As head of the Westbury Historical Society, Susan Kovarik is
a vital resource in understanding the community’s past
1. What brought you to Westbury? What do you love about living here?
We (my husband and I) found a house here that we could afford. Westbury does remind me of the village where I grew up, mostly residential with a main street in walking distance with businesses and stores. I like living here because of such a mix of nationalities and races. It’s a real melting pot.
2. What are your favorite places to spend time on Long Island?
I have always liked Old Bethpage Village Restoration. My husband used to volunteer there and I often went with him. Closer to home is Old Westbury Gardens. The grounds and house are beautiful.
3. What is your favorite artifact in the Historical Society house?
The Levi family pump reminds me of the pump on my grandfather’s farm. That is going back a long time because I was a very small child. The pump (a different one) is also used as the Historical Society’s logo.
4. What is your favorite time period and why?
The U. S. colonial and revolutionary period is very interesting to me. It is presented one way when you learn history, but I like to learn about the ordinary people and what their thoughts were on the issues of the day.
5. If you could have a meal with any historical figure, who would it be and why?
I did a lot of reading about Richard III of England this past summer. I realized that he was not such an evil person as I first thought. I would like to see what he was really like.
6. How have you seen Westbury change over the years?
Westbury has become a lot more built up. There are no more vacant lots in my neighborhood and a lot of apartments, condominiums, etc. have been built. I am not sure if I like it, but we have to go forward. The composition of the population has changed also. There are a lot more people of Hispanic descent.
7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Take time to rejuvenate yourself so you can help others better.
8. Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
My husband has. We have been married over 51 years now.
9. What is one cause you feel passionate about?
Feeding the hungry. I have made food for meals, donated food for food pantries, and given money to organizations that feed people.
10. Westbury has a rich history. What’s one thing about Westbury’s past that most people may not know?
People may not realize that Westbury was founded by Quakers and they have had and still do have a great influence on its history.