Bob Spencer has been working with the FIA since 1962, back when he was an ad man by trade and an artist at heart. He designed beach houses before 1962 for friends and currently paints and writes, penning columns for Great South Bay Magazine, the Fire Island Tide, and for the FIA, here from his home at Spencer's Point.


How Fire Island was Saved from being Paved Over

Many readers will be aware of some of the story about how Fire Island was saved from the paving of a highway, atop a sand-dike that had been first proposed by Robert Moses back in 1924, when he first became head of the Long Island State Park Commission. With each major storm after that, Bob Moses came back time and again with his same idea. But here, this reporter will try to set down a bit more on how the people of Fire Island, and just across the Great South Bay pulled off a little miracle.

It took mammoth storms in winters of 1954-55, and March 1962 — with huge destruction of many homes — to trigger action among thousands of people all along Long Island’s south shore.

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How Oceans Attract Us

Alluring. Mysterious. Relaxing. Inspiring. Awesome. This is what an ocean offers.

And — sniffing the salt laden air, as one approaches the seaside, just adds to an ocean’s appeal.

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On the Nature of Fire Island

On a summer afternoon, I sometimes can imagine myself suspended in mid-air about twenty feet above the oceanside dunes of Fire Island.

Fire Island has many moods of a simple order. On a clear sunny day, I can see many miles out to the blue sea and miles along its sandy and grass-green shores as well. At other moments the mood is stark gray, with scudding thunder clouds hovering over a white-capped sea and over the bay spitting electric strikes – sometimes in rapid succession. And it also has an extra beauty to reveal on a full-moon evening, with its
puffy clouds to flit about.

Read more: On the Nature of Fire Island