For those of you who don't know, Sayville, New York, rests on the south shore of Long Island—right in the middle of the island, almost equidistant to New York City and Montauk. This small community of just under 17,000 people is the happiest town in America. We could only imagine how much we paid for that title, but regardless, I couldn't be more grateful to have been raised in this community.
No matter what the season, there are always events and festivities to be attended. Between the Pirates Festival at the Maritime Museum, the Summer Fest in August, all the fall festivals, or the tree lighting on Main Street before Christmas Time, our community is brought together all year round. The Summer Fest was everyone's first dose of freedom in Middle School. For most of us, it was the first time our parents let us stay out late. We all wished we lived on Collins and Gillette Avenue so we could get the free ride bracelets. But nonetheless everyone has many memories of Summer Fest, although, some may remember more than others.Having grown up on the water, we often take for granted what is in our own backyard. Many of us grew up sailing for Wet Pants or are members of the Yacht Club, which so happens to be in Blue Point. We grew up tubing in the Great South Bay and digging our toes in the bay sand searching for clams. We don't realize how lucky we are to have the Sayville Ferry Service just minutes from our front doors. People travel endless hours on the Long Island Railroad just to reach the ferry terminal. We're fortunate to have Fire Island and the water to bring endless opportunities for summer jobs. We all joke that Sayville is a "bubble," but really, what other school district can you find where your social studies teacher is married to your French teacher whose sister-in-law's Spanish classroom is right next door? I mean I can count at least ten teachers who either grew up with my mom, dated my uncle, or was friends with my aunt. Nonetheless our educators care immensely about our students because of all of our relationships and connections.
Don't lie to your mom about where you are on a Friday night, because chances are Susie's mom from down the street is going to see you and tell your mom. Don't roll through one of the many stop signs on Lincoln Avenue, because odds are your grandma will see you and won't let you forget your poor decision making. Don't hang on the "two-step" for too long, because we know our Officers do not like that and neither do the local moms. Don't go to Stop & Shop or the bagel store on a Sunday morning in your pjs—you know you'll see someone you know.
It wasn't until I moved two thousand miles away from this special place did I realize how lucky I was to have been raised here. Between the education I received in our schools and the music and athletic programs I was able to participate in, my opportunities were always endless. No matter how far I travel, I am proud to call the little bubble of Sayville, New York my home.