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This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Whose that fellow with the earring. Why it’s Athletic Director Rick Osmer in 1995 when he kept a promise to the varsity basketball team that he’d have his ear pierced if the team remained undefeated in League VIII. They did, so he did.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Whose that fellow with the earring. Why it’s Athletic Director Rick Osmer in 1995 when he kept a promise to the varsity basketball team that he’d have his ear pierced if the team remained undefeated in League VIII. They did, so he did.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

Queen Elizabeth bestowed an honorary knighthood on famed CBS journalist and then director of the United States Information Agency Edward R. Murrow.The first United States combat troops arrived in Vietnam.

In the case of the United States versus Seeger, the Supreme Court expanded the grounds for being a conscientious objector.

American Motors was boasting about its Rambler Classic automobile.

Finding a bathroom at a British petrol station out of order, three members of the Rolling Stones — Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman — were each fined 5 pounds for urinating on the side of the building.

And on Shelter Island …

50 YEARS AGO
Stalling is nothing new

A column in the Reporter in early March 1965 by Assemblyman Perry Duryea commented on visits from East End students who he said posed questions impossible to answer. What were those questions?

Why did it take the state legislature two months to pass its first bill, which authorized the hiring of a stenographer. Legislative wheels turn frustratingly slow and that makes it hard to inspire students to have confidence in the government, Mr. Duryea said.

POSTSCRIPT: Sadly, today’s students and their parents are all all-too familiar with stalemates when it comes to passing legislation at all levels of government.

30 YEARS AGO
Library gets a computer

With the rapidity of technology developments, it’s hard to believe that it was in March 1985 that the Shelter Island Library got its first computer purchased through a matching grant from the Suffolk County Library System.

Plans called for making the dual disc drive computer available for use by the public with an instruction manual to guide users.

POSTSCRIPT: Not only does the library have several computers today, but many library users carry in their own smartphones, tablets and laptops as technology has become ubiquitous.

20 YEARS AGO
Yes, that’s an earring

It may not have been the look of the period, but it was a promise made and a promise kept as Athletic Director Rick Osmer showed up in 1995 with a pierced left ear. He was Coach of the Year and had promised the varsity boys basketball team that if they remained undefeated in League VIII, he’d do the piercing.

He returned from the winter break sporting a diamond stud he said he was sure was glass because it had cost him only $12. But he said Robert’s Jewelers in Southold had designed a Shelter Island earring for him and when his ear healed, he planned on switching from the stud to the new earring.

POSTSCRIPT: Mr.  Osmer no longer wears an earring. He’s expected to retire at the end of the current school year.

10 YEARS AGO
Real estate prices soar

Shelter Island real estate prices in early March 2005 were soaring and for the first time, the median price of a single house here topped glitzy East Hampton and Southampton. It was reported then that the median price here was $740,000 or $47,500 more than buyers were paying for a similar house in East Hampton.

Southampton clocked in third with a median price of $630,000. Southold and Riverhead came in with median prices of $440,000 and $353,500 respectively.

POSTSCRIPT: While Shelter Island certainly has its share of  show places on the high end of the real estate market, purchases of homes here that generate the 2 percent Community Preservation Fund money are nowhere near the amounts being garnered in the Hamptons.

It’s important to note that the numbers in 2005 were prior to the Great Recession of 2008 and Shelter Island was slow to recover, although in the fourth quarter of 2014, a turnaround was finally being reflected in home sales.

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