Flanders: Drive safely and watch out for black ice

Well here it is, friends and neighbors — my last column of 2010. Before I go on with the news I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Thank you for all your support and kind words when I see you out and about. I truly appreciate your taking the time to read the column. And for those of you who send me news, a big thank-you because without you I wouldn’t have anything to write about. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.

Jim and Pam Daniell have some very good news to share. They adopted their foster son, Gavin, on Dec. 10. Welcome to the family, Gavin. Congratulations to all and best wishes for a very happy future.

Debi and John Schadecker e-mailed me their monthly news report. (I love it, please keep them coming.) Belated happy 3rd birthday to grandson Mykel Lennon, who celebrated Dec. 4, from your mom, dad and the entire Lennon/Shadecker/Riddick families. James Lennon (Mykel’s dad) would like to send out birthday wishes to Mykel’s mom, Cammie Riddick, who celebrated Dec. 18. Another grandson, Ethan Linker, will turn 3 on Dec. 28. Best wishes for a happy day from his mom, Christine, and his dad, Erick Linker, and the Lennon/Shadecker/Linker families. After the holidays these two cousins will share a combined birthday party with their family and friends.

Congratulations to John Schadecker on being named Craftsman Mechanic of the Year for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. John and Debi were both flown to North Carolina, where John received a trophy and other gifts at an awards banquet held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He was chosen over three other mechanics from across the country. John has been involved with the Turbush racing team at Riverhead Raceway for many years. He and Debi want to thank them all for honoring him with this award.

The Big Duck had its official lighting ceremony last Thursday (the first one was postponed due to inclement weather). I heard a very special guest showed up on a fire truck! That’s right, Santa was there and he even brought Mrs. Claus with him this year. Quacker Jack, the Long Island Ducks’ mascot, came for his cousin’s big day and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and Legislator Jay Schneiderman co-hosted the event. Special thanks to the Riverhead Middle School choir and their director, Nadine Greenberg, for the wonderful entertainment. A great time was had by all. I look forward to next year’s event since I wasn’t able to attend this year due to a prior commitment. I love the Big Duck when it’s all lit up. He’s looks so cool decked out for the holidays.

So that’s it for this year, folks. I wish you all the best in 2011. Remember, my next column won’t be until Jan. 13 but my e-mail will be available and my phone will be on if you want to send me something for that column. Please remember to drive safely and sober and watch out for black ice. There is nothing scarier than pulling out onto Flanders Road and having your tires spinning and going nowhere. Slow down, take it easy and put your phones away while driving. Hugs and kisses to you all. See ya next year!