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KPPC: A Journey Through History




Posted on September 10, 2011 at 7:35 PM

     I will document the kind of research I am doing here in this section. I basically started by checking different websites on the Internet until I learned about the Kings Park Heritage Museum. After my first visit there I began using books, which I acqured from the museum. I went to the library at Kings Park, too. I also began getting in touch with former worked, such as King Pedlar, Steve Weber, Barry Charletta, and Gil Harris amongst others.

     I went back to the museum a few more times. My girlfriend, Jo-Ann, joined me as my research assistant. What a damn good assistant she is, too! We met up with King and Steve, again, as well as Leo Ostebo. I was able to go over many photos, books, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and blueprints. I was even able to borrow a few items to copy them on my own. I made sure to repay the favor by making a couple of donations to the museum.

     I still used the Internet for much of my research going to different blog pages like the ones belonging to Sean Hopkins and Sean Hardy. The museum's website forum was also a valuable source of information and contacts. Slowly through the Internet I came across former patients, who were willing to tell their tales. I even contacted a few relatives of former patients, who also passed on their stories to me.

     My girlfriend and I attended the KPPC reunion of 2011. That was productive in learning new things about the hospital. We were able to meet and chat with former workers, which was great. We heard some pretty interesting stories.

     In time I began to drain all of my resources dry, but still came up short on information I needed. My girlfriend and I checked out the library on Indian Head Road in Commack, but we didn't find what I needed there. Next it was off to Smithtown, where we went from the Town Hall to the Tax Assessor/Town Comptroller's office and on to the Building Department. At Building Planning I was helped greatly by David Flynn and his co-workers. I was able to go over several large aerial photos taken of Kings Park throughout the decades.

     Still, I have to say a great deal of my knowledge has also come from actually visiting the KPPC on many occasions. I went to every section of the hospital and did a thorough exploration of each area. I learned a lot of things first hand, which has helped to clear things up for me more than once.

     I am not done, yet. I hope that someone out there will help me in more ways eventually. Anything helps. I still have more learning to do, but I can say with sincere honesty I am pretty much an expert on the KPPC now. I have more knowledge on somethings relating to the hospital that all of my helpful sources do not have. I will share all I have learned with all of my teachers and helpers out there once this book is complete. I will look forward to it.

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