I had the pleasure of visiting with Emily (EM) Czaja– an extraordinary lady. She knows Bellport like, well, let’s put it this way. She was born and raised here and was the Village historian for more than 20 years. If you want to know anything about Bellport, Em probably has the answer. But there is the other side of Em – the artist. And this was the reason for my visit. Mrs. Czaja very generously donated a large collection of her watercolors, pen and inks, paintings, and artwork to the Bellport Brookhaven Historical Society.
When Did You Begin Painting?
I began drawing as a child but had no formal training. I took lessons from local artists such as Ruth and Jerry Grace and Jody Love. Then it was my turn, and I taught classes to local ladies who met in Olga Roe’s home. What Mediums Do You Like or Dislike? My favorite mediums are pen and ink and watercolors. I now work with markers; they are so handy, and they dry instantaneously.
My oh my, how time flies! It seems like only yesterday when only 6% of all Americans graduated from high school, the average salary was 22 cents per hour, and the average age was 47. On the home front, only 14% of homes had a bathtub and 8% of homes had a telephone. Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs were fourteen cents a dozen, and coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
There were 8000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. The leading cause of death was pneumonia and influenza. Considering how far we’ve advanced in 100 years, I wonder what it will be like in 2119?
DEITZ – BROOKHAVEN HAMLET TALK
John Deitz, Brookhaven Hamlet historian, spoke to a standing-room-only crowd on Sunda. Before John began, he announced: “this is my third and final presentation of ‘Brookhaven Hamlet Cultural Heritage 101’.” Luckily, the event was filmed and will be available on www.bellport.com. John generously donated his slides and slide board to the Society for use in a future exhibit.
Bellport’s Fire Department presented their 3rd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade last Saturday, March 17. The festivities kicked off at 11 AM when the parade set off from Station Road and 2nd Street to go through Main Street on its way to the Bellport firehouse. There are more small-town St. Patrick’s Day parades like the one in this video in Westhampton Beach on Long Island:
Shawn Krulder was the Bellport Parade’s organizer and he was looking forward to the third annual parade that started out so humbly. In 2015, fire department personnel started to set up some springtime activities and they were wondering why Bellport Village never had its own St. Patrick’s Day parade while the village was perfect for doing that