Saltaire Summery
Volume 49, Issue 7
By Hugh O’Brien


Muggy hardly begins to describe this weather. So, to escape it, over the weekend several of us landed in the fire department's library (TV room), where Angus & David had permanently set the A.C. controls at 44 degrees, which resulted in so much frost and condensation on the glass doors that come an emergency no one in the rest of the building would even realize anybody was in there. And there, for much of the time, you could find various members konked out on the couch, awaiting a call that never came, running through the house supplies of Slim Jims, Hershey's mini chocolates and Gatorade—fire/rescue requires a healthy body—watching educational fare on the tube such as “Spies Like Us” and “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.” Fire/rescue also requires a healthy mind—until some of us wound up, late Sunday afternoon, staring at “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, the '56 classic about pods from outer space that take over human forms and turn them into soulless, emotionless vegetables, devoid of ambition or drive or any desire to love or learn, doing no more than is necessary to survive while otherwise spending their days gazing blankly into... umm, never mind. Although, come to think of it, vegetables do keep better in the refrigerator. Quite the recruiting tool, that air conditioning.


As per that said institution, join in this Saturday when the departmental pods stage their annual parade around the village, followed by the usual hot-dog fest, free food, beer and soda back at the firehouse. The quality of this thing, it must be boasted, seems to get better every year, with only occasional mishaps, like, uh, no band. All right, admit it, that was a kind of fun one-time accidental experiment, but this year we're making up for it by having not just one but two bands accompanying the defile, as hinted at hopefully here the other week. The North Babylon F.D. band, a traditional source of listening pleasure for Saltaire's parades, will be augmented by the FDNY's Emerald Society Fife and Drum corps, courtesy the efforts of Rich Wilde, chief lifeguard and honored FDNY member. This much-admired and in-demand group should add something unique to our proceedings, which, among other items, we trust will include following the agreed-upon parade route this time, which, had fortune not taken pity on us, might have resulted in something else unique last summer, such as the thud of several trucks crashing through the wrong boardwalk. That unexpected re-routing did force hordes of onlookers to race their bikes over to the next street to get a glimpse of the by-passing parade. Probably Broadway-Bay-Atlantic-Lighthouse-Pacific-Bay and back to the 'house. But stay alert, stand back at the corners, and keep your bicycles at the ready. Start time: 11:30 a.m., or 1130 hours in fireman talk.


A nice way to end such a July-23 Saturday presents itself in the second annual Saltaire-sponsored Lighthouse Trip, departing the village dock at 6:30 for an early-evening cruise to the venerable landmark, via water taxi. Guided tours of the light will be held, right to the top (well, practically), the chance, as the signs say, for some marvelous photo ops, or photo oops, if you're incautious about stepping back for a wide angle shot. Light house refreshments will be served (beer, wine, hors d'oeuvres, slim jims). Okay, the posters don't say “light house,” just “light,” but they should, since it's so inordinately clever. Space is limited —40 only—so call the Village Office at 583-5566 to grab any last available places. Mario has already informed me that as a trustee, I can go, but only atop the taxi, and I don't believe he's kidding. Return trip, 8:30. $45 per person, in or on top of the boat. No children, please; this is a family community. What the age cutoff is, the signs don't say, and I ain't about to speculate. Probably 18. Ask at the office.


Haven't heard a date for the Nature Conservancy's reptile demonstration; I'm guessing the 30th, but I'm always wrong, so check the bulletin boards or pester Chuck until he yells “Okay! Okay! The 30th! Now untie me!”


Who'd a-thunk it, as they used to say, but karaoke night wound up THE unexpected smash event of the Club season following its thunderous debut last Friday eve. Slow going just at first, in a place where people often have to be coaxed onto the dance floor by promises of something free, but once that initial snowflake of song fell the avalanche soon ensued. Highlight was Commodore Carole herself, abetted by Lauren Bruening and the irrepressible Jim Sconzo, Sr— someone who most definitely has never needed coaxing to put on a good time— banding together for a rendition of “Margaritaville”, aptly chosen and well bellowed. And if the Commodore could venture up to the mike, could any of her subjects demur? Hardly. This night was so big there's already talk, not of another go next year—that's a given —but of finding space on the calendar next month for a second round. Why not? Plenty of BBQ nights still to go, and little on offer after them most Fridays. Not to mention the amount of intoxicants the bar vended as a boost to business. You don't suppose there could be a connection between the number of sold drinks and the number of bold karaokers, do you? Nah. It was just the humidity.


But there is at least one after-barbecue night spoken for, the 29th, and you'd better know when to fold 'em when you plunge into Texas Hold 'Em Night, starting around 8:30 (after dinner), and promised to linger on till 1. The Club's already taken delivery of three cases of made-in-China poker chips & gear, weighing about 35 lbs. apiece, in preparation for this Cincinnati-Kid-style hoedown/showdown. Having it on barbecue night is good, though, you know, what with Texans and barbecues and all. Sign up at the bar any time in the coming week— here, too, space is limited, to the first 90 marks who register—plonk down the buy-in fee of $25 each, and you're on the road to wealth, fame and a persistent gambling addiction. Play is “tournament style”, which it is explained means the top five finishers divide the pot, also the cash, at the end of the evening. Tommy don't mind you come here to play, stranger, but he's collectin' all firearms at the door, so things'll be real peaceable-like. Drop by the Club or call Tom at 583-5117 to enlist. Must be 21 and a member. Alert! Dealers needed. Card dealers, idiot, I was just admonished. More players want in than shufflers. Less profit potential, I guess. Anyway, if you'd like to while away the evening dealing and witness all the action, likewise contact Tom at the YC. And you don't have to be 21 to deal. 12, 16, 4—we hook 'em young.

The SYC's annual sandbar sailing picnic also drew a big group, 60 or more, Saturday midday, judging by the life preservers and picnic baskets floating in on the next tide, but the other major clubular marine activity took place with Sunday's eighth annual fishing tournament. Entrants arose as early as 5:00 to get away, though some didn't make it off till after 10, when the brief rain ended and the fog... well, the hell with visibility, this is why God gave Man the gift of radar, and made it easy for him by spelling it the same backwards as forwards. Boats began drifting in even before the 2 p.m. deadline, some intrepids having managed eight or nine hours on the prowl, or should one say trawl. Organizer and originator Steve Trentacoste presided over the weigh-ins and measure-ups before presenting the trophies (which looked like the killer sea bass in Austin Powers) to the by-now scruffy but celebrating sailors. Paul Kampa took the largest fluke award, no fluke there as Paul and crew shoved off by 5:30 and kept at the haul as if the boat's mortgage depended on the catch. Second place went to Scott and Gary Richard. Paul took the prize for second-largest fish, but the top award in this category went to Gary Barancik -- just how big got drowned out in the applause. Over 20 lbs., probably. For most fish caught, third place went to the crew of the Mama Luc (Steve T's boat, and even he can't spell it; no relation to the old Ottoman Marmalukes: from Turkish Bey to Great South Bay); they snagged 15 critters. Crew of the good ship Action (Paul K's craft) took second place, at 18; winner was John Zaccaro Jr.'s boat, the Ann Elizabeth, & crew, breaking out of the teens with 24 catches total. Hemingway would be proud. No count as yet of the number of kegs consumed back at the deck. But the event ended well after Tom got hold of the victims and escorted them to the kitchen to prepare them for their final earthly duty. Ah, to think...at 5 a.m., there they were, swimming peacefully along in their native waters. At 5 p.m., there they were, dished up as sushi at the tennis finals. I think The Twilight Zone was onto something in that “To Serve Man” episode.


And as to those finals, the postponed Mixed-Up Mixed Doubles tourney was won by Barbara Rosenblum & Carl Ekstein in a hard-fought and often knee- and ankle-crunching match vs. Marcel Sarubbi and Rich Montero. This weekend, Mixed Doubles. No sushi, I'm afraid. Chicken wings? Slim Jims? Something.



The administration regrets that unexpected beach chair raffle at B'way over the weekend; just think of it as an extension of the bazaar. But please—either store your chairs on the racks in the shed or take them home; don't toss them on the side onto other people's property. That's what prompted the clean-up. Corrective measures are being mulled, but nothing succeeeds better than beachgoer cooperation. Thanks!... Congratulations to Christopher Mount and his fiance, Stpehanie Emerson, on their forthcoming wedding this November in California, homeland of the bride....Don't forget to remember the Angie Carpenter fundraiser Saturday, July 30, at the Larson estate on Broadway, from 5-7, admission $50; please RSVP the Larsons by the 27th if you plan to attend so Ken can figure out the number of plastic cups he needs to buy. Such a Republican! But let's get out to support Angie for County Treasurer. (It's labeled as “a quaint get-together”. Not as in a “get-acqauinted get together”. Ain't it quaint?)...


Deepest condolences from all of us in Saltaire on the death last Tuesday of Mary Boddiker, a very long-time resident of the village over at Sea Walk. A lovely, warm and loving wife, mother and grandmother, and a firm friend and neighbor to us here in Saltaire; we grieve with Mary's husband, Arthur, their daughter, Christine, and her and her husband's extended families.


Finally—finally!—SCAA stuff. First: the org's next event is the House & Garden Tour, Saturday July 30 (rain date, the 31st, though this season additional rain dates are not unwise). To attend, please pre-purchase your tickets—I know, shades of George Carlin: buy them before you buy them—anyway, please register and purchase THIS Saturday, July 23, at the homes of either Clare Briody (202 Pacific) or Dorothy Beardsley (208 Atlantic: the Slote house), between 10 and 12. Since both ladies live on the fire dept. parade route, you may find yourselves racing to avoid being trampled before the noon deadline, which is very fine exercise. Cost, still only $10, after all these years. Next after the H&G comes the M&A, music & art festival. Saturday, August 6. Contact Cheryl Valente at 583-0127. Signs are up across town. Now, let us never mention August again.


Meanwhile, the Great & Glorious Saltaire Bazaar unspooled gloriously, and with just the right touch of greatness, last Sat. The usual siege, to be sure, but the buys and bargains must have been substantial as the event realized a record sum, beating even the unparallelled 2002 take. (Question: when the bazaar relocated that year, it was advertised as the 74th annual gathering. This one claimed to be the 81st. Huh? Where'd they sneak in those extra four bazaars?

Midwinter?) Final figures await confirmation from the accounting firm of Ball, Jar & Co., but a record is certain. Joy Brown, one of the prime instigators, battled ever-more-severe laryngitis to stick with the job and see it through (in these days of “Freedom Fries” and similarly intelligent anti-French sentiments, Joy was suffering from, you should pardon the expression, a self-described “frog in the throat”). Husband Michael took charge of the 20-prize raffle, at $5 a pop. The unusual format required that purchasers write their names and numbers on the $5 bills themselves (no reels of ticket stubs here), then stuff them into the raffle box—hey, we could use them at the next election—all for ready identification of the winners. (Several participants preceded their name & number on the bills with the phrase “For a good time, call...”, appalling Michael, who thought he had all that information on file already.) Anyway, thanks from the organizers—Joy, Edie Watts, Jennifer Cook and Eugenie Meluso -—to everyone who came down to help stack, sort and sell, in what we earnestly hope is an exhaustive list, democratically alphabetized: David Alquist, Dorothy Beardsley, Jane Boutwell, Edie Burns, Shelley Busch, Karen Glanternik, Liv Hempel, Andrew Hoffman, Chuck & Sandi Jones, Susan Karp, Gerda Kievit, Rhonda Kirschner, Bobbi Leigh, Jon Lindsey, Pat McElhone, Florence Mayers, Cherri Sherman and Jane Stewart; plus, special mention to Harry Baker and his grandson Joe, who hauled innumerable truckloads of goods endlessly Friday evening, from storage to firehouse, and Zach Golub, who helped move a lot of it around Saturday morning, the hardest workers, from a labor point of view, in the bunch. (Harry, naturally, has a term for such grunt work, the type of people required to perform it, but the delicacies must be observed, not to mention class-action libel suits.) If we've omitted anybody through inadvertance, I'm sure a small consideration from that record take would serve to smooth things over.

Proceeds from the bazaar benefit the Saltaire Fire Co.,which thanks you very much indeed, but the FD profited from the event in other ways, it appears. Seems a paperback on offer, entitled “Love Positions”, found its way off the tables and into the radio room drawer, where it was discovered when we were looking for the resusitator instructions. After warning that the tome was for married couples only—oh, gosh, we have to put it back—the cover went on to boast that the book contained “over 90” full-page photographs of a couple demonstrating various, shall we say, skills. Indeed: 91, to be exact. (They were numbered.) A British book, of course—who else would need it? The French? The couple were wearing underwear, too, which may explain the declining British birth rate. Published in '69, which I'm sure sailed over the heads of the authors. What was more intriguing was the list of volumes put out by the same company, all of which I'm sure are still in print...”Slaves to Sin.” “The Lure of Lust.” “Oriental Love in Action” [translated from the Italian]. “Vice in Bombay” [guess the guy who wrote that Oriental book stopped off on his way east]. “The Desire to Dominate.” And “The Master Masochist”, among others. No wonder St. Andrew's kicked the bazaar out. But for the FD pod room, at 44 degrees, it fits like a... like a glove.