by Barbara Placilla
The annual Ocean Bay Park FD Auxiliary Plant Sale was held on Saturday, May 17. This fundraising event held the weekend before Memorial Day, follows the FD Spaghetti Dinner and signals the start of the season for many of the homeowners anxious to throw off the last vestiges of winter. At 9 am a crowd gathers in front of the firehouse and charges into the truck room when the doors open at 9:30. By 2 pm 18 nursery carts full of plants and 2 pallets of potting soil were gone. This year the “duel” between my neighbors Mildred and Claire, as to who buys more plants was won by Claire Walter! To all our loyal customers from OBP, POW, Seaview and Ocean Beach, THANK YOU. My personal thanks go to fellow members of the Auxiliary and Fire Department who work so hard to make the sale such a success. And extra special thanks and recognition to Auxiliary member Ellie Mal, without whom, there would not be a plant sale. Every year we say this is the last, but when we see how happy everyone is to buy the plants that beautify their decks and yards, and help our community, we say “okay maybe one more year”.
Once we had cleaned the firehouse and rolled the carts down to the dock for transport back to the grower, we all headed to the Schooner for the running of the Preakness Stakes. Perpetual winners, Robbie and Tom Byrnes were still in England and the Supples were at a graduation party. Therefore, the general consensus was that the rest of us perpetual losers actually had a shot at winning one of the pools. American Pharaoh won and so did JD DeSerio and Steve Placilla. Catherine Sekulo was certain this was her year, but alas, her horse did not place, so she will have to wait until the party moves to the FI Hotel for the running of the Belmont Stakes on June 6.
The next day, the OBP Association Spring meeting was held. It was chaired by Secretary Karen Kee due to the absence of President Steven Jaffe. One of the key topics of discussion was the FIMI project. Jared Della Valle provided an update on the project’s current status. The 2015 OBP Directory was distributed and there are extra copies in the firehouse in case you need them.
June is prime wedding season and Fire Island is becoming a very popular destination wedding locale. I met a lovely bride to be, Lauren McGrath, who came from Washington DC with her sisters, Allison and Sarah to celebrate in Ocean Bay Park. Along with friends Amanda Lawson, Valentina Salkow-Ziln and Michelle Hensaw they rented Joy and Pete Waide’s stunning house on Traffic and the ocean. Lauren told me that she and her friends have spent the past three summers in Corneille Estates and that Fire Island was the perfect place for her to celebrate being single before her June 13 wedding.
Before we knew it, Memorial Day was here and so, officially, is Summer 2015. For some reason, Memorial Day is traditionally cold and rainy on Fire Island. This time the weather did not disappoint but the crowded streets did. Friday night was mellow and it was great to see a lot of familiar faces out and about. Wally Butler, who has sold his house on Erie and Traffic, was visiting with Lil Dreyfuss and Aggie McShea, was staying with Eileen Murray now that the Basket House has been sold to Maggie Horton. My sister, Alison Jacobs and her fiancé, Rob Winters, were in residence at the Love Shack with Goldie and our grandchildren, Nicklas, Samantha and Caleb Gaby surprised us by coming from Park Slope. Saturday and especially Sunday saw an explosion of people in Ocean Bay Park that was difficult to deal with but that did not deter any of us from remembering and celebrating what Memorial Day really signifies which is service to our country.
Speaking of service to country and community, I want to acknowledge Lanny Vannoni who just celebrated his 70th birthday. Happy Birthday, Lanny and thank you for your for service in Viet Nam, for your years of dedication to the Ocean Bay Park Fire Department and for your work as a Fire District Commissioner.
When you get a chance, please stop by the bay beach park and look at the beautiful chess table and benches that were donated by the Pollack family in memory of their father David. It was quite a feat getting it over to the island and thanks to Bartley Horton, Steve Placilla and Larry Mattiasen it was lifted off the pallet and installed. You have to bring your own chess pieces or checkers, but even if you don’t play, it’s a beautiful place to sit and watch the sunset over the bay. In the coming weeks, there will be some new additions to the park, as we update the planters so stay tuned as the beautification of Ocean Bay Park continues. The the park is there for all to enjoy so please don’t use the planters as ashtrays or for garbage and if you are so inclined, feel free to water the plants. There is a water spigot located under the bulletin board between the firehouse garage doors.
Amanda Pollack has informed me that tennis is back and better than ever. If you are interested in joining and playing, all the information is listed on the bulletin board by the courts. Take a look at the wisteria on the Driscoll house next to the tennis courts. As I rode past, I realized I must take a picture and as I did, I fell off my bike. Both were a sight to behold, LOL!
Last year’s “Bring, Take, Share your Books” is back thanks to Steve Rubenstein. Hours of operation are Saturdays during June, July and August from 8:30 am to 10:00 am at the firehouse. The books you have read and don’t want are eventually donated to the church in Ocean Beach for their annual book sale in August, so they don’t go to waste.
North Shore/LIJ Medical Group Immediate Care Center is now open in Ocean Beach. They are located on Midway across from the Ocean Beach Fire Department. The hours of operation are Monday-Sunday 9:00-11:00 am and 4:00-6:00 pm. All other times, call 631-583-8548.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: A Community Health Fair and Fire Safety Awareness Day hosted by the OBP FD Auxiliary in conjunction with Stony Brook Medical Center will take place on June 13 at the firehouse beginning at 10:30 am. This is a free event open to all. Please come and take advantage of the opportunity to learn about a variety of health and safety related topics.
Thank you for reading my column, which really is a work in progress. There is so much to report about Ocean Bay Park, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org