Rose’s View – Fire Island Pines
By Robert Levine
Invasion: It was thrilling to be in the Pines watching the pre-show with the talented Broadway star T. Oliver Reed as MC and enjoying Porsche entertaining and displaying her extraordinary talents to an audience of at least 5,000 people hanging over the rafters above the harbor along with overflowing boats, people screaming, whistles tooting, eyelashes winking, feather boas flying, high heels clicking, boardwalks busy and drinks a flowing. What a day this has been. The sun was beating down and the energy was high. Ariodne Villarreal, with Randy Wilson as host and coordinator, introduced the pre-show. The VIP section included Dr. Ed Schulhafer, Jay Pagano, Mark Forte, Cherry Grove President Diane Romano, Patricia Goef, Rose Levine and Karen Boss.
Introduced by T. Oliver was Tony Award winners Jerry Mitchell and Billy Porter who were sitting up front in the crowd. The pre-show was short but very entertaining. Rose Levine and Company sang a medley from Cherry Grove’s “Cherry à la Mode.” Nicole Lafountaine sang “The Star Spangled Banner” as the ferry was arriving with a bevy of 300 bevy beauties waiting desperately to invade the Pines with spectacular style and with only one take. It was bigger than “Priscilla, Queen of The Desert.”
Panzi, Rose Levine and Lynn Hutton are the three surviving members from the original 15 invaders in 1976. Only Panzi and Rose were on hand to keep this tradition going. Panzi introduced each invader as they disembarked the ferry. She kept the flow at an interesting and fast pace. There were many fabulous, fantastic, original and brilliant costumes among the singles and groups. Thanks to PJ McAteer who was so generous to give all the “drags” complimentary drinks at all the open bars.
The 2016 Annual Pines Installation Firemen’s Dinner was held at Whyte Hall. At least 100 people attended in their full dress uniform or formal wear. Billy Carroll catered the dinner. Walter Boss was awarded the Fireman of the Year. A tribute was made to three long time members who we lost this past year: Ann Gentile, Joyce Reich and Brian Candreva. It was an elegant super-duper evening. The Pines Fire Department recently elected Michael Greenberg as president. The Annual Pines Firefighter Barbecue was another successful day held at the Fire House in beautiful downtown Fire Island Pines. It was an open invitation to everyone, and everyone was there. There were stations set up where hamburgers and franks were being barbecued. In addition salads, beer, soft drinks, and ice cream completed the luncheon. The firefighters were the chefs or hosts. Raffles were donated by many of the FIP businesses. In the crowd were CGFD Chief Steve Williams, Chaplin Kurt Gahan, and President of the FIPFD Arthur Cohen.
Mitch Circa, who spends a few weeks each summer in the Pines, after spending a week at Belvedere, had his annual famous luncheon that consisted of luncheon platters and many of his home baked delicious cakes. At least 40 people attended. Among those from the Pines were Jay Pagano, Mark Forte, Lila Swell, Larry Tallamy, Jerry Gaschen, and Randy Smith. From the Grove were Jack Quinn, Curtis Strohl, Gloria Ben Hazi, Michael Fitzgerald and yours truly.
Jack Nolan, who spends his time between Miami Beach and FIP, spent 10 days here attending the Invasion, the Fire Department Barbecue and many other events. He just returned from a vacation in Capri, Barcelona and Rotterdam. Laura Hartstein had an emergency health scare; she is doing better.
Jim Webb and Jim Keys of The Pines Bluff had their annual Fourth of July Holiday Barbecue luncheon. At least 40 people were in attendance including John and Ellen Feldman Putnam, Roy and Peter, Tony LaRocca and Bill Moore, Lise and Richard Zinn, among others.
Enjoying the good Pines lifestyle are Roland Lee, Joseph Messina, Albert Lapage, Andre Almeida, Robyn Bird, MSNBC Correspondent Laura Haim, Hal Hayes, Irene and Henry Mueller, Ron Martin, Scott Bromley, Tony Impavido, Gil Neary and Scott Riedel.
Michael and I attended the 50th Anniversary Tea Dance at Blue Whale last Saturday night where we met Walter Cartier and Glen McCoy. We also had a nice chat with PJ McAteer.
Michael De Falco and Bill Matthews have been having guests galore at their beautiful new oceanfront home. Newlyweds Kathi Bowler and Barb Cassins from Chicago, Gary Gaurino and Jeffrey Bateman from New Hope, Sam Sassano and Tom Mosher from Cape May, Michael Borruso and husband Donald McGuinley from New York, Ken Farley and David Hagerman from Princeton, and Scott Ulrich from Piscataway, NJ.
Years ago Michael and Bill, Lila Swell, Mark Ricigliano, Jim VanderNoth and Bobby Michel were among the original group who began a private gourmet progressive dinner in the Pines. They meet once a month at a different host house for the main course and they rotate for other courses during the evening. Last Saturday Michael and Bill hosted the main course and invited Michael Fitzgerald and me. We all went for dessert to Bobby Michel’s house. We had very busy, super evening.
Lambda Legal had their wonderful annual luncheon/pool party fundraiser in the Pines. The hosts were Todd Sears, Chris Garvin, Eric Baker, Bill Kopler, Keith Headley, and Hirsch Eddie Odwell. It was very well attended: Dan Cochran, Greg Sutphin, Chris Coad, Kevin Kowalski, Tony LaRocco, and Bill Moore were just a few attendees I spoke to.
Our condolences to Bobby Michel on the loss of his partner Dr. Frank Resillez. They had been together 42 years, lived in Cherry Grove from 1976-1990, and bought their house in the Pines in 1991. Frank lived in Coral Gables during the winter, where he died. Together they enjoyed all the social and cultural events in the Pines.