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Saltaire Summery
Volume 48, Issue 9
By Hugh O’Brien

The last column turned out so long – some people told me they read it in spurts, like between meals or naps – that I thought I'd better go to the other extreme and keep things tight this issue.
[Sub-space chatter: finews to hob: KNOCK IT OFF HUGH. hob to finews: HEY, IT'S THE FIRST GOOD BEACH DAY. finews to hob: WHAT ARE WE PAYING YOU FOR?]
Well, they got me there. So chilly I expected to turn on the tube and see the Sons of Italy marching down Fifth Avenue in honor of Columbus. An all-too-vivid reminder, perhaps, that summer is rapidly waning. But we've got a few weeks of stuff to go before the real world, such as it is, obtrudes.
Speaking of which, sort of, I knew that if I publicly proclaimed I was having a DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN moment last time, my unheeded inner warning system would play out and I'd indeed be caught with my tennis whites down, or some other such disgusting allegory. Thus did the Cosmos, not to mention the Women's Doubles finalists, play their trick on me. So, in the interests of accuracy and to clear up any misprints before I toss the last paper down the Orwellian memory hole and replace it with a new, “corrected” version, the winners of said tournament were not the often-victorious-but-not-in-this-case duo of Barbara Rosenblum & Pia Notaro, as somebody wrote in this space, but rather the supposed underpups, RoseAnn Trentacoste & Joan DiCostanzo. Deepest apologies to the latter pair for the mishap, not to mention depriving you both of two extra weeks' worth of deserved glory for your courtside triumph, and a more general note that the bleachers seemed to feel the finals were exciting all round. Coming soon to a would-be Wimbledon near you, the Men's Doubles, this weekend (14/15), capped off by the Mixed D's Aug. 28/29. To be on the reportorial safe side, results of these battles will not be announced until 2006.
As previously indicated, the coming weekend of Aug. 14 & 15 looms as a particularly busy one, in contrast to the following fin de semane (or, as the French call it, le weekend), 8/21-22, when from all appearances you couldn't get arrested in this town. An apt metaphor if ever there were one, as early last Sunday morn elements of our local constabulary did indeed nab the alleged perpetrator of the recent rash of break-ins [note to Griffin: I did not say “recent rasher of bacon”] plaguing the village. At least half a dozen or so houses were forcibly entered in the last couple of weeks, usually when the owners were in residence – we were not dealing with a criminal mastermind here – and some robbed; in cases where the burglar was confronted by residents for example, when he walked into a room with someone in it – he fled. Bungler might be the more appropriate label. Still, several people did lose money, credit cards and the like, and idiot boy did damage some doors and other property in making his well-planned, stealthy entrances and exits. Not exactly a guy who's ready to loot the British Museum. He was finally caught allegedly trying what appears to have been his second alleged break-in of the evening (the previous one turned out to be one of those alleged “wake-up” calls), when he was spotted by Joe Walter and Mike Hirsch of Security and stopped in the alleged act while Suffolk Police were called in to arrest him, and nothing alleged about that (I'm libel-proof, not stupid). The 18-year-old alleged male alleged perp allegedly put up fierce resistance to both our guys and the SCPD; I guess the idea of being arrested and hauled off to jail wasn't as agreeable to him as spending the next day swimming in the ocean or drinking brews or impressing babes with tales of defying Interpol with his cunning. His best flailings notwithstanding, he had no chance of escape (which he allegedly pronounced “ex-scape”) and was hauled off, kicking and screaming, in the nether hours to his own version of Michael Jackson's Never Land; complete, no doubt, with his own personal Michael Jackson. A resident of Fair Harbor, wherein, late reports indicate, he may also have extended his little spree. Gone with a whimper he may be, but still, it's probably not a bad idea to keep your doors locked, even in summer, in residence; a sad idea, yes. This isn't a Clutter family situation, of course, but the occasional dope will loop about, and you really don't need to wake up to find some half-wit standing in your bedroom thumbing through your wallet.
In connection with this affair, however, we would like to redirect the Saltaire rumor mill onto other matters by dispelling one story making the rounds Sunday, namely, that the Suffolk Police helicopter made a landing in the ballfield at 3:30 Sunday morning so they could take the thief (alleged! alleged!) off in haste, even style. Untrue. There was a separate ambulance alarm going on at the time, nothing to do with the crook, and a copter did indeed fly over the village and make a landing somewhere in the vicinity of Kismet, probably out by their old firehouse, west of town. We're not sure what that was for, but the suspect was taken away by police boat, no fares collected. Helicopters are strictly medivac vehicles. Not that this guy didn't deserve a good conking. Allegedly.
(This is, however, a different person from the seemingly more harmless sort who strolled into one home a few weeks ago seeking only to find a bed for the night, until ejected, after some pleading on his part, by the understandably unpersuaded owners. He subsequently recieved unauthorized board, if not bed, on an adjacent deck, until eventually discovered some hours later by those owners, who likewise expelled him from their premises. We also got stories of strangers entering other people's homes near the beach to use their bathroom. What is this place, Vermont in the 70s?)
Now for our coming weekend schedules, Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th...
SOCCER! Ralph Perlberger's 6th Annual Tournament. Register Sat. from 9-10 at the field; ages 13 and up only; cost, $15 per person; team schedules will be posted at the field by 11 and the two-day play starts at noon. Ralph's sign requests exact change when you register; jugs of pennies welcome.
JOGATHON! The 20-somethingth. Register Sat. at the Village Hall, 9-12, $20 each (under-20s used to run free if they waived the T-shirt, but that rule, or the precise age cut-off, may be different, so as usual don't take my word); the race is run by the swift Sunday starting by the firehouse, the 1-mile at 9 and the 3.5 soon after the mile ends. The above fee rule aside, all participants get to wave their T-shirts, in triumph or to cool off before the ambulance arrives. Gordon Medenica gets his SCAA baptism of perspiration, managing the whole thing. Enjoy! See your names printed here! Mostly correctly!
THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATURE PRESERVE! Final program of the summer, at the gazebo, Sat. at 10. Last time Chuck Jones thought they'd be doing birds of prey, but they came with some other beasts instead, but this time C.J. thinks it'll really be the b's of p, so we shall take a gander, as it were, and pray that he's right. “The birds are always a really great exhibition!” enthuses Chuck. You're talon me. Almost as cool as the dolphins and tuna that schooled offshore last weekend, drawing onlookers, nature-lovers, representatives from Chicken of the Sea, fishermen, seagulls and, um... well, just don't kick around too much on those surfboards, and if you've cut yourself shaving... hey, you didn't want to go in the water today anyway, did you, chum?
(Can you imagine a future George W. Bush Nature Conservancy? Two oil drills straddling an acid rain-corroded forest with undersized furless animals lapping up extra doses of mercury from a lifeless lake? In the gazebo?)
POSSIBLE DEER TICK SOLUTIONS (but you didn't read that here)!
Sometime Sat. – hour to be determined and posted – the developer of an instrument that may help to significantly cut down the population of said ticks – will come to the village to demonstrate his device, which in tests has achieved an allegedly huge success rate (success being measured by the percentage of ticks it tocks off to Lyme heaven). Marija Beqaj, who's been indefatigably pursuing deer- and tick-control solutions for many years, is a key person in making this item potentially available for use on Fire Island, but she asked me not to go into details as many hurdles still remain to be leapt. (Marija said “leaped,” but “leapt” makes me appear educated.) Anyway, as of publication, the exact time had not yet been set; it'll probably be at the V. Hall; again, signs will be posted on the ubiquitous bulletin boards, and I'm sure the Office will have details at some point (583-5566). From what I've been told, it sounds promising. And Marija, I always spell your name right, with the j, except for the time I called you Irving. (Arnoff's influence.)
BORED OF TRUSTEES! Never! Meeting Sunday, scripturalinjunctions notwithstanding, at 9 – unsure as yet whether in the VH or firehouse. It, too, is bulletin-boarded, websited, and passed in secret from ear to ear.
This weekend also marks the break-point between the services of Village physicians in residence [sic], with Dr. Paul Auteri closing out his allotted two weeks and making way for the new guy, Dr. Peter Paisley; they're here so briefly that there's scarcely time to give them the business... I mean, their due. On which, please pay any office bills owed Dr. Auteri before he leaves; don't wait till Dr. Paisley arrives. Late payments screw up everyone's accounts, and there's no justice in robbing Paul to pay Peter.
The Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross-Bay Swim went off flawlessly, as usual, last Friday, inspiring not only sizable numbers of participants for the 6-mile workout but numerous generous donations for the hospice. Our lifeguards made the swim and every one of them finished well. Thanks to all who help keep Maggie's spirit and memory alive and doing good for others. And you get another chance next year.
The annual Music & Arts Festival made its big splash last Saturday, and seems to have been a bit more peopled than last year's, an impression ascribed to the weather – not hot and sunny, driving bystanders to the beach instead of the boardwalk, yet not rainy or otherwise inclement so as to push everyone indoors. Overcast and cool, just the way organizers Cheryl Valente (once again thankfully on the SCAA Board) and Pia Notaro (ditto) could have wished. No music fights for gazebo time, either; the orchestras did indeed play in sequence, between 11 and 3, and listeners offered raves for both the sweetness of the music and the skills of the performers. The Al Skinner watermelon party – I should take a census on how many of us are left who actually knew Captain Al: an appallingly dwindling band, I'm afraid, but the rest of you really missed someone – was its as-ever hit, though Al never neglected the adult side of the celebration, it must be remembered – followed by the sunset picnic when, as the result of either a gift sent down by Providence or a front pushed up toward Providence, the clouds broke and the skies cleared enough to conjure a spectacular canvas for the sunset, albeit with a slightly nippier night than perhaps expected. Special thanks to the Market and the Yacht Club for their generous donations of food and potables to the festival.
Another success for an always difficult-to-organize, complex undertaking which offers a pleasant way to spend a few hours with friends, one day each summer, and thanks to Pia and Cheryl and Clare Briody and everyone else who labored for months behind the scenes to bring this about so flawlessly. Even the weather, which I can't figure out how they contrived.
Incidentally, an SCAA calendar note for those who like to carefully plan their summer in order to maximize their enjoyment of Saltaire: both of you should be aware that the Sandcastle Contest date is Sat., Sept. 4 (rain date: Sun. 5th), and the 10K Race will be held
Saturday, Sept. 11; we'll place prominent reminders and crucial details in the next issue.
Quotation of the entire Bush presidency: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful – and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people – and neither do we.” Yep, I sure feel more secure. Yale! Convention no. 2 should be a blast. (Not literally – I don't need the FBI out here running down “leads”.) I keep promising a political polemic, but looks like we'll be spared till the final issue, two down the road.
But on a more local topic, I heard the second appearance by Mr. Fish and his Fabulous Physics was once again a hit. He always does these amazing things with chemicals and substances and stuff. Not that he's unique in that regard, but I leave the rest to the DEA. Anyway, too bad he only ever comes out on Wednesdays, which leaves him unseen by those of us stuck in the States during the week. Now if he could only come up with a non-exploding propane, all our barbecue worries would be over.