By Hugh O’Brien
What the heck’s been going on here? No sooner had the last column been put to bed (the precursor to putting it to sleep) than all sorts of mayhem broke loose – micro- squalls, torrential rains, possible tornadoes, hurricane-force gusts – up and down the island, mostly up – uprooted trees, upended boats, upsurged seas, and more than a few upset stomachs. (And, we should remember, one tragic consequence, a death off shore of Seaview.) But the upshot is the upheaval passed as quickly as it had descended, the uproar nearly as quickly, and the upside was that most people suffered little more than a few minutes’ shock and awe, especially those aboard the 3 p.m. ferry, whose Poseidonesque sea voyage was memorialized via iPhone and posted on that sterling purveyor of truth, Facebook. An unplanned planetary convulsion we faced down in the Summer of ‘19. Oh, yeah … and, uh, next time we’ll be sure to leave the dock house door unlocked. Sorry about that soaking, constituents.
On a public safety note, Mario Posillico will be sending out an email blast about this, but a gentle reminder to please observe bike safety rules – don’t use prohibited things like skateboards or roller blades, no electric bikes (unless they’re being pedaled manually), observe speed laws (8 MPH) and above all:
• Ring bells at intersections
• Ride bikes with no more than the number of people they’re designed to carry. Blind intersections and riding kids on handlebars and bike baskets aren’t accidents waiting to happen – they’ve happened, with severe injuries. To sum up, think of the ‘60s song “Les bicyclettes de Belsize” – ring the “bell” and remember the “size” of the bicycle. Don’t make us force Mario or Chief Bob to sing it to you.
Okay, two major events this Saturday, July 20: the SCA’s annual House & Garden Tour beginning at 10 a.m. by the Catholic church, and the Fire Company’s annual parade starting at 11 a.m. at the firehouse. Remember, this is the SVFC’s 50th Anniversary, and the specially expanded parade will be followed by a specially expanded repast, in celebration of the semicentennial but also in memory of parades passed and repasts past. Please turn out to watch, applaud, participate and, that favorite Saltaire pastime, eat. It really is a great menu, courtesy our own menu artiste, Patrick Adams of Market fame. We’re expecting the collision of the two events to take place at approximately 11:07 somewhere near the intersection of Pacific and Harbor, so that’s the corner to be standing on.
As a heads-up for future SCA events, the Sandcastle contest will be held Saturday, July 27, just off Broadway beach. But hark! The Saltaire Festival has burst the confines of a mere day long event, and will now be spread over two days. On Saturday, Aug. 3, three Saltairians-only events – the watermelon party, bay picnic and fireworks – will be held as anticipated. But it’s on Sunday, Aug. 4, after everyone has recovered from Saturday, Aug. 3, that the Festival proper, open to all, will run its course. No, wait, that’s the Jogathon. Anyway, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Artisan Street Fair on Broadway will boast over 20 vendors selling arts, crafts and jewelry, accompanied by live music by local musicians and a festive (what else?) lunch on the Saltaire Market deck. SCA still has some artisan vendor tables available, so visit their website at https://saltairecitizens. org/events/saltaire-festival to register for one. We understand the fireworks display (which, acknowledging the obvious, will by its nature be a bit difficult to limit just to Saltairians) will rival the one used to deflect attention from the President’s dry-run military coup the other week. Not that we’re exactly deficient in the display of quasi-militant hardware: we’ll be fielding a Fire Department mule and a Public Safety bicycle in a display of mechanized force. Pre-planning for the invasion of Kismet, you know, but keep that between us. Apologies, meantime, for the first mention of the dreaded “August.”
We did hold a mini-event last Friday, the official ribbon-cutting to formally open the new and mostly improved Village Hall. Of course, it’s been open for several weeks already, and we marked its opening just after the office closed for the weekend, but irony is, after all, our by-word, and much like a vasectomy, the snipping was done in the spirit of utmost good humor, with just the slightest hint of urgency. (We had a meeting to get back to.) Mario produced the biggest pair of scissors we’d seen since they dedicated the towering inferno, Mayor Zaccaro gave an appropriately civil benediction, and without further ado, it was adieu to the hitherto intact ribbon. A word here about the great Kate’s (Valente) library program: kids’ book club, book bingo, story time, an adult author evening and sundry other offerings are drawing huge crowds and complementary compliments this year. (The library itself looks great, too.) Kate works hard to provide imaginative and innovative programs, so it’s definitely one Village Hall attraction you should, in the vernacular of the library, check out.
And just to show our civic-mindedness isn’t confined solely to intra-villagian matters, the Fire Island Association’s annual members’ confab meets Saturday, July 27, at 1 p.m., at the Ocean Beach Community House. Free water taxi service is provided both ways (first rule of the professional mercenary: no one gets left behind), but you do have to call ahead to ask that they stop to let you jump aboard. “Working for Fire Islanders since 1955” is the FIA’s motto; I know the feeling. The new FINS Superintendent, Alex Romero, will be speaking, but he’ll also be holding one of his town hall meetings here in Saltaire on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Village Hall. At the risk of overdoing the shaving (not, emphatically, Shavian) metaphors, it looks like we cut that ribbon just in the nick.
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