chapter  Chapter 28
11 Pages

Festivities and jubilations on the graves of the dead

Sanctifying sullied space
WithGlenda Dickerson

Setauket’s Christian Avenue community is one of the oldest African American communities on Long Island. Pete Tucker revolves in their minds along with visions of pipe-smoking great-grandmothers and babies stolen by gypsies. His tale symbolizes for us the magic power of oral history. The year leading up to the Eel Catching living library was one of shifting, reading, researching, arranging, plotting, planning, checking, cross-checking, and re-checking. The volume of collected material was tremendous and the list of donated artifacts long. In the magical space created by concrete birdbaths, crystal, sepia photographs, church hats and lace handkerchiefs, old furniture, baseball gloves, and grave-digging shovels, Lucy Agnes Hart Keyes sat in a place of honor, witness to the grandeur of her life.