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Saltaire Summery
Volume 49, Issue 9
By Hugh O’Brien

Blackouts! Sirens! Unauthorized social interactions! Cyclonic occlusions! Street fairs! Sorry, too late, that was last week, this is a biweekly paper now. Ever thus—all the good stuff happens on the off-weekends. Biggest news in these parts since that tsunami spiked a 9-inch wave on Fire Island last December. However, you’re perusing what is unquestionably the best of the biweekly buys available, or weeklies for that matter, so as long as we can keep two weeks apace of events everything will be fine. Assuming the computer doesn’t crash again and force me to write this a third time. Lucky for me it’s a crummy afternoon outdoors.

August!

Already slipping away so quickly we’ll be eating pancakes before we know it.

First, an item of some seriousness, nothing to get panicky over, simply take a little extra care and be vigilant. As posted about the village, a sample of mosqutioes taken in Saltaire July 29 turned up one little bugger apparently carrying West Nile virus. The Suffolk County Dept. of Health is analyzing the results to determine their accuracy (false positives can occur, or this could be a one-time fluke), and is coordinating with the village on the course of action to take if the results and retests confirm the initial analysis. Additional notices will be posted on the bulletin boards and on the village’s website (what, we’re getting into spiders now?) at www.saltaire.org, and the subject will no doubt also be discussed at the Board meeting this Saturday at 9:00.

Meantime, please take all precautions to prevent mosquito bites— Raid and Off are good starting points —especially at dusk and early evening, prime mosquito hunting hours (them-us, not us-them). Incidentally, the village still has stocks of mosquito dunks, to be dropped into then flushed down your t.b.’s, which allows them to kill off any mosquito larvae settled pleasantly in the agreeable and commodious surroundings of your septic tanks. Available to all citizens, free, at the village office. Of course, in such an emergency it is expected that there may be some casualties among the Tidy Bowl men drifting aboard their stalled speedboats inside your toilet tank, but prosecutors have indicated that, in the interest of public health, they do not intend to seek legal action against any homeowner, especially as we’d already had enough calypso music at the Yacht Club’s Caribbean night.

A needed correction: Dr. Paul Auteri took the first two weeks of August Doc duties in town; to be followed mid-month by Dr. Peter Paisley. They were originally scheduled the other way round. As health minister, I should know better than to trust the mumbo-jumbo in these so-called official reports.

You can take your mind off mosquitoes by moseying down to the skeet-free ballfield Saturday to enroll in, or at least cheer, the seventh annual Saltaire Soccer Cup, and has it been named the Perlberger Cup yet? If not, why not? Unless it has been, in which case, Ralph, how could you be so shameless? Anyway, pre-registration–you know, you register before you register–runs this Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9:30-10:30, by the field. Teams and schedules are posted at 11:30 a.m. Ralph goes windsurfing, 11:30-12 noon. Play begins at noon, and goes Saturday & Sunday. Qualifications: age 13 & over; priority to Saltairians and their guests; $15 entry fee; men accepted as well as women. Don’t know if there’s a T-shirt involved; perhaps; but hardly an item in short supply hereabouts. Kind of beside the point, really. Like that Shakespeare guy said, the play’s the thing. Yeah, that Shakespeare, he really knew his soccer, only he called it football and spelled it with a u, ‘cause, like, those English were like so weird back in the 1600s.

The SCAA, meanwhile, has had a busy couple of weeks as its sked gets more crowded—the H&G, A&M, the entire alphabet soup of second-half summer activities coming fast and furious. House & Garden was a jammed success—more tourers than tourees, almost.

The Art & Music Festival allowed the display of varying kinds and qualities of arts and crafts, photographs, paintings, jewelry, scarfs, down to high heels and T-shirts, plus a new one this year, a book written and sold by our own Ed Mooney of Fire Island Ferries, a history of the company, and bay and boat tales.

The Capt. Al Skinner watermelon party, complete with music and games for the kids, was as always a big hit; the music—at the gazebo, in the field, along the bayfront—was superb; and the sunset picnic drew what everyone insisted was its largest crowd ever—probably so, given the presence of yellow police tape unspooled along Bay Prom, to channel and direct partygoers to their designated picnic space. Not quite the innocent, communal, folkloric, happy-peasant collective-farm sing-along envisioned by its founders, but a community tradition just the same, and the yellow tape did at least serve to keep Mark Dietrich penned inside his house till the festiviites were safely over.

Next up for the SCAA, the J— J for Jogathon, Aug. 20-21. No, the races don’t take two days—well, except for a few of us—but, as ever, you must...PRE-REGISTER! Saturday the 20th, between 9 and noon on the portico of the Village Hall. (Didn’t want to say porch — “portico” sounds so much more Jeffersonian.) Don’t have the details at hand; the entry fee is generally $20, or $25 on race day itself IF available and the registrars are so inclined; younger runners usually run for free, and of course in this case there’s always a T-shirt involved. Just bring a goodly amount of cash, or a check drawn on a sizable bank account, to cover all eventualities. The two J races will be run Sunday, Aug. 21, starting at 9:00, details and courses to be handed out at registration. Winners will have their names printed herein, as if a T-shirt and misspelled trophy weren’t sufficient glory.

By the way, runners, the 10K Race is definitely NOT on the schedule this year. Guess you will, after all, have to resort to violence. But sandcastles are still on for Sept. 3.

Sorry. I shall not again utter the S-word until it becomes absolutely unavoidable.

Meanwhile, since last column, posters have popped up on the various bb’s, headlined Saltaire Adult Activities, Summer 2005. The details, unfortunately, aren’t as juicy as that banner might suggest to the more pruriently inclined (wrong season), but still advertise some fun and worthwhile projects. Unhappily, the posters appeared a tad too late for inclusion earlier, and by the time you read this, one or two of them may have already come and gone; however, everything’s worth noting.... On our Too-late-to-list list: Thursday, Aug. 11, Gloria Abramowitz was to hold a quilting demonstration, followed by tips on cultivating prize-winning dahlias, at her home at 204 Anchor....On the other hand, for the Run-down-to-the-store, grab-the-paper-and-tear-it-right-open-to-the-column crowd, there may still be time to witness RoseAnn Trentacoste’s renowned wizardry in the kitchen as she shares some culinary cues this Friday, Aug. 12, at 1:00 at her home, 307 Broadway. The following Friday, the 19th, a similarly-themed yet decidedly unique cooking demo will be presided over by another of Saltaire’s great chefs, Tracey Zabar, at 3:30 at chez Zabar, 205 Navy. (Zabars on Navy? Really? I’d have thought Bay, wedged between houses on Navy and Pacific. No directory handy, but I guess if you follow the aroma of fine food you’ll get there all right.) Finally, two activities are TBDs — date, time and site as yet unset: Phyllis Gallaway’s jewelry class, a workshop on making earrings, and Jodi Perlberger’s flower arranging session. Later posters will no doubt carry updates, but for complete information, and—yes—to PRE-REGISTER!—call Randie Malinsky at 917-696-9247, or e-mail her at [email protected] You have to sign up before you can show up.

Camp!

A fistful of activities before us. A live demonstration of rain forest wildlife will be held this weekend. The posters around are really cute — a happy monkey clinging onto a coconut palm, a presumably vegetarian snake slithering above in the fronds, and what appears to be a flower pot next to it all. Much friendlier than that huge, ugly beetle or whatever it is in the upper left corner, maybe something carrying West Nile virus—that’ll take care of August rentals nicely, I should think —but these demos, by the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Conservancy, are always pretty cool. At the Brodkin Park gazebo, beginning at 10:30 this Saturday, immediately following the Endangered Species exhibit at the firehouse meeting room at nine o’clock. The final TRNC show will be held Sat., Aug. 27, also 10:30 at the gazebo, this one the parade-delayed reptile demonstration, and not a moment too soon.

In between, Mr. Phish, as I believe he spells it, performs some of his pheats of physics, always a blast, on Wed. the 17th, starting at 7 p.m. at the Yacht Club, where dinner will not be interrupted. And on Saturday Aug. 20, the annual excursion to Sunken Forest will be undertaken, your chance to be borne back ceaselessly into the past, as the forest truly is a unique place preserved, more or less, as it has been, with flora and fauna found nowhere else on the island, as the guidebook always boasted. Guess what? You have to—PRE-REGISTER at the village office, for the nominally outrageous fee of $15; space is limited to 30. Water taxis will depart at or about 9 a.m. sharp, approximately. This is a great trip; you should go. As good as the one to the lighthouse, and that’s hard to beat, though they did serve wine and cheese, instead of Sprite and Cheez Doodles, on that one.

Couple of softball notes, pretty exciting stuff, actually. Harold Weinzweig pitched the first-ever perfect game in League history last Saturday morning, after a good night’s sleep no doubt, winning for the Fringe over the Dogfish, and believe it or not no one remembered the score, though we can hazard a guess as to the Dogfish number. Harold’s been playing in the League since 1985, practically ancient by League standards, as his friends readily, even eagerly, tell you. Dick Starkey reminds that the League itself has been around since 1971— well do some of us remember that fateful era—so Harold’s feat shatters a 34-year drought, or some such metaphor. As they said of the ‘69 Mets, Amazing. That afternoon, Jason Kunreuther scored what his father said was his first-ever home run—is that right?—but the main thing being it happened to be a grand slam, bases loaded, Jason putting away the game for his Bulkheads over the Dragons. I wasn’t quite sure, from the way this story was relayed to me, which was the more noteworthy achievement — Jason’s grand slam, or the celebratory tea for his teammates he presided over that evening at the Yacht Club. I vote the slam. Congratulations, Jason. Dad’s so proud he insists on picking up the tab.

SYC

Check out the SYC’s calendar for August—the word “last” is used in 7 of the 12 events listed. Now that’s alarming. So let’s see...the last Caribbean night was the best attended one yet, yet with some leftovers “lasting” till next day’s lunch...more last tennis & sailing tournaments coming up...the year’s last Texas Hold ‘Em night went okay, a top pot I heard of around $1,100, the evening undisturbed by the blackouts constantly recurring, although there were occasional showdowns over pots that appeared suddenly smaller, or hands that looked suddenly better, each time the lights came back on. But Tom and the dealers kept a semblance of order. Bridge night, frankly, looked more like Deadwood than this thing.

Semi-Sporting

On a semi-sporting, but partly serious, side, Saltaire’s lifeguards excelled at the annual lifeguard competition, held in Ocean Beach’s waters on Friday the 5th. All our bay and ocean guards participated (Richie Wilde said, There are too many of them to name, so guys, hold his head under water, not mine), off-hours, no beach left unsupervised. Saltaire took first place in the 4 x 100 running relay and the more serious —in that involves actual rescue techniques—five-person yoke; both our men’s and women’s teams won that event, the women beating out one of the other men’s teams. No surprise if you know our guards. Rich also asks that we congratulate Michael Valente, Brandon Boldt and Tom Connolly on becoming newly certified lifeguards, a few days earlier; from all of us, we certainly do congratulate them. This feat of strength at the lifeguard contest was the more impressive in that several of the guards had earlier that day swum in the Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross-Bay Swim, while others assisted in the endeavor. John Ackell placed second overall, for the second year in a row, while Rich, Dave Carswell and—gasp—a veteran of yesteryear, Tom Vautier (Saltaire lifeguard class of ‘77!) each finished strongly. Accompanying kayakers, to watch over the swimmers, included three Joneses—Courtney, Heather and Chuck—Tom Connolly, Elizabeth Kelly, Annie Cunningham and Kate Azzinaro; while Sandi Jones, Jimmy Wilde, Vern Henriksen and Adam Cox also helped out. Most importantly, the participants raised lots of money for the Hospice, in memory of dearest Maggie. Way to go.

And, of course, they all had to pre-register.

In a similar vein, however, let’s take special note of Charlotte McGowan, 10, and Meredith English, 14, who watched without regret as a couple of years’ growth of their beautiful hair was shorn off for a good cause—Locks of Love, a program that collects hair from donors so it can be fashioned into hairpieces for cancer victims who’ve undergone radiation or chemo. Charlotte, I learned, donated ten inches of her hair, Meredith a like amount. What a terrific thing for the girls to do!

See? There’s so many Saltairians to be proud of, and we get worked up over a handful of selfish dopes.

Now I’m going to go down and pre-register for the Pimm’s Cup, provided Tommy drove out onto the dock to fetch the cucumbers we ordered. In his appropriately pre-registered golf cart!