OCEAN BAY PARK
By Barbara Gaby Placilla
What happened to July? Where did it go and how did it happen so quickly? As you read this issue, we’ll be entering August and you know how fast that month goes! Since I am one of those glass-half-full kind of people, I am looking forward to a continuation of the great weather and great times we have been having here in Ocean Bay Park. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and I just need to hack a line from that great 1980s Miquel Brown song: “So Many Parties, so little Time…..what can I do”?
I’ll start with Warrior Appreciation Day, an annual event sponsored by the Ocean Beach Fire Department. Members of the OBPFD Auxiliary have volunteered at this fundraiser since its inception seven years ago. This year’s event honored Hope for the Warriors, www.hopeforthewarriors.org and Project 9 Line, www.project9line.org. Both organizations are family focused and help post-9/11 veterans and their families cope with the challenges of returning to civilian life and the stress of PTSD. It was so gratifying to hear former Ocean Beach Mayor, Joe Loeffler, call us his “Ocean Bay Park Angels” when we reported for duty. Ellie Mal, Eileen Murray, Susan Havison, my sister, Patti Lofreddo, and I helped serve dinner to the veterans and their families. Each year it’s an honor to meet these young people and their spouses who have sacrificed so much for our country. It’s a humbling experience to see their reaction to the warmth and generosity of Fire Islanders, plus I get to do my annual Marine Corps “oorah” shout out. The only thing missing this year was Maria Silsdorf Levine who always joins me “oorahing” the USMC!
When you’re in the midst of a heat wave, you head to the beach. Aside from the beauty of the beach on Fire Island, there is always something unexpected that makes you stop, take notice and take out your phone to snap a picture or two. So, we’re sitting on the beach and who walks by, but my friend Paula Ingram and two very attractive young people – one of whom is a dead ringer for Kate Middleton, aka The Duchess of Cambridge. Paula introduced me to the two brokers who work at her company Ingram & Hebron Realty in Brooklyn and were visiting FI for the first time. I enjoyed speaking with Maria Grubic who is from Croatia, a truly beautiful country and Bosko Stakovic who is from Serbia. In addition to being a realtor, Bosko is the leading member of St. Francis College Water Polo team and an NCAA Division I honored athlete, who also coaches young swimmers.
It was a “Hot Day’s Night” on Saturday, July 23, and there was something for everyone, young and old, to do. The Seaview Community Fund presented The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night” at the bay beach. This free, under the stars movie is open to everyone. It was originally scheduled for July 9 but due to rain had to be postponed. Thankfully it cooled down and it did not rain on the Seaview movie, but it did rain PURPLE next door in OBP. Each year, the Auxiliary holds a theme party fundraiser in July. It’s is usually the third Saturday of the month and it is invariably on the same night as Susan Abrahams’ annual birthday party. There has been a “friendly competition” between the two events for several years. This year, the Auxiliary theme was Purple Rain, homage to Prince. People were asked to dress the theme and it was truly all things purple. The firehouse was a sea of purple – complete with purple “rain” coming down from the ceiling. Each year the Decorating Committee outdoes itself. Congratulations to Lisa McNamee and her Food Committee: Ellie Mal and to Schooner Inn for the great food. I think this party will be going on forever even when we’re all in wheelchairs and/or using walkers!
However, the evening belonged to Susan Abrahams who pulled out all the stops by turning the big 60 and throwing a party that will be hard to beat for years to come. The party was multi-level with guests on the upstairs deck and tables for dining set up downstairs in the yard. Melissa of the Fire Island Hotel catered the food, with Tristan and his band Runnin’ Loose providing the entertainment. Tristan, your sax is truly amazing, and the band never disappoints. Yours truly provided the cupcakes and a special birthday cake, which were devoured within minutes so I am told. There were people from every community on Fire Island, even Point o’Woods and someone remarked that they have never seen such an eclectic mix of people. Susan’s relatives came in from all the country and the yard was decorated with some of her late father, Jack Abraham’s sculptures. The true highlight of the evening was listening to the band play song after song as how adults, kids, friends and strangers sat side by side on the road helping Susan celebrate turning 60. So Happy Birthday, Susan and many more to come!
While sixty is a milestone, so is turning sixteen. Sharing a July 23 birthday with Susan is Anthony Catanese III who turned 16. Since he is a very handsome young man, I will not say Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed – just Happy Birthday Anthony and I hope you can catch some big waves!
Until the next time, please keep in mind that the OBP Association Annual Gourmet Fair is Saturday, August 20. Donations of goods, services, etc. are needed and ALL volunteers are welcome to come and help make this year’s event a success.
Barbara can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your OBP news and happenings.