On And Off The Deck
Volume 49, Issue 4
By Jon Wilner

It’s here, it’s now, it’s RED, WHITE AND BLUE! Happy Fourth of July 2005! As Billy Graham proves there’s no business like show business, packing them in by the thousands, the Pines is also packing them in to a horse of a different color. Festive rainbow colors from Gay Pride to the stars and stripes of an America that WE LOVE AND ENJOY. From DJ’s Super Dave to Lina to Joe Gauthreaux to Formica to Carlos Pedraza to Nita to Max Rodriguez to Tony Moran to Randy Bettis and Junior Vasquez, the music will be pouring out from Tea to high Tea to the Pavilion seven nights a week this week! In fact, superstar Junior Vasquez has set up residence on the ocean for the entire month of July. Welcome back Junior and Jerome Farley!

Evetns Galore!

This Sunday, July 3 , is DANCING ON THE BAY at the fabulous bayfront home of Josh McKinney and Ken Zarilli. This unbelievable dance event is one of the super highlights of the summer ending in incredible fireworks. The event benefits the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in New York City. It is being produced once again by Vinny Petrarca and Jim Nellis and let’s never forget the incomparable Richard Winger who conjured up this fun dance party over a decade ago. Tickets on sale in the harbor.

Not to be confused with DANCERS RESPONDING TO AIDS, another festive weekend, sponsored and benefiting BROADWAY CARES, this dance/performance/extravaganza performs July 15, 16 and 17, produced by Pines resident Ariadne Villareal. Tickets also on sale in the harbor.

Monday, July 4 is the Invasion of the Grove upon the Pines harbor. The Pines harbor will be aglow with decorated boats and yachts and hundreds of residents from all the Fire Island communities. It has become a theatrical event of the highest and flashiest grandeur. I just hope some of the gals from the Grove had their gowns dry cleaned between last year and this year! Thank you Eric von Kuersteiner for welcoming the gals from the Grove in the extraordinary John Whyte tradition. Thank you Alan Brockman for handing over the key to the community to Panzi and thank you Randy Wilson, in advance, for designing the sound. Kevin Aviance will be our master of ceremonies for the event, in addition to performing at the Blue Whale on Saturday night. Candice Cayne continues to sell out the Blue Whale on Friday nights. The bulges are getting bigger and bigger and bigger every Thursday night at Robin Byrd’s bulge party. Robin is gearing up for her battle of the bulges! Be there or be unbulged! There’s only one Robin Byrd and there’s no substitute for Robin Byrd live and no matter how small or large YOUR bulge is, she welcomes you to the Pavilion every Thursday night.

Our celebrity visitor this week is the one and only Michael Riedel, the Broadway columnist from the NY Post. Come join us as Broadway’s sharpest tongue will answer any question that you may have about backstage gossip, romance and more, plus all the inside dealings of the great white way, on Saturday, July 2 at 606A Shore Walk, the bayfront compound of Glen Wielgus and Ed Lewis. Refreshments will be served at 5PM, suggested donation to FIPAP is $10.

And once again may I remind all of you to support Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean when he visits us at Brandon Fradd’s beautiful bayfront home on Saturday, July 9 at noon. Refreshments and suggested donation $100.


Last Saturday night Bob, myself, Don Vanderhoef and Jim Vandernoth (commonly known as the Vanders), their friend Tamas, Tony LaRocco and Bill Moore, our postmaster George Bolender, Garry Korr and Richard Reichgut all ventured West to Cherry Grove. We all met at 7PM in front of the Pantry to await a water taxi. There was so much excitement in the Pines harbor and the Blue Whale festivities at tea made us question why we were leaving Pines soil….we had a lovely visit with David Barrett, John Miller and Jorge Hernandez while we were waiting, and as usual, David had us laughing hysterically. At about 7:30 a water taxi arrived but it was going to Davis Park, so we had to wait another fifteen minutes and finally at 7:45 we were on our way. First dinner at Jumping Jacks, delicious I must say, but a little too rushed because we were really in the Grove to attend the gala performance of Jacqueline Joneé performing her DATE WITH LIBERACE at the Cherry Grove Community Center. She was fantastic! It was a real tour de force, and the candelbra was perfectly at home in the Grove. Then we joined Jacqueline and her husband Rick atop the VIP deck of the Community Center to watch the Gay Pride fireworks. After the fireworks, we waited for over an hour for a water taxi back, pretty amazing considering it was Saturday night at 10:30PM. I went to the phone booth, when was the last time anyone went to a phone booth? Do you know it is fifty cents to make a call now from a phone booth? Remember when it was a dime? I called the water taxi company and they were un-responsive. So all in all, we headed for the beach and walked home to the Pines. The moral to this story is there’s so much to do in the Pines, stay home! And never leave home without your cell phone. We were very disappointed because half of our group wanted to see Porsche at Sapin and the other half wanted to see the fantastic female magician at the Blue Whale.


I thought it would be great fun to chronicle the building of my swimming pool beginning this week in the column. I’ve waited eighteen years to build a pool on Shady Walk, and after getting the proper variances and permits, Bob and I are well underway. Walter says that we’ll be swimming by mid-August and we will have the most pleasant of experiences. I’m very excited... I’ll keep you posted!


Celebrate and Decorate!

Welcome home from the hospital Mary Strauch. You’re the best! So glad you are back home and feeling 100%. Welcome back from your excursion around the country, Glen Wielgus and bon voyage to Demetrios Sengos, Peter Thambounaris, Kenneth Tepper and Louis Tedeschi as you leave for your African safari. The Pines version of Lunt and Fontanne, Rita and Jack Lichtenstein, are off to Scotland, as David Seeds returns from Scotland. John Addy and Tomek are back from Manchester and Barcelona!


It was an Indian delight at the fabulous Ward Auerbach beachfront home last Saturday night. Ward and Andy threw a magnificent cocktail party. Fern Lee and Lori Zeller have been entertaining at their new home on Shady Walk, and what a home they have turned their house into! It is such a delight to visit them and Fern’s mom Marlene. Welcome back to the Pines, Joey Horton, William Zeolla, Paul Mendela and Tony Constantino. That was John Putnam last Wednesday afternoon, strolling through the Harbor with his guitar playing HELLO, DOLLY! Ellen, you are one lucky gal to be serenaded day and night by such a handsome gentleman!


Gary Beach is back in the Pines after the wild and wonderful LA CAGE AUX FOLLES ended its Tony Award winning engagement to a sold out Marquis Theatre last week. Gary kissed his boyfriend, Jeff Barnett, right on the lips after singing I AM WHAT I AM at the final performance. Now how is that for celebrating Gay Pride Day? Gary had all the Cagelles out to the Pines this week and brought them , along with musical director Patrick Vaccarriello, to Broadway Babies at the Pavilion on Monday night. Josh McKinney had his brother and sister in law and his mom visiting last weekend and Laurence Isaacson welcomed Keegan back to the Pines as well.

Pines Party 2005 is now on sale in the harbor, it’s only four weeks away, Saturday July 30 from dusk to dawn. Happy Fourth of July! Independence Week in the Pines, celebrate and decorate!