Featured Story
10/16/19 10:00am

REPORTER FILE PHOTO The Shelter Island Country Club Board of Trustees has elected a new slate of officers.

Gordon Cantley is the newly elected chairman of the Shelter Island Island Country Club (SICC) Board of Trustees after voting Sunday during the season-closing membership meeting. Karen Gibbs, a former board member, was voted in as vice chairwoman with Julia Best serving as secretary and Jim Buckland as treasurer. Jim Gereghty and Ann Beckwith join the board as trustees. (more…)

Featured Story
10/15/19 12:00pm

William A. ‘Bill’ Sulahian

William A. “Bill” Sulahian, a long time resident of Shelter Island, died peacefully in Eastern Long Island Hospital on Sept. 30, 2019 after a brief illness. He was 91 years old. A practicing attorney for more than 50 years, Sulahian served a term as Shelter Island Town Justice from 2003 to 2007.

Born in Weehauken, N.J. on Sept. 19, 1928, Bill Sulahian grew up in Rego Park, N.Y. before graduating from Roanoke College in Virginia in 1950. He entered service in the U.S. Air Force in 1951, where he piloted F-94 Starfire Interceptor fighter jets. He was honorably discharged from service in 1961 with the rank of captain. While still on active duty, Mr. Sulahian entered New York Law School, graduating with his juris doctor degree in 1961. In July of that year, he married his wife of 58 years, Patricia Mellem, in her native California.

The couple settled in Rockville Centre, N.Y., where Bill opened a private law practice after working for several firms in New York City. Mr. Sulahian’s thriving practice would eventually bring him to Shelter Island, and it soon became a second home for the Sulahians and their five children. Bill was quickly absorbed into the Shelter Island community. An avid golfer, Bill became an active member of Gardiner’s Bay Country Club and was proud of his several club championship trophies. He served as President of the Club from 1978 to 1980 and 1984 to 1987. Bill was also an active member of Lions International for over 50 years, first in Rockville Centre and later on Shelter Island. He was awarded a Melvin Jones Fellowship and Life Member status for his service to the association and those in need.

Bill Sulahian became a full time resident of Shelter Island in 2000 and was a fixture in his law office behind the Tuck Shop, a business owned and operated by his wife Pat for 43 years. In 2003, local Republicans asked Mr. Sulahian to be their candidate for Town Justice. He retired from the bench in 2007, having earned a reputation as a firm, fair and amiable jurist. He continued in the practice of law until his retirement in 2012.

Bill Sulahian is survived by his wife Pat, and his children, Gregory (Debbie), William “Billy”, and Susie Richards (Walter) of Shelter Island, and Marie Torry (Mason) of Gypsum, Colo., and Carol Hansen (Christian) of Rockville Centre. He leaves behind 12 grandchildren, Adrian Sulahian, Alexis Sulahian Heaney, Sara Fisher, Katie Goodleaf, John Goodleaf, Danny Anderson, Haley Sulahian, Scott Smith, Walter Richards Jr., Jane Richards, Karen Hansen and Madeline Hansen. He will be missed by his adoring great-grandchildren Weston and Ford Heaney and Hayden and Hadley Anderson. He is also survived by his sister Vivianne Lindemann (Mark) of Shelter Island. He is predeceased by his sister Doris Puelle (Fred).

A memorial service celebrating the life of Bill Sulahian will be held at the Shelter Island Fire Department’s Center Firehouse, 49 North Ferry Road, on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 11 a.m. All who wish to celebrate with us are welcome.

Donations can be made to Shelter Island Lions Club or American Legion Mitchell Post 281.

10/15/19 10:00am

This week, Mr. Lomusico reflects on stumbling across a vintage Cushman mother scooter.

Have you ever noticed how a scent, a taste, a sight or a sound can dredge up memories from the distant past?

Well I had such an experience a few weeks ago.

You see I get notices each day in my email about classic cars for sale. The one that’s singled out is called the “Pick of the Day” and lots of information about it is presented. So one morning when I looked at my pick, it was not a car but a 1940s Cushman motor scooter. And it was red. I don’t think they were made in any other color. The scooter was in Texas and the seller was asking a few thousand dollars for it.

I immediately started to think back to a late October day when a couple of friends and I were able to get one for $15. It was at a junk yard in Brooklyn and the year was 1959. It did not come with the registration. That was $15 more, which we were supposed to pay a week later. So we pushed the scooter through the streets to my friend Joe’s garage behind his house. His father had recently died and no one in his family ever went into the garage. Safe place to hide the scooter. And also a good place to get it cleaned up and running. And this scooter was red.

So we spent afternoons cleaning the spark plug and carburetor and polishing up the body. We put in fresh gas and kick started it. It fired right up. But where could we ride it? We were only 15 and it could not be driven on the street. So we thought of a place nearby which everyone referred to as the “Creek.”

This was an inlet of Jamaica Bay bisected by the Belt Parkway that was empty — lots of rolling sand hills and grasses and with a large selection of wildlife. There were rabbits and ducks and pheasants. Many kids would go there with bows and arrows. But that did not interest us at the time. We wanted to blast around the hills at speeds of 20 or 30 miles per hour and feel the wind and just be cool.

On the next day off from school we wheeled the scooter from Joe’s house to the “Creek” and spent most of the day riding. It was very exciting. We took turns behind the handlebars until we ultimately ran out of gas. Time to get the scooter back to Joe’s house.

While pushing it back, a police car pulled up next to us. We explained where we were going. At first everything seemed O.K. until he asked for the registration. We explained about our purchase plan and that the junk yard dealer still held the papers. We had to get into the police car and go to the precinct. A tow truck came for the scooter. Perhaps it was stolen, they thought.

I remember suggesting that they give us the $15 balance and we could go and get the registration. They did not buy my plan.

Ultimately parents got involved (except for Joe whose mother had just lost her husband and she had a bad heart and might not be able to handle the stress).

The owner of the junk yard was found. His yard was in another precinct. And he hauled the “restored” scooter back to his yard.

I don’t remember what happened to the $15 we had chipped in to get the scooter initially.