As part of this week's Town Focus: Ronkonkoma series, Erin Geismar will be conducting quick interviews of everyone from community leaders to people on the street.
Community: Lake Ronkonkoma
Community involvement: Friends of the Sachem Library, Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization, Lake Ronkonkoma Historical Society, Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board
How long have you lived here? I got married in 1979, but I moved here a year earlier – in 1978.
What brought you here? I met the most wonderful man in the world.
Your late husband’s family has a long history here, can you tell me about it? My husband was Kenneth E. Duffield. The Duffield’s came to Suffolk County from Connecticut in the early 1700s, late 1600s. They were all over the area and very active, too.
Our house on Lake Terrace Road is where Ken’s grandfather lived. Ken spent from his pre-teen until he died there. We moved into the house he grew up in. He was a lifeguard at the lake.
What was it like marrying into a family with so much history in the area? I loved it. That’s one of the reasons I’m so involved here. I loved listening to Ken’s stories and then meeting the people from his stories. It’s like walking into history – marrying into history.
How would you describe Ronkonkoma? Americana. When I’m walking in my neighborhood, I see flags flying, I see children playing, people raking, and I feel safe doing it. That’s Americana. I can go into all the shops and stores and I’m known by name – I love it.
It’s a friendly town, a very friendly town. I can’t think of the last time I’ve gone into a store around here and smiled and didn’t get a huge smile back.