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Saltaire Summery
Volume 48, Issue 6
By High O’Brien

Looking at the hordes of angry villagers beseiging the Saltaire Market newsstand, demanding their money back, I thought, hmmm, well, it's nice to be missed, that is until I realized they were trying to get a refund for buying that Post Gephardt thing. However, in response to numerous inquiries as to what happened to my column, where was it, and if we promise to vote for you next time will you stop writing it altogether, I can now unreservedly answer, Beats me. I wrote it July 4, emailed it two miles down, but, what can I say? Lost in cyberspace, which is probably where it belongs. I did get a clue after getting a call from the JPL in Pasadena, where it appeared the first page or so wound up on some of the images sent in by the Cassini Saturn probe, which if nothing else should definitely put to rest rumors of intelligent life in that vicinity, but this aside, the main lesson I drew from the experience is that it's bracing to know I can always be replaced by ads from liquor stores and Chinese restaurants. As Dr. Leonard McCoy once spluttered, “It's those damn machines, Spock! You can't argue with a machine!”
The upside to this mishap, for me anyway, is that what I'd written saw so far into the future that most of it can simply be plugged back in to this week's polemic, leaving me a free extra hour or two to pursue what Klaatu called “more profitable enterprises”, like snoozing on the sofa with a bag of Doritos. Still, we have a few updates and additions to fill in. I did have something lengthy to say, last week, about the ongoing problem of certain vehicles, including SCPD Marine Bureau ATV's, traveling at speed too often through the villages, in our case along Lighthouse Prom, but (speaking of polemics), just as well to let this slide with a request that everyone just slow down and move carefully, obey the speed laws and stop signs, and watch for pedestrians and bike traffic, which have the right of way. I even included a chicken joke, with which I shall dispense this time. Anyway, this is a concern, so please exercise due care and caution.First, a quick recap of a couple of things, advertised herein to no avail last week, which unfolded Saturday the 10th, notably the first meeting of the revamped Board of T's, marked mainly by a public hearing on -- this will surprise you, so hold on -- outdoor cooking and related safety measures. As must by now be deemed invariable, the discussion became quite heated, as the flames of dissension and disagreement were stoked, a burning issue that simply will not cool down, over-the-top rhetoric fanning the flames of fiery debate, gasoline poured over the smoldering embers of red-hot emotions, and truckloads of coals being carried to Newcastle. All in less than an hour! Who says this isn't a can-do community? Bottom line is that further refinement of the two proposed local laws was agreed upon (on establishing a Fire Marshal as well as legalizing outside smokeries), pending further discussion (and vote?) in August. Suggest that all interested parties – which appears to include everybody except that comatose guy we took off in the ambulance last week – show up to slug it out – verbally, please note – at that time (date to be posted later on). Oh, and as a newly-reminted Trustee, a plea: please allow for civil civic discourse. Let everybody speak in full, have their say uninterrupted, unbooed, and uncommented-upon, when offering opinions before the Board. There's enough violent and dishonest speech plaguing this community that we don't need to add any further portion to an already tricky and multi-problemed matter.
Okay, okay, there never was any comatose guy. Merely rhetorical overkill.
On a breezier note, the SYC's sailing extravaganza, which did make the previous issue, came off with nary a hitch (didn't know I could sneak in one of them nautical terms, huh?) that Sat., the start of race week but also the date of the annual sailing picnic on the nearest available sandbar. Tom Field knocked out the menu, including clams -- I mean, what else on a sandbar; I couldn't quite see popping pigs-in-blankets while standing ankle-deep on some mushy, wake-washed, crab-scoured underwater sand trap while your unanchored boat drifts off, leaving you to the caprices of Poseidon or the Fates, or, if you're lucky enough to be rescued (by the Marine Bureau, no less) and brought into Saltaire for medical treatment, the Furies -- but it's always a lot of fun, and one of our funner successes.
And now, the reprints (with minor inserts and updates) of stuff still traversing the ether from last week, just that much more imminent....
Ah. Youth Baseball, courtesy Rhonda Kirschner, Chris Dolin and Tom Sconzo, is played each Saturday and Sunday on the Youth Baseball Memorial Field, a.k.a., The Field, from 9 – 10 a.m., prior to the Big League's slugfests.
The weekend of the 17th/18th shapes up busier than ever. First, there's the Club's fishing tournament Sunday, details presumably posted somewhere on the bayfront bulletin boards. Last year's prize-winning catch was a cocktail shaker left over from the sailing picnic. But the day before, Saturday the 17th, is unnaturally active, beginning at 10 as the House & Garden Tour takes foot, from the Catholic Church on Lighthouse. Probable running time: 2 and a half hours, but worry not, no running is involved, just leisurely biking and strolling and occasionally leaping out of the path of an oncoming law enforcement ATV, which we all know won't happen because the entire problem will be resolved before then, I'm only kidding, put down that weapon. H&G Tour tickets are available in advance, on July 10, 11 and 12, from either Dorothy Beardslee (213 Marine, 583-9236) or Clare Briody (202 Pacific, -7428), or on G-Day at the start of the tour. (Come to think on it, couldn't this have been a three-hour tour? It speaks to so many cultural touchstones.) Rain date, Sunday.
And of course, immediately following the lost tour is the annual (77th?) Saltaire Bazaar, formerly the St. Andrew's Bazaar, then the Orphaned Bazaar, then the plain old Bizarre, before which it was the Grand Hotel Potemkin. Never mind. The girls, the ladies, the women that is, are organizing the bejesus out of the thing once more — we can say that now because it's no longer affiliated with a house of worship and it's in keeping with the spirit of today's narrative — and all appears on track for another wild Day of the Fleas. Remember, no electronics, old mattresses or expired medicines (bring the latter to Doctor Bob, who sells them at cost to the Fire Company), just nice things you'd be proud to have in your home: kitchen goods, fine linens, artwork, stuffed unicorns, you know, the usual. Furniture not to be delivered until the Big Day Itself. Contact Joy Brown, Edie Watts or Jennifer Cook for information and, if you're recycling items picked up at an earlier Bazaar, expiation.
Proceeds from the Bazaar go to the exclusive benefit of the Saltaire Volunteer Fire Co., Inc., without whom... It's ALL used for the acquisition of medical or life-saving equipment that benefits the people of five communities served by our ambulance crews. Of course, the SVFC is community-spirited in other ways as well, notably the annual Fourth-of-July Parade, now firmly scheduled for Saturday, July 24, precise time TBA. Plans are to also host the official wet-down for the new fire engine, replacing our 32-year-old geezer, that day as well, most likely after the parade ends – perhaps in conjunction with the hot dogs and lite [sic] beer [sic] fest. The approximately annual tri-community firefighters competition might be held that day, too, or then again...well, there's a rumor it might never come off at all this year, an understandable reluctance on the part of our friendly adversaries, given the walloping they received in last summer's tournament. (Or was it a shellacking? I never could remember which.) C'mon, we hadn't won it in 17 years before 2003, and these victories only materialize very periodically, like the cicadas. (On this parade business: the previous Sunday Saltaire's fire contingent made its way over to Kismet for its annual 4th-of parade, held, unaccountably, on the 4th of July, and sporting not one but two mainland bands, plus the usual excellent food, top guys, and a somewhat more haphazard course than normal. Anyway, afterwards we repaired over to the Inn for, for ginger ales and cokes, umm-hmm, and were hanging around, sipping our second or third ice cream soda and enjoying convivial conversation when who should trundle in but the boys of the Bay Shore Fire Dept. band, who after threading their way through the kitchen, set up shop inside near the entrance and proceeded to regale the customers, paying and otherwise, with a selection of their faves, you know, the Budweiser Saints Go Marching in a Small World, I mean – after all! They're great, but we decided it's not particularly advisable to listen to an F.D band, four drums, three xylophones, a grand piano and two sets of cymbals, banging out their tunes in an enclosed space with extra-thick walls designed to keep the outside out and the noise in. I mean, you'd hear better after a lifetime managing lousy rock concerts. Wow! Our skulls still ache and whistle. Fortunately, a sense of sight alone is sufficient to enable one to make it back to Saltaire, hearing not being an absolute requirement as long as you keep looking behind you, but still...the best place to listen to a band is definitely outdoors, on the march. What? But – back to July 17. The VOS (Village of S.) is sponsoring An Evening at the Lighthouse. Water taxis will ferry guests (they can do that now, since the ferries own the water taxis) to and from the Light, the storied site of so many romantic tragedies of the sea, at 6 p.m. The place will be closed to the public, and after viewing the ejection of the daytrippers Saltairians will settle down to what is billed (unintentionally, I'm sure) as “light” refreshments. Of course: wine, soft drinks, and hors d'oeuvres. Return is after sunset, c. 8:30. There's space for only 40 people, two of each, at $30 per, and sorry, no children (though the signs don't say what the cutoff age is). For reservations or information, contact the Village Office. The signs urge you to bring your camera for some spectacular shots! Also pads, for any notes you may care to leave behind.
Now...I got a call, three of them actually, from Connie Lawler, asking that I serve notice of the advent of Monday Night Bridge at the Yacht Club, already begun by the time you're wrapping fish in this page, Mondays, oddly enough, starting at 8; a sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board by the tennis court. (You must sign to play.) CLUB MEMBERS AND THEIR LEGITIMATE GUESTS ONLY! Birth certificates required to assure legitimacy. Good: but, Connie also wanted me to mention Bridge Camp, which doesn't start until August 3 (& 4 & 5). The New York Regionals are late, or something, said Connie. Yeah, right. Next thing, you'd like me to believe someone would hold a 4th of July parade on, I don't know, the 24th or something. Whatever, the Camp will feature programs for beginners, intermediates, advanced players and, new this year, cheats and card sharps. Call Connie for info, either here at 7694, or in New York County at 212-517-8207, and don't forget to dial “1” first. I know, it's still very early to get into stuff happening in August, not to mention a bit depressing, but I rationalize it in that it does tie into bridge nights, and also if I delay publishing this information, Connie is inclined to hit me over the head with a club or jack or spade or other blunt instrument that comes to hand, until I yield, or pass, or just plain cave. Oh, Connie subsequently advises thatthere is a tariff to this thing -- $100 per member, $135 for those legitimate houseguests. All the more reason for legitimacy, not to mention heavy bettingto recoup the costs.
A great article featuring our YC dinner staff, exceptionally nice photo too, front page and everything, in the FIN 2 weeks back. But Tommy and the powers do want an inserted reminder that dining, like bridge and just about everything else (movies excepted) is open to Club members only. Easy enough to get in, you know. That “exclusive” junk was media hype 20 years ago. Nice new cash register they've got, too, made in Japan I take it; blew the lights in the bar last Sat. night, briefly. Oh, and now I've sampled the joint's lunchtime cuisine and can affirm and aver that it is even better than in years gone by, joining the dinners in rave reviews from this quarter. (And a week later, I can now also attest to the quality, enjoyability and sheer tastiness of the health-giving late-nite snax offered weekends by the staff – pizza to order, chicken wings,mozzerella sticks, etc., which at a certain hour can certainly hit the, orat any rate some, spot. Now, Steve and Steve: about that free meal...

The Case of the Missing Mallet was solved a couple of weeks ago when Chip Hull returned the aforementioned item to its rightful owner, some 42 years after it was borrowed. Seems, back circa 1961, Bob Wright, future mayor, asked Mike Coffey, he of the classic Saltaire homes, to borrow the tool for some now-forgotten task. Probably revenge. Anyway, somehow the mallet never got returned, and sat, unused and neglected, in the various Wright sheds for decades. Robin unearthed it years ago, clearing out his father's house after Bob's death in 1988 and the subsequent sale of the place, and kept it for several years before giving it to Chip, who could always use a good mallet (or a good thwack with one). Chip noted the initials “MC” scratched into the mallet-head but only gradually put together whose it once had been.
(Chip, like a dwindling number of us VOS vets, knew Mike personally, though we were just little kids.) But, amazingly for a Saltaire elder, he never realized that Ann Keegan was Mike's daughter. Cosmo! You're an even bigger disgrace to our generation than previously thought, if such a thing is possible. Anyway, O. called me in to witness the return of Mike's old mallet to Ann (Mike passed away in 1963), who was thrilled to get it and inquired as to whether it could be used on Mr. Keegan. (Answer: yes, but don't.) And Chip went out and celebrated, since it was well past 1 p.m. Some things never grow old.
And on that point, a lot of us have been noting the reverse passage of the sun these past few weeks, since the summer solstice on June 21, when it sank off to the right of the Captree bridge, presumably slipping into its hidden slot in Babylon. Just three weeks later and it's already setting to the left of the bridge, on its six-month journey back across the bay, till by Dec. it's going down well out over the ocean. Would make a great time-lapse sequence, some day. Anyway, watching the sunsets hereabouts, from the Lighthouse or from a lower elevation, is one of those local pleasures that really never does get old. Perhaps in celebration of this, I was offered, the other week, a free copy of a movie. No, not “The View From the Bridge”. “The Longest Day.” Have it already, however. Maybe a copy of “The Green Berets”, with its legendary final shot of the sun setting in the west, would be appropriate, especially given this story, from the A.P., quoted in the Washington Post the other week: the South Carolina Republican Party had a run-off primary in late June to choose a candidate for the U.S. Senate, in which Rep. Jim DeMint, heir to the Peppermint Patty fortune, crushed ex-Gov. Jim Beasley, the leader in the initial primary, for the nod. Said a bitter Beasley, after the results came in: “I thought we were going to Washington to protect America, to fight for America, but I'm going back home. I'll be cutting the grass tomorrow and I'll be doing the chores. I can assure you that when that sun comes up tomorrow that David Beardsley will not fade into the sunset.”A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” especially in D.C. Oh, okay, a reader wants to know the chicken joke, vis-a-vis the speeding ATV's.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get squashed, then scooped up for the evening's special at the Yacht Club. Kim's special southern-fry: Chicken a la 'Bama?
Missing issue? Didn't know when you were well enough off, did you? Not to mention I just blew the free meal I spent so much time shilling for.
Marie Campbell, wife of Richard Campbell and sister-in-law of Saltaire's first lady Barbara Rosenblum, died last week after a long battle gainst cancer. Marie was a lovely and friendly girl whom we saw far too little of down here but will miss always, and in all ways.
We also received belated word of the passing of George Mullen, of Atlantic Walk, last January. George had been absent from the village for most of the last several years, to our loss; a funny guy and all-around nice man, and splendid neighbor. The condolence of everyone in our community to the families.