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Orient man remembers yacht club when it was potato house
Walter Strohmeyer, 83, Orient, is a member of the Orient Yacht Club, where he was enjoying a weekly community dinner Thursday night with friends. Strohmeyer, like many people in Orient, says he likes to pretend there's nothing special about the place so no one else will move here.
How long have you lived here?
All my life. Just summers I'd come out. After I retired I moved out [here] permanently.
Where did you live the rest of the year?
I grew up in Little Neck, Queens, and I spent much of my life in Connecticut -- New Haven, Hartford, Madison. I was a CPA, I worked for Yale.
When did you retire and move out here?
I retired in 1990 but I didn't move until 2000.
What made you want to move out here full time?
I had a house that I inherited, what better reason is there?
What were your summers like here growing up?
This was a potato house long before it was the yacht club. I used to work here grading potatoes. Sometimes I also brought the potatoes here from the farms. I worked for the Terry farm and the Lathams. I also worked as a lifeguard at the state park. It was always enjoyable for the whole family to come out here.
So, tell me what's changed about Orient?
It hasn't changed that badly. The big change is there were 20 farms and now there are two. Some farmland is not being used at all.
How would you describe the character of Orient?
I'm not going to, we'll have the whole world out here.
OK, actually we do believe it's paradise, particularly in the summer.