Erin Geismar caught up with James Fitzpatrick at Bruno's Restaurant & Bar in Lake Ronkonkoma for a quick chat about his experiences in the Ronkonkomas.
James Fitzpatrick, 46, Ronkonkoma
Occupation: Retired NYPD detective
What brought you to Ronkonkoma? I was born in Lake Grove. It’s just right over there, it borders Ronkonkoma. So it wasn’t a big move.
What’s the difference between Ronkonkoma and Lake Ronkonkoma? There isn’t one. It’s the same ZIP code. There is a border, I guess. Maybe it’s where the towns split. But it seems to me that people that live near the lake call it Ronkonkoma and people who live away from the lake call it Lake Ronkonkoma.
Have you always lived in the area? I had a brief sabbatical off the Island. I love Long Island, this is my Island. So I’ve always wanted to stay here, and Ronkonkoma is my home. Both my sons have two sons, one (of my grandsons) just graduated from Sachem. My mom and dad still live in Lake Grove. My brothers, except for one, still live in the area.
How would you describe the character of Ronkonkoma? Eclectic. You can walk into Bruno’s on any given night and see such a collage of people from every walk of life, every race, creed and age. There’s every type here from your cesspool guy to your CPA.