A guide to resources for honoring Memorial Day 2023 on LI. Plus, we can’t think about Memorial Day on LI without remembering Gus Scutari.Continue reading
Joe recently wrote in gratitude for support from the Winter’s Center for Autism, a foundation that provides employment opportunities for adults with autism. He was excited at sharing their passion for “Life Without Limits.”Continue reading
Thank you for making us the 2022 Best Art Gallery on Long Island and for all you do to support local art and artists. We’re pleased to learn we’ve been nominated again — Thanks! It means a lot!!!
In this update:
– GRATEFULLY GETTING READY – Our FIreflies are creating and planning all sorts of wonderful things!
– HONORING OUR VETERANS we are pleased to host “Ink Stories: Symbols and Service.”
– KIRK LARSEN will be hosting a special exhibition in our Darcy Arts Center
– DID YOU HEAR THE NEWS? We are excited!!!
GRATEFULLY Flying Into the Holiday Season!!!
As we race from the excitement of last summer straight into the holidays, the first thing we have to say is THANK YOU!
Thank you to all who have supported our transition! Our future is bright because of our amazing community. We would no longer exist if not for you. Thank you for helping keep the Firefly Light Shining!!!
Our Fireflies are making like busy elves, crafting all sorts of things for the holiday season. Once again we will offer our popular “100 works at $100,” as well as a $50 and under table where you can come find something modestly priced, and uniquely handcrafted by our talented artists for everyone on your list.
If you want to commission something special, ask now! Many of our artists would love to create that special gift for you.
Many Fireflies will be hosting trunk shows and demonstrations throughout the holiday season. Stay tuned for details. They’re so much fun!!!
…and now...NOW…we hear we are receiving a MAJOR AWARD set to light up our whole beautiful, slightly wacky village!
Do you already know what we’re talking about? Find out below!!!
Special Exhibition: “Ink Stories: Symbols and Service”
Thank you to all who served.
In honor of Veterans’ Day, we are hosting “Ink Stories: Symbols of Service”
This is an amazing project assembled in 2019 by Librarian Kathryn Heaviside of the Northport-East Northport Public library to share Veteran’s stories and experiences through photographic representations of their tattoos.
The show will be on view at The Firefly Artists 11/4-11/13.
Special Exhibition: “Take Me Home: Oils Watercolors & More by Kirk Larsen
We are pleased to announce that Firefly Kirk Larsen will be holding a solo show of works in our “Darcy Arts Center”
Kirk’s an internationally known Plein Air painter (painting outdoors in Natural light) and one of America’s foremost Marine Artists. His landscape, seascape and nautical images grace the walls of homes throughout the area, globally and in museums reflecting his passion for discovering new places, seeing the commonplace with fresh eyes, the water, the environment and sailing.
Learn more at kirklarsenfineart.com and by following @kirklarsenart on Instagram and Facebook
The show will be on view November 15-30
Opening Reception: Tues 11/15 from 6-9pm
Closing Reception and Mini Auction: 11/30 from 5:30-8:30pm
All works are for sale.
The Leg Lamp Returns! We are so Psyched (and a Little Overwhelmed!) to Receive this Major Award
Fundamentally, the Firefly is the best because it has the best community ever.
Thanks to our community—starting with folks at Firefly’s core and spilling out into the streets, across LI and beyond — we are privileged to be racing from our wild adventures last summer into all that it means to host forty small businesses on Main Street during the holiday season.
Now! Now we hear from diverse corners that Northport is bestowing upon us “A Major Award”…
All kidding aside, this event is really much bigger than us…a very special torch folks are coming together to help us light as part of a very special Small Business Saturday Northport tradition…
They then had a wonderful pop-up/trunk show together in our Darcy Arts Center. In addition to showcasing their wares, Michele also raised money for the Lighthouse selling cards made of Jan’s beautiful painting. It was a lovely day!
We’ve Been Nominated! Again!!!
Not only have we been nominated, but we are more sure than ever that our Fireflies are THE BEST!!!
We are thrilled to have been nominated for “LI’s Best Gallery” in the annual “Bethpage Best of LI” contest. If it was you who nominated us, THANK YOU! If you’re one of the many who’s votes made us Best of LI 2022, THANK YOU!!!
You can vote for us – and other great local treasures – EVERY DAY between now and December 15th!
Please vote often and help spread the word! Thanks!!!
About the Firefly Artists
Come to our beautiful new location, The Old Hardware Store at 90 Main Street, in Northport!
We were established in 2011 to create a gallery setting for local artists. The goal was to create a space where artists could meet, collaborate, and sell their beautiful creations.
Over more than a decade, The Firefly Artists has had the great privilege to display a stunning variety of work by hundreds of Long Island creators through our Main Street locations and pop-up galleries. We boast extraordinary talent, while maintaining a very down to earth and supportive atmosphere that is unique to Long Island.
In 2020 we expanded our offerings to create the Darcy Arts Center, featuring special exhibitions and classes in addition to the rich selection of works by our resident artists. While we are adjusting to our new space, we are thrilled to be able to continue these expanded offerings, right in the center of everything!
Come see, and bring home that perfect thing to brighten your world or someone else’s!
Thank you for your support!
Come to The Firefly Artists 7/22 starting at 5pm for a special reception with extraordinary heroes: The USA Patriots Amputee Softball Team.Continue reading
Every Memorial Day, Gus Scutari would invite veterans, Long Island dignitaries and the children up. Learn about the 2022 Syosset parade here in the Syosset Patch.
Here is a guide to resources for honoring Memorial Day 2022 on Long Island.
The last Monday in May, this three-day weekend at the dawn of summer, is set aside to honor the tremendous sacrifice made by soldiers who gave all. It is a time to pause and acknowledge how veterans offer their very souls to our Nation, and to give solemn consideration to the responsibility we have as citizens to ensure they are treated well and that we give it our best to create a nation somehow worthy of such sacrifice.
While the specific focus is those lost to war, it is also important to recognize those left behind. For many, this is a very personal affair. Please do not say “Happy Memorial Day” as many are honoring lost loved ones and reckoning with memories, knowledge and feelings that are incredibly difficult. It is better to offer gratitude for service, and to offer a listening ear and an open heart.
I have been told by several veterans that this does not mean the day should be entirely without joy. The barbecues and the lighter sides of the parades are important moments of community and, yes, even celebrations of life and nation. May we do so with a mind to surround service families in love, light, and gratitude for the blessings they seek to offer so much to preserve.
Various Guides to Memorial Day and Where They’ll Lead You
Here’s a Guide to Memorial Day Parades from News12 Long Island including Island Park, Airshow Cruises in Freeport, Hempstead, a Riverhead Painting Festival, Bay Shore, Elwood, Farmingdale, Freeport, Little Neck, Long Beach, Malverne, Massapequa Park, Mastic, a Parade and Open House at Raynham Hall in Oyster Bay, Merrick, Northport, Painview-Old Bethpage, Sayville, St. James, Smithtown, Southold, and West Islip
This one of parades and events from the LI Press includes the Bethpage Air Show, Hempstead (the oldest parade on LI), The Largest Parade of the Five Towns in Cedarhurst, an Air Show Cruise in Freeport, Little-Neck Douglastown (one of the largest in the nation), Massapequa, Wantagh, Port Washington, the Parade and Open House at Raynham Hall, Levittown, an event of music, food, and fun at Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck, Babylon, Southold, and Lindenhurst.
From Greater Long Island we learn about parades in Bay Shore, Babylon, Patchogue, Stony Brook, Fire Island, Huntington, Rockville Centre, Center Moriches, Farmingdale, and Ronkonkoma.
A Bit of History and More Current Stories on Honoring the Day
Here is a meaningful piece in the LI Advance offered by Dave Rogers in 2021. He was a tremendous asset to veterans, the arts, and local business in Patchogue for many years. Thanks to social media, he continues to serve veterans everywhere from his new home.
This story from News12 LI is about Ron Errickson Jr, who be spending this weekend cleaning up Tinton Falls, a cemetary in New Jersey of African American soldiers who weren’t permitted to be buried with white ones.
Here, the National Park Service looks back over 150 years of Memorial Day traditions springing up across the nation. It also offers links to specific major memorial sites in its care, including The Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall and Memorial Parks, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial.
In another piece from History, did you know that one of the earliest Memorial Day events in the USA was held by freed slaves?
This feature in Almanac offers some more history including why the Poppy is important, the poem “On Flanders Field,” and a bit about the flag and distinguishing holidays honoring those who serve in the military. There are also recipes and the Memorial Day calendar for the next several years.
Finally, here is my own piece honoring Costantino “Gus” Scutari. Gus was a World War II Veteran who long served as a champion for good citizenship and thoughtful Americanism, and who dedicated his later life to the Syosset Memorial Day Parade. He passed at the age of 99 in April of 2020. He is now a namesake of Underhill Blvd, where he long held the ceremonies following the parade, and the Syosset VFW, where he would invite everyone for hot dogs and refreshments after.
It is fitting to hear that in honor of his memory and an enduring spirit that is likely leading it anyway, there will be no Grand Marshal of this parade.
I am grateful for my friend Rosemarie Kluepfel, who is endlessly endeavoring to serve those who served. She does much of this work through the foundation run by her employer, The Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. She has also found her voice as a musician, performing with the Chuck Evans Band throughout Long Island (They’ll be at Honu Kitchen & Cocktails in Huntington on 12/30 from 6-9pm if you want to catch her there!).
Here’s a song she wrote that fits both her passion and the season, “A Soldier’s Christmas”
Rosemarie recently saw her daughter enter the service. Being the mother of US Army Lieutenant Alexa Kluepfel only adds to her care for those who sacrifice so much for our Nation. It also draws more of her attention to the experiences and issues of women in the military.
Please check out this profound video that Rosemarie helped coordinate and run with the Melville Chamber of Commerce: “Women Who Served: A Veteran’s Day Tribute!” It features three female veterans, one who served during WWII, another in Vietnam and the third in Afghanistan.
Serving Human Beings
Rosemarie also wants you to know that the Fairway Foundation is currently focused on providing financial and practical assistance to one particular veteran. This individual has experienced significant trauma and is currently homeless while struggling to balance work, school and raising a 1 1/2 year old daughter alone. To protect her privacy, they are keeping her name confidential. They also want folks to know they are endeavoring to make sure their donation is a “leg up” rather than a “hand out.”
You Can Help!
The Fairway Foundation welcomes cash donations to assist this cause. All funds raised will be earmarked specifically for this veteran and her daughter. There are NO Admin fees. Checks may be made payable to “The Fairway Foundation” and mailed to the Fairway Independent Mortgage branch c/o Rosemarie Kluepfel at 1200 Veterans Highway Suite 102, Hauppauge NY 11788.
The Foundation is a 501c(3) charitable organization. The donation may be tax deductible. While it must be understood that the veteran has no place to store things until she has a home, in-kind donations may be welcomed, especially clothes sized 2t-3t. Please contact Rosemarie on her cell at 631-662-4576 to discuss this option.
We Love Libraries!
Our dear friend, Ellen Druda recently brought to our attention the “Veterans Testimonial Project” of the Half Hollow Hills Library. From their website:
“The Library has created a project to help preserve our community’s rich history. We are looking for U.S. veterans from any conflict, to share their experiences and stories. All interviews will be conducted and recorded at the Library. Each will be added to the Library’s local history collection. All participating veterans will receive a personal copy of the recording as a DVD. Call Edna Susman at 631-498-1260 to register for this important project.”
Check it out, including the incredible collection of testimonials they’ve already recorded and a fantastic collection of online resources to serve those who served.
The primary mission of General Needs is to assist homeless veterans and veterans in need to live lives of dignity by providing new, basic essentials.
Have you seen what Lonnie Sherman’s been up to lately? The General Needs 1342 Mission, traveling from Maine to DC, is donating 1342 (22 x 61) pairs of boots and 8,030 (22 x 365) pairs of socks to serve veterans and draw our solemn attention to the 22 veterans who, on average, take their own lives each day.
There is still time to support this
Gus Scutari with Eagle Scouts from Troop 205 in 2019. Photo by Katheryn Laible
Today, a portion of Underhill Boulevard in Syosset was renamed in honor of one of Long Island’s most ardent champions of Americanism and good citizenship, the passionate organizer of the Syosset Memorial Day Parade, Gus Scutari.
You can read about it on the Nassau County NY webpage.
You can find images from the event taken by Gus’ friend, whom he smartly recruited to join the Syosset American Legion, Terri Squires on the Legion’s Facebook Page.
Gus passed away early this spring at the age of 99. Here is the piece we got to write with him: Gus Scutari: Syosset’s Humble Champion of Americanism. He had a number of interesting things to say that we are still thinking about.
He is dearly missed and greatly appreciated. Thank you, Gus.
Photo of Gus Scutari at 2019 Memorial Day Parade by Katheryn Laible
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Costantino “Gus” Scutari, shortly after his 99th birthday.
Gus dedicated his life to promoting good, thoughtful citizenship, love for our country and properly honoring our nation’s fallen military service folk. The proud Americanism Chairman of Nassau County, Gus is perhaps best known in Syosset for his dedication to the Memorial Day Parade. Among our Scouts, he was also well known for faithfully attending every Eagle Ceremony, where he would honor all those who achieved that high rank with an American Flag pin.
It was an honor and a privilege to have this gentleman as a fundamental part of our community. Here are stories of his life, things that mattered to him, and bits of his wisdom that he shared with us a few years ago.
Here’s a little video from the 2019 Syosset Memorial Day Parade, which, with a little help from his friends, he organized from his room at the Cold Spring Hills Nursing Home last year. Here are some photos from that day.
Here is Gus, in his own words, telling the story of when his destroyer, the U.S.S. Haynsworth was hit by a Kamikaze during World War II. He always counted himself very lucky that he didn’t have to see the worst of that, and was ever mindful of so many – during that conflict and others – who did.
We feel we are better people for having known Gus. Our hearts are with all who love him. He will be dearly missed.
Thank you, Gus.