Ocean Bay Park

Fire Island Reindeers Angelo Sakonas and Mildred Nece.

By Barbara Gaby Placilla

OBP rang out the month of July with our now annual Christmas in July party held on July 24. The party to celebrate the midpoint of summer was originally started in the late ‘70s by Mike Greco at the group house he then lived in. Over the decades it fizzled out until it was reimagined a number of years ago with the idea that “when the last ferry leaves, the locals come out to party.” Santa and Mrs. Santa, aka Tommy Byrnes and Robbie Harris in full Christmas drag, came to town on “Christmas Eve” and in their golf cart sleigh they brought the annual Donohue-Byrnes invasion crew. Angelo Sakonas and Mildred Nece came dressed as Fire Island reindeer. The only thing missing was snow!

 It’s August and purple reigns, purple reigns. Everywhere you go there is an explosion of color as the vitex along Bayview Avenue and in people’s yards put on an annual display. It is really such a beautiful but somewhat bittersweet sign that while summer is in full bloom we are rapidly approaching Labor Day! Thankfully, things in Ocean Bay Park haven’t slowed down; rather we have a full month of great activities to enjoy.

 The first BYOB meet and greet your neighbors, organized by Loretta Sayegh at the Erie Street beach overpass, was such a success that she and her committee members, Candace Schiffer and Jody Miller, have announced three more Saturday pre-sunset beachside gatherings as follows: Michigan Street, Aug. 13 at 6 p.m.; Ocean Bay Boulevard, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.; and Oneida Street, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. Bring a drink, some nibbles to share and make some new friends.

 The annual Ocean Bay Park Association summer fundraiser will be a virtual auction once again this year. The auction will take place online with bidding starting on Aug. 7 and closing on Aug. 20. In addition to the online items, there will be a table set up on Bayview and Champlain selling 50/50 raffle tickets, T-shirts and more. To donate goods, services, items of interest such as venue tickets, art, jewelry, collectibles, etc. contact OBPA Vice President Kathryn Sekulo at ksekulo@optonline.net. OBPA has pledged that monies raised will be used to beautify, spruce up and improve the overall look of the community.

 Since part of my last column was devoted to the new canine kids on the block, I feel it is only fair to mention a new feline kid. A few months ago a beautiful and mysterious gray cat appeared on my deck. I called it Mystery Cat and my sister, Alison, renamed it Mystique. Since its ear was tipped I knew it was a TNR but had no other clues. I have since learned from Irene and Vinnie Fazio that Mystique was found by Jeanne Lynch at Neptune’s Nursery before she and Peter Vogel relocated to West Virginia. Jeanne had it neutered and named the cat Vinnie. We’re keeping his name Mystique and he will continue to divide his time between Neptune’s and my deck where all cats are welcome.