Saltaire Summery

By Hugh O’Brien

You know it’s going to be a long season when here we are, four weeks after Memorial Day, and it’s still barely past the middle of June. But as always that means two things.

First, summer proper is fast approaching, so we can slowly begin imparting some tips about onrushing events.

Second, as of this weekend, the days start getting…shorter! The sun is about to halt its seemingly inexorable progress toward the North Pole, reverse course and move steadily southward until our next stop, December, when it’s setting way out over the ocean instead of way over into some slot in West Babylon. Of course, “scientists” claim this is all an optical illusion, that the sun never sets (especially on the British Empire, proof of how out-of-date they are) it’s that the Earth is simply “revolving” as it “orbits” its “star” and turns away from it. Luckily, I rely on the solid science of Senator Inhofe and the experts on Fox News, debunking both the myth of climate change with incontestably cold snowballs on the Senate floor, as well as the kooky claim that the sun doesn’t go around the Earth by pointing out that the sun is visibly setting over the flat horizon. So enjoy the summer, and never mind all that talk of sea level rise. It couldn’t possibly affect us here, standing on demonstrably dry sand.

Anyway, here are some upcoming events to mark on your household Saltaire calendar, as things finally start to hum.

On the SCAA front, the org will hold its annual members’ meeting on Saturday, June 27, beginning at 11 a.m., in the firehouse meeting room. Reports on the group’s activities, and elections for new officers, will be among the items to be itemized, under the chairmanship of Pat Hennessey. After that it’s a month before the SCAA’s first non-sedentary event, the venerable H&G — House & Garden Tour to you all, set for Saturday, July 25 (rain date, Sunday, July 26). While it may seem a touch early to be gabbing about gardens, note that tickets go on sale beginning July 4, bargain-priced at $20. After July 19, the price shoots up like sprouts in a Saltaire garden to $30. We’ll hold off on telling you where to buy the tickets to give the volunteers selling them a couple more weeks of P&Q. Peace and quiet, that is. Of course, that information is already up on the SCAA website and village bulletin boards, but we feel Pat (104 Marine) and Grace Corradino (207 Anchor) deserve to enjoy their privacy a while longer.

On the civic front, so popular are those nighttime board of trustees meetings at the luxurious Roosevelt Hotel on chilly winter Manhattan eves that we felt a summer variation was called for, so the next meeting of the BOT will be held Friday evening, July 3, at 6 p.m., at either the firehouse or library. Hey, the weather is warmer, the weekend is spared for recreational activity, and the floors are a great deal cleaner.

Camp, meanwhile, aegised by Ted & Jen Nagengast, starts Monday July 6, preceded by the Fourth of July games at the field. Registration forms for camp may be had at the Village website (saltaire.org) or at the Village Office. We used to say “pre-register” but that violated the spirit of the camp’s remedial reading program. “Aegised,” on the other hand, is a perfectly cromulent word.

Oh, and the post office opened up this week, Thursday, June 18, staffed as usual by postmistresses Liv Hempel and Alice Whitlatch, alternating three days on, three off, and barring the introduction of Sharia law, no service Sundays. Liv, by the way, was just feted by her colleagues in the fire company on the occasion of her recent birthday. Besides her long-standing services to the SVFC as firefighter, secretary and treasurer, Liv has also served the community as a three-term trustee, as an SCAA board member who still manages the compilation of the annual directory, village court clerk, and in various year-rounder capacities. Most recently, Liv was elected Treasurer of the Fire Island Association. So as you may deduce there’s generally a high level of confidence in her competence in many quarters, so a small acknowledgement of her contributions does seem fittingly fitting.

Speaking of the Fire Co., its third annual Ice Cream Social will drip into town on — most appropriately — the Fourth of July, from 2-4 p.m., at the firehouse, free to all. A nice go-with for all the activities that weekend, including a village-sponsored bonfire that evening off Broadway (off-Broadway as a tryout for a larger conflagration?), fire protection courtesy the sticky-fingered if ever-conscientious members of the SVFC.

Now, as most of you basically know, the Saltaire Yacht Club was opened in 1912, and over the course of the intervening century has expanded its size, its attractions, its services and its prices. In recent years, plans have been bruited back and forth under not always salubrious circumstances for the redesign and reconstruction of the place and barring some sleeping policeman lying figuratively astride the path of progress, the idea is for the SYC to begin its journey to the next structural plane this fall. Which means that this summer of 2015 will likely be your last chance to wine and dine in the same old clime before reconfiguration sets in. Of course, the place has been open weekends the past month, Mellie overseeing the bar Fridays and Saturdays, the inevitable pong of tennis balls resounding from the courts, and occasional extras like Pat Briody running the joint’s gambling during the Belmont.

But now the seven-days-a-week season is upon us. No escape! Tennis camp will occupy four days, June 22-25. (I like the way the website’s calendar puts it: “Tennis Camp – Day 1. Tennis Camp – Day 2” and so on, like the countdown to an impending apocalypse in a Bruce Willis movie.) Speaking of which, Classic Movie night is slated to begin mid-June, with kids’ movie night to follow, Tuesday July 7. The restaurant and bar open full-time Friday, June 26, and first barbecue night is the following Friday, July 3 – bring a plate to the trustees’ meeting. Sailing registration, meantime, takes place on the weekend of the 27-28, with the first races the following weekend. And this, as they say, is only the beginning, which we know the staff has been so looking forward to.

News tips for the Saltaire column? Contact Hugh at saltaire@fireisland-news.com.

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