On & Off The Deck
By Jon Wilner

Only in the Pines would a Saturday night in June be so chock- full of events that we actually had to choose where we were going. The social day began around 3 p.m., when Fred Cantor hosted a VIP cocktail party for all the big Pines donors of SAGE. His home is lovely and was a unique setting for an afternoon get together and was worth the walk all the way to Fisherman’s Path in the rain. A couple of short hours later, courtesy of Eric Von Kuersteiner, the 2006 SAGE event in the Pines took place at the Pavilion. Tom Rabig, Gilbert Parker and Annie and Eddie Candreva were the honorees. Our dear friend Mary Strauch even flew in from Palm Beach to honor her friend Tom; hopefully we’ll see Mary and Paul later on this season.

As quickly as Annie and Eddie took the center stage at SAGE, they were whisked out of the Pavilion and escorted upon Kenny Stein’s personal boat to join the Fire Island Pines Volunteer Fire Department on a journey to the Snapper Inn for the annual dinner and installation of new officers. Eddie is First Assistant Chief and Annie spent the day, before they were honored, catering the food for the Ocean Beach Volunteer Fire Department, who were covering for their fellow firefighters in the Pines, as the ferry embarked to the Snapper Inn.

All aboard and on to the dinner with FIPPOA President Alan Brockman, Fire Commissioner Ed Lewis and Glen Wielgus, Fire Chief Ron Quinto and Albert Smith, Sandy Krac and Commissioner Judy Perez and their dates, Gino Chiapparelli and Richard Pittelli, Scott Bromley, firefighter extraordinaire, who still has a scar or two from fighting the famous Sky Walk fire over a decade ago, which saved the home now owned by Alan Brackett. Also aboard were Fireman Mark Ski and FIPPOA director Stephen Hayes, firefighters Bo Fridsberg and Cheryl Jimerson.

Our documentarian and French socialite Laura Haim was also aboard, with of course the permission of her dashing and handsome partner, Tom Reilly, who patiently awaited her return to Sunburst Walk many, many, many hours later. As we arrived at the Snapper Inn we were greeted by firefighters Doug Teague and Holly Teague, Marilyn Levin, Clern and Carole LaFountaine and George Murphy, who escorted Chris Pfoh onto the dance floor.

The evening was especially celebratory as Carole LaFountaine was honored for forty years of service to our fire department. Having been the first woman chief in 1980 and 1981, she demonstrates the kind of devotion that is unparalleled, not to mention the fact that she is just as beautiful now as she was when I met her in 1983. Carole’s dance card was filled by both her loving husband Clern and our local loving architect Scott Bromley. Jay Demeusy, Marilyn Levin’s son, was also honored for 35 years of service; he graciously emceed the evening as well. Jim Cashel and Marilyn were honored for 30 years of service, Sandy Krac and Judy Perez for 15 years of service, Chief Ron Quinto for 10 years of service and Eric Von Kuersteiner, Mark Ski and Bo Fridsberg among those honored for five years of service. Firefighter Bruce Van Brunt led a moment of silence for former Chief Dick Van Brunt, who passed away this past week.

Condolences to his wife Mary, my former neighbors on Shady Walk. Also, condolences to firefighter Anne Gentile on the loss of her brother this past month. None of us departed without enjoying the fan-dancing expertise of Frank Corradino, Billy Angel and Dennis Serianno.

Back on gay soil, we returned to the Pines at around midnight, just in time to go to the Pavilion. Earlier in the evening Porsche entertained at the Blue Whale, following Peppermint on Minty Fresh Friday night.

This Saturday the co-ops will have their spring membership meeting. The voters will be flocking to this meeting to decide on the infamous flip tax vote. This is the most controversial and divisive issue in the co-ops since the famous renovation of the Presidential co op after the 1985 hurricane.

And you thought the film “Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe” was accurate? Well wrong, they missed one! Laurence Isaacson, one of our newest homeowners on the Bay, and owner of the Paris Commune Restaurant in New York City, not to mention one of our musical comedy geniuses of the Pines, will be dazzling us with his culinary skills for FIPAP on July 22. And you thought he only made Boy Soup over there on Bay Walk in that hot tub. His recipes and extraordinary skill will keep you out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, so sign up in the harbor now.

On June 17, Richard Pittelli and Gino Chiapparelli will kick off the FIPAP season with their Italian cooking extravaganza—this is one kettle that will be fun to help stir!

June 17 marks the annual Miracle House Benefit and Tea-Quila party at 548 Beachcomber, hosted by Chris Kern, Doug Smith, Marc Cote and Jay Henry from 5 to 8 p.m. DJ Marc Cote will double as both host and DJ while one and all will have a variety of fabulous goodies to bid on during the silent auction.

We made it to the silver screen! Hearty Congratulations to Crayton Robey, who directed and produced “When Ocean Meets Sky,” the wonderful documentary about the history of the Pines, as the entire world gets to view it on the LOGO channel this coming Saturday, June 10 at 9 p.m. Thank you Crayton for putting us on the map so respectfully and lovingly. Fortunately Tony LaRocco has preserved all the wonderful posters and artifacts of Pines life over the past 50-plus years. Both he and Tony Roncalli will be restoring them for a permanent tribute to the Pines in the near future. Those snapshots of yes, you, at that party in that outfit, that you thought were long destroyed, will appear just when you least expect it!

Give a Pines welcome to visitors Mary Luigs, mother of Jim, Valerie and Peter Riley, who make it so evident that there’s no place like home, Vinny Petrarca who is producing Ascension, the beach party for August 20, Robert Sekulovich who proves that the permanent roster of Allan Masur’s stunning houseguests remain a part of our landscape, Jeffrey Dyksterhouse, who we collectively have stolen his return ferry pass, and Jon Biondo’s mother, who celebrated her birthday in Jon, Tim and Sean’s fabulous bayfront villa.

Do you have your wagon sticker yet? Well go down to the harbor and see Gary Clinton, the keeper of the stickers, but make sure you’ve paid your FIPPOA membership dues first. Gary will have your membership application there just in case, so bring a credit card or check or cash. Otherwise, goodbye wagon one Friday afternoon when you arrive loaded down with packages of stuff you should have bought in the Pines to begin with.

Check out the 2006 exciting clothes at both Index and All American Boy. We can’t stop shopping! Only in the Pines does one show their real age by the t shirt or sweat shirt they wear. You can spot a 70s or 80s All American Boy original on any given weekend, but what is really impressive is to see one of Robert D’Antonio’s one-of-a kind samplers on the boardwalk. When you buy good, and you can still fit into it, you’re on your way to tea!

The annual invasion of the Grove to the Pines is on Tuesday, July 4. Don’t plan on leaving early that day—you’ll never get out of the harbor without lipstick on your collar and who knows where else.

Congratulations to Mark Landrey and Sam Welch on their newest addition. Their beautiful twin daughters have a new bayfront home to enjoy growing up in. Maybe they will open their cherry tree-lined walkway for the annual Kentucky Derby Party next year, for the festive yearly event is now homeless and everyone knows what sports enthusiasts live here in the Pines. Speaking of sports enthusiasts, find a tennis court in the Pines please for Anthony and Andrew, Arnie and Atilano and John Crocco. Do I see a new project for the ever active Laura Hartstein?

Save the dates, Pines Party on July 29, Ascension on August 20, Dancers Responding to AIDS the weekend of July 14 at the home of Jon Biondo, Tim Horman and Sean Peggs. Also watch this column for details on Senator Charles Schumer and his upcoming visit to the Pines to promote beach replenishment! Ah, those fundraisers in the Pines, we never sleep… We have so much to do, and only a summer season to do it in!