By Barbara Gaby Placilla
Summer is officially here and the pace is picking up in Ocean Bay Park. The summer party season was kicked off with a surprise birthday party for Adrienne Ratuszny, given by Erin Flynn, Jill Gibbs and Fran Lobo, on Saturday, June 20. The party, which was an eclectic mix of OBP’ers, was held at Fran and Wally’s beautiful house on Seneca Street. Fran has decorated her deck with the most fantastic plants and objects d’art, which added to the festive atmosphere. I think it would be easier to say who was NOT at the party than to list all the guests. The rain did not put a damper on the evening and the birthday girl, an avid tennis player, won the set six-love. Can you guess which birthday she was celebrating?!
On the other side of the Great South Bay, Ellie Mal was also celebrating her recent birthday at a luncheon given by her former “Watch that Basket” housemates Ellen, Paul, Vera, Rose, Katie and Gerry. It was a bittersweet gathering since the group was also together to remember housemate Diane Mayberry, who recently passed away after a long illness. Speaking of birthdays, a belated happy birthday to my grandson, Caleb Gaby, who turned 6 and to Tanya Tesa who did not!
Doing a reverse snow bird, Carol Carnichelli came up from Florida and took over the Escape Hatch for a girl’s only family reunion with her late husband Michael’s daughter, Lisa, and their grandchildren, Sabrina, Alyssa, and Gina. They were joined by her sister, Nancy. It was great to see Carol, who was one of the original “Stumblin’ Inn” members, back in Ocean Bay Park, where she had spent so many summers together with her sister, Sharon. We were sorry that Sharon did not make the trip up from Florida this time. Hopefully she’ll come back with Carol next summer. Even though the weather was not the best, Carol said they all had a great time and were very happy just to be together again.
It’s summer, so there are lots of house guests in town, some from near and others from far. Staying with Denise and Ric Anderson on Superior Street were Maureen Dolan and her husband, Kevin Murphy. Also on Superior Street, Tom Byrnes had a surprise Father’s Day visit from son Thomas, his wife, Yvette, and granddaughter Caitlyn. Over on Erie Street, at “Verde Monte,” Joyce and George Greenberger hosted their friends, Linda and Burr Vail. The Vails are the owners of the Hacienda Tamarindo on Vieques, Puerto Rico, where The Greenberger’s vacation every winter. George said the Hacienda Tamarindo is the number one hotel on the island of Vieques. The Greenbergers gave their guests a taste of two towns. First they stayed at their home in East Hampton for three days and then they brought them to their house in Ocean Bay Park.
School’s out for summer and so is Ocean Bay Park Association President Steven Jaffe, who celebrated the end of the school year at a birthday party for Nicholas Borges, Angelo Sakonas’ grandson. Nicholas’ mother, Kelly, also a teacher, was not only celebrating her son’s 16th birthday but her summer vacation as well. In a few years Nick can become a member of the Ocean Bay Park Fire Department along with his father, Frank, and Papu Angelo. The partiers included Steve and Joan Rubenstein; The Catanese family, Tony, Catherine, Melody Rose and Anthony; The Jaffes, Steve, Lisa and Harrison; Nick’s friend from school, Zhaquan; and my husband, Steve, and me.
Schools of another kind – fish – are running. Tommy “Tuna” Neal is an avid fisherman and gardener and a very stand up kind of guy. He recently caught two striped bass, each just under the legal size by less than an inch and he did the right thing – he threw them back. Good luck, Tom, I know you’ll be getting some legal ones soon and you can drop any extra filet o’fish at “Bamboozled!”
Steve Jaffe and I discussed our ongoing beautification project for the Bay Walk and Ferry areas. We just added an additional 40 plants, including Vitex, Russian Sage, Nepeta and several varieties of grass, and installed five teak window box planters along the fence leading down from the ferry dock area. I planted Lantana, Dusty Miller and Evolvulus in the boxes, all of which are drought resistant and deer proof. There are still areas along the Bay Walk to be filled in. The plants in the park are doing well and I would like to remind people to please feel free to water any and all of the plantings.
On Saturday, June 27, Good Samaritan Hospital ER nurses Gina Inness and Nick Petrella were married at the Fire Island Hotel. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate for a beach wedding, but the backup plan worked out well and the bride and groom made a beautiful couple. I wish them many years of happiness and look forward to seeing them around OBP. It was a pleasure to make their wedding cake.
By the time this article goes to press, it will be Independence Day and the annual OBP FD 4th of July fundraiser barbeque. This year, the Fire Department will be selling Firehouse on the Bay T-shirts, so please stop by and have something to eat, buy some raffle and 50-50 tickets and a T-shirt. All the money raised goes to a good cause – the Ocean Bay Park Fire Department – which is 100 percent volunteer and works to protect our lives and our property.
There are several noteworthy and upcoming events. The first is Warrior Appreciation Day, which is sponsored by the Ocean Beach Fire Department, and will be held on Friday, July 17. Due to the damage done to the Ocean Beach Fire Department Benevolent Hall during Superstorm Sandy, OBFD has not had this event for the past two years. Now that their fire hall is rebuilt and better than ever, they have chosen the organization, Hope for the Warriors. Nationally, Hope for the Warriors provides comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans and military families that are focused on transition, health and wellness, peer engagement and connections to community services. More details to follow when we get them.
On July 25, the OBP FD Auxiliary annual cocktail party fundraiser will be held in the fire hall. This year’s theme is Denim and Diamonds. Look for the signs that will be up or ask any member of the Auxiliary for more details and to buy tickets.
The annual Run for Rose 5K Race is Sunday, Aug. 9. This event has become a very popular one and all money raised goes to fund brain cancer research. I know Aug. 9 is still quite a way off, however Event Coordinator Mary Anne Reuther needs volunteers to act as course marshals in Seaview and Ocean Beach. Please see either John DiGangi at the Schooner or give Mary Anne a call. She is listed in the Directory.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading my column and please contact me if you have any news you would like to share with our community, at firstname.lastname@example.org.