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'Rock scrambling run' on Day 4 in Bayville

Two people run along the Long Island Sound

Two people run along the Long Island Sound in #Bayville. (July 18, 2013) (Credit: Tara Conry)

As my fourth day in Bayville for Newsday’s “Town Focus” comes to an end, it’s become clear to me just how close-knit the community really is. The connections that exist among residents are almost unbelievable.

For those familiar with the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” game, I’d venture to say that you could probably play something similar here in Bayville, linking any one resident to any other you come across on the street.

Take for instance, 37-year resident Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling, a comedian and radio personality formerly of “The Howard Stern Show.” I met Martling Saturday night following one of his stand-up gigs and his name came up Monday while getting a tour of Bayville with the village’s mayor, Doug Watson. They actually share a property line.

INSTAGRAM: A week in Bayville | PHOTOS: Historic photos of Bayville | TWITTER: @tarakconry | @NewsdayTowns

Bayville librarian Jill Abbatangelo, who introduced me to the Bayville Free Library’s “Storytime by the Bay” program Tuesday, shared that her mother used to rent the home she’s living in now to Martling in the 1970s.

I could continue to connect the dots with all the folks I’ve met throughout this week, but the craziest example happened today. I spent the morning scaling rocks and running through the Long Island Sound with a group that included Dave Gugerty, a 25-year Bayville resident and former trustee. (Check back Friday for the full story.)

During our two-mile “rock scramble,” Gugerty mentioned that he has done this run with his 16-year-old daughter, Paige, who works as a lifeguard at Stehli Beach on the west end of town.

I didn’t expect to meet Paige Gugerty, but when a photo surfaced on Twitter of a harbor seal lounging on a beach in Bayville, I was sent on a search that ultimately led me to her. Paige Gugerty didn’t post the picture. In fact, she’s not even on Twitter, but she did take the picture that someone else then tweeted.

When I finally tracked down Paige Gugerty, who showed me the photos she had taken with her phone, she told me about seeing the seal this morning  the first time she’d ever seen one in her hometown — and ended up featured in my story on the seal. The seal could have been on any one of Bayville’s many beaches, but it was on the one where Gugerty works.

As I headed back to my remote office at the Bayville Free Library, librarian Erin Bach told me that one of her Facebook friends posted a photo of the same seal swimming in the Long Island Sound on the eastern side of town, near Quincy Street.

You’re not going to believe this, but that’s the block where Martling lives.

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