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Saltaire Summery
Volume 49, Issue 6
By Hugh O’Brien

Continuing our historical discourse of the previous week, I note that today (Sunday, July 10) marks the 155th anniversary of one of the grand junctures in American history, the accession of Millard Fillmore to the presidency in 1850. Which was certainly of benefit to the nation. (Zachary Taylor had died the previous evening after overindulging on cherries, watermelon and milk—a la the Friday night barbecue—but not before beginning a blood line that would ultimately result in some of his decendants residing in the Marcus house on Atlantic: and you thought this was just some frivolous, non-Saltairian factoid being tossed around. Whence do you think Zach Golub got hisname?) Anyway, this coming Thursday, July 14, will, unless I'm putting the usual whammy, jinx or columnist's curse on him, mark the 92nd b'day of Gerald Ford, already No.2 in the longest-lived-president sweepstakes. Has to get to Nov. 12, 2006, to eclipse the Gipper, though. Big month, July.

 

Politically Speaking

Politically, however, and closer to home and nearer our time, our friend and benefactor, Suffolk Co. legislator Angie Carpenter, is running for County Treasurer this fall, forced out of her legislative seat by the imbecility of term limits. As most islanders know, Angie's been a steadfast friend and ally of F.I. interests, seeing, as many do not, the community of interest between Fire Island residents and Long Island residents on issues of the preservation of this particular sandbar, and the catastrophic impact the loss of homes, businesses, or the island itself, would have on the “mainland”, physically and financially. Angie has no worries getting the Republican nomination, and looks to be the favorite in November, but support for her will help insure Fire Island continues to have an effective and knowledgeable voice in Riverhead, or wherever it is they've dispersed the county government to these days. To help out in this great effort, a fundraiser will be held for Angie at the Broadway home of Ken & Roseann Larson on Saturday, July 30, from 5-7 p.m.; a $50 minimum donation is requested, paltry enough when one considers all Angie's done, not only for us, but the district as a whole. Smart, able and independent, she's been a superb legislator by any standards and will no doubt prove equally effective as Treasurer. Why aren't all Republicans like her? Maybe Kenny can answer that. In fact, he'd better!

The good news, in so far as this legislative seat goes, is that another friend-of-Fire-Island, George Hafele, he of Fire Island Ferries, Inc., is the Democratic nominee for Angie's present post. Like Angie, George knows the intricacies of the issues facing not only this beach but the district and county as a whole, and your support for him will be urged and solicited, details in upcoming issues. What an unaccustomed burst of bipartisanship, for here. Maybe we can learn them guys in D.C. sumpin'.

The rain brought a slight lull to the proceedings for part of last weekend -- no Mixed-Up Mixed tennis tourney; no softball matches; no soccer squads; no phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury -- so that leaves us free to advert one last time the Grand and Glorious Saltaire Bazaar, this Sat., July 16, 1-3 at the Great and Powerful firehouse, right next to the field and across from the trees. “Continuing an unbroken 81-year tradition” the pink slip bruited about town states, about which more in a minute, including also, one suspects, an unbroken set of 81-year-old dishes first donated to the bazaar in 1925 after the White House returned them to the Mayor as an unsuitable inaugural gift. The Coolidges were probably on to soemthing: those plates have been picked up then regifted annually since. As ever, the bazaar boasts Treasures!, Discoveries! and, primary inducement in this free-food-happy burg, Bake Sale! All right, almost free food. Jeesh. And, as ever, the organizers request items in one of the following 17 categories and subsets: Toys, books, games, tools, linnes, kitchenware, art work, lamps, bric, brac, bric-a-brac, sports equipment, and, in a catch-all loophole big enough to allow a you-know-what to lumber through, white elephants. Plus “other thrilling and fascinating exotica”. Thrilling AND fascinating, mark you: if it's just thrilling, for example, well, then, it stays at home. We have our standards. As for instance: NO electronic equipment -- NO [they capitalize and underline it, not me] TV's, radios, phonographs, CD players, speakers, or robots. No expired medicines, unpatented household inventions, discarded barbecue grills, pink elephants or torn-out, individual chits. Furniture donations, day of sale only. Questions? I hope not, but if you insist, call (alphabetically by first name, all at 583) Edie Watts (8545), Jennifer Cook (7502) or Joy Brown (5958). Or Eugenie Meluso, in training, as can be seen by the fact that while the three veterans list only their Saltaire numbers, with their limited access, Eugenie gives us her cell number, (917) 841-5865, available 24/7/52/365. It's 3 a.m. and you can't sleep wondering where you bring your trampoline? Eugenie's there for you. Of course, your 3 a.m. answer may vary somewhat from, say, a 3 p.m. one. A little judgment, that's all. See you there.

 

As alluded to someplace earlier, rain knocked out a plethora of scheduled events, jamming future calendars ever more so. The mixed-up mixed tennis thing will be run this weekend, assuming no late-arriving Dennisian cloudbursts, with the regular mixed doubles the following weekend. Softball and soccer will resume and hopefully make up their season -- lots of trouble on that score last summer, if you recall -- but the rain probably did somebody somewhere some good, and the field at least looks greener. The Fire Co., by the bye, apologizes for any inconvenience afflicted on passers-by during its propane tank fire drill last Saturday afternoon, roping off B'way from Pomander to the south ballfield fence with impenetrable yellow police tape. The drill was

important, but, mindful of our civic responsibilities, we were careful not to site the tank being used on the already-soaked field, so as not to pour even more water on the grass. Instead, we aimed it at St. Andrew's. Like I said, civic-minded. Separation of church and state.

But while on the SVFC subject, please note the Parade is coming -- Saturday, July 23, at 11 a.m., starting at the firehouse and wending its way along a secret, if not downright spur-of-the-moment, route for 25 minutes or so till ending back at the 'house. Free food, of course. Band music, too, this year, if all goes right, unlike last year. Maybe two bands, maybe: the traditional xylophone-and-drum corps, perhaps abetted by a detachment from an NYC fife-and-bagpipe brigade.

Ever wonder how the Budweiser song sounds on bagpipes? This could prove your once-in-a-liftime chance to find out. Unless you have something better to do, like rummage around the house for next year's bazaar. On a final Fire Co. note, my errors are sometimes gross, sometimes merely egregious, but last issue I made one, an omission really, that qualifies as both, and then some: neglecting, amid the swarm of names unspooled as aiding in the dept.'s cocktail effort, that of one of the principle aiders, Liv Hempel, who we not only press-ganged into making a Costco run -- New York State is considering repealing the death penalty for capital crimes and instituting instead a trip to Costco -- but who, as nearly always, helped out tremendously in the kitchen, clean-up, hosting duties, you name it. This I did to one of my best friends. I mean, leaving out Kaufman, who'd care, but Liv deserves better. If more people knew all she does for Saltaire -- including work at the F.I. law enforcement council, with the FIA, liasing with people like her good friend Angie Carpenter and others, among myriad extras -- you'd realize how valuable a light we have, in Liv, in this village. I can't believe I did such a dopey thing, but then I can't believe I do most of the things I do. If indeed I even do them. Sorry, Liv! Hey -- free pancakes in Sept.!

Meanwhile, at the SYC

Every day this weekend brings something thrilling and fascinating. Even besides tennis. This week, as mentioned last week, the sailing extravaganza, centerpieced by the sandbar picnic, Saturday 11:30 - 2. Anyone not making it home immediately is retrieved next day at the 8th annual fishing tournament, always a showcase for the participants, big boats, big fish, big beer cups. As an inducement to get as many as possible out on the briny, the weekend kicks off, and very nearly kicks off for good, with Friday's karaoke night, designed in part to make the barbecue preceding it look like the high point of the week. Karaoke -- invariably mispronounced carioca, carioky, or croaky -- was invented by the Japanese too late in '45 to salvage the war but has been wreaking havoc on the west ever since, something the west is quite capable of doing to itself without outside assistance.

 

Speaking of croakers, Doc Furey pointed out his latest donation to the Village -- a big green sign shaped like a fish that says Doctor (the sign says that, not the fish -- not one of those talking bass things), posted right outside his office on the corner of Bay and Broadway, therby insuring not only ready identification of the premises by residents, but a steady stream of clients as bicyclists smack into it taking the corner too tight. Nice touch, Bob. Now the Village Attorney will be so jealous he'll put out a similar sign depicting a shark. A doctor's joke.

Missed noting the Birds of Prey live demo last Saturday morn, part of Chuck Jones's ongoing series of talks from the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Conservancy, which we've had for several summers now. A couple of the birds got loose while on a visit to the piping plover sanctuary up at the beach afterward, but that hasn't deterred the Conservancy's next show, reptiles, which will be held either on the 23rd or 30th: hopefully the latter, as the parade's on the 23rd and the reptiles do better when there's no loud music to distract them from the plovers. At the gazebo.

 

Finally, Justice

A lot of it meted out at court last Saturday. One fireworks infraction suffered by plaintiff Ken Larson, whose case prevailed, but unrelated to the massive missile barrage set off that night, somewhere near the west end. C'mon, guys, the 4th's over, save 'em for Guy Fawkes in November and give the resident Brits another shock. Not to mention pipe bombs at Tobay last week. Meanwhile, I'm gifting a boxed DVD set of “Wanted: Dead or Alive” to Tom Field, with a file enclosed. Miscreant! Still, as Security Commissioner, we do have our miscues. Saw that ad for a laser at the store before realizing they meant a boat. Damn. Joe Walter and Kevin Gillespie and I were all set to erect it atop the dockhouse to control the harbor before marching inland on a path of conquest. Now it's back to unrecycled refuse and night bike riding. Same old Saltaire.