Rose’s View ~ Cherry Grove & Fire Island Pines

By Robert Levine ~ Cherry invaded the Pines once again for the 46th time. Lyn Hutton, Panzi and I were among the original 17 people who took Sally and Randy’s Water Taxi in 1976. This year we made it after a wet unsteady angry schedule. The day was changed from July 4 to July 3, then the weather and other situations were not cooperative, so it was changed again to July 5 – the legal Fourth of July holiday this year.Davida Jones, our Cherry Grove Homecoming Queen, was accompanied by an entourage of 20 dressed in a Rainbow and Progressive Flag Theme. They arrived just as the Pines pre-show on the dock was about to conclude, hosted by the incredible Shaquita. President Henry Robin was introduced and he welcomed everyone. Performers included Luis Villabon, Rose Levine and Seth Sykes. All the schedule changes meant that the crowd was not as full as in past years, but it was still a memorable event.The Arts Project opened the 2021 season with a grand reopening of the Community House, which was closed last summer due to the pandemic. “The Show Must Go On,” starring Rose Levine, was staged and directed by Musical Director Mark York. It was a fantastic experience. My special thanks to Davida Jones, Jack Bartholet, Dale Lally and Summer – all were wonderful additions to our cast. Also Wendy Lewis who served as stage manager, make-up artist Richard Cooley, and dresser Lizet Rubinos-Nemeth. It was a sold out performance.Another sold out show also took place that night at Whyte Hall as cabaret /rock star Storm Large took the stage courtesy of FIPAP.PAWS then held their annual Pet Blessing last Sunday, hosted by Valerie Perez and blessed by Reverend Ray.An exhibition of photographs by koitz, “Gay Fire Island,” will be held at the Community House on July 17 and 18, from noon to 4 p.m. Cherry Grove Archives Collection will then have an exhibition the following weekend, July 24 and 25, from noon-4 p.m., curated by Lee Sharmat. Bingo also has made a triumphant return at the Community House every Sunday at 7 p.m., and Pines Bingo is back every Thursday, also at 7 p.m., throughout the season.Save the Date: The Pines Party makes its return this summer, produced by John Wood this year, and runs July 23-25. The theme is Return to Wonderland.