Ocean Bay Park

OBP said goodbye to June, a month to celebrate love, by marking several milestones, both joyous and bittersweet. On June 25, George Greenberger invited family and friends to a memorial for his late wife, Joyce Peters Greenberger. Close to 100 of us gathered in the firehouse to celebrate and toast a life well lived. The day was magnificent, sunny with a beautiful breeze off the bay. It was a respite after all the rain we had that week. Chef Melissa Dodici provided her fantastic food, George, ever the connoisseur, chose the wines and we all reminisced about how full and well lived Joyce’s life was. She traveled the world for years, was generous of her time and talent and worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the Ocean Bay Park Association.

George recounted how he met Joyce while she was on a date with someone else and how they came to Fire Island. Originally, they had rented a house in the Berkshires but after sitting in nonstop traffic and traveling for seven hours, they realized that Fire Island was so much easier and they ditched the mountains for the beach.

Joyce Peters wrote the Ocean Bay Park community column for the Fire Island News during the 1970s. George told me how Joyce would take pictures “the old-fashioned way,” and how it was his job to bicycle to Ocean Beach on Sundays to deliver the film to the FIN office to be developed by the editor.

Fred and Candace Schiffer celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary

That same day and just before Joyce’s memorial, Candace and Fred Schiffer were surprised by their Oneida/Seneca Street friends with a 50th anniversary luncheon organized by friends Gisela and April. Not only did Candace celebrate 50 years with Fred, but the week before she marked the 50th year of her graduation from nursing school with a reunion of 10 of her classmates. What a beautiful achievement for a couple who also give back to the OBP community by volunteering and driving the senior citizen cart.

A wedding took place at the home of Nick Sandow and Tamara Malkin-Stuart at Traffic and Ocean Bay Boulevard who went on vacation and gave it to friends for the week. The friends, Erica and Frankie Rastello, decided to use their week at the beach with their 5-year-old twin sons, Jax and Devin, to surprise their family and get married. I was asked to make a wedding cake and a bridal bouquet. I was also asked to be a witness! Since love was obviously in the air, I was only too happy to oblige.

All in one month – I witnessed the celebration of a late beloved wife and friend, a long and happy marriage that has lasted for five decades and a couple whose love story continues. Poet Laurate Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Thank you, Ocean Bay Park for always making me feel good!