Kismet Kapers

by Bradlee White

Chef John presiding.

While June was a climatic bust, July is and has been a heat sink interspersed with impressive thunderstorms – like the one booming outside my slider this morning (July 16).

No flooding so far though Marc Roth just posted about his “waterfront property” and the two notable Burma Road puddles have surely grown. Weekday activities have been booming: Fitness (yoga and Pilates) on Monday and Fridays, Mahjong Monday, Trivia Tuesday, Bingo Wednesday. Our beach community problems continue – unleashed dogs, a dead deer, lost/stolen bikes and sharks in the water, though no low-flying helicopters recently. 

Joe Barbosa was known in Kismet for tennis, his Fire Island News Kismet column (a true “gossip” column in the ‘80s,) which he wrote for over 10 years, saving every original. His home-based bike repair service, meant to “keep his teen sons busy” became a full-time project. Joe and his friend, Bob Kaye, originated the “kustom” of transcribing “c’s” to “k’s” as in the Kismet Kracked Koncrete Labor Day Tennis Tournament, “Kismet Kapers” and even klaw kats. Following his passing in June his sons, Justin and Daniel, hosted an afternoon memorial at his “Barn House,” which included a humorous video presentation invoking laughter and some tears. Guests included his former wife and his sons’ mother, Karen; his companion of 15 years, Stella; his lifelong friend and best man, Jose; and former tennis friends, Arthur and Nancy (visiting from Florida), Jane Beal of Fair Harbor, Gary Leone, Joe McKeehan and Tom Licari. Tom left this gathering early to celebrate with his grandkids – newborn Emerson Rose and 1-year-old Ryan.

The 13th annual Burger Cook-Off, produced by “Chef” John Berenzoni, his wife, Robin, and “Way Way’ Yonder house mates, went off on schedule last Saturday evening on Seabay beach. A sizable crowd gathered to view and sample the neat stacks of burgers of every edible variety – meat, chicken, vegetable. There were separate prizes for seasoned chefs like Gregg Weiser, Frank Ribando, Ernie Behrens, and rookies like “Kis-mart” Brian, Danny Krause and Krisha McBride. There were 15 entrees spread out on long tables. Each chef came forward to describe their creations. It is astounding to process the amount and types of seasonings, sauces and cooking methodologies involved.

Judges John Altieri, Morgan Mooney and Steve Hopkins announced their decisions: First prize, Frank Ribando’s Elysium Double Smash; The Jimmy D (crowd favorite) award to Ben and Louis Rotstein for their Big Mac Taco Burger; Non-meat and Rookie awards to Danny Krause for his Krause House Chicken Burger; and the 5-Napkin award to Al Title for Big Al’s Sweet Smokey Smash. The burgers, divided into quarters, were then offered to the crowd who were patiently waiting, paper plates in hand.

The KFD Auxiliary is hosting their fundraiser, A Night at the Races, at the Firehouse next Saturday, July 29 ($30 pre-admission) with cash prizes for races and costumes and a 50-50 basket.