Ocean Bay Park

By FIN

By Barbara Gaby Placilla

Florie Swinsky’s fantastic roses

Hamlet said, “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” And that is exactly how I felt about the past month. Spring was a non-event, the town seemed deserted and what about summer? When would the pace pick up and the excitement begin? I am pleased to announce that summer has finally arrived in Ocean Bay Park! And with it came bachelorettes, brides, bar mitzvahs, birthdays, a bounty of roses, bikinis (yes, I’ve already seen a few), baseball, bunches of graduates and the best dads on the beach.

In recent years, Fire Island has become a very popular venue for destination wedding weekends. Each year, a few weddings take place before the summer season in June, but most are held post Labor Day through early October. This year, Flynn’s hosted the first wedding of the season in OBP. After days of overcast and gloomy skies, the sun came out for the June 8 wedding of Gabrielle Pirkl and Brandon Cummings. What a day they had! The sun was shining, the sand was sparkling, the waves were crashing and the bride looked stunning as she walked down the Seneca Street stairs to meet her groom who was standing by the water. There’s something about a wedding that brings people together and it was lovely to see total strangers make their way to the beach to watch the exchange of vows along with the 150 assembled guests, and then cheer on the new bride and groom.

The next day, June 9, was the Belmont Stakes and we watched history being made as Justify won horse racing’s Triple Crown. Steve Placilla made his own history when he finally drew the winning number and won one of the pools. Pat Kelly of the “Irish Girls” won the other pool. For all of us who did not have the winning numbers, there’s always next year!

Baseball is back and the field looks better than ever thanks to Seaview Manager and OBP FD 1st Assistant Chief Larry Mattiasen and his crew. I passed by the other day and the OBP team is poised to continue its fierce albeit friendly rivalry with our neighbors in Seaview. Who will win the coveted trophy this year in the annual homeowner’s game? Stay tuned for the showdown on Labor Day!

The Ocean Bay Park Association maintains the town plantings including the bay beach park and ferry area. Steve and I just planted all the boxes with deer proof grass and lantana. The bay beach park is a great place to sit and enjoy the sunset, have a conversation with a friend, play some chess or read a book. OBP takes pride in how it looks so please, if you are so inclined, feel free to water the plants if they look dry. There is an spigot outside the firehouse. And please, remember the planters are not ashtrays.

When you walk down Bayview or ride past on your bike, take a peek through the teak “totems” guarding Florie Swinsky’s garden. She has the most magnificent red roses that are in full bloom and thriving thanks to Andre’s loving touch. Florie’s Indonesian carvings are fascinating, but on the other side of that fence is truly a secret garden aptly named Florie’s Fantasy.

The OBP FD recently started drills on Wednesdays in addition to their usual Saturdays. The other day a woman came into the firehouse with a phone that she found while she was out for a walk. The firehouse was a logical place since we do not have a police station. Since my husband spent over 30 years in telecommunications, he said let’s see if we can find out who the last person called was and he did. The caller ID came up “Mom” so he dialed the number and Joan DeSerio’s very distinctive voice answered. The lost phone belonged to her son, Jared, who was relieved that it had been found. The moral of the story is don’t forget to call your mother and since this is June, your father, too! I would like to wish a belated happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. Celebrating his first Father’s Day is Brian Frazer who I recently saw with his beautiful daughter, Summer, who is 9 months old. I am sure that Summer will be at the Hermit Crab Races with Grandma Lisa on Wednesdays at Schooner Inn. Brian assured me that he and his wife Jessica will continue their tradition of coming in LAST during the annual Run for Rose 5K Race in August, and that Summer will be “competing” in the race along with them. I’ll be looking for them as I do each year.

Keeping with the “b” theme, let’s wish all the Geminis a Happy Birthday, among them: Mike Supple, Joan Rubenstein, Ellie Mal, Glenn Olsen, and Rachelle King, with whom I share a birthday.

My bunch of graduates include Anthony Catanese, Samantha Gaby and Patryck Kostyra who are graduating from high school, middle school and grade school collectively. To you all, congratulations!

Finally, please wish a very speedy recovery to Robbie Harris Byrnes who recently had knee replacement surgery. I know that Robbie will be up and dancing to “It’s Raining Men” before you know it!

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