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Updated: 5/21/2009 - 4:05 AM

Hungry for nostalgia
Group plans 'friend raisers,' not fundraisers
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Once the center of activity for residents of Orient and East Marion, the Oysterponds Historical Society is trying to reclaim that position.

With many in the community wanting to bridge the gap between lifelong East Enders and new arrivals, the historical society, organized in 1944, will be focusing more on "friend raisers" instead of fund raisers, officials said.

A lot of newcomers have the feeling that OHS wants their dues money, but not their involvement, local resident Sherry Thomas said during a recent forum hosted by the historical society at Poquatuck Hall in Orient.

Diana Whitsit added that the old-timers perceived the newer arrivals as people who thought they were "the cat's meow" and looked down on the locals.

"That's a problem the society needs to address," she said.

Joe Townsend noted that the "community is much more particular than it used to be."

'That's a problem the society needs to address.' Diana Whitsit
Some people recalled charming weddings in Poquatuck Park -- no longer a possibility since neighbors who cherish their quiet weekends do not want the noise from such events.

The community pig roast was another traditional brought up during the forum, attended by about 40 area residents, who seem to be after community feeling prevalent during the early days of the historical society.

Residents shared personal and community memories with one another last weekend, and agreed that they need a welcome-wagon approach to newcomers, greeting them on their arrival and sharing information with them about the historical society.

They want more family activities that will interest both children and adults and need to enlist more volunteers to tackle the many programs they would like to see the society host.

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