By Hugh O’Brien
I can’t beat Mario’s heartfelt greeting in last weekend’s email from the Village, the one about those “hordes of people arriving on the shores of Saltaire driving us crazy…oh wait, that’s you guys… um I mean, we’re so happy you’re finally here to get the summer rolling,” so we’ll simply say, “Hmm,” and move on. Camp’s opened under the stellar auspices of our own Keith Miller, an experienced hand at such things. Keith, the office staff and Recreation Trustee Hillary Richard have been earning their pay preparing a varied and terrific program. (Well, all save the unpaid Trustee Richard, who in lieu of cash gets a blue ribbon as consolation since these days, by generational edict, everybody’s a winner!) There’s still time to enroll your children so they don’t miss out. Meantime those looking for s’more fun ventured up to Saturday night’s ocean bonfire, celebrating the forthcoming Fourth with, of course, s’mores, the selfsame foodstuff that kept the Continental Army from starvation at Valley Forge and won the Revolution. This party’s become a hallowed community tradition, like paying taxes, and there’s nothing as gratifying as seeing public officials like the mayor, head of maintenance and chief of Public Safety performing overt physical labor setting up and dismantling the equipment in an effort to mitigate a modern taxpayer’s revolt over the skyrocketing cost of s’mores.
As mentioned previously, given the Wednesday scheduling of Independence Day (no, not the kids’ movie), this year you get to prolong the ecstasy of the holiday for seven or eight days, maybe more, depending on how lenient your boss is in honoring your request about attending your six grandmothers’ funerals this week. So for a lot of folks this has evolved from the typical three-day weekend to a nine-day (or maybe 10 or 11) event, and the weather couldn’t be more cooperative, provided you ignore the heat advisories from those climate-change Commie scaremongers in Suffolk County. This Saturday, July 7, marks the annual Fire Company parade, with the Bay Shore Fire Department marching band clearing the way for a defile of trustees, trucks and trumpets, wherein you might just get a glimpse of our new pumper and our new ambulance, provided that one’s back from the shop. (To complete its outfitting – it hasn’t broken down. Yet.) Things step off smartly, or at any rate off, at noon precisely, and after wending its way through the formerly quiet streets of the village, the procession returns to home base, where hot dogs, cold drinks and warm music will prevail. Early this year, I know, but that’s the day the band could make it, and we’re slaves to their art. (Remember Art Gum and his Rubber Band?)
The SCA held its annual meeting on June 23, and received a number of worthwhile suggestions to take up and work on. The group’s next event is the House & Garden Tour, Saturday, July 21, starting at 10 a.m. Visit the association’s website for full details and ticket information; hopefully signs advertising this always-jam-packed shindig also will go up shortly around town. By the by, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the former SCAA’s founding; some sort of honorific seems in order, no? Maybe have August’s fireworks explode the sky-borne salutation, “Happy Half-Century, SCA!”
The Post Office opening on June 21 was accompanied by a literal avalanche of packages inundating the place. (And you ask why the Amazon boxes were smiling.) Postmistress Liv Hempel found herself so blockaded that there were momentary fears we’d have to thread a feeding tube through the mail slot, but thanks to some judicious muscle and back-breaking phone calls the office was eventually rendered accessible and the cartons began emptying out. Of course, there’s no way this system could possibly be improved, so welcome to the 21st-century version of going postal.
Meanwhile, to ignite the holiday spirit we kicked off with the organizational meeting of the Board of Trustees, an annual event that drew more than its usual share of enthusiasts. The big deal was the climactic vote on rebuilding Lighthouse Prom in wood or concrete, the former prevailing by a 3-2 vote. At least and at last the issue’s been put to bed, if not to sleep, and one suspects wood’s opponents and proponents will find it neither the Calvary feared by the first nor the Nirvana anticipated by the second.