The Window’s Birds Eye View

by Shoshanna M. |

Shoshanna McCollum,

From outside my office window I have a perfect view of the Lady of the Magnificat Roman Catholic Church. It is a pleasant and comforting sight to see each day. Locals who bother to look up know about the church osprey. It becomes a regular presence as autumn approaches, as it roosts on the church steeple cross – sometimes keeping an eye out for prey – other times enjoying a fish dinner. I remember first seeing it as a juvenile a few summers back, being instructed to wait there by its mother as she hunted for their meal. This week the osprey made its return, but I can see from a distance it is not the same bird. It looks young, and waits patiently. The church has a new guardian, and the circle of life continues.

As I write this final issue of our 2021 season, there are people who need to be thanked.

First I would like to thank Chief George Hesse and the Ocean Beach Police Department for being so gracious as I came by every other week to take notes on the police blotter. I especially wish to thank Officer Cherry, whose penmanship is always impeccable.

In addition I thank OBFD Fire Chief Ian Levine, who is always cooperative when I am working on a story. His response never fails to be prompt and professional even if he and the force have been working long late night or early morning hours. Thanks to Ian, I was able to cover the Point O’Woods Fourth of July fireworks barge fire incident hours ahead of other news media outlets on Long Island.

On a more personal note, I also wish to thank Ocean Beach Association President Maria Silsdorf, Judy Gerardi, Lori Marabella Bloom, and Joey Macellaro. Together we worked on the Ocean Beach Centennial Journal. What an honor it was to have been invited to be a part of this experience. Twenty-five years ago my first published article was in the 75th Anniversary Journal, so it seems the arc has returned full circle.

To my colleagues at the paper: Craig Low, Lorna Luniewski, and Pamela Gurman… Sometimes I feel like we are The Beatles. Not quite sure which one of us is Ringo, but I know our strength is in our unity. They have been my bunker mates for the past seven summers, and I am proud of the work we have done together.

Photo by Shoshanna McCollum

With the guidance of Craig Low, Reporter Emma Boskovski and Digital Media Coordinator Peter Lindgren have produced some interesting videos that added new dimension to our publication. If you have not subscribed to the Fire Island News YouTube channel yet, I suggest doing so, it is worthwhile. Then there is my friend Robert Sherman, who made the leap from FIN photographer to becoming a contributing columnist and our Instagram editor this year – he even has a knack for sports reporting!

Our Sales Representatives Catherine O’Brien, Erika Phelan and Helen Thompson are also to be commended. Through their hard work and ingenuity we located new and interesting clients in a constantly shifting market. Thanks to them we have not only held our own, but gained new ground.

To the readers who have stopped to say words of praise, I thank you all for making some dark days feel brighter. I also thank readers who asked questions or challenged our approach. Defending our work got my adrenaline going and that too is necessary.

Then there are all the writers I worked with over the years. Some have stayed a while until it was time to spread their wings, and new ones were welcomed aboard. My hope is that during their time here I have helped them hone their skills in finding their own fish.


About the Author

Shoshanna M.

Shoshanna McCollum is editor of Fire Island News. Author of two books, and award-winning journalist for multiple Fire Island and South Shore Long Island publications since 2000, she resides year round on Fire Island with her husband and many cats.

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