By Robert Levine
Happy Season 2017
We are back in the Pines getting our house ready for the summer. We find out that the ice maker doesn’t work; a mouse ate through a wire, now the electrician has to come – but he missed the boat twice. We decide to buy a new patio dining set; the pool man comes and tells you that you need a new liner. The cell phone doesn’t work. The WiFi internet service needs to be restored. There is a water leak in the guest room. We are starting a dinner on the barbeque, find that it too doesn’t work, so now we decide to replace it. We are waiting for all these service people to come and fix the problems. Then we’re invited to a dinner party, or go to low-tea or high-tea and think of what will happen during the season and we forget all our problems, and we are looking forward to a great summer.
We welcome back Tony LaRocco and Bill Moore, Nicholas Politis and Richard DesJardins, Eddie Schwartz and Russell Vance, Howard Goldfarb and Ron Chereskin, and you, and you, and you.
Jerry Mitchell, Tony Award-winner, director and choreographer of many Broadway hits including “Hairspray,” “Kinky Boots,” “Legally Blond” and “On Your Feet” is relaxing at his home in the Pines for the next few weeks before he begins heavy-duty rehearsals with Jennifer Lopez for the upcoming TV production of “Bye Bye Birdie,” which will air live on NBC on Dec. 6. Jerry is the original producer and director of “Broadway Bears,” which will be back in the Pines on June 3, at 7 and 9 p.m., with an all-star Broadway cast. Tickets are available at FIPAP.org. The New York Company of Broadway Bears will also be presenting on June 18 at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
Sage is having their 25th annual fundraiser on June 3, from 4-6 p.m., at the home of Dr. Ed Schulhafer and Crayton Robey at 225 Bay Walk. This year Barbara Sahlman will be receiving the Icon-Award and Randy Wilson will be receiving the Doris Taussig Award for all his work and dedication to this community. All past honorees will be acknowledged and introduced. Kevin Stec is the special events director for Sage. Tickets are available for purchase through sageusa.org, or at the door.
Richard Jada had his 60th birthday celebration on Cinco de Mayo. In attendance were Gary Lipps and Paul Zbikowski arriving from Southampton, Joe and his partner were present from Los Angeles (first time in the Pines), John Gilbert and Francisco arrived from Sail Walk, as well as others.
Gil Neary and Scott Riedel kicked off the official party season in the Pines to celebrate Gil’s 60th birthday on April 29. At least 200 people were in attendance including Robin Byrd, Jeffrey McLean, Ray Starr and many others. Thom Ford and his partner Prescott were the
DJs. John Quinn was bartender. Lots of food and drinks were available till dawn. Gil and Scott always entertain in New York on major holidays, such as Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. We always enjoy attending.
I received a telephone call from Laura Hiam, a foreign correspondent who lives in the Pines, Washington, DC and Paris. She was covering the recent election of Emanuel Macron – the new president of France. We hope to see her back in the Pines shortly.
In September, after the Fire Island News ended its season, Michael and I attended a birthday celebration for Lila Swell, which she hosted at her house for 30 people; everyone was instructed to wear white. White tables and chairs were set up poolside. The food was catered and the whole party was very elegant.
We cannot forget Thanksgiving Dinner at Barbara Sahlman’s New York residence. In attendance were Barbara’s family and some of her friends from the Pines.
We also attended the annual Christmas party given by Michael DeFalco and Bill Matthews at their home in New Jersey.
The Pines has a progressive dinner that began at least 15 years ago, created by Bob Michel, Michael and Bill, Jim Vandernoth and Mark Ricigliano. They already had two dinners this season.
Sip ‘n Twirl had its annual Halloween party last October. I was not there in person, but Jeff Hall came dressed as the Bob Levine columnist, all dressed up with scarf and glasses.
Kent Dillon, who lived with Jack Schlegel for over 30 years on Fire Island Boulevard, moved to another house. Jack decided not to return to the Pines. We will certainly miss him. Kent has just taken on the job of assistant post master of the Pines. Kent is still one of our drivers for the mobility cart. A new mobility cart, The Sage-Kent Cart, has just arrived in the Pines donated by many Pines residents and Sage. A big Thank You to all!
On May 28 the Pines Care Center will have its annual Welcome-to-the-Pines-Party at Whyte Hall, from 5-7 p.m.
On June 11 the FIPAP will present the first concert of the Unplugged Series, Maria by the Sea, with a string quartet, at 2 p.m.. Seating is limited . For details, visit FIPAP.org
Joshua Brooks, at only 36 years old, died recently. He worked for PJ McAteer at Sip ‘n Twirl for many years. We will miss his smiley and friendly greeting.
Ed Carlin, the past treasurer of FIPPOA for many years, prior to moving to Florida.
Maya Helles, just short of her 100th birthday. She owned a house in the Pines for many years. She was a ballerina in her youth and was fortunate to keep her youthful and energetic drive for her entire life. She was married in the 60s for at least 20 years to Gabe Levinson, a writer for Fire Island News at that time.
Mildred Matthews, mother of Bill Matthews and mother-in-law of Michael DeFalco. She visited the Pines and knew many friends in our community.