As part of Babylon Village's inaugural Founders Day celebration on Saturday, Mayor Ralph Scordino stood before a standing-room-only crowd at the Babylon Historical Society Museum and recounted what it was like to grow up in the village in the ’60s.
"We appreciated the really simple things we had around," he said. “We gained a lot of friendships.”
The 62-year-old Scordino lived in Babylon until he was 4, when his family moved to West Islip. But they moved back in 1959, and Scordino has never left. His mother, Marjorie, was a delivery nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital on Montauk Highway, and his father, Ralph, was an engineer at Northrop Grumman, where he was responsible for the wiring on NASA’s Lunar Excursion Module.
The 62-year-old recalled spending free time with his friends. On his days off from school he would be out playing basketball and enjoying the town.
"I cringe to think of the number of Mickey Mantle cards [that] passed through my hands, or was in the spokes of my bicycle," he said to a laughing crowd.
Scordino started shooting hoops at the age of 7 at St. Joseph's, on South Carll Avenue. Sports pushed him into his first career as a physical education teacher in the West Islip School District, where he taught for 34 years before becoming mayor. He met wife Linda, who worked as a speech teacher, while working in West Islip.
The couple’s son, Paul, lives in Manhattan and works as a chef. His daughter, Dina, lives in North Babylon and is a social worker.
Scordino said he ran for mayor and continues to hold the post as a way of giving back to the community that nurtured both him and his family.
Photo: Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino talks about growing up in the village during the inaugural Founders' Day celebration. (April 2, 2011)