OCEAN BAY PARK COLUMN by Barbara Gaby Placilla

September signals the end of summer, the start of a new school year and the beginning of autumn. It also signals the start of the quiet time in Ocean Bay Park when things really begin to slow down, the fishing hopefully is good, and the ocean stays warm until October for those last dips until next summer.

The Winters in summer 2022 – Alison and Rob Winters that is!

The run up to September has been nothing short of frantic. There were so many events, so much activity, so many visitors and so many old friends to catch up with. At times it felt like old home week and a flashback to the good old grouper days. John Clemente, who along with his late wife, Paula, was one of the owners of “Trust Me House,” came back as a share in “Redhead House” on Oneida. We are all glad that John will take a share again next year. When they were all renters, Ralph and Elise Pleasec lived on the bay in “Pizza House” with Kenny Klein and Diane Sweeney. They came back for their annual visits and stayed first with KK and DD on Champlain and then returned to visit with Joan and JD DeSerio on OBP Boulevard. Since Ralph is now a member of the Breakfast Club, they will be back later this month. The DeSerios had just returned from their annual camping trip. Joan confirmed that it was camping and not glamping even though I know she brought along at least something Gucci! I mean, what’s a campsite without a touch of glamour? A reverse snowbird migration occurred when Carol Carnichelli came up from St. Augustine to visit with Kathryn Sekulo and Aggie McShea flew in from Boynton Beach to visit with John and Doris Cruz.

I didn’t catch up with only “old” friends, however. The youngest member of “Band of Brothers” on the bay, 4-year-old Riley Lyddy is finally back from a six-week visit to Israel. Riley is the son of Rich and grandson of Jack who share the house with Tiger Barton and frequent visitor Pam Birnbaum. We became friends two years ago when I learned that he loved dinosaurs and realized that this was opportunity to pass on the dinosaur collection that my three grandchildren had enjoyed. Riley calls me the dino lady and now he calls me the shark lady since I dropped off sharks and shark books the other day. If Riley doesn’t become a paleontologist, I think he will become a marine biologist!

Two summers ago, we truly had Shakespeare in the “Park” when the annual kids’ production took place in the OBP bay beach park. It’s back in Seaview now and this year, the kids are presenting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Ziggy’s lot on G Street. There will be two performances with shows on Friday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 4, both at 5 p.m. Under the guidance of John Jiler and Ralph Buckley, OBP’s own Ava Buckley is directing a cast of over 25 budding thespians from Ocean Bay Park, Seaview and Ocean Beach. I can’t think of a more fitting way to end what has been a fantastic summer of 2022.

Save the date: Sept. 17 – Sunset Jazz Soiree hosted at Flynn’s to benefit the Ocean Bay Park Association.