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Wyandanch people: Sadie Badon

Sadie Badon, 79, of Wyandanch, has lived in

Sadie Badon, 79, of Wyandanch, has lived in the community since 1975 and is chairwoman of the Wyandanch Community Development Corporation. Credit: Erin Geismar

Sadie Badon
Age: 79
Chairwoman of the Wyandanch Community Development Corp.; member of the New Shiloh Baptist Church

How long have you lived in Wyandanch?
Since 1975.

What brought you here?
High rent in the city. I came to New York when I was 21 and enlisted in the military for two years from New York. I ended up coming out to Wyandanch because the taxes at that time were cheaper and we were looking for some place we could afford. But I continued to work in New York City until I retired in 1992.

What was Wyandanch like when you moved here?
Pretty dull. I didn’t see all that much of it for a long time because I worked in the city. I got up when it was dark and I came home when it was dark. So I didn’t really spend that much time here until I retired in 1992.

From what you can tell, how has it changed?
It has changed for the good and it has changed for the worse. A lot of houses have closed down in foreclosures and a lot of houses are rentals. The biggest problem we have is getting renters to keep the properties clean. But I think the community is growing and it’s moving in a good direction.

I’d call it overcrowded. At the railroad station, if you get there after 9 you can’t get a parking spot, and only 10 percent of those people even live in this community. There are supposed to be 10,000 people that live here, but if you went door to door, I bet you’d find more than 20,000 people actually live here. The squirrels don’t even have a place to sleep.

Why did you decide to stay here all this time?
Well, I really don’t want to just pick up and go. I think things will get better and I’d like to stay and help. I don’t know if I’ll see it in my lifetime, but it will happen.

What’s something you’d like to see happen?
Businesses need to move in and help out with their share of the taxes, and that will get things moving along.

How would you define the character of the community?
Right now, I don’t think I would. I have to wait and see how it turns out. But I think it will do great. I can see a future for it.

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