By Hugh O’Brien
Hey, what’s with the hot, sunny weather all of a sudden? You’d think it was summer already, which it will be when you see this, but it isn’t when I write it, in the dwindling days of spring, which was more like fall, which was really an extended winter. Well, you know how it is, sometimes I feel the urge to return to my training as a meteorologist, but with the scarcity of meteors around this place talking about the weather will have to suffice. Anyway, if last week’s perfect days and nights set the norm, beach days seem finally to be here, so get out and enjoy! But first, read this.
There’s one bit of civic business coming this weekend, the annual members’ meeting of the SCA, Saturday, June 23, at 11 a.m. at the firehouse meeting room. Chair Grace Corradino and company will set forth the organization’s recent works and plans for the impending season (the first of the calendared items is the House & Garden Tour a month from now), and there’ll be questions, election of directors and other fare. Leaping a bit ahead, but just to implant a subliminal reminder, the fire department parade will be held early this year, on Saturday, July 7. With the Fourth of July very conveniently landing on a Wednesday this year, it’s either a 10-day extended holiday or a badly interrupted week, but we here in Saltaire will stretch the celebrations over two weekends, beginning with the next Board of Trustees meeting on June 30. The celebration in that case is when it ends.
Strictly speaking this isn’t a Saltaire subject, but many of you belong to the Fire Island Association and know how important a role it’s played in helping corral cooperation among local, state and federal officials (a.k.a., “the feds,” as in, “Beat it, Manafort, it’s the feds!”) in getting support to rebuild the island’s beaches and infrastructure after Hurricane Sandy, with the long-longed-for FIMP project tantalizingly over the horizon. That and a couple of dozen other issues confront the FIA every day, and the association’s been fortunate to have had some superb leaders helming its affairs down the decades. Recently, the present president, Suzy Goldhirsch, had two bikes stolen from her deck in Seaview (thereby belying Saltarians’ belief that all bicycle theft originate either in Rome – apologies to Roberto Rossellini – or Kismet – apologies to the KCA), including her beloved, vintage, purple job. So at this week’s monthly FIA meeting we plan to give Suzy a new cycle to replace her swiped one. It’s lavender instead of purple, a reasonable facsimile of her old but discontinued model, equipped with a handlebar-cam to deter future robbers, and, fittingly, a veritable steal at its price. The bike will be delivered directly to the island but the ceremonial presentation will take place at the midweek meeting, when Karen Kee of Ocean Bay Park presents Suzy with a new lock symbolizing our hope that she uses it so we don’t have to buy her another bicycle. Now none of this has yet occurred as I write, but will have by publication time, so I can confidently report that Suzy will be/was surprised and delighted, will thank/ thanked everyone for their munificence/generosity, and will promise/put in writing a notarized guarantee that she’ll ride it in safety and good health for many years while she pursues “the real thieves.” It’s a small thank-you to a woman who devotes so much time to the security and preservation of this island, and a reminder of how much all communities have in common, and at stake.
In Security, or Public Safety as we un-tongue-trippingly call it these days, we take a moment to list this year’s members of the department, the people who patrol the streets, keep the peace, greet the ferries, maintain a semblance of order and drive us to and from the dock 157 times a day: Chief Bob Rittenhouse, Chris Degni, Anthony Campos, Dan Coyle, Ryan Coyle, Jim Wilde Sr., Charlie Fagan, Anna Kahler, Elizabeth Zaccaro, Ruben Martinez, Robert Benes and Felix Ramos. Among the finest.
I was trying to get a lead on some upcoming events by consulting the public bulletin boards but found instead lots of outdated notices posted all over town, advertising events, meetings and schedules long since come and gone. I was told the keys had been lost (this is true) but I knew the trouble ran deeper because the open board at the top of the stairs outside the Village Office was similarly jammed with past advisories. A couple were signed by Fred Bensen and Lenny McGahey. Heck, even the thumbtacks used are no longer manufactured. But the doctor’s in, softball’s afield, the market’s busy, the P.O. almost so, camp pre-registration’s underway for those who wish to register before they register, and summer’s unfolding as summer should. Still, a good sweep of the boards seems in order.
On the topic of order, the Yacht Club is just about in full swing, people ordering food and drink while sailing voyages onward and tennis is, well, in that full-swing mode. Oh, per inquiries, Classic Movie Night will start June 28 due to dinners and other conflicts on the scheduled date of June 21. Several of the regulars will be away that week so I promised Steve Trentacoste I’d show something lousy the first night. (Psst – I won’t.) But last evening at the Club I ran into esteemed former Mayor Scott Rosenblum and his more-esteemed wife Barbara and found they were dining on one of the kitchen’s premier specialties, roast grouper. Since this menu item is now public information it can be openly acknowledged that the Club has been working in close cooperation with the Village in helping enforce the confidential penalty phase of the community’s rental laws. As you can see, we can be really, really merciless where it matters.