ON ISLAND TIME: Ocean Beach Report
By Samantha Sigelakis-Minski
Hello, August! We are already almost halfway through everyone’s angriest month—where does the time fly? It has definitely been a good summer, filled with great weather, amazing friends, and more events than one person can get to. These past two weeks alone have been filled, from the Warrior Appreciation night, (Aunt) Patricia Stretch’s birthday bash, and the Lifeguard Tournament to this week’s Community Fund Bourbon Street, Wednesday’s Albatross Prom and tonight’s Chill-Out jazz session with Les Lieber. Who ever has time to sleep?!
I would be remiss to not talk about one of the events up above, Aunt Patty’s 70th birthday surprise party, held at the Fire Hall on July 30. Her children, Kara McKenna and Richard (RJ) Stretch (of lifeguarding and village office notoriety) managed to hide this party from her until she walked through the door. Friends and family came from all over to celebrate her big day. Aunt Patty is a very important person to many lives. She is the fun aunt, the one who says hi to everyone in the streets and lets you crash on the couch when going home doesn’t sound so appealing. At 70 years young, she still lights up the room when she gets there. Her birthday matched the spirit of fun that she embodies everywhere she goes, and it really does take a village to surprise a woman like her. With Tommy Brown and Jen Morano in the kitchen, Trustee Chris Norris and Kelly McDermott behind the bar, and Timmy O’Rourke with his famous clam shucking, this was a time to remember. Thank you to everyone that helped make Aunt Patty’s life a little brighter on her monumental day, and a happy (quite belated) birthday!
We would also like to wish Paul Rosenbaum of Flair House fame (and of Fame fame!) a wonderful belated birthday. Paul turned 60 years young, but doesn’t look a day over 50! Ginny Horton also has a birthday coming up on August 18, so be sure to stop into the post office and give her a hug. On a personal note, I would also like to wish Teddy Minski, building inspector extraordinaire, the happiest of birthdays as well! He didn’t have a milestone this year, and will have to wait for an awesome celebration like Aunt Patty’s, but still deserves recognition from his favorite daughter.
Of course, summer is not over yet! We still have so much to look forward to, and so much of it in this weekend alone. Tonight (Friday August 12) is Les Lieber’s Chill Out jazz session at the community house. Bring your picnics and wine for a good time! Les is one of this village’s all-stars, still killing it on the saxophone at a whopping 104 years old. Saturday from 10-6 p.m. and Sunday from 10-3:45 p.m. mark this year’s adult craft fair, for all of your gift giving needs. If you buy something for yourself also, we won’t tell anyone. Saturday night at 7 p.m. come to the Historical Society for a trip down memory lane with the new exhibit, “I Was A Kid In the 60’s & 70’s.” This exhibit was inspired by the Facebook group of the same name, and will feature photos by Rachelle King and other members of the community. Come find yourself, come find your parents (what I will be doing), and stay for the wine and cheese.
For the rest of August, we have the Eastside Children’s Art Show on Saturday August 20. Enter your kids into the show by getting applications at Rene’s Lighthouse or the Village Office, and let’s support our youth in their artistic pursuits! The Saturday after that, August 28 at 11 a.m., is a book talk at the Historical Society featuring author Christopher Bascom and his book, Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architect of Seduction.
In the spirit of the community, we have a wonderful story from residents Kevin and Annie Lowry of a bad day made right by police chief George Hesse. Apparently, Annie painted a portrait of Tristan Visitacion (our saxophone genius) against a sunset seascape, and the painting was lost in transit from the ferry to their home. Chief Hesse took the time out of his policing to do some good community sleuthing, pulling security footage from all over town until they found the painting fallen off the wagon at Houser’s, almost doomed to Lobster Special garbage. Annie and Kevin managed to retrieve this little gem of Ocean Beach artwork completely unscathed. When the Lowry’s sent this story to the paper, they made note that Ocean Beach is an “underestimated artist community” with “a trove of talented painters, sculptors, musicians and photographers living in our midst.” This is incredibly important to take note of and celebrate. Ocean Beach is a haven for those that have who are working professionals, but still need an outlet for the creative side of their nature. Sending a big thanks to all of the creative hearts in our community.
In a similar vein, Minkie McKevitt and Judy Schwarz just sent their grandchildren, Philippa McKevitt and Penelope Schwarz-Madrid, to Shakespeare “Riotous Youth” camp in Lenox, MA. They would like to share how important it is to nourish children’s imaginations so that our community’s long-standing artistic legacy is sustained. As Einstein once wrote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Email Samantha with all your Ocean Beach news and happenings at firstname.lastname@example.org.