Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stanley Drucker Concert

By Ann Parry (

Last Saturday, world-famous clarinetist Stanley Drucker gave a concert presented by the Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Association at Calhoun High School. Naomi Drucker, his wife and fellow clarinetist; and Marilyn Sherman Lehman, pianist, also performed, to the added delight of the audience.

©2010 Ann Parry, All rights reserved - Stanley Drucker

While dropping off concert flyers at the Drucker home the week before the concert, I mentioned I'd like to take photos during concert night. Mrs. Drucker looked up, smiling. "Since you're a photographer," she said, "you might enjoy our photos." What an understatement - and suddenly I was on a fun and moving tour of photos, posters, and other artwork throughout their home, including guest bathroom - all which helped bring to life the professional musical careers of the Drucker family: dad Stanley and mom Naomi, classical musicians; son Leon, double bassist Lee Rocker for The Stray Cats; and daughter Rosanne Drucker, alternative country singer.

Naomi Drucker is an enchanting wood sprite come to life, which made me look forward to the concert not only for the music, but for the chance to photograph such warm, charismatic Long Islanders.

©2010 Ann Parry, All rights reserved - Marilyn Sherman Lehman 

It's quite challenging to capture concert photos of instrumentalists, where about 95% of the photo is dark costumes, grand piano, and stage curtains and the rest is face, hands, and a tuxedo shirt that all seem to be about 9-light-stops away. I used my Nikon D200 with Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens, and did my best - including 1600 ISO and exposure compensation - but I have the feeling that this was the tipping point for seriously looking into the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, so I can use my Nikon D700 for such extreme lighting situations in future.

©2010 Ann Parry, All rights reserved - Stanley Drucker, Naomi Drucker

Retired last year from his 60-year career with the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Drucker remains an active international performer. Visit to find out more about the not-for-profit organization which began presenting professional concerts to Long Islanders about the same time that Mr. Drucker began his long, illustrious career.

For more photos on The Arts: visit

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Friday, July 16, 2010

If You Lose or Find a Pet

By Ann Parry (

What do you do when you've Lost or Found a Pet?  How do you Safely check for news, spread the news, and more?

Cat Found

Well, a friendly white and black female cat, green eyes, about 1 year old*, strolled up to our front stoop to visit our cat Hillary, who was in a cat stroller, earlier this week. Unfortunately, this kitty found near the Merrick-Bellmore border doesn't have a collar and ID tag, so we don't know her name and address.

  • *Update 7/25: 'Cat Found in Merrick' is Back with Family!     (more info near end of post)
If this white and black kitty is a member of your family, please contact us by email at [edit: contact info removed after owner found]. We will release her only to her proven owner, so emailing a photo you took of her would be a good way to help show she is your cat.

She is very affectionate, so she is, or was, part of a loving family, which she must miss.

Check for News - Spread the News  
Sad but Important:  If you lose a pet, immediately tell your neighbors, and then contact all the public/town animal shelters in a wide area around you.  (For ex, I'd contact all L.I. public shelters, starting with close ones.)  Because of serious overcrowding, many shelters do NOT have a No-Kill policy, so time is very important! When we found kitty, one of the first things we did was post "Found Cat" flyers, which include her photo and basic description, in the area. These are FREE ways to spread the news, and check for news  - whether it's online posts, flyers, email, or phone calls - about a lost or found pet.: 
  • Petfinder  
  • Craig's List - Long Island - Lost and Found
  • Public Animal Shelters, such as Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter
  • Private Animal Shelters
  • Veterinarians and Animal Hospitals
  • News Bulletin Boards at Community Social and Sports Centers, Places of Worship
  • News Boards at Stores that sell Pet Supplies and more
  • Websites of your Community and groups you belong to 
  • Association posted this on its website news.)
  • Online Newspaper in your area might run a free Lost Pet or Found Pet notice (Merrick Patch ran my Found Cat notice with photo)
    To get your flyers as widespread as possible, contact shelters, vets, pet supply store, and ask if they'll let you Fax them a flyer, so they can print it out and hang it where visitors see it.
    Your Safety
    Whether you've lost or found a pet, protect your safety and guard against scams meant to get your money. If you create a separate email account to use on flyer and online ad, you can avoid posting any personal information. Make an email address that is easy for someone to remember or copy down correctly. Do not agree to pay to have your pet shipped back to you. In fact, if you lost your pet, do NOT send money in any form for any reason. Some Tips from the section on avoiding would-be scammers:
    • Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is. (Listen to your gut feeling if something seems wrong, no matter how much you want to believe it.)
    • Stay local and avoid dealing with anyone who says pet needs to be shipped
    • Avoid playing into the cruelty of false lost pet responses. Some mean, dishonest people purposely target the sad, vulnerable owners of lost pets.
    • Do not wire funds, do not use cashier's checks, do not use money orders, do not give out any banking or financial information.
    Pet ID Tags and more
    It's very important your pet wears a collar with an ID tag and/or has a pet identification tattooPet ID microchips are good extra protection, especially in case a collar with ID tag comes off, but have something visible to the unaided eye also. Kitty wasn't wearing an ID tag, so during her first visit to Merrick Veterinary Group, Dr. Allison Villa carefully ran the microchip scanner up and down her several times. Like 99% of cats, kitty is not microchiped, but it was definitely worth checking.
    If you already have pets in your family, and then find a lost pet, keep them separate until a vet tests for contagious parasites and infectious diseases (and then pet receives medical treatment, if necessary), and  finds pet safe to be in contact with other animals. Update: During kitty's second checkup at the Merrick Veterinary Group, Dr. Allison Villa gave her treatment and medicine for a problem, tested and found her negative for FIV, FeLV, de-wormed her, and gave her a Rabies shot update.
    Indoor Cat VS Outdoor Cat
    Wondering if your cat should be an indoor or outdoor cat? An indoor cat lives about 12 years, and sometimes up to 20, but an outdoor cat lives an average of only 5 years.  This information came from  Merrick Veterinary Group, the Humane Society of the United States, Cat World, and Catster:      Dangers for Outdoor Cats
            *Update 7/25/10:
            Only a small percent of lost pets are ever found by their family, but here's great news:
            We found kitty's loving family - a nearby neighbor we didn't even know had a cat, let along one so precious - and she returned home today. Her name is Patches - how cute!
            Patches looks young for her age, for she's around 8. The rest of Patches' story is interesting, even surprising, and I'll post a new blog entry about it. Also, I've updated the original title of this post - "Cat Found in Merrick" - to avoid giving anyone who's lost a cat false hope.
            Adopt a Pet
            ♥  We heard about a wonderful family who wanted to adopt "Found Cat" if her family stayed lost.  ♥ Adopt a Pet. Please open your heart and home to a shelter pet. You can click this text to go to which helps you find the animal shelters in your area.
             For example, I went to and entered "Massapequa, NY" + chose a distance of "within 50 miles" + selected "Any type of pet" and it listed about 500 shelters on Long Island.