By Joey Macellaro ~ The Ocean Beach community is rising like a phoenix this summer as we work together to save lives and move forward amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Without the helping hands of our frontline workers and first responders, this renaissance could never have been possible.
“We’ve seen triple the usual amount of mail since March,” said Ocean Beach Postmaster Dale Wyckoff, whose staff has worked additional hours to serve local residents who sheltered in place. She asks that postal customers check regularly for packages, as space is very limited at the post office.
Some young members of the community have also stepped up and become a part of the solution. Nicole Scheinblum, 10, with the help of brother Zack Roesch, 21, has been producing custom-printed face coverings out of her Ocean Beach home. Her specialty is masks featuring photos the lower half of customers’ faces, which allow the wearer to be more easily recognizable. Scheinblum employs friends Gabby and Gracie Romano in conducting sidewalk sales, selling hundreds of masks a day, and offers local delivery service by bicycle and shipping across the country.
Ocean Beach artist Owen Brahe, 9, also has been doing a brisk business, creating and selling home décor formed from driftwood and shells he collects on the beach. After he and brother Tyler decided to take a break from their lemonade stand during the pandemic, Owen found a market for his unique artwork online.
“I love experimenting with different kinds of shells,” said Owen, who typically works with mussel, nautilus, and purple quahog shells, affixing them to his own driftwood plaques. Many of his customers have submitted special requests, and he’s most recently strayed away from shark and seahorse designs to incorporate roosters and owls into his work.
The Brahe family was among many others who celebrated the Fourth of July a little differently this year. Holly Etlin of the Ocean Beach Community Fund explained that her organization
worked with the Ocean Beach Association to create “Stars and Stripes on Our Streets,” a reworked home-based version of the children’s parade traditionally held every year.
The Fire Island School District is celebrating the graduation of Kailah Chenault, Noah DiDio, Amelia Holland, Chase Martin, Fallyn Moran, Kieran Ryan, and Hudson Smith from its pre-kindergarten program; and Jonathan Athing, Emma Beqaj, Kevin Crawson, Tess Lambie, Brandon Ramirez-Sanchez, and Cora Robbins from Bay Shore High School.
The Ocean Beach Northwell Health office is operating on a reduced schedule, Monday through Thursday, from 9 to 11a.m.; Friday, from 4 to 6 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, from 9 to 11 a.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. Patients may not remove their face coverings during visits.
The community is mourning the loss of longtime Kline’s owner Ed Lindberg, on May 20. His son Matt will continue to run the store.
The Ocean Beach Chamber of Commerce recently launched a promotional campaign, titled “Love Where You Live” — and we really do. I hope to see you on the beach very soon.
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