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Kismet Kapers
By Bradlee White

We are all deeply saddened to learn of the death of Fritz Littlejohn last fall. A long-time Kismet seasonal resident, Fritz was an extraordinarily intelligent and charming man. Andre Moran suggested I speak with Fritz—a famous and long-time newsman—about Kismet history the first year I wrote the column in 1987.I so enjoyed our talks. I hope to write more after I’ve spoken with his widow, Ann, a prominent photographer.

It’s great to be back in Kismet, though with all the rain and Maple’s Lake Mario having morphed into The Sea of Beck, it didn’t seem all that different from season’s end in October last year. Looking back, we did have a great season last year and for those who didn’t leave, a relatively mild winter. When I last wrote, we were looking forward to Kismet’s first dance, sponsored by the FD Auxiliary and to Labor Day—both of which more than fulfilled all expectations. The Flower Ladies made over $1,000 which they contributed to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina Victims.

KLAW collected $218 for the Humane Society’s Disaster Relief. The teams of Lou R. and Jerry S. and Carol and Joan won the annual Plastic Klassic tennis tournament. Rollie and Janet Mennella celebrated 50 years of marriage with a number of friends at Capt. Bills.

The 2nd annual Seabay Block Party was a super hit – especially after Bill Jenks came up with a couple of generators to keep it all going until the power came back on. Fueled by beer, punch and Jell-O-shots, we danced and hula-hooped til the promised shut down time. Our easterly neighbors were not happy, but that’s why we live here.

Headed up by Lou and Patti Romanzi, Tony Manza and Tony Freda, with expert technical assistance from Warren, the FD Aux sponsored a really fun pasta dinner on a warm October night. The weather, as usual, turned nasty about mid-October.

Three days of pounding rains shut down the ferries for a day but stopped just in time for Mugsy and Jen’s wedding. It was pretty soggy for the after party, which started at Danielle’s and ended at Matt and Jeannine’s new house but no one cared. My dish went out, but DSL worked. One email from Barbosa started a lively and extensive exchange with mainland Kismetians – including Cory and Helen I who are now in Oregon. Then came the Nor’easter that lifted up and broke the Bay Walk by the Bulkhead, left dead jellies all over town, and live fish swimming by the Firehouse (Ashley threw them back).

Halloween was a cold night, but the Inn’s Party was crowded, with almost everyone in costume. Hundreds of pictures can be accessed through kismetrental.com.

Meanwhile, the growing Kismet South contingent gathered for New Year’s Eve at Bruce and Elaine’s and Day at Arthur and Nancy’s. Rita was sick, but Peter and Michelle drove over from the east coast, Peter’s brother Mitch flew in, Warren and Lee joined us and we were delighted to welcome Patt and Phil V. with their beautiful new daughter, Gianna, in from Atlanta. Arthur has recovered nicely from hip replacement, though his first two weeks with Charlie and Phyllis were rough – rejected for rehab, he endured P.T. in their laundry room.

Lots of house renovations happened and happening: To name a few, Arthur and Nancy’s AandP complete with white Doric columns, Frank G.’s upstairs completely refloored and repaneled, Kyrsia and Dave’s house newly decked and Bobby R’s in the process of being rebuilt from the inside. Freda’s old house on W. Lighthouse is way way up on pilings, while house flags have finally been placed on the Crowe’s property next to me.

News from the KCA

Sidewalks are again on track. When the Islip Town Supervisor gotinto trouble last year, another town official wanted to start the process all over again. Now he’s gone too, so maybe ’06 is finally going to be the year.

Sam Wood and Co. will again handle street cleaning while KCA has hired Garden Sea Landscaping (Pete and Chris) to plant the public areas. As reported last year, FINS Supt. Reynolds is supportive of the communities’ beach scraping (to build up the dunes to keep storm and tide damage at bay.

The Kismet Beach Erosion Control District also planted dune grass this March (keeps the dune sand from blowing away). The beach does look good with gentle, sloping access on all streets. The bad news: The Flower Ladies have put in their retirement papers – they will be terribly missed.

Ranger Jay Lippert, a veteran disaster responder, made the point that all houses should prominently display the house number and all residents/renters should know the number and the cross street. Minutes saved by First Responders could make a life or death difference. Motions were passed for KCA to post more prominent street signs and make a donation to the Saltaire FD EMT squad, which responds to all Kismet medical calls. Jay also suggested verifying that our home insurance cover “wind driven rain,” an easy out for Insurance Companies post- Katrina. June 1 is the deadline for changes before hurricane season begins.

Looks to be a busy social season, with community events lining up to fill our idle hours. Bobbi Baker and Amy Wood will head up KCA’s main funding event–the annual Auction dinner at the Out–June date to be announced. KLAW will be holding their annual Flea Market June 10. The FD is sponsoring a fund-raising “Night of Comedy” on June 24. Tickets are $20 and will be sold in advance. It looks like the Book Sale is on again for July. Fran S. has volunteered to accept books.The FD Auxiliary will meet this or next weekend to begin planning events – another Pancake Breakfast for sure, maybe a night of square dancing. Everyone is invited to join; any ideas or help that you can be spare will be gratefully appreciated. Sunday nite movies will continue. All events will be held at or around the firehouse.

To those who heeded last weekend’s forecast and stayed home: They were wrong – again. Saturday was beautiful – the first Kenny’s birthday party where guests weren’t shivering. Kenny, in his purple fool’s cap, welcomed friends Lee and Nancy, Jeff and Marguerite, sister Marge and Kismetians Terry, Peter, Greg, Joebeck and new share Jackie, Jeannie, Sandy and Rickcit. Diane S.’s grandchildren were about the only ones having fun in the Sea of Beck – they must have created a dozen adventures wading through it. The excitement of the Preakness was painfully shattered by Barbaro’s horrible injury. The crowd broke up sooner than usual, with winners Kenny and Sandy and some folks off the Seabiscuit quietly taking their prizes. The Kismet Fire Dept. held it’s annual dinner Saturday nite at the Out. Current officers Chief Buddy Schumacher, 1st Assistant Joe Kelly, 2nd Assistant Tom Sitone, Treasurer Joan McKeehan and Secretary Art Weinstein were reelected. Arthur Goldstein received his 10-year pen in absentia. Appreciation was expressed to OB Chief Franklin Silsdorf for their gift of a new-to-us fire truck.