Rose’s View: Cherry Grove

Having a Gay Day at the Grove

By Robert Levine

Mike and Barbara Pinto get in the Grove spirit.

Cherry Grove celebrated Gay Pride with a fantastic parade beginning on Saturday, June 22. There was a beach party, dinner parties, a dance at the Community House and fireworks in the evening. It was a long and happy day – a gay day if you will. The parade was full of colorful decorated floats including the Arts Project float with Panzi at the helm carrying the rainbow flag; Frank from Cherry Grove Pizza marching proudly; the CGCAI float with Diane Romano, Patricia Goeff, Joyce and Danielle Yaeger; and of course the CGFD with many of the chiefs past and present. The mermaid float included Nikki as live art on a bicycle painted by Michael Fitzgerald. The Northwell float included Ed Fraser with his medical team. All tribes – leather men, dykes on bikes, and our 2019 Homecoming Queen Victoria Falls – decked out in fabulous rainbow attire in a float driven by Mike Fisher and Gary Sacks.

The townspeople turned out with great enthusiasm, many in colorful outfits, waving flags, and cheering the procession along. Porsche once again kicked off the parade by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” acapella. She certainly knows how to stir the crowd. The Parade looped around town twice and then arrived on our fabulous new dock before concluding. It was a good feeling.

On Friday, the first night of summer, Michael and I attended his third annual birthday dinner party hosted by Michael Moran and Matthew George at their bay front home.

The community welcomes Evelyn Danko back to the Grove, from a minor medical treatment in New York. Tatianna and Lauren, who live in the Grove, jet skied in the bay to “Roseland.” George Cabell and Chuck Krouse had Chuck’s sister and brother- in-law, Laura and Phil Garelik, as their guests from Farmington Hills, Michigan. They loved it here, but they had to leave after a week. I’m sure they’ll be back with us soon.

The Arts Project presented a reading and a discussion about Gilbert Baker, who designed the now iconic and world famous rainbow flag. He lived in Cherry Grove for the last 20 years of his life. Gay Nathan, Tommy DiMastri, Thom Hansen and Vincent Gazzoni read portions of his book “Rainbow Warrior: My Life in Color.” The first rainbow flag was raised in San Francisco on June 25, 1978, when Gilbert was 27 years old. In 2016, Gilbert won the best costume award at the Invasion in the Pines, dressed as Betsy Ross. He was very much involved in the making of the film “Milk,” which was shown at our Community House on June 30. Nike has just produced a line of Gilbert Baker clothing, which will benefit LGBTQ organizations including the Hetrick-Martin Institute.

Upcoming Events:
• On Saturday, July 6, from 4-7 p.m., CGCAI will hold their Italian Street Party at “Heaven N Earth,” a fundraiser for the Community House.
• On July 6, Rose Levine In “I Gotta Be Me,” at 8:30 p.m., with Mark York as director and musical director, Chris Bell and Dale Lally. Tickets are available at the Arts Project of Cherry Grove website, or at theatre box office on weekends, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• The 23rd annual Cherry Grove Garden Club Tour will be held on Sunday, July 7. Tickets will be available in the morning at a table set up in Cherry Grove. A reception will follow.
• Jazz-a-Size is held at the Community House every Monday and Friday, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., from July 8 to the end of August.
• Every Wednesday, beginning July 10, the Opera Discussion Group will meet from 11 a.m. to noon at the Community House.
• Hugh Ryan will read from his book, “When Brooklyn was Queer,” on July 17, also at the Community House.