Kismet Kapers: Music and Monarchs on Memorial Day

Butterfly reading
Butterflies are free at the Kismet Firehouse as local children gathered to listen to Ellen Federico read from “Butterfly Island and the Invincible Crew.”

A good number of homeowners and seasonal renters flowed into Kismet the weekends before Memorial Day to open, clean and fix up their beach homes.


Sam’s crew walked the walks on their annual pre-season cleanup, scooping up discarded bicycles, wood, paint cans and other throwaways. As residents brought new stuff, they posted resale offerings or put out the old stuff for browsers shopping for street bargains.


Kenny B’s annual birthday party was a great and relatively dry success as friends and neighbors nibbled and sipped on the deck then, with the rain, moved on downtown to watch the Preakness on TV.


It was an unexpectedly warm spring Memorial Day Weekend for honoring our military veterans as well as the unofficial beginning of summer. The Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach featuring military “Angels” from every branch of service could be heard over Fire Island.


Our appreciation to Dave Crowe for putting up American flags from bay to beach along Seabay Walk. Downtown was filled with bare feet and bikinis as folks scored their first ice cream cones of the season.


A lot of people headed for the beach: It is huge and glorious this year but still a bit chilly with the prevailing south wind. The firehouse was filled with plants from last week’s sale as toddlers and some grownups gathered to hear Fire Island resident and author Ellen Federico with illustrator Tracey Dockrey read from their book “Butterfly Island and the Invincible Crew.”


It is set in Fire Island and highlights the connection between the milkweed plant and monarch butterflies. Fire Island monarchs are the migratory variety, living nine months to journey and mate in Mexico. The book details the two- to three-season planting and preparation involved to produce the fluffy, sweet-smelling plant that nourishes and strengthens butterfly wings for their journey. With the second year, the plant apparently becomes deer-proof.


Music filled the air even before the sun set. The “Dirty Vice Band” played from the deck of “La Famiglia” in the afternoon. The Dive drew a huge crowd with the first seasonal appearance of the “Rich Mahogany” band. The crowds could later move on for a mellow experience with the “Tim Mooney Band” later at the Inn.