Spotlight on John Conquest


Bellport Honors Conquest

Longtime basketball coach thanked for years of service and support

Reprinted with the permission LI Advance of Editor Mark Nolan

 Bellport High School’s varsity boys’
basketball players and coaches, past
and present, gathered in the gym this
past Wednesday night to honor longtime
supporter John Conquest. Conquest was
honored with the Coach’s Award for
decades of hard work and dedication to
the Bellport boys’ basketball team.
 Conquest had served 30 years as a
assistant coach and mentor to the basketball
team. He had coached a legion of great players,
including Wesley Correa, David Russell,
George Garrison, David Acree, Harold Jasper,
Victor Correa, Steven Branch, David Garrison
and Todd Banks, who all have led the
team to great victories.
 Conquest, who was diagnosed with
cancer five years ago, was
awarded at halftime and delivered
a speech to the spectators and players
gathered in the gym. He encouraged
students and players to stay out of
trouble and to lead a straight life
by staying in school.
 “There is no reason young men and
young ladies can’t get an education,”
Conquest said.
“You have to do the right thing.”
 Conquest also spoke about his years
of service to the team and what he
envisioned his legacy would be.
“My legacy is, if I help one person, one
young lady, one young man make it out
in this world,” he remarked, “my
career was not in vain.”
 He also urged parents to get involved
and stay involved in their child’s
life in order to help them succeed in life.
Conquest closed his speech with
a wise word of advice met by a
standing ovation from the spectators, “The
word on the street is: Stay away from drugs.”


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Spotlight on Chuck Anderson


Brookhaven Author Pens Sequel

Judy Anderson's husband writes another thrilling mystery book

I get the feeling that Chuck Anderson of Brookhaven
hamlet just can’t sit still. The man has accomplished
much in the literary field, and at an age where men
should be resting on their laurels and doing some victory
laps, he continues to teach, edit, and write.
This Hofstra professor, editor of the Bellport based
Fire News and contributor to The Long Island
Advance, had penned four other books, including
the critically acclaimed American Conversations
before turning to fiction with his 2007 murder mystery
Playing for Blood. That locally-based whodunit
introduced us to retired Long Island teachers Mack
Thomas and Sal Cascio, who open a private investigations
firm to keep them busy after retiring and end up
always stumbling into bigger and badder things.
Sprinkled throughout Playing for Blood were enough
golf insider jokes, tips and terminology to qualify for a
handicap. That flavor continues through Anderson’s sequel
to Blood called A Highland Fling. Whereas Blood
had you guessing which local golf courses Thomas and
Cascio were playing or investigating, Fling takes you to
the golfer’s idea of heaven on earth—Scotland.
Part of the fun of Blood was also guessing the real
local Long Island people and locales that were thinly
disguised throughout. Sadly, that’s missing in the sequel,
but I guess you can’t place Hauppauge inside
the Highlands.
But our two honest and decent detectives more
than make up for it with their penchant for finding
and solving everything from drug smuggling, prostitution
and murder, all the while teaching themselves
(and us) more about the duffer’s game.
Many of the supporting characters are back for another
go-around, including one of the local baddies
from Blood. While Scotland may form the majority of
the background this time around, there are side trips
with mixed and dangerous results to France, Spain,
and Morocco. So while these inquisitive private investigators
are not on their local turf, they do give us
bit of a travelogue as they uncover nasty and unsavory doings.
In Scotland, a new nemesis is introduced: a gypsy
with dark intentions who adds some European flavor
to the story of our former teachers, whom you would
think after dealing with all these unsavory criminal
types and getting into all sort of physical scrapes
would be just happy collecting their pensions and
shooting a few rounds out in Manorville.
Like Playing for Blood, A Highland Fling is a
quick and easy read you will enjoy if your chosen
genre is murder mysteries with more than a sprinkling
of golf-related anecdotes.
You can purchase A Highland Fling (Playingfor Blood, Part II)
at, www.PublishAmerica.
com, or at Barnes & Noble. There will be
a book signing and release party with the author on
Sunday, Jan. 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Painters’ on South
Country Road in Brookhaven hamlet.

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