Coltrane Home Update – Grateful to Hear: This is Getting Real

Dignitaries gathered at the press conference where a $1.75M Suffolk County JumpSMART grant to Friends of the Coltrane Home was announced.

Coltrane Home Reaches Transformational Milestone: Things are Moving!!!

John Coltrane was an extraordinary musician – sometimes compared to the genius of Einstein, other times considered on a plane all his own. He wrote what most consider to be his masterwork, “A Love Supreme” in his Dix Hills home.  Musicians I have encountered since learning more about this local, international, perhaps even cosmic treasure, have gotten me to appreciate his wife, Alice even more deeply.

Transcending music alone, both sought to be forces for good and were deeply, deeply spiritual.

Saving the Dix Hills Home

About 20 years ago, now, a Coltrane fan named Steve Fulgoni realized where the Coltrane house was, just as it was being scheduled for demolition. He partnered with all who were willing – family, fellow musicians, fans, local historians and more – to save it from destruction.

Spared the bulldozer, this group of ardent volunteers realized they now had a much bigger job on their hands. In the decades since they have done tremendous work – both on the home and in building awareness and appreciation of these legends.

You can read about the home, the Coltrane legacy and more on the website dedicated to this project.

A Transformative Milestone

Now, it seems, the project has reached a transformational milestone. It was a delight to hear about a recent $1.75M “JumpSMART” GRANT from Suffolk County. This, together with a $1M grant from the Mellon Foundation and countless other gifts is making the restoration of this National Treasure a reality.

You may find daughter Michelle Coltrane’s heartfelt thanks and see some images of ongoing work in this recent newsletter.

Fulgoni’s speech at the press conference about the recent grant is here:

Press Coverage

I am grateful to a motley crew of dedicated volunteers, including Friends of the Coltrane Home in Dix Hills Board Members and Coltane COLTRANE family members who help each other stay apprised of news coverage. Here’s the latest:

•    You can learn a little bit about other milestones in getting this home formally recognized and revitalized, as well as about the Suffolk County JumpSMART program in the Long Island Times article “Coltrane Home gets $1.75M from Suffolk County”
•    News 12 had a piece on the grant that features video of the interior of the home: “Suffolk County expected to announce over $1.7 million in funding for John and Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills”
•    There’s more detail in this article by John Valenti for Newsday (subscription required – or visit your local library~!), “Jazz legacy: John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills to get $1.75M grant for upgrades”
•   More recently, also in Newsday, Robert Brodsky published this beautiful, in depth article, complete with video of the home: “John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane home on Long Island undergoes renovation in effort to preserve history”
•    This article from Clive Young for Mix Online tells more about the Coltranes and the significance of the home, as well as plans for its future, “John Coltrane House Awarded $1.75M to Renovate Home Studio, More”
•    Here’s a little more about the JumpSMART grant from in Long Island.com: “Suffolk County Executive Bellone To Announce Nearly $2 Million In Jumpsmart Funding To The John & Alice Coltrane Home”
Learn More About the Coltranes
–    Here’s a beautiful, recent article from Jeff MacGregor in The Smithsonian magazine, “How John Coltrane’s ‘My Favorite Things’ Changed American Music”
–    Here’s a 2018 Synchronicity Article entitled, “Notes From Joe” with older clippings collected by Coltrane Volunteer Joe Natter that we published some years ago. Worth a re-read! “Notes from Joe”

Some Good Books

One book on John Coltrane that I think musicians, especially may appreciate is Ascension by Eric Nisenson,

“Nice choice!” said Noah, the salesman in a local bookstore, when I brought it to the counter. He then promptly recommended, . “Coltrane on Coltrane” by Chris DeVito and asked me if I knew that the Coltranes had lived around here.

I went home happily and shared my finds with some Coltrane Board Members.

“Chris DeVito’s book, Coltrane on Coltrane is a text version of every Coltrane interview out there,” said Steve, “There are some online audio versions of those interviews where you can hear John talking and really get a feel for who he is.”

A YouTube search reveals a fascinating set of interviews with and about Coltrane

Another board member offered a few of their favorite biographies: Ashley Kahn’s A Love Supreme and what they felt was the best scholarly biography, Lewis Porter’s John Coltrane: His Life and Music. We learned Lewis also has amazing lectures available online in his Deep Dives.

We also refer you to the Half Hollow Hills Library where Coltrane volunteer Ellen Druda, a wonderful, retired librarian has helped create a ‘Coltrane Computer’ with hundreds of images.

It’s all quite enlightening…Enjoy. <3

Shop Local! 2024 Northport Shopping Guide

Main St, Northport

We are incredibly grateful for our Northport neighbors, and warmly recommend the whole village experience. Pop in and support these folks who give so much to our communities. You’ll be glad you did. It’s easy to find wonderful gifts for not nearly as much as you might think, and a great way to keep all sorts of magic alive.

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Shop Local! Beckman’s Florist

Photo of Beckman's Florist by Katheryn Laible

Photo of Beckman’s Florist by Katheryn Laible

Sometimes, you learn, there have been treasures under your nose all along. This one’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! 

We recently discovered the family-owned Beckman’s Florist, which has proudly served Long Island from it’s Larkfield Rd, East Northport location for almost 75 years. It was a lovely experience. 

The service was impeccable, the corsage incredible. It was also a delight to see all the gorgeous arrangements being prepared to grace other special occasions, offer love and care, and make any old day a bit brighter.

They have lovely gifts, too! This butterfly garden ornament is one of my favorite things. <3

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2024: To Reflect and Serve

Photo of MLK Monument in Washington DC

The third Monday in January is reserved to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose 95th birthday would be this year. It is the only federal holiday formally recognized as a national day of service, “a day on, not a day off.” In the spirit of listening and thinking first, people are warmly encouraged to study the works of King, and to devote time to serious reflection on how we will endeavor toward a healthier, more just world for all. Here are a few resources.

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A Few Good Places to Give

Long Island needs more people to give to local organizations addressing our local challenges. Here are just a few to consider:

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What We Give vs. What We Get: Long Standing Imbalance at Crisis Point – The Time for Action is Now

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

The imbalance of what Long Island gives versus what it gets has long been felt. Now, it’s at a crisis point.

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The Spirit Endures: The Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano Scholarship Fund

Photo of Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano provided by Nancy Engelhardt

Photo of Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano provided by Nancy Engelhardt

I recently shared how lovely the Pal-O-Mine Winter Wonderland was. It was one of those days that most would call miserable, but there, it was just fine. Warm and cozy if not outright sunny. 

I was glad to run into dear Nancy Engelhardt. She’s the reason I know what Pal-O-Mine is. We were all connected through Leadership Huntington and she introduced me. She’s been a board member herself there for 12 years now. 

I wrote a long, beautiful story about Nancy, herself, years ago for The Corridor: Long Island’s Journal for Strategic Alliances. It seemed like a full and accomplished life then. What she’s done since is remarkable. That’s for another day, tho. In this moment, I hugged and told her I loved her.

Her son, Jarrett, recently passed. As her eyes held volumes more, Nancy smiled, speaking of the faith that is never far from her lips and how she is grateful to feel him still, especially here. She asked if I’d seen the video of Pal-O-Mine Founder Lisa Gatti at his services. 

There, Lisa shared her story of the handsome, charming young man who came to volunteer at 17 and became a fundamental part of this healing place. She smiled, recounting his passion for the horses and the day a boy with autism whom he worked with spoke for the first time.

I told her I had.

The Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano Scholarship Fund

Lisa had emphasized the indelible mark Jarrett Engelhardt Pagano had left on the farm and how his spirit would live on through all he’d touched there. Nancy was grateful to say that friends had come together to establish a Pal-o-Mine scholarship fund in his honor as a way he might keep serving all he loved there.

If you’d like to join them in keeping his spirit alive and give the gift of equine healing, you may do so here.

It’s a deeply meaningful, uplifting way to give.

Photo of Jarrett and a young Pal-O-Mine student many years ago. Image provided by Pal-O-Mine Equestrian
Photo of Jarrett and a young Pal-O-Mine student many years ago. Image provided by Pal-O-Mine Equestrian

Feed the Hungry, Get a Raffle Ticket and up to $20 Off at the Firefly

Island Harvest Logo

Island Harvest Food Drive at the Firefly

The fact is, 1 in 11 children and so many others on Long Island live with food insecurity. Gratefully, our Fireflies are committed to doing what they can to help. Please bring non-perishable food or hygiene items to The Firefly Artists, 90 Main St, Northport, between now and New Year’s Eve.

There are 10 days left in our food drive, which is part of the Island Harvest Turkey & Trimmings Campaign. We’d really love to fill this box we have in the gallery, and hope you will help! It’s easy, especially as we are in one of the best places for last minute gift shopping, and we and at least a few neighbors will be open late to better serve your needs! Cash donations to Island Harvest are also welcome.

In thanks for your donation, you’ll get a raffle ticket to win a matted print or “Red” by Katheryn Laible or “Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn” by Steve Caputo. We’ll also give you $20 off any single purchase over $200.

Thank you for all you do to support our communities!

Left; Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn by Steve Caputo. Right: Red by Katheryn Laible