By Hugh O’Brien
The heat and humidity finally broke to tolerable levels, and that golden autumnal hue [sic] has appeared, both divine signs telling us summer’s sadly winding down and it’s time for us to do likewise. Of course, we’ll linger a while through much of the fall, but by October most folks will be AWOL from this barrier isle, coddled snugly in climes from the city to the South. Right now we have the usual run-down of the countdowns to closure. First, however, we’ve saved the saddest task for last, a remembrance of friends who’ve passed away since last September.
In recent years considerations of space have only allowed a brief mention of lost neighbors; terribly enough, this year their number is unacceptably high and the allotted space even briefer. But perhaps we don’t really need to say much about the people whose names follow. We knew them, cherished them, honored them, loved them; nothing better could be said aloud about each that we don’t feel and know better in our own hearts and souls and memories. So what ensues is no mere list, but a recollection of Saltairians dear to our hearts, fondly remembered, always loved and forever to be missed….
Elizabeth Starkey, Espy Driscoll, Peter Hann, Halee Baldwin, Frances Wood, Stanley Sklar, Leslie Preston, Ethel Lipsitz, Bob Schallop, Elisabeth Elkind, Carl Rentrop, Dorothy Perlstein, Ralph Fink, Harding Lemay, Lauraine Schallop, David Erlij, Martin Semel, Jim Musa. Until we meet again.
Okay. Pancake Breakfast, this Sunday, 8 to 11-ish; P.O. closes Sept. 4, Dr. Bob Sept. 15, the Market mid- October; Saturday carting ends Sept. 8, Mondays-only refuse starts Sept. 10; the SYC’s open weekends in September; Fall Festival Oct. 6 at 11:30. Administrator Posillico (his secret surname) will keep you apprised of events all winter long via Mario-mails, some of the best and most informative reading you’ll ever, um, read. He’s also selling Nigerian kingdoms, so like we say about 14 Bay Prom, get in on the ground floor.
On a historical note, Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of when they tore down the old water tower – Sept. 2, 1968. Wow. Seems like only yesterday the thing nearly hit me.
Ralph Perlberger has supplied the finals of his annual soccer tourney, so rather than attempting to gild the lily, since I’m not a member of the lily-gilding guild and Ralph insists on going Dutch and paying me off in Guilders, here’s his report, guiltlessly ungilded: “The 20th Annual Perlberger Cup was the best yet, in spite of storm forecast for the entire weekend. Sixty-one players, a record number, fielded six strong teams. One game, ending in penalty shootouts, had to go nine rounds. Grey team defeated Red team in close final. Teams and results are posted on Soccer Bulletin Board. MVP went to goalkeeper Connor Mc- Grath. Long distance honors went to the Petscheks from London. Kudos to Keith Miller, Don Taffner, Mario, Vern, referees Alex Chefetz, Lule, Keith, and all the great players.” I did have to convert the numbers into proper newspaper style, but otherwise left the report as received, even retaining Ralph’s Anglophilic spelling of the word “gray,” which I thought brought a welcome level of faux-sophistication to the proceedings (though I note he still spelled “honors” without the Brits’ superfluous “u”). Of course, it was used as a proper name, so “Grey” may be technically permissible without penalty, as with “Earl” and “Poupon.”
Sunday marked the annual running of the Gibbs Family Reunion, formally (if not yet formerly) known as the 41st Jogathon. Over the years we’ve become accustomed to seeing certain families, even to second and third generations, entering, dominating, and often winning, the race. Names like Gonzalez, Mann, Sosa and others keep reappearing year after year, decade after decade, one generation passing the other, usually at the corner of Neptune and Harbor. Anyway, after weeks of hot weather the runners lucked out, jogging ‘neath a cooling cover of clouds, with a soft rain that not only forestalled heatstroke but imparted just the right amount of moisture to our boardwalks to give them that extra touch of slipperiness, sort of a variation of a water hazard in golf. Everyone came through unscathed, however, the precipitation masking the perspiration of those in participation, and that’s no prevarication. This year’s winners received not only the usual trophy – but also a prize banana, a special treat added no doubt to make the race seem even more appealing. It was a great time with lots of great times, and the most dedicated souls in their dedicated soles were spied jogging home in preparation for the next race, 52 weeks thence. Names of the winners, we trust, are posted somewhere online.
Softball! Games pitting maintenance at lifeguards, and security at recreation, were played earlier this month, and if all that intra-municipal rivalry didn’t foster the Saltaire spirit the post-game hot dogs and “soda-pop” certainly did. Playoffs of the regular teams will be held this weekend and League Commish Alex Chefetz will no doubt post the results as soon as the last bat cracks.
So that’s it. As always a few noble souls will hunker down and tend the place through the darkness of a long and isolated winter. It’ll all be here waiting when you make those first gingerly forays back next spring, and who knows what surprises may await. A new Village Hall! A new half-promenade! Hopefully a ferry! Don’t fret. Like everything else, we’ll hate it, we’ll complain about it, we’ll get used to it, and we’ll even pay for it. Kind of Saltaire’s version of the seven stages of grief, reduced to four because our season’s so short. Meantime, try kicking back with a bottle of Great South Bay Brewery’s Field 5 Ale. It just cries out “summer,” and besides, what sounds more refreshing than a beer named after a parking lot?
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