Tag Archives: New York

To Light a Candle…. 9/11

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry  (ann-parry.com)
September 11, 2017

  • On each anniversary of September 11, 2011, but not only on each anniversary, I remember the events of that day and how they’ve changed our world.

On Sept. 11, 2001, we were a week or so into the new school year at Grand Avenue Middle School in Bellmore, Long Island. Except for our class computers suddenly losing internet access early that morning, it began as an ordinary Tuesday.

Sept. 11, 2012 - Merrick, New York, U.S. - LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, and KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, helping place 500 Luminary Bags in front of 215 Wenshaw Park homes, on 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association (WPCA), Long Island, with over $500 already raised for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (Ann Parry/-)

Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2012.  LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, and KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, help place 500 Luminary Bags in front of 215 Wenshaw Park homes, on 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association (WPCA), Long Island, with over $500 already raised for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Then, as students passed from one class to another, a few of my writing students came in announcing news they’d heard on the radio in art class: “Two planes crashed into the Twin Towers!”

“What?… Well, one plane might have that sort of accident, but not two …. the same day,” I said. “Someone must’ve heard the info wrong.

But, a bit later that morning over the loudspeaker, our principal, Fino Celano, gave us the news – calmly, solemnly – of the terrorist attacks on Manhattan’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon… then the plane crash in the Pennsylvania field. No one had heard the info wrong.

[continued below]

Fund raiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. Rep. Pete King shown with Ray Pfeifer and the firefighter's wife CARYN, daughter TAYLOR, and son TERRENCE. (Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

East Meadow, NY, USA. March 31, 2012. At fundraiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer – battling cancer after months of recovery efforts at Ground Zero following 9/11 2001 Twin Towers attack – are, L-R, in front row: son TERRENCE PFEIFER, daughter TAYLOR PFEIFER, wife CARYN PFEIFER, and, in back row: RAY PFEIFER, and Congressman PETE KING, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall.  (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Freeport, New York, USA. 10th Sept. 2014. A bugler plays taps at night on board the boat Miss Freeport V, which sailed from the Woodcleft Canal of the Freeport Nautical Mile after a dockside remembrance ceremony in honor of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001. American Legion, Patriot Guard Riders, and Captain Frank Rizzo hosted the ceremonies on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Freeport, New York, USA. Sept. 10, 2014. Bugler plays taps at night on board boat Miss Freeport V, sailing from Woodcleft Canal of Freeport Nautical Mile after a dockside Remembrance Ceremony in honor of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001. (© 2014. Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Freeport, New York, USA. September 10, 2014. Town of Hempstead Councilwoman DOROTHY GOOSBY speaks at a dockside remembrance ceremony in honor of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, at the boat Miss Freeport V, on Freeport's Nautical Mile. Further ceremonies were held on board the vessel, which sailed from the Woodcleft Canal on the South Shore of Long Island, on the eve of the 13th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Freeport, New York, USA. September 10, 2014. Town of Hempstead Councilwoman DOROTHY GOOSBY speaks at a dockside Remembrance Ceremony in honor of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, at the boat Miss Freeport V, on Freeport’s Nautical Mile. (© 2014 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Removing American Flag to reveal monument made with steel from World Trade Center, at the Merrick Post #1282 American Legion Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 ceremony, are (left to right) Rabbi Paul Kirchner, Father Eric Fasano, Adjutant Robert Tom Riordan PCC, and North Merrick Fire Dept. Ex. Chief Henry Hinrichs, at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park, Merrick, New York, USA, on September 11, 2011.(Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2011. Removing American Flag to reveal monument made with steel from World Trade Center, at Merrick Post #1282 American Legion 10th Anniversary of 9/11 ceremony, are (L-R) Rabbi PAUL KIRCHNER; Father ERIC FASANO; Adjutant ROBERT TOM RIORDAN, PCC; and North Merrick Fire Dept. Ex. Chief HENRY HINRICHS at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park.  (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore Fire Department 9/11 remembrance ceremony and unveiling of two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center added to the existing 9/11 monument, 1500 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore, New York, USA, on September 10, 2011. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. Sept. 10, 2011. North Bellmore Fire Department 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and unveiling of two pieces of steel from World Trade Center added to existing 9/11 monument, 1500 Newbridge Road. (© 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th September 2015. RILEY E. GIES, one-year-old granddaughter of Fire Chief Ronnie E Gies who died responding to 9/11 NYC Terrorist Attack, is held by CRAIG MALTZ, a Bellmore volunteer firefighter, after Merrick Memorial Ceremony for Merrick volunteer firefighters and residents who died due to 9/11 terrorist attack at NYC Twin Towers. Ex-Chief Ronnie E. Gies of Merrick F.D. and FDNY Squad 288, and Ex-Captain Brian E. Sweeney, of Merrick F.D. and FDNY Rescue 1, died responding to the attacks on September 11, 2001. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. September 11, 2015. RILEY E. GIES, one-year-old granddaughter of Fire Chief Ronnie E Gies who died responding to 9/11 NYC Terrorist Attack, is held by CRAIG MALTZ, a Bellmore volunteer firefighter, after Merrick Memorial Ceremony for Merrick volunteer firefighters and residents who died due to 9/11 terrorist attack at NYC Twin Towers. Ex-Chief Ronnie E. Gies of Merrick F.D. and FDNY Squad 288, and Ex-Captain Brian E. Sweeney, of Merrick F.D. and FDNY Rescue 1, died responding to the attacks. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. September 11, 2015. L-R, Bellmore Fire Dept. Chief DANIEL HOLL, Pastor and Chaplain JAMES BARNUM, 1st Deputy VINCENT MONTERA, 2nd Deputy TOM STOERGEN, and Chaplain DENNIS RICH stand next to a monument that's a piece of structural steel from the Twin Towers, during the Bellmore Memorial Ceremony for 3 Bellmore volunteer firefighters and 7 residents who died due to 9/11 NYC terrorist attacks. Elevated platform of Bellmore LIRR Station is in background. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. September 11, 2015. L-R, Bellmore Fire Dept. Chief DANIEL HOLL, Pastor and Chaplain JAMES BARNUM, 1st Deputy VINCENT MONTERA, 2nd Deputy TOM STOERGEN, and Chaplain DENNIS RICH stand next to monument that’s a piece of structural steel from the Twin Towers, during Bellmore Memorial Ceremony for 3 Bellmore volunteer firefighters and 7 residents who died due to 9/11 NYC terrorist attacks. Elevated platform of Bellmore LIRR Station is in background. (© 2015 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick Auxiliary Unit of Merrick Post 1282 of American Legion, (left to right) Margaret Beigelman, Debra Bernhardt, Claudia Borecky, Florence Hoffman, Delores Parsons, Bridee Tonn, Lucy Murphy, Dianne Cancro, Pat Tropea, Sharon Williams, Betty Tucker, Barbara Byrne, and Fay Ambrosino, at 9/11 event dedicating monument with steel from site of World Trade Center, at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park, Merrick, New York, USA, on September 11, 2011. Photo © 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA. Sept. 11, 2011. Merrick Auxiliary Unit of Merrick Post 1282 of American Legion, (L-R) MARGARET BEIGELMAN, DEBRA BERNHARD, CLAUDIA BORECKY, FLORENCE HOFFMAN, DELORES PARSONS, BRIDEE TONN, LUCY MURPHY, DIANNE CANCRO, PAT TROPEA, SHARON WILLIAMS, BETTY TUCKER, BARBARA BYRNE, and FAY AMBROSINO, at 9/11 event dedicating monument with steel from site of World Trade Center, at Merrick Veterans Memorial Park. ( © 2011 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Manhattan, NY, USA - January 9, 2012: Movie poster "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" hangs illuminated at night over Penn Station subway entrance with Empire State Building in background. Fictional movie is set at time of 9/11 terrorist attacks on Twin Towers in NYC. Green and yellow lit globe on post is at stairwell entrance to MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) 34 St. Penn Station subway station. (Ann E Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Manhattan, NY, USA.  January 9, 2012. Movie poster EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE hangs illuminated at night over Penn Station subway entrance with Empire State Building in background. Fictional movie is set at time of 9/11 terrorist attacks on Twin Towers in NYC. Lit globe on post is at stairwell entrance to MTA 34 St. Penn Station subway station. (© 2012 Ann E Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Manhattan NYC Manhattan, New York, USA. March 17, 2009. FDNY member wearing on his hat, a card with the photo and name of his brother, a fellow FDNY fighter who was killed responding to terrorist attacks on Twin Towers September 11, 2001, 9/11. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Manhattan, NY, USA. March 17, 2009. FDNY firefighter LUKE ALLEN wearing, tucked under his hat band, a card with the photo of his older brother firefighter RICHARD D. ALLEN, one of 343 FDNY firefighters killed responding to terrorist attacks on Twin Towers September 11, 2001, 9/11. (© 2009 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

  • I captured the next two at Eisenhower Park last night:
East Meadow, New York, USA. Summer 2017. Eisenhower Park pond area, with Nassau County Eisenhower Park September 11, 2001 Memorial on west side of pond and War Memorials on east side of pond. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

East Meadow, New York, USA. September 10, 2017. Cross shaped iron remnant from actual Twin Towers is part of Eisenhower Park September 11, 2001 Memorial on west side of pond. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

East Meadow, New York, USA. Summer 2017. Eisenhower Park pond area, with Nassau County Eisenhower Park September 11, 2001 Memorial on west side of pond and War Memorials on east side of pond. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

East Meadow, New York, USA. September 10, 2017. Four birds fly over the Twin Towers sculpture of Nassau County Eisenhower Park September 11, 2001 Memorial Twin Towers at west side of pond. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Sept. 11, 2012 - Merrick, New York, U.S. - KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, and LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, both from Merrick, are helping to distribute 500 Luminary Bags among the 215 Wenshaw Park homes on the 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association (WPCA), Long Island, with over $500 already raised for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (Ann Parry/-)

Merrick, New York. USA. Sept. 11, 2012. KATE OLLENDIKE, 2, and LYLA WILLIAMS, 3, both from Merrick, help distribute 500 Luminary Bags among 215 Wenshaw Park homes on 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Assoc., to raise funds for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When I got home from school that afternoon, the tile floors our construction workers had ripped up from the kitchen and surrounding rooms the day before were more scattered than stacked. We were replacing our radiant in-floor heating system, and the ground floor looked “like a bomb went off” – though I felt guilty even having that thought.

So the night of September 11, 2001, my husband Len, my older daughter Sue, and I ate dinner at a local restaurant. Throughout the meal we watched the news coverage of the attacks on the TV up in the corner, and whispered “Nightmare… surreal… oh my god….”

My younger daughter Laurie was at college in Westchester. During one of our calls later that week, I told her I wanted to get her a cell phone, especially because of her trips between college and home. Though she didn’t think she needed one, by the end of the call she understood that her mom really needed her to have one. 

Our neighbors across the street lost their son who worked in the Twin Towers. 

A Grand Ave. coworker lost her first responder firefighter husband, and two of our students lost their fathers.

During lunch period, a fellow teacher told how, ever since 9/11 he was having nightmares about being trapped underground.

American flags multiplied everywhere, and so did patience and kindness. I didn’t notice a car horn honking for at least a year.

And we had terrorist alerts of various colors….

And we have alerts for specific buildings, events, cities. And sometimes it feels a tiny bit reckless or brave to go to Manhattan. 

  • “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb
Sept. 11, 2012 - Merrick, New York, U.S. - After night fall, this is the inside view of one of 500 Luminary Bags distributed among the 215 Wenshaw Park homes on the 11th Anniversary of 9/11, by Wenshaw Park Civic Association, Long Island, with over $500 already raised for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. The tea candle in each bag will self-extinguish overnight, and volunteers will collect the bags on 9/12. (Ann Parry/-)

Merrick, NY, USA. Sept. 11, 2012. This is an inside view of one of 500 Luminary Bags distributed among Wenshaw Park home, by Wenshaw Park Civic Assoc., to raise funds for Twin Towers Orphan Fund. The tea candle in each bag will self-extinguish overnight, and volunteers will collect the bags on 9/12. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

I can’t imagine what it was like for those killed, injured, struck with cancer, or who lost loved ones due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. 

And with gratitude to the first responders and other 9/11 heroes, and with hope, I will never forget.    – Ann

9/11 related photos

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Bellmore Friday Night Car Shows 2

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
August 17, 2017

Last Friday, Bob and I walked out of International Delight Cafe where we had dinner, and plunged into the tide of cars, motorcycles and fellow walkers heading to the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show at the Bellmore LIRR Station parking lot.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. Hood ornament closeup is shown of 1938 Pontiac 2-door sedan parked at the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA.  August 11, 2017. Shown is hood ornament of 1938 Pontiac 2-door sedan at the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Before long, we were in a colorful sea of parked cars and enjoying the breezy evening. Then we met up with friends and started to explore.

As usual, I spent most of my time lingering at just a few cars, so I could pay careful attention to them, and chat with their owners when possible.

  • Click on each photo below for larger view  |   slideshow
Bellmore, New York, USA. August 11, 2017. Red RAM lifted underlit truck drives past onlookers at the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. August 11, 2017. Red RAM lifted underlit truck drives past onlookers at the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

  • NOTE: At end of post, find links to more photos, my 2015 post about Bellmore Friday Night Car Shows, plus General Info about the shows.

1958 Oldsmobile “Bugmobile”

“Bugsy” is embroidered on FRANK MARTOCCI‘s  green cap, which matches the color of the 1958 Oldsmobile Super 88 4-door sedan he fondly calls his “Bugmobile.”

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. FRANK MARTOCCI, of Bellmore is owner of green Oldsmobile, 1958. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA. August 11, 2017. FRANK MARTOCCI, of Bellmore, is the owner of green Bugsmobile 1958 Oldsmobile at Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. (© 2017 Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

What first drew my attention to Martocci’s classic Oldsmobile were the colorful plastic cheeseburger, ketchup and mustard bottles on the food tray suspended from the passenger window partly rolled down – but it just as easily could have been the colorful plastic bugs strewn on the car’s exterior and top of the cheeseburger.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. Chrome hood ornament is seen closeup of green 1958 Oldsmobile, owned by Frank Martocci, of Bellmore, at Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. Marocci calls the classic car his Bugmobile. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. Chrome hood ornament is seen closeup of green 1958 Oldsmobile, owned by Frank Martocci, of Bellmore, at Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. Martocci calls the classic car his Bugmobile. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Bugsmobile is the first and only car Martocci has ever had. He used it for his driver’s license Road Test, and by next month, September 2017, he’ll have had it for 40 years.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. At Bellmore Friday Night Car Show, Frank Martocci, of Bellmore, is owner of Bugmobile, owner of green Oldsmobile, 1958, with left taillight shown in detail where chrome piece is swung open to reveal opening the gas is put in tank. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. To fill tank with gas, chrome piece swings open on left tail light of 1958 Oldsmobile owned by FRANK MARTOCCI, at Bellmore Friday Night Car Show  (© 2107 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

1967 Volkswagon Wunderbug Woody

MIKE RADOMSKI, of Valley Stream, is the artistic owner of the 1967 Volkswagen Wunderbug Woody Wagon that drew lots of appreciative attention from visitors.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017.  At right, MIKE RADOMSKI, of Valley Stream, owner of 1967 Wunderbug Volkswagen, and BRYAN RICHHEIMER, of Vermont, chat at Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017.  At right, MIKE RADOMSKI, of Valley Stream, owner of 1967 Wunderbug Volkswagen, and BRYAN RICHHEIMER, a bird sculptor from Vermont, chat at Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Woodys, with their golden warm panels, are innately handsome vehicles, and Radomski customized his with flare.

The wooden roof luggage rack carries three surfboards with natural wood finish. He told how a man so loved this look during an earlier car show that he asked if Radomski would bring the wagon to the man’s beach party.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. At Bellmore Friday Night Car Show, MIKE RADOMSKI, of Valley Stream, is the owner of Wunderbug Woody Volkswagen, with homemade angel hood ornament. Elevated tracks of Bellmore Long Island Rail Road station are seen in background. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017. At Bellmore Friday Night Car Show, MIKE RADOMSKI, of Valley Stream, owns Wunderbug Woody Volkswagen. Elevated tracks of Bellmore Long Island Rail Road station are in background. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Radomski covered the Wunderbug hood in colorful floral fabric of earthy red yellow and greens. And I was fascinated by the trumpeting angel hood ornament he handmade from three silver forks, a 10-penny nail and a washer!

Bellmore, New York, USA. 11th August 2017.  At right, MIKE RADOMSKI, of Valley Stream, owner of 1967 Wunderbug Volkswagen, and BRYAN RICHHEIMER, of Vermont, chat at Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. RADOMSKI made angel hood ornament made from 3 silver forks, 10 penny nail, and a washer. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, NY, USA.  Aug. 11, 2017.  MIKE RADOMSKI, of Valley Stream, the owner of 1967 Wunderbug Volkswagen, made angel hood ornament. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

And, yes, the Woody Wagon got to go to the beach party 🙂

Going & Coming

Around 8:30 pm, we left to head back to IDC for some homemade gelato, and passed the ever-alert volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores and the Nassau Auxiliary police guiding the steady stream of cars into the parking lot.

Bellmore, New York, USA. August 11, 2017. Members of the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores and Nassau County Auxiliary Police wear yellow neon reflective safety vests as they guide cars into the main lot of the Long Island Rail Road Bellmore Train Station parking lot where the Bellmore Friday Night Car Show is held. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Bellmore, New York, USA. August 11, 2017. Members of the Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores and Nassau County Auxiliary Police wear safety vests as they guide cars into LIRR Bellmore Train Station parking lot for Bellmore Friday Night Car Show. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

We each had the fun challenge of choosing one of the 80 or so flavors of gelato. For me, chatting with new and old friends while eating a scoop of chocolate chip gelato on a gluten-free waffle was a great way to end that summer night in Bellmore.

Just the Facts 

WHEN:  Weekly meets from MAY 12 to OCT. 6, 2017, from 6 PM – 10 PM (weather permitting)

WHERE:  Bellmore LIRR parking lot on Sunrise Highway (between Bellmore Ave. & Bedford Ave.)

INFO: bellmorechamber.com   (516)-679-1875 – The Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores and the Town of Hempstead host Friday Night Bellmore Car Shows

Click to CONTACT ME

“American Grit” Contestant Chris Edom has Backyard Viewing Party

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
July 8, 2017

“American Grit” Season 2 contestant Chris Edom lives right here in Merrick!

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. In backyard of "American Grit" contestant Chris Edom, Edom walks up where the American Grit logo appears on large screen that show's premiere episode is projected on in his backyard. Edom family hosted neighborhood Viewing Party during broadcast of Episode 1 of the FOX network reality television series. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” contestant Chris Edom (lower left) walks up to where the TV show’s logo appears on the large screen in his family’s backyard during their Viewing Party. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Chris – who described himself on the Fox reality TV show as being bullied and picked last for teams when he was a kid – invited every adult neighbor on both sides of the block his family lives on to the Viewing Party he and his wife Joan hosted for the premiere of the new season.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. "American Grit" TV contestant CHRIS EDOM, 48, (wearing GOT GRIT? T-shirt) has his arm around shoulder of his wife JOAN EDOM, both of Merrick, as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Show. Edom family and neighbors watched Episode 1 of FOX network reality television series that Sunday night outdoors. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” reality television show contestant CHRIS EDOM and his wife JOAN EDOM host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The night of the party, when I parked my car, slung my camera across my chest, and walked across the dead end street, I thought back to the 1960s when it was actually a mostly-dead end (as Miracle Max from Princess Bride might put it).

Back then, its rounded end had a limited outlet that brought extra cars and pedestrians, including my best friend Judy and me walking to and from school each day.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. At bottom left, CHRIS EDOM, "American Grit" TV contestant, 48, of Merrick, hosts backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. The Fox network reality television series show projected on large screen, with (L-R) JOHN CENA, and 2 of his Cadre members, JOHN BURKE and RIKI LONG. Edom was last contestant picked for a team that episode. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. At bottom left, CHRIS EDOM, “American Grit” TV contestant, hosts backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. On screen are 3 of the 4 “Cadre” team leaders: (L-R) JOHN CENA, JOHN BURKE, and RIKI LONG. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Eventually the outlet closed altogether, and now curbside basketball hoops bloom each summer, and it’s common to see families chatting, children playing….

But that Sunday night, the block felt – uncommon. The air itself seemed charged with some special energy that grew stronger when I joined the crowd at the Viewing Party.

Merrick, New York, USA. 11th June 2017. "American Grit" TV contestant CHRIS EDOM (at bottom right, wearing white GOT GRIT? T-shirt), 48, sits with his wife, JOAN EDOM, of Merrick, as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Edom family and neighbors watched Episode 1 of FOX network reality television series that Sunday night on a big screen (at left) outdoors. Edom was last contestant picked for a team. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. “American Grit” TV contestant CHRIS EDOM (at bottom right, wearing white GOT GRIT? T-shirt) sits with his wife, JOAN EDOM as they host backyard Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

What a turnout! About 60 of Chris and his wife Joan’s family, neighbors and other friends filled the Edoms’ backyard to watch the first episode.

Before the episode started, Chris had the biggest smile as he told everyone how close the contestants have stayed, how many will be getting together to watch a future episode, and how they’re his American Grit family.

Then the words “American Grit” filled the huge inflatable screen borrowed from a neighbor. The show began. Guests cheered when Chris appeared on screen, held their breath when challenges got tough, and waited in suspense to find out: 

Will Chris be picked for one of the 4 teams — or will “the last kid picked for teams” be the first contestant “ringing out” of the competition and the chance to win the cash prize at end of “American Grit”?

Merrick, New York, USA. June 11, 2017. American Grit TV show contestant CHRIS EDOM (wearing white "got grit?" T-shirt), 48, of Merrick, hosts Viewing Party for Season 2 premiere. Show stresses teamwork and stars WWE star John Cena. Edom family's relatives and neighbors watched Episode 1 of the Fox network TV show on large screen in their backyard. Edom was the last of 16 contestants picked for a team. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. 11th June 2017. During “American Grit” Season 2 premiere Viewing Party at contestant Chris Edom’s backyard with large TV screen – Edom (center below) plunges into lake after pulling rip cord. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

  • UPDATE July 16, 2017:  Chris made two important decisions during tonight’s episode, and still is a contestant on American Grit.
  • UPDATE August 6, 2017:  Chris Edom did Merrick proud by coming in 5th Place during tonight’s Season 2 Finale!   —  At the Open House Viewing Party held at ‘Cadre’ Rikki Long’s gym in Copiague, fans joined ‘Cadre’ John Burke and some contestants, including Chris with his wife Joan. The two fans from my family who were there enjoyed cheering for Chris and meeting such friendly cast members.

Chris Edom’s twitter:  @chris_edom

More “American Grit” Viewing Party photos:    Slideshow      Gallery

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“Her Story Through Art” Invitational Show at Huntington Arts Council

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
February 16, 2017

I’m thrilled to be one of four artists in Huntington Arts Council’s “Her Story Through Art” Invitational Show! The Opening Reception – Friday, March 3, 2017, from 6-8 pm – is free and open to the public.

POSTCARD: "Her Story Through Art" Invitational Show at Huntington Arts Council. Opening Reception Friday, March 3, 2017, from 6 - 8 PM. Artists: ANAHAI DeCANIO, ANN PARRY, TARA LEALE PORTER, IRENE VITALE.

“Her Story Through Art” Invitational Show, at Huntington Arts Council, March 2017. Artists: Anahai DeCanio, Ann Parry, Tara Leale Porter, Irene Vitale. My photo of actress Kelli Vonshay Henderson was captured during LIIFE 2016 Awards Ceremony at Bellmore Movies.

Since the exhibit celebrates Women’s History Month, I selected pieces from my portrait and news photography that focus on females of all ages – with emphasis on women passionately involved in civics and politics, the arts, and volunteering.

Fellow artists ANAHI DeCANIO, TARA LEALE PORTER, and IRENE VITALE are also showcased in this exhibit. It’s fun preparing for the exhibit with them, and I’m looking forward to seeing their work in person.

UPDATES:

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. Artist Ann Parry at Opening Reception for "Her Story Through Art" Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women's History Month, at Huntington Arts Council, Main Street Gallery. Ann Parry, Show March 2 - 25, 2017.

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. ANN PARRY in front of some of her work at Opening Reception for “Her Story Through Art” Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women’s History Month, at Huntington Arts Council, Main Street Gallery. (© 2017 Robert Stuhmer)

RECEPTION – MARCH 3, 2017 – Friday’s Opening Reception was special for so many reasons – most notably because guests experienced four such distinct approaches to women expressing themselves through art. And the cutest reason the night was special for me was that my grandchildren, who are one-and-a-half and almost five years old, were there, along with their mom, dad, and Aunt Laurie.

Other much-appreciated visitors included friends and fellow photographers from Long Island Center of Photography; plus, several people featured in my photos came with their families.

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. Sheimyrah Mighty, 18, next to 2008 photo of herself, at Opening Reception for "Her Story Through Art" Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women's History Month, at Huntington Arts Council, Main Street Gallery. Artists Tara Leale Porter, Irene Vitale, Anahi DeCanio, Ann Parry, Show March 2 - 25, 2017. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. SHEIMYRAH MIGHTY, 18, next to 2008 photo of hersel by Ann Parry, at Opening Reception for “Her Story Through Art” Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women’s History Month, at Huntington Arts Council.

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. BETH E. LEVINTHAL, an HAC Member at Large , and ANN PARRY at Opening Reception of "Her Story Through Art" Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women's History Month, at Huntington Arts Council, Main Street Gallery.

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. BETH E. LEVINTHAL, an HAC Member at Large , and ANN PARRY at Opening Reception of “Her Story Through Art” Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women’s History Month at Huntington Arts Council. (© 2017 Bob Stuhmer)

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. Eileen Fuscaldo and her husband, next to 2016 photo of Eileen, at Opening Reception for "Her Story Through Art" Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women's History Month, at Huntington Arts Council, Main Street Gallery. Artists Tara Leale Porter, Irene Vitale, Anahi DeCanio, Ann Parry, Show March 2 - 25, 2017. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Huntington, NY, USA. March 5, 2017. EILEEN FUSCALDO and husband BILL FUSCALDO pose next to 2016 photo of Eileen by Ann Parry, at Opening Reception for “Her Story Through Art” Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women’s History Month at Huntington Arts Council.

Huntington, New York, USA. March 5, 2017. LORI HOROWITZ next to 2014 photo of herself, at Opening Reception for "Her Story Through Art" Invitational Art Show, celebrating Women's History Month, at Huntington Arts Council, Main Street Gallery. Artists Tara Leale Porter, Irene Vitale, Anahi DeCanio, Ann Parry, Show March 2 - 25, 2017. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Huntington, NY, USA. March 5, 2017. LORI HOROWITZ poses next to 2014 photo of herself by Ann Parry, at Opening Reception for “Her Story Through Art” Invitational Art Show at Huntington Arts Council.

TAKE DOWN DAY – MARCH 27, 2017 – When Bob and I arrived on “Take Down Day” after the show ended, Irene’s and Anahai’s art was already gone, and Tara was spackling where she had removed hooks from wall. Later, when I took a break from wrapping my canvases, Tara showed me how plants were sprouting in her sculpture terrarium.

Seeing the beginning of this new life  –  what a lovely way to end “Her Story Through Art.”

Huntington, New York USA. March 27, 2017. Artist TARA LEALE PORTER poses by her scupture garden after end of "Her Story Through Art" Invitational Exhibition celebrating Women's History Month, artwork is taken down at Main Street Gallery at Huntington Arts Council. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Huntington, New York USA. March 27, 2017. Artist TARA LEALE PORTER poses by her sculpture terrarium during Take Down Day of “Her Story Through Art” Show at Huntington Arts Council. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

  • Exhibit: March 2 – 25, 2017  •|•  Reception: Fri., March 3, 2017, 6 – 8 pm
  • Huntington Arts Council:  huntingtonarts.org
    Main Street Gallery:  213 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743
    Gallery Hours:  Monday-Friday 9am – 6pm, and Saturday 12 – 4 pm

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