June 2003

Former New York Congressman Rick Lazio once called Long Island “the cradle of America,” and that “the history of the nation can be seen on the Island.” He wasn’t exaggerating. From architecture to art, politics to pop culture, Levittown to Lindbergh, and Roosevelt to Riverhead, Long Island has enough history to fill a textbook

But what really makes Long Island unique – in both New York and the nation – is its attitude and diversity that rivals its neighbor … New York City. For example, only an Islander (in this case, Teddy Roosevelt) would say something like, “walk tall and carry a big stick.” Now, if somebody else had said that first – let’s say someone from Vermont – it just wouldn’t have carried the same weight. Then, of course, there’s Islander Howard Stern, who has been known to offer an opinion from to time.

Then there’s Billy Joel, with his song “Downeaster Alexa” and Billy Crystal with amusing tales of his childhood in Long Beach. Both have captured the spirit of the Island.

Long Island is just as much of a melting pot as New York City. Travel through one village and town after another and you’ll encounter a different community “flavor” in each one. Whether it’s Garden City or Hempstead, Amityville or Riverhead, Long Beach or Farmingdale, you see all of America in one way or another. Except, of course, if you doing the “seeing” on the Northern or Southern State Parkways, but we’ll talk about that in a future editorial.

So having said that, sit back with a cup of “Cawwfee” and read about our star of this issue of Superintendent’s Profile, Ed Lynch of the Town of Smithtown.

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.