KISMET – ACROSS THE BAY WITH MJ
By Marijane Voltz
As Kisminites sat on the beach soaking up the gorgeous August sun, the yearly reminder of summers end made its way down the beach. Bus #21, driven by Fire Island’s favorite Ms. Frizzle, Maryellen Kelly made her practice runs in preparation for the coming 2016-2017 academic year. It was an unnerving sight, but a necessary one for those beach goers who are in denial and need to prepare for the beginning of the school year.
Those not shocked by the school bus sighting were the college age students preparing for their school year ahead. With Freshman Orientation, sorority rush obligations and RA preparations, they were ready to go. Others who didn’t flinch at the sighting were high school students gearing up for their “two a days” in football and soccer.
The Kismet community’s college population is quite impressive with a list of universities and accomplishments that are endless. As Owen Lambert Cole left for the University of Virginia with the hopes of becoming doctor one day, Jonathan Knoth headed off to Duke to obtain a Masters in Finance. Kevin Rafferty returned to Stevens to finish up his senior year, as did Jackson Davis who attends Emerson. JJ Kelly will enter his sophomore year at Stony Brook Business School, while Tom Mennella begins his freshman year at SUNY Maritime.
Guiding the pack of scholars in Kismet is Shane Carew who this past year graduated from Johnson and Whales University at the top of his class. Earning a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management; Shane delivered a Valedictorian Speech that conveyed a four-step message of success to his fellow graduates.
Shane’s speech began with a quote that his late cousin, Army Specialist Matthew Edward Baylis lived by, “If it is to be, then it’s up to me.” Baylis passed away on May 31, 2007 in Iraq, while heroically rescuing his wounded commanding officer. Carew continued by stating, even though his cousin is longer here in a physical sense, his message lives on today.
Carew shared with the audience, the transformation his life took during his studies at Johnson and Whales. Having had a nonchalant demeanor in his first two years at school, it wasn’t until he took on a leadership role in Kappa Sigma that he realized if he was to oversee others then he needed to get serious about himself.
The four meaningful steps that were helpful to Shane and that he passed along to his fellow graduating class were:
One: solve “What is the meaning of life, what makes you happy?” He asked everyone to look within themselves to see what could help them to achieve a better quality of life.
Two: “double or triple the value of one of your largest investments, your graduating degree,” reminding his fellow students to showcase the quality of education they have gained from JWU.
Three: “Increase the amount of time in each day,” meaning work on your daily focus and introspective and remind yourself to be in the moment.
Four: “Tangibly change the world.” Carew wanted to spread the word that by leveraging your skills and strengths to help others, you are in turn helping yourself. He went on to say, “practice going first, and make a focused effort to be the person to initiate positive interactions with others.”
Shane is now attending Johns Hopkins where he will earn his Masters of Science in Finance. Carew truly lives by his words as he, “increases the amount of time in each day.” Kismet has never seen a more disciplined or focused working individual. Your community couldn’t be more proud of you Shane, you truly do make the world a better place.
The high school scholars and athletes that evacuated Kismet in mid-August are Jack Voltz and Emma Rafferty. Leaving for “double a day” sessions meant that the Kismet Market and The Red Wagon Emporium had to say farewell to their valued employees.
This was Jack’s first year at the Kismet Market as he was anxious to get his working papers at the age of 14 and eager to begin. His first day on the job, Jack broke a large container of apple juice. He turned to his boss, Andy Whitney and without hesitation said, “I’ll expect that to come out of my paycheck.” From that moment forward, Whitney knew that Jack was a keeper.
Rafferty had to leave for her double-a-days in soccer. Having been a valued employee at the Red Wagon and completing her first year as life guard, she is now ready to participate in her Foreign Language Honors Society trip to Spain this coming April.
The Lighthouse Luau, hosted by Kevin and Ginny Butler on August 20 was a great success. Neighbors from all over Kismet showed up with their potluck delicacies such as, roast beef, ambrosia, tomato, mozzarella, and salads of all kinds. With DJBK entertaining the crowd. Neighbors and friends danced into the night under the moonlit sky.
Warren Lem, former owner of the Out, graced Kismet with the Arthur Lem Memorial Snapper Derby on August 23. Accompanied by his mother, wife, brother and great-niece, Lem was delighted to be back. As children arrived with their fishing poles in hand and dreams of catching snapper, the derby went off without a hitch. One big winner of the day was a very proud Magnus Hanley, age 3 who won in the six and under category – A big thanks to Warren for continuing the tradition of Snapper Derby fun.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank my fellow community for allowing me to paint my articles with your stories. It’s a beautiful portrait of how neighbors and friends harmonize as one for the greater good of Kismet – we are family after all.