By Hugh O’Brien
Well, the Fourth of July is behind us now, or will be by the time this paper hits the stands and fans. Dealing with a Fourth that falls in the middle of the week has its advantages, mainly giving everyone a long, and in some instances lost, weekend, but it can be a complicating factor in other ways. Newspaper deadlines, for example: ours is high noon on July 2, leaving half that day plus the next two unaccounted for until the following issue in mid-month. And this’ll only get worse in the coming years. Next year the Fourth lands squarely in midweek, on a Wednesday, which will really confuse weekend getaways, and in 2019 it’ll be on a Thursday. With 2020 a leap year, it’ll be 2025 before Independence Day falls adjacent to a weekend (a Friday), as the Founders intended, though it’ll be on a Monday as early as 2022, which is good too. The holiday may be shorter then but at least it’ll be less confusing, and make our columnists’ jobs, if not easier, a mite more current. Meanwhile, I heard the first fireworks in the initial wee hours of July 1, so unless it was a bunch of rogue Canadians celebrating the 150th anniversary of their independence, one can assume the local militia are off and running in anticipation of the explosions due on the Fourth proper.
This being the situation, we’d better start by noting some of the cool stuff looming up in the weeks beyond. First of these is the Fire Company Parade, which is coming earlier and on a different day than usual – Sunday, July 16, beginning at noon. This year there’s a new band, more varied food and more community involvement, maybe a slightly different parade route (but regardless we’ll find out just how sturdy the newly-boardwalked Bay Prom really is), and besides we figured it was high time we held the thing closer to the Fourth, so marking the 72nd anniversary of the first atomic bomb at Alamogordo seemed as appropriate a date as any. But this really does look to be the best event in a long time, it’s after church and probably after the ball game, so come line the route to cheer the passing firefighters and EMTs who do so much to make the village safe, and the passing board of trustees who do so much to make sure someone pays for their equipment, then join us for more-than-passable music and foodstuffs at the firehouse afterward.
Farther down the road apiece, the SCA’s House & Garden Tour is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 22. Tickets ($25) are on sale now at the homes of Grace Corradino (207 Anchor), Pat Hennessey (104 Marine) or Carol Cappelletti (100 Navy), or on the Market deck July 8, 9, 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to noon. You can also buy tickets when the tour starts outside Our Lady Star of the Sea but it’ll run you $30 “at the door,” which is weird because there’s no door on Lighthouse Prom, at least until we build one as a “calming measure” for the traffic flow. Meantime, congratulations to Julia Bovey, who succeeded SCA veteran, and former chair, Clare Briody, on the SCA board when Clare’s term expired this month, while the rest of the board stays on. And the new 2017-2018 SCA directories are out and available to members. The covers may be the best yet (from the 1913 Fire Island Beach Development Corporation brochure selling land to the local rubes), but it’s unfortunate that while a page of general information is still included, long-standing pages with important information on fire and medical safety, refuse collection, evacuation procedures and basic rules and regulations have all been dropped from this edition. Hopefully this useful info will be back in the next directory, but it’s in the older editions, which everybody keeps anyway.
By way of civic-mindedness, please set aside Saturday, July 29, for a pleasant ride along the bay to sample the pleasures of the wicked city of Ocean Beach, and, not incidentally, attend the annual meeting of the Fire Island Association that day. This year FIA has scheduled its meeting for the afternoon, starting at 1 p.m. at the OB Community House, with the added lure of refreshments, or as they’re known in islandwide dog-whistle parlance, Free Food! And for dessert there’ll be some important speakers who’ll talk about our beach restoration prospects and other critical issues that will affect your home on Fire Island. The water taxi’s free too, so the only thing you have to spend is a little time to find out about your future. This is important. Okay. Now back to the holiday weekend, or the first half. Two recent traditions were huge successes last Saturday: the beach bonfire, held in the evening so you could see it to best advantage, and the SVFC’s Ice Cream Social, held in the afternoon so it would melt quicker. The ICS sold out (it was free too, but we like to say “sold”) practically before it was scheduled to start, beating even last year’s record. And, acting on the principle that every summer we run out of chocolate, we ran out of chocolate.
Which brings us as up-to-date as deadline permits. There’s much more to come this weekend, the beginning of camp, the field games, parties and the like, but for me they haven’t happened yet and for you they’ll be old news. So, we hope you enjoyed it all, and trust that nothing much happened over the rest of the Fourth. Oh, damn, the siren’s sounding that tsunami alert again. Ahh, I’m sure it’s nothing.
Eugenie Meluso vainly hawks the virtues of vanilla to a group of chocolate fans at the Fire Company’s Ice Cream Social. (Photo by Catherine O’Brien)