At 41 years old, Erik Dimech has spent all but three of those years in the Three Village area.
Dimech played for Ward Melville's 1988 state championship lacrosse team, and married his high school sweetheart, Eileen. Erik and Eileen live in Setauket with their three children, Jenna, 4; Nicole, 8; and Erik, 10. He owns Four-D Landscaping, a 21-year-old company that he started in college, which now employs a group of 57. The company did work for the show when it came to Setauket, and recently donated the brickwork around the Setauket Fire Department's 9/11 memorial.
Dimech switches between driving his beloved 1970 Coupe de Ville Caddy convertible, a 1953 pickup, an older Alpha Romeo and a Jeep. "So I have a bunch of old cars," he said. "I love old cars."
He also loves sports, and is active in coaching and playing lacrosse, baseball, soccer, softball, and bowling, and even enjoys skiing in Vermont. Patch recently had a chance to sit down and ask Dimech a few questions.
Patch: So tell us a little about yourself.
Dimech: I've been in Setauket since I was three years old. All my life, I've been in the Three Village area, went through the whole Three Village program, think it's the greatest village in the world. Every one of these teachers are outrageous, great principals, great coaches. You know, they stand out in your life when you think of great parents and coaches and so forth. My mom lives in the community here with me, we spend a lot of time together. I'm Maltese. Have you heard of Malta, the island in the Mediterranean? I'm 100 percent Maltese. My mom and dad were both born in Malta.
Patch: So what are your favorite and least favorite things about Three Village?
Dimech: My favorite part would definitely be the small-town involvement. That small-town feeling that you get. I would say my least favorite part... would be the same thing.
Patch: So you're pretty involved, and Extreme Makeover even tapped 4D Landscaping to do some work. Can you describe that experience?
Dimech: Tiring. I put my whole company out for this, we did the entire outside in four days. It was a really crazy experience. This 9/11 monument, we're doing all the brick work around it, all donated by us. And I'm involved in a lot of things like that, we do well in this community so that means they're all our customers, so we're constantly trying to give back to them. They're giving us all this business so we're trying to give it back.
Patch: Since it's right around that time, what's your memory of 9/11?
Dimech: My memory of 9/11 – I would say the reality of how weird, how crazy the world is. I would say it was the waking up to the reality of not being in such a sheltered world as we thought. You're like a kid in kindergarten, you're like, Everything's so perfect, and then you're suddenly thrown out. We all know somebody who knows somebody who was lost in 9/11. Every time you turn on the radio you cry once in a while. I was a 30-year-old guy and you would listen to the radio and you would like, tear. Everybody was sitting there waiting for their loved ones thinking they're going to be back and they never come back.
Patch: Did that contribute to your decision to donate to the memorial?
Dimech: No. Anything anyone asks me as far as volunteering, donating in this community, I do. I'm lucky to be able to do it, and I can do it without hurting my company. It's good stuff, these are my customers, these are my neighbors, these are my friends. This is what it's all about. If you can afford to do these things, then you got to do them because what goes around comes around.
Patch: Anything else?
Dimech: I want to say, Mom, I love you. My favorite person in the whole world is my mom, by far; by a thousand.