15 Sep 2014
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My Favorite Stories of 2012

Town Clerk gives thanks to his colleague for helping him get through a tough time; Barry Gilliam is back on the job for FedEx Ground.

My Favorite Stories of 2012 My Favorite Stories of 2012 My Favorite Stories of 2012 My Favorite Stories of 2012 My Favorite Stories of 2012 My Favorite Stories of 2012 My Favorite Stories of 2012

Happy New Year, East Hampton Patch readers! 

Thank you for your continued support over the past year. Let's toast to 2013!

Since I have the day off, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite stories of 2012. I thought we could end the year on a positive note, looking at some fun stories, some uplifting stories, and some that I just enjoyed writing. 

I hope you enjoy. Maybe you'll share with me what were some of your favorite stories of the past year. 

East Hampton Town Clerk Fred Overton has battled prostate cancer for nearly eight months, and on Thursday he took a moment to publicly thank one person who stepped up while he focused on fighting the disease: Deputy Town Clerk Carole Brennan.

Overton described Brennan as a "hands-on grandma," who took time away from her family to keep up with the extra work load during his absence. "Not only did she sacrifice for me, her family did, as well," he said.

The Last Hoof Out of the Brush Fire

Bella, an 8-year-old gray Appendix, only trusts a few people. In the midst of the raging brush fire in Manorville on Monday, the mare became even more nervous — pacing and running in circles as her fellow stablemates were loaded, one by one, on trailers.

Annie's Acres, on Wading River Manor Road, evacuated a total of 58 horses, according to Elizabeth Johnston, of Mt. Sinai, whose family owns Bella and three other horses boarded there. Bella was the last one to be evacuated.

After Hours: Roland Walker Brings Different Spin to Being Off-Duty

The high-energy, enthusiasm and excitement Roland Walker brings to the spin classes he leads through out the East End may not be what you'd expect from a 29-year veteran New York State Park police officer.

He's much less drill sergeant and more motivating coach. An aerobics turned spin instructor, Walker bring his A-game to every class, pushing riders with a constant flow of encouragement, which often includes high-pitched sounds and brief dancing, not to mention an array of untraditional music he mixes himself like Barry White's "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Baby" and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" throughout the 45-minutes classes.

On the job, patrolling Montauk and Wildwood parks, he's more serious and stern, but in the spin studio, his true personality shines. "I'm a different person there. I know how to separate the two," he said.

East Hampton Firefighter Serves Up Sloppy Joes with Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten often brings members of the East Hampton community, where she films her Food Network TV show, into her kitchen and to her dining room table, but on Saturday's episode she will pay a visit to a local firehouse.

The  Barefoot Contessa showcases the East Hampton Fire Department's drill in October, and, of course, the volunteer firefighters need to eat afterward.

Garten joins firefighter Scott "Elmo" Elley, who often cooks for department functions, in the kitchen at the Emergency Communications Building to serve up  beef barley soup, " Scott Elley's Sloppy Joes," and  pecan caramel sundaes for the hungry firefighters (click for the recipes).

Amagansett Fire Chief Steps Down After 3 Years

Mark Bennett said he heard the hardest part about no longer being chief of a fire department is going from knowing everything to knowing nothing.

He is just starting to get a taste of how that feels.

After three years at the helm of Amagansett Fire Department, Bennett handed over the white helmet to newly elected Chief PJ Cantwell on April 11.

Amagansett's Michael Novogratz Leads US Wrestlers to Gold

Amagansett homeowner Michael Novogratz got to enjoy the Olympic games in London, but he didn't just get to watch the games, he got to be a part of them. 

Novogratz, a former collegiate wrestler and a National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, was selected as the US Men's Freestyle wrestling team leader. 

Barry Gilliam is back to work.

Just over a month after Gilliam's contract with FedEx Ground was terminated and locals along the deliveryman's route pushed the company to hire him back, Gilliam was back on his route on Tuesday.

"I'm speechless over what everyone has done for me," said Gilliam on Tuesday. "I don't even have words. It's like you see this in movies if you understand what I mean. What can I really say?"

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