By Shoshanna McCollum
One Saturday morning back in June my husband’s adult tricycle was stolen. It’s a mundane crime that happens on Fire Island any given day. John had switched to three wheels a few months prior due to health issues he has been dealing with. “Shame on him for not locking it like he should have. He needs it for mobility and his feeding rounds,” I posted on our Ocean Beach Facebook page, not expecting much luck. The trike would be returned early that evening thanks to neighbors keeping a watchful eye, and Ocean Beach Police combing the neighborhood – one woman even offered to lend him her adult trike – we were amazed and humbled. I’ve been here 24 summers, and Fire Island has become my family.
It is only appropriate that this final issue of the season pays tribute to this extended family, and our Fire Island News family as well. Hugh O’ Brien’s wife, Catherine, has been diligently taking photos to support his Saltaire column for years, upon launching her audiobook publishing company, we want you to know about it, and cheer her on. George Brescia is the spouse of our own John Burke (a.k.a. Sybil Bruncheon), so when book review columnist Rita Plush learned about George’s book, she suggested it be our closing title this season. Three cheers for the loved ones behind all the writers, photographers, and staff of this paper. They are the unsung heroes helping us in so many ways, and often have to fly solo on errands or to that summer dinner party so we can make our deadlines.
Our wonderful girl-power reporter team also deserves a round of applause. Emma Boskovski, Anika Lanser, Danielle Lipiec, and Laura Schmidt may be young – but it is no exaggeration to say they are the best reporting crew this paper has ever had. They proved themselves to be serious, focused, and unflappable in a range of assignment situations all summer long, and we are proud of them. Also huge thanks to all our columnists and photographers, some who have been with us for years, as well as the newer ones who soon will be. Did you know that nearly 25 people contribute to Fire Island News in any given issue of the paper? That’s impressive!
We cannot forget our sales staff, Bessi Dion and Beth Errico. These ladies sold ads all summer long, and because of them we can continue to make this paper available to the public free of charge. The advertisers themselves are too numerous to mention individually, but please seek them out and give back with your patronage! They are the family businesses that support Fire Island and keep South Shore Long Island unique and special.
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