Kismet Kapers
By Bradlee White

We’ve been tested by the HEAT and, collectively, have lost a bit of our minds. The beaches were jammed and the streets empty. There was a wealth of musical entertainment downtown for the sleepless. Well, that’s what vacation is all about, right? In the midst of the heat, we were extremely grateful (to all those folks who made this happen) to hear and watch the beach bulldozers scraping sand to build the dunes that protect our houses.

Jump-starting the week from hell was a glorious weekend. Michelle, Saffron, Kaitlyn, Samatha, Alyssa and Anna played with the kittens at the KLAW table. As evening set in, the town was chock full of parties. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade—Kismet style—began pretty much on (Kismet) time—from Way Way Yonder. It was an all-out effort by Lovers and Other Strangers, coordinated by Michelle (who says she’s done her part—the crawl is up to others). The 11-piece Amityville Highland Pipe band marched across to the Aqua Palace, circling the pool, playing tribute to Shaggy on his 40th birthday. Then, led by the County Kismet banner, Grand Marshall Gil and Honorary Marshals Tim Mooney and Jay Smith, followed by Punk Rock Pete in kilt, 3 leprechauns, Balloon Lenny and green-clad paraders, the procession marched around town, past the Inn and Out, then to Lovers for corn beef and cabbage.

At the same time, birthday celebrations continued at Aqua Palace. The party, engineered by Shaggy’s mother, Ann, actually was a complete surprise to him since the group always has a party in late July. Ann cooked and transported vast quantities of food that more than sated all members of the house—Mary, Marybeth, Sue, Ernie, Sarge, John, Claire, Dawn, Nancy, Jimmy, Allison and Joe—as well as a number of guests. Dennis W. commented that it was more food than Adhem had had in the house in 20 years. House members presented Shaggy with a gift certificate to Lowe’s—he’s a new homeowner. After their collective dinners, both house groups headed for an evening of dancing and mirth downtown.

In the meantime, the boys of a few summers past were gathering at the White House to honor ‘Big Bob’ who’s getting married in a few weeks in Montana. It was a reunion as well for this gang of self-described jocks, including Mike K., Kevin, Al, Al C. and Mike Coffee who used to hang at Triple Decker, Lovers and Sunset House. Led by Big Bob carrying the American flag, these guys always made a splashy entrance to the beach.

It was a time of family reunions too, as the Beck and Decker clans converged and the former Patty Decker and her husband Jim welcomed their son home from Iraq. Jim and Millie Baker’s extended family spent a couple of weeks at Jack and Marge’s house with Jim and Millie commuting to their boat. Lots of other family visitors coming and going. Chris J.’s sister Brooks in from DC and her mother, also Brooks, due this week. Caroline’s just back from sleep-away camp in time to catch pals Anne Marie & Catherine B. who’ll be entertaining their aunt Dana (Laurie’s sister). Myrna’s son and daughter-in-law Alan and Christine came out with 19-month old Sophia who really got into dancing with the Jazz band at the Inn. “She’s been bopping since she could stand.”

I caught up with the Wood kids’ activities when Amy, Mallory and Aunt Michelle came to visit the kittens. Sammy’s softball team went into the Jr. Olympics rated 26th and came out at 21st, which is considered a very good showing. Mallory’s playing softball 4 days a week now too. Sam’s taking a Driver Safety course, so he’ll soon be able to take over the chauffeuring. Although it was Aunt Michelle who was kitty-shopping, it was Mallory who fell in love. Knowing Dad would be a hard sell, she composed a very well written proposal letter that obviously worked. Mother and daughter came for the baby the next day. (Another kitty—the tortoise-shell—was adopted by Koty and Anna Pucci of Saltaire.)

Last weekend saw many ad hoc gatherings in lieu of official parties. Friday nite, visiting Lauren Dennis and her cousins, Pete, Myrna, Andrea and Beth of C.A. and Terry C. all found themselves at Jon Mandels with Annette. A Sunset gathering at Sunset House Saturday turned into a late dinner for guests Chris, Kunkel and Rick when the Alley’s grill ran out of gas mid-chicken. There was an after-hours party at Aqua Palace—the first and probably the last, as unknown guests outnumbered house members. (I mistakenly blamed Joebeck for the late-night sounds.)

While C.A.’s Myrna and Andrea luxuriated with massages by a friend from Canyon Ranch Sunday night, the first of the FD Auxiliary movies—”Syriana”—kicked off at 7 p.m. at the Fire House. With new window shades, we no longer have to wait for sunset. The movie system is vastly improved over last year’s, though when the surround sound was installed, the proper video hookups weren’t made. Bill J., Bill P. and Joe Mc. spent 3 hours setting it up. The first movie for children, aimed at the 6-9 crowd, kicked off Wednesday night. Future titles weren’t available at press time, but announcements will be posted around town.

The agenda for this weekend includes the infamous House Crawl Saturday night and the FD Auxiliary’s Duck Races Sunday at 11 a.m. outside the Fire House—complete with betting and prizes. Have fun and keep your garbage can lids on tight – the deer, having been properly vegetarian all season, are on the prowl for junk food. What they don’t eat will end up strewn on the sidewalks.