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From Long Island to a long life

Local club shares fond memories and makes new ones

Created date

July 24th, 2014
The “core four” women of Cedar Crest’s Long Islanders Club (from left) Olivia Cuoghi, Christa Tromblay, Gloria Bargetzi, and Betty Driver plan monthly meetings to include DVDs, guest speakers, and lots of reminiscing.
The “core four” women of Cedar Crest’s Long Island

For about 20 people who live at Cedar Crest in Pompton Plains, N.J., the Erickson Living community has become an extension of their beloved Long Island, where they once lived. Some lived there for as long as 75 years, others for just a few. Now, though, they all share their memories and experiences through the Long Islanders Club.

Gloria Bargetzi founded the club four and a half years ago, and it’s been a welcome addition to the busy schedules of so many people living at Cedar Crest. 

Nearly 40 people came to her first meeting. By the second, that number had grown to more than 50—people who had lived there, visited, or have family there. Today, they have a consistent group of about 20 people who participate in monthly club meetings. 

A core group of four women—Gloria, Olivia Cuoghi, Betty Driver, and Christa Tromblay—plans each monthly program in the community’s catering room. 

Reminiscing and living in the moment

“We share memories and reminisce, show videos, or present a PowerPoint,” says Betty. “A lot of people come because of the DVDs or videos we show,” which most often feature Long Island in some way. 

More formally, the club aims to explore the history of Long Island, share current events, encourage reminiscing, and show videos and host guest speakers. Club members also take trips to Long Island landmarks like Levittown, the Village Inn, and Coral Spring Harbor. 

The women say the club is open to everyone who lives or works at Cedar Crest, which exemplifies the community’s welcoming, friendly nature.

Christa, who lived on Long Island for 49 years and raised her children there, says, “We just want everybody to know Long Island is a wonderful place.” 

Common denominators

While the four women all agree that Long Island was a highlight in their lives, they say Cedar Crest holds many similar attractions: 

Ease of getting around. “I liked the ease of getting around [Long Island],” says Gloria, whose husband developed the Inform System of overhead highway signs that notify motorists of delays and emergencies. 

Like Long Island, Cedar Crest is known for its transportation, as well as for its weather-resistant campus. Complimentary shuttles provide transportation between the three clubhouses, and climate-controlled walkways connect every building. Because community amenities include a bank, market, restaurants, fitness and aquatics center, a salon and spa, and medical center, residents never have to face snow and ice or scorching summer temperatures again. In fact, getting around at Cedar Crest is undoubtedly even easier than on Long Island. 

For Christa, this is ideal. “I’ve never driven, but I could get anywhere on Long Island,” she says. It’s one of the reasons she chose to move to Cedar Crest when she no longer wanted the burden of maintaining her house—she could still satisfy all her needs without having to drive. 

Wonderful neighbors. All four women note the friendly atmosphere both on Long Island and at Cedar Crest. In fact, Betty and Christa could have been longtime friends—they lived just a few miles from each other on Long Island—but they didn’t meet until they moved to Cedar Crest. They like to reminisce about familiar landmarks like the Levittown Historical Society Museum and Coral Spring Harbor.

Cultural and educational opportunities. Long Island features a myriad of cultural and educational opportunities (even the chance to know the Baldwin family of actors like Christa did), from the Levittown Museum and the Fort Massapeag archeological site at Oyster Bay to the many public and private colleges and universities. 

Cedar Crest, like Long Island, is a hot spot for continuing education, performing arts, and more than 180 resident-run activities, like the Long Islanders Club and so many more.