Saltaire Summery

Saltaire Summery
By Hugh O’Brien

Okay, with August fast upon us, we must discuss the prologue before we review the past.

The big doings afoot is of course the Music & Art Festival, this Saturday, Aug. 1, starting at 10 a.m., with the Broadway Fair portion of the proceedings. From the SCAA’s poster: “Artisanal Vendors joined by local children selling arts, crafts, and jewelry. Live music. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Broadway at the Bay.” I really do have to find out where this word “artisanal” came from. An improvement at least over the guy who once boasted of his “artesian” crafts, though I guess digging a well might qualify. Anyway, head for the nexus of Bay and Broadway and follow the crafts.

Art Activities overlap the Fair at the appropriately named Art Shed, from 11:30-1:30 p.m., while from 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m., the charming Claremont String Quartet will play at the gazebo. After a breather, it’s all aboard for Captain Al’s Watermelon Party at the Playground and Art Shed complex, 3-4 p.m.; in the words of the poster, “Live music, dancing and watermelon for all ages.” With luck, this assurance will forestall the always-regrettable sight of grown-ups shoving hapless children out of the way as they stampede for the few meager bits of melon on offer. Saltaire? Free food? An assumed risk.

Saving the best for last, the Bayfront Picnic and Fireworks, from soup to nuts and 6 to 9 p.m. “Fill your wagon with a picnic dinner, or just come down to listen to live music, dance, and watch the sunset.” Or watch the sun set, depending on your preference for the active or passive approach. The fireworks begin, providentially, after dark, which history dictates, is generally the best time to view those things.

GOOOAAAL! Ralph Perlberger’s annual Soccer Tourney kicks off Aug. 8 and 9; registration at the field on Saturday, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., teams posted at 10 a.m., play at 11 a.m. Just got the scoop from RP himself at the field, where he’s busy as usual succoring soccer players of all ages and great skills.

And then: the Jogathon, or as it’s known in Fair Harbor, le Jogathon. Registration is on Saturday, Aug. 15, between 9 a.m. and noon at the gazebo; Sunday, Aug. 16, the Jogathon proper, if there is such a thing as a proper Jogathon, starting at 9 a.m., at that selfsame gazebo.

A trio of major events the past fortnight highlighted the latter days of July. On July 17, the Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross Bay Swim not only boasted 97 swimmers and an untold number of accompanying kayakers, but a Saltairian set the all-time crossing record! Morgan Wolfe did the 5-plus miles in a mere 1:43:16.86 (approximately), fastest ever. And as everyone adds – Morgan’s only 16. Gee, just imagine how fast he’ll do it when he’s 70. Not to mention the gaggle of Saltaire ‘guards and civvies who dove in and did well. See the complete results at www.greatsouthbayswim.com.

On the 18th, the SVFC’s annual parade got off to an almost perfect start, just 15 minutes late – the holdup being the weather, not the readiness or sobriety of the marchers. Defying the ancient maxim that the sun always shines on the Fire Department parade, the preceding wee hours saw a sudden torrential downpour, bookended by several tiny, moderately soaking downpours, that for a time looked to call off the key part of the event altogether. But as the weather radar promised, the clouds broke, the sun emerged, and a bare quarter of an hour behind schedule the procession was in the process of proceeding.

These days the parade serves the dual purpose of reassuring all and sundry that the new boardwalks are so well constructed that never again will any force of nature dislodge them from the poles or tear poles from our lodges. Okay, just two walks, but they’re all built to the same sturdy standards. After the stomping, new, and yet improved, hot dogs were served to the multitudes: grilled, not boiled. At long last! We ordered 600 and they were all snapped up. And with only one bag of rolls, too, remarkably. A few latecomers were actually seen scooping up sauerkraut onto one of the remaining napkins and eating it straight. Like I said, the two most hazardous words spoken in Saltaire: “Food! Free!”

Last Saturday the House & Garden Tour (H&G) went into overdrive with another hugely successful excursion through the diamond-in-the-dune patches of the village. SCAA Chair Grace Corradino and her predecessor Pat Hennessey manned the booth assisting the unruly mob of ticket-holders assembled outside St. Andrews, an uncharacteristically aggressive sight for this site, but in due course everyone was accommodated and some 140 souls trekked their due courses to the showcases opened for the tour by their owners. You’d think we’d have run out of houses by now but the H&G just keeps getting bigger and better, which at least means we won’t have to resort to showing people the lifeguard shack or the former incinerator any time soon.

Now, you may have heard some vague rumors concerning this “market” thing, it’s been discussed here and there the past few years, that thing? Anyway, Trustee Frank Wolf, who apparently scouts every obscure global news outlet available, sent round the following article from the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, a local gazette in Yorkshire, England. The headline reads, “Sainsbury’s withdraws plans for Saltaire store,” accompanied by photos of rather chilly-looking protestors bundled in Britain holding signs reading, “Saltaire says NO to Sainsbury’s Local.”

Now for those amongst the readership unfamiliar with anything beyond the DagBag, Sainsbury’s is a supermarket chain in the UK, and Saltaire, after which our beloved burg is named, is, for some reason, a World Heritage Village located in a corner of the city of Bradford. (They even have a Broadway.) Sainsbury’s proposed a “scheme” (plan in Britain, sans the nefarious undertones the word carries here) to build the village’s first true supermarket on the site of its lone car wash, but local merchants fearful of being undersold banded together and halted the project.

Okay, Sainbury’s. Looking to open up a new market in a really new market, and I don’t mean in Newmarket? How about a “scheme” to open your first overpriced outlet in the States? We have the acreage, we have a Broadway, we want a store and we don’t wash our cars out here unless we accidentally drive them into the ocean. Just go easy on stocking the blood pudding and Marmite and the place is yours for 99 years. Hey, we can always scheme with Tesco’s, you know.

Saltaire news nuggets? Email Hugh at saltaire@fireisland-news.com.

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