OCEAN BEACH: Only Footprints
By Theresa and Patrick Macri
This column is being written on the end of a perfect week, the weather has been warm, but much less humid than you might expect. It is also also the end of the “middle month,” and we all know that with the coming of August, the last run of summer 2015 is upon us.
This beautiful day began with the 22nd Annual Fire Island Kids Arts and Crafts Show. Over 25 “exhibitors” lined Bay Walk to show off their arts and crafts talent, and hopefully make a sale or two in the process. This event, sponsored by the Ocean Beach Community Fund, was designed to help encourage kids to take interest in the fine arts. To emphasize this point, this year’s “competition” was judged by three distinguished OB’ers — Linna Salamone, Nancy Meyer and Kenny Goodman. The prize was a chance to attend and display their wares at the 30th annual VOB Arts Show on the Bay, on Aug. 8 and 9, as well as have their work displayed at the Ocean Beach Historical Society. The work was judged on artistic merit and not on sales. After the three judges reviewed all the entries, there was a tie and therefore two winners were declared – Iris Mastny and Jessica Sterk. Both young ladies will now co-exhibit at the aforementioned art show and in turn have their work displayed at the OBHS. Come out to both and see the work of these amazing young artists.
Speaking about the OBHS we should mention the work of some of local adult artists. This group show had only a short run, but it was interesting to see Rita Silver’s photo collages and often behold younger versions of ourselves within them. The organic sculptures of Laurie Bachner were also a sight to behold.
The family-themed fun continued as day turned to evening and the Saturday Night Music on the Dock series began its season with the sounds of Winston Irie’s band filling the cool night air, on July 25. The dock was packed with families, where both kids and parents were dancing and swaying to the downbeat of the reggae music. What a great free event, made possible due to the efforts of, once again, the Ocean Beach Community Fund. Don’t miss the next concert, on Saturday, Aug. 8, with the Beatles tribute band, The Liverpool Shuffle. Join the fun and bring the whole family.
From the two events mentioned above, it is clear that the OBCF is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the village. To help thank them, we wanted to give one last plug to attend their gala event of the season, on Saturday night, Aug.1, at 7:30 p.m., at the Community House.
“Dreams of Windswept” is the theme of the evening, with all attendees urged to come in their favorite sleeping attire. The price of entry entitles you to unlimited food, cocktails, dancing, a silent auction, gifts and most importantly, FUN! All proceeds will be used to help restore Windswept along with the adjoining bayfront area. We hope you will join this effort by purchasing tickets and raffles or making a generous donation if you can’t attend.
As we mentioned earlier, August is upon us and with it we wanted to make sure that in addition to the Saturday night dock concerts that you mark your calendars for a very special musical event, sponsored by the Ocean Beach Association. On Friday, Aug. 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Community House, we are pleased to bring back Friday Jazz Chill-Out, featuring Ocean Beach resident, world-renowned saxophonist, and the greatest “penny whistle” practitioner in jazz history, Les Lieber. Les will be accompanied by a group of world-class jazz musicians, so bring your ears and your picnic dinner and chill out to some good old-fashioned jazz with your friends.
As this is the sporting issue, we are putting our spotlight on another long-time favorite OB pastime — softball. Played on Saturday and Sunday mornings on the ball field opposite the school, softball has been part of the OB scene for several decades. Most of the summer, pickup games are played starting at 10 a.m. on each weekend day. The emphasis is on having a good time with friends. It is very informal and all adults are welcomed, be it friends, relatives or just new people wandering by. Sides are chosen based on whoever shows up, and if the teams are short, some kids may get the much-anticipated “call-up” to play with the adults.
For the past 11 years during the three weekends in the heart of the summer (last weekend in July, first two weekends in August), a round robin tournament is set up. The age requirement is 15+ and men and women are both welcome. The cost is $50 to enter and each participant receives a jersey and a hat. Six teams are drafted and each team plays four games during the elimination rounds over the first two weekends. Teams skilled enough to survive will meet in the final weekend “playoff games” to determine first place in the tournament, with the winning team players getting their name engraved on a championship plaque.
While it may be late to participate in this year’s tournament, interested players should come on down and check it out so they are ready for next year. Go to oceanbeachsoftball.com to find out more details about the league and to see actual stats from the playoffs.
So until next time, only footprints.
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