If you would have asked me before February 2019 where the Five Towns was, I would’ve thought you were talking about Five Towns College in Dix Hills. Flash forward to nearly two and a half years later and 500 bylines in this paper, I am proud to say that I have gotten to know the real Five Towns by covering it for the Nassau Herald.
I’d like to announce that this is my last issue with the paper and I will be moving on from the Herald to take a new position with the Huntington-based Epoch 5 Public Relations group. It wasn’t an easy decision to move on from covering this great area, but I believe this is a great opportunity for me.
There are so many people to thank inside and outside the Herald. I’ll start off by thanking our executive editor Scott Brinton for giving me the opportunity to start my journalism career here over two years ago. I also appreciate his leadership of our editorial department throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Honorable mention to our copy editor Jim Harmon for making my front page stories look so much better than I originally wrote them.
From covering a local village election to covering a school event at the Hewlett-Woodmere School District, I’ve had the privilege of writing some great stories talking to many great people that live in this area.
This column would run a few pages long if I named all the people I’ve developed good relationships with, so I’m going to shout out a few special individuals.
It’s truly inspiring to see what Inwood resident Sasha Young does for the Five Towns Community Center with Gammy’s Pantry. Whenever I needed any information about what’s going on at the community center, Sasha was always quick with a response and I always appreciated that.
The unofficial mayor of Hewlett-Woodmere is David Friedman and I always enjoyed chatting with him for stories. Not only would he provide me with great insight, but he would also provide me with great laughs while chatting. Syd Mandelbaum of Cedarhurst was always a great wealth of knowledge for me. It’s also inspiring to see what he does for his fellow veterans with American Legion Post 339. He is man who truly loves this community.
Most importantly, I’d like to thank the great editor of this paper Jeff Bessen for his guidance and leadership to me throughout my tenure. He was always patient with me from the start when I was learning how to be a professional. Not only did he help improve my writing, but he greatly helped this East Islip native learn the ins and outs of an area that I live roughly an hour away from.
Thank you, Five Towns residents, for giving this inexperienced reporter the time of day to cover your home area for over two years. This experience is something that I will always value for the rest of my life. The next time I’m driving down Peninsula Boulevard, I’ll be sure to stop down Broadway and Central Avenue to say hello to some old friends.