped over a foot of snow on the south shore town of Merrick, with much more snow expected throughout Saturday and early Sunday. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. January 23, 2016. As Winter Storm Jonas brings dangerous snow and winds to Long Island, a  red male cardinal and several wrens eat seeds from bird feeders. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

As the storm was at its strongest mid-Saturday, I captured photos of wrens, robin red crests, cardinals, and pigeons at our bird feeders. Since I was aiming my Nikon through our open dining room window, I first put our two cats safely behind a shut door of another room.

Merrick, New York, USA. 24rd January 2016. Two Town of Hempstead snowplows, a small one plowing out a cul de sac, dead end side street, and a large plow on the bigger road leading to it, are clearing roads while Blizzard Jonas continues to bring dangerous snow and gusting winds to Long Island. Governor Cuomo banned travel, shutting down L.I.'s roads and railroads, due to hazardous conditions, and the winter Storm of 2016 has already dropped about two feet of snow on the south shore town. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. 24rd January 2016. Two Town of Hempstead snowplows are clearing roads early Sunday morning, while Blizzard Jonas continues to bring dangerous snow and gusting winds to Long Island.  (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Town of Hempstead Highway Department crews were working around the clock that weekend, and their long hard work showed. In fact, I saw a cul de sac near Park Avenue School cleared of snow before breakfast time Sunday.

Merrick, New York, USA. January 24, 2016. After Nor'easter drops more than two feet of snow on south shore of Nassau County, Long Island, many Town of Hempstead Highway Department employees work long hours operating snow ploys to plows to remove about 25 inches of snow blanketing downtown streets and public parking lots. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. January 24, 2016. Town of Hempstead Highway Dept. employees work long hours plowing 25 inches of snow blanketing downtown streets and parking lots. (© 2016 Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Sunday afternoon, I took my all-wheel drive for a quick visit to downtown Merrick, where Town of Hempstead crews were plowing over two-feet of snow from the parking lots for the Merrick Long Island Railroad Station and Merrick United States Post Office.

And I was absolutely thrilled I charged extra batteries and picked up extra bottles of water on Friday for nothing, since we didn’t lose electricity.

My Winter Storm 2016 photos:  gallery   slideshow

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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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Flurry of Snowfalls

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
April 6, 2014

During Long Island’s winter of 2013-2014, it snowed…

Merrick, New York, U.S. January 21, 2014. Snow falls heavily on the windy elevated platform of the Merrick LIRR train station as towns declare snow emergency, with up to 10 inches of snow expected. The Metropolitan Transit Authority added extra afternoon trains to Long Island Rail Road. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, U.S. January 21, 2014. Snowy, windy elevated platform of the Merrick LIRR train station. (© 2014 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

and snowed…

Hillary cat looking out window with orchids and evergreen tree plants in it on snowy morning, February 5, 2014, Merrick, New York, USA (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Long Island, NY, U.S. – Feb. 5, 2014 – Cat looking out window on snowy morning, February 5, 2014, Merrick, New York, USA (© 2014 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

and snowed…

Photo galleries: Snows January 2014  &   Snows February 2014

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(and snowed….)

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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Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 1, 2011

Sweet Suzi & Sugafixx – Long Island’s scorching blues group – performed at the recent Merrick Street Fair.

Having stepped down as head of publicity for the MBCCA concert association, I expected to take a break from covering the performing arts, but Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx’s raw, powerful, emotional performance on stage outside RS Jones stopped me in my tracks.

Making "Rock on" "horns" (corna) hand gesture is Blues singer Sweet Suzi Smith, performing with guitarist John Puglisi of "Sweet Suzi and Sugafixx" at Merrick Street Fair in Merrick, New York, USA, on October 22, 2011 (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Blues singer Sweet Suzi Smith & guitarist John Puglisi of “Sweet Suzi and Sugafixx” at Merrick Street Fair, NY, USA,  11/22/2011 (© 2011 Ann Parry/ Ann-Parry.com)

You never know what you’ll get at town fairs, where musical groups can be more notable for their enthusiasm than talent, but – Wow! – the passion, musicianship, and stage presence of Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx blew me away.

Curbdogs Guitarist JOHN PUGLISI (from right here in Merrick), bassist JOE PAGANO, and drummer RONNIE SCIASCIA are the sizzling SugaFixx in SWEET SUZI SMITH’s band.

And back at home, when googling them for caption info for their photos, I made to sure check their schedule of upcoming performances in the area.

Click here: Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx photos at Merrick Street Fair gallery

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