Erin Geismar bumped into Jim Dineen, 85, former president of the Moriches Bay Civic Association, one of the founders of the Moriches Bay Little League and a member of the Moriches Rotary Club, for our Town Focus in the Moriches.
How long have you lived [in Center Moriches]?
45 years. Before that I lived in Middle Island.
What brought you here?
The water. I wanted to be close to it. I have a boat and I love the bay for fishing, and I was just in the ocean [Thursday]. It takes 10 minutes to get there.
What made you stay here?
It’s a small town. Middle Island didn’t have a small town and the taxes were starting to grow there because they were building the schools. That’s when I moved here. There is a great little Main Street in Center Moriches. And I knew a lot of people that lived here before I came. I joined the Rotary about the same time.
How has it changed?
It’s unbelievable. There were only about 1,000 people when I first moved here. Now it’s more like 10,000. But it’s still a pretty little town.
Are there any secret gems in town?
Main Street with all the small businesses. When I was in the civic, we wouldn’t allow chain stores. We still maintain a small Main Street. There is a playground where all the bricks are dedicated to people from the TWA crash, which happened right out here.
What challenges does the community face?
Renovating Main Street. We had a big beautification committee that put up all new lamp posts, redid the sidewalks. Now we are trying to get stores that have closed to reopen. We also need to provide more sports activities for the children. I’m trying to build a skatepark. Right now, all the kids skateboard at the King Kullen shopping center. They don’t have a place to congregate. Little League only lasts four months.
How would you characterize the community?
Small, close knit, very friendly. Everybody seems to know everybody. You can find the best fishing in the world right here.