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By Robert Levine
The beat in Cherry Grove never stops. July Fourth Weekend 2016 proved to be another busy, winning weekend. The ferry’s were overflowing, filling the town, beach, walks, bars, and restaurants with day-trippers, night-trippers, drunk-trippers, and just some ordinary trippers.
A major event was presented by The Arts Project: Rose Levine appeared in “Cherry à la Mode” on July 2 at the Community House. It was a thrilling evening with a sold out house and a fierce enthusiastic audience. The show was racing along when in the second act, as Rose was singing one of her 11 o’clock numbers, the fire alarm suddenly went off in the Theatre! The fire chief, police and army of firefighters arrived. It took at least 15 minutes before the alarm stopped and then the show resumed.
During that 15 minute period, Rose remained calm and sat on the stage pantomiming songs, kicking her legs and keeping the audience entertained, while the alarm was being fixed. I would also like to say that we have a new star in the family. Mr. Burberry our West Highland Terrier who was a big hit, making his debut as Sandy in the “Annie” skit.
After a day of rest, we were off and running to the Invasion in the Pines. At least 300 Invaders were on the ferry to once again invade the Pines for the 42nd time. (See the Pines column for additional coverage.) Upon returning to the Grove many of the Invaders went to the Ice Palace to greet the Homecoming Queen, which has been a tradition for years.
There were many private parties happening in the Grove mostly with Fourth of July barbecues. At 9 p.m. we saw fireworks across the bay coming from the mainland. I have been so busy with parties and other social events that Roseland looks like a dragoon hit it, and I mean DRAG-oon!
The 20th Annual Garden Tour on July 2 had at least 140 people in attendance, which made it the most successful to date. A post-tour cocktail party was held at Beau-He-Men, the home of Jack Quinn and Curtis Strohl, with lots of food and beverages supplied by the Club. Jack and Curtis are cruising along the Danube River and I’m sure enjoying the European scenery. They flew to Budapest then off on a cruise to Prague and Vienna for 12 days.
Welcome back to CG Charlie Isola and Dan Clancy, who lived in the Pines, then Cherry Grove for many years. They sold their house a few years ago but cannot stay away. Now they have rented a bay house and are spending the week.
Broadway and British actor Tom Edden, who was nominated for a Tony Award for “One Man Two Governors” a few seasons ago, was staying at Belvedere with his actor friend David Ryan Smith. They attended the “Carnival In Venice” party.
Gay Nathan and Julie Paradise have returned to the Grove from Santa Fe. Julie is recovering from a serious surgery, and is doing just fine. They attended the Rose Levine show with their houseguests Linda Stephens and Sandy Kiger. They also had a cocktail party to introduce their guests to all their Fire Island friends.
Troy Files and Brian Clarke had Troy’s cousin, Mark Gorstka, and his husband, Giancarlo Badisciano, as their guests; they live in Dusseldorf, Germany. They enjoyed Cherry Grove for 10 days and participated in all the CG activities including the Invasion and the Rose Levine show. This was certainly a change of pace for Giancarlo who grew up in Italy.
Diane Romano and Patricia Goef had as houseguests Pat’s sister, Bobbie Jo, and her 16-year old daughter, Jordan, along with her girl friend, Veronica, from East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
Skylar Horowitz is looking great. This past thespian from the Cherry Grove Theatre Company returned to the Grove for a vacation after a few years’ hiatus.
Betty Faraci, our beloved Post Mistress is on the way to recovery. She’s been ill for the past month and we hear she’s doing very well. Lorraine Michels has been filling in for her while she’s been out of commission. Hope to see Betty soon.
Tim Tareco had a weekend repeat-guest, Celine Mariton, who styled him for his drag debut at the Invasion. He was thrilled with the results and had the time of his life.
John Phillip and Andrew Resto were staying at Belvedere. They have been longtime CG renters, guests, and performers in many shows. John helped his friend Sean McKenna, who had the first annual “Long Term Survivors” benefit at the Ice Palace. This is a new division of GMHC- Buddy program, which helps those who don’t have insurance and the benefits for the necessary needs when they are ill. If you want to be a Buddy, call GMHC at 212-367-1000. John Phillip and his friend Bronwyn Rucker, a cabaret singer have an open mic show at Greenwich Village Bistro, on Carmine Street in NYC every third Wednesday of each month. Next date is July 20 from 7 to10 p.m. No minimum, with dinner and drinks available.
The Fire Island Gotham Volley Ball Team will play the Grove and Pines on July 16 and 17 on the beach. This is an annual event, which is open to the public.
John Sorenson died recently at the age of 92. He was a property owner who lived in Cherry Grove for more than 60 years, with his late partner Walter Carron. He played classical music on the piano. He loved listening to opera and watching old movies. To quote him, “You won’t get much wisdom from me. I know a little bit about a lot of things.”
Our condolences to Roland Michely and Joe Anania who had to put their Golden Retriever, Cleopatra, to sleep. She was 11 years old. Johnny Poole also lost his little Bichon Frise, Sophia, tragically at 17 years old.
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