Kismet Kapers

PHOTO: Dawn Leone, Lisa Chris Swiedler, Kim Alyson Harris, Dana De Ruvo at the Plant Sale.

It was a memorable Memorial Day weekend. Seemingly like magic, American flags appeared on utility poles up and down most of our walks. It wasn’t magic, it was Kismet. Patriotic Kismetians put them up, like the neighbor I saw on my walk very early one morning, a ladder on his shoulder. The Marina and individual houses also marked the day of remembrance. What was truly magic was a three-day early season Memorial holiday with no rain, not even clouds. It was sunny and mild each day – warm enough for the young folks, visiting and native, to roam the streets in shorts, bikinis and bare feet. The breeze off the ocean was cold but that did not stop some hearty beachgoers. Meanwhile, some of the barefoot kids of yore pushed strollers. Casey Licari, Briana Romanzi and Nicolas V. for three were out visiting their parents and showing off their newborns. 

It was a memorable weekend of activity. The second annual plant and potting soil sale, sponsored by the Kismet Fire Department Auxiliary (KFDA) was a monumental – and successful – undertaking. Volunteer organizers, remembering last year’s overwhelming community response (a complete sellout halfway through the first day) planned accordingly. A virtual pre-sale with customers picking up their orders the weekend before produced sales of over $5,000. Beginning Friday afternoon, the Fire Department Community room was completely filled with plants. The walk to the firehouse door was lined with 5-foot high stacks of potting soil. All the plants sold out with only a few remaining bags of soil leftover. A plant stand, christened Seymour, (think “Little Shop of Horrors”) was raffled off. Across the way Kismet League for Animal Welfare (KLAW) volunteers set up their table in Sam Wood’s driveway to sell tickets for the season’s first Raffle Wreath of Scratch Offs. Gary Guinta picked up his winning tickets Tuesday, donating the rattan wreath back to KLAW for the next raffle. There was a band downtown Saturday evening and the Dirty Vice Band played Sunday afternoon by the “La Famiglia” house on the bay. 

Last fall 400 people came from all over the island and the mainland to Kismet to celebrate the memory of Jillian Metcalf and raise funds for the J.A.M. Foundation. One of the Foundation’s goals was to honor Jillian’s medical/nursing pursuits. Jillian’s mother, Bonnie, just announced that the first J.A.M. scholarship was awarded to a Bay Shore High School senior on June 1 and an additional one was to be given to an Islip High senior on June 8. 

Last weekend Kismet celebrated the beginning of June with early April-like temperatures, clouds and blustery winds. This did not deter Kismet homeowners and long-term renters from gathering to celebrate Kismet’s New Year’s Eve in the Kismet Park downtown tennis courts. The standup affair was a Meet and Great for summer friends who, for the most part, celebrate that holiday miles away from each other. It was a time of warm feelings, a renewing of cherished relationships, a whiff of Kismet past, and a hope, in Krisha Lambe’s words, of a drift back to an older sense of community.  

Kismet Kapers

by Bradlee WhiteOn June 10, the Inn was crowded with Triple Crown hopefuls; it was not to be. Still, somebody had to win the pools. Jeannie and Beth Abrams – both new to the pool – had number 11. So did Nicoletta V. and Artie Ferguson. It was a beautifully warm Saturday evening and there were rooftop sunset gatherings at Sunset House and Blue Vue Terrace.While many hit the beaches under the bright sun, few dared the water. Homeowners took the opportunity to weed, prune and plant. Last year we put it all back together (except Camelot). This year it is time to bring that lawn, those gardens, even those potted herbs back to snuff.Heather Ribando, Jack and Bicycle Bill.Maureen Kaley's visiting family.Nick and JaneThe KLAW (Kismet League for Animal Welfare), Flea Market on June 14-15 was a grand success, bringing in over $3000. There were books, household items, a raffle for three baskets of cheer (the Nyburgs, from Fair Harbor and Joe Beck were the lucky winners) and a silent auction.Our generous silent auction donations included gift certificates from the Inn, Surf’s Out, the Kismet Market, the Pizza Shack and Nicky’s Clam Bar. There were flowers and herbs from Garden Sea Landscaping; service calls from Buddy and Dave Lambe; a BBQ tank from Fire Island Gas courtesy of Joe Kelly; and Dr. Caroline Stern’s session of teeth whitening. Barbara Winter donated a $50 gift certificate for Amazon while Alice Nyburg put together a kitty basket including gift certificates and toys. Jake Perdie (the Kelly’s nephew) of Beach and Vine is a wine connoisseur with an admirable collection of old and rare wines: he donated a connoisseur’s wine basket. Chiro Linda Nowacheck donated two stunning photos by Rick Hoberg, (a nephew of a former Lighthouse keeper). Our thanks again go to Island Beach Real Estate for their generous donation and to Steven Nyburg’s company, which negotiated our “cheer” baskets at or below cost.The KLAW volunteers were fabulous. Almost all are seasoned pros, including Marilyn Puccio, Carole Thomas, Helen Quenzer, Barbara Winter, Christine Helbig, Jeanne Lieberman, Susan Garrett, Alice and Mark Nyburg and friend, Dorian Evertt, Alice Shultz, Peter Schmidt, Regina English, Joanne Agoglia, Jaime and Lou Flores and Patty Lyons. For a small stipend, Brooke and Tess Lambe and Caitrin Cole distributed flyers to every house. Andy held our “not so treasurable” treasures over the weekend, and John Altieri again volunteered to pick them up on Monday. Christine took a truckload of leftovers in good condition to a Bay Shore charity.News from Florida: Richie Covello, a fixture of several different Kismet eras, visited for a week with Nick and then Myrna. My friend Rick Citrola passed away on June 16th after a long illness.A memorial service for Joel Berkowitz was held Sunday, June 15 by the Market. A crowd of his old friends joined his widow, Miggie to dedicate a bench with a name plaque to commemorate his life.Summer, unofficially and brutally, arrived June 18th. It was 89 degrees. My house was full of space heaters, while the fans were in the shed. Wake up call, everyone! This was also the last week of driving, and the rush was on to stock up for the summer. It seems like the cut off date for driving is earlier every year, and there is a rumor that the FINS would like to cut it off April 15th. Year-rounders unite!