Ocean Bay Park

The Howie Solomon Memorial Scoreboard.

Finally, June is busting out all over! The month of May was one of the wettest in recent memory with some rain on 20 of the 31 days. This was either good for the garden or not, depending upon what, when or if you plant. Unlike past years, when it has invariably rained (which never stopped the crowds of day trippers and partiers anyway), this Memorial Day holiday brought beautiful, sunny, beach weather. It also brought back most of the homeowners and seasonal renters with a few exceptions.

My neighbors, Danny, Aneta and Patryk Kosyra, returned from Poland for another summer in Ocean Bay Park, and with their arrival came the departure of my “part-time” cat, Flynn. Flynn is that beautiful black and silver long-haired cat who can be seen lounging in the sun on Ontario Street on any given day. Flynn graces me with his presence and dines at “Bamboozled,” my house on Ontario, until Patryk, his true master, returns to Poland in the fall. All it took was one whistle from Patryk and Flynn was back at his very own summer house. Being an opportunist, this cat will still hang out on Claire and Charly Walters’ cushioned swing/cat lounge and stop by for an occasional snack on my deck, but at the end of the day he goes back to his boy. Who do you think the bamboozled one is?

While we are on the subject of animals, the Ocean Bay Park FD Auxiliary will host a showing of the movie “The Catman of Ocean Beach” on June 22 at the firehouse. This movie is about the rescue work of Ocean Beach resident John Jay McCollum and his dedication to Fire Island’s wildlife.

Longtime OBP resident Tanya Tesa traveled to British Columbia to an area called the Okanagan Valley, which runs from Canada into the United States, for a cousin’s reunion. In total, there were 19 cousins, all on her paternal side, who gathered for the first time. There were lots of pictures passed around and when they discussed ancestry there was some mention of gypsy blood. While in Canada, Tanya was able to visit Kovach Park, which was donated by and named for one of her relatives. She stayed in her cousin’s house on the lake that is 100 miles wide. Tanya said these lake “cabins” are akin to the “cottages” of Newport. While Tanya was away, her fur child Ziggy Stardust vacationed at Aunt Ellie Mal’s house in Northport.

Memorial Day Weekend is the kickoff of the softball season and a continuation of the battle between Ocean Bay Park and Seaview for softball supremacy, bragging rights and possession of the coveted championship trophy. Howie Solomon, who recently passed away, was a longtime Seaview resident and avid softball player. The Solomon family has donated a new memorial scoreboard in Howie’s honor, which was unveiled before the start of the men’s Saturday morning softball game on Newman Field. Later
on this summer, on the evening of July 13, his family will sponsor a showing of one of the greatest baseball movies of all time, “Field of Dreams.” The movie will be shown at the Seaview bay beach. All are welcome. Just bring your own chair and snacks and save the date.

Not everyone who visits Fire Island is aware that we are part of the National Parks System. Since 1872, the National Parks System has worked to preserve the natural beauty of the United States. President Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in this effort. If not for the determination and perseverance of Fire Islanders, who defeated Robert Moses and his efforts to “pave paradise,” we would not have been designated a National Seashore. Instead, we would have been part of a highway on the way to the Hamptons.

When they retired several years ago, Seneca Street residents Randi Krapf and her husband Mike Jones, acquired a motor home with the goal of seeing the “other” National Parks along with their “fur child,” Irving. Randi wrote me that since they left Ocean Bay Park last year they have traveled over 5,000 miles, with their western most destination being Death Valley. The Jones Trio went to National Parks that included: Zion, Bryce, and North and South Rim of the Grand Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef, and Canyonlands. They also went to Monument Valley. Randi said it was an amazing adventure in their 25-foot little home (smaller than their OBP house). The three of them enjoyed seeing a part of the country most people have never seen before and highly recommend this trip. They will not be returning to Ocean Bay Park until late August as they are now planning to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, Cheyenne, Wyoming, Chimney Rock National Monument, Mount Rushmore, Little Big Horn, Yellowstone and whatever “interesting points” they find along the way. I am sure that Irving is enjoying the trip as much as Randi and Mike!

I am sure that Irving, Ziggy and their four-legged friends will appreciate that the Ocean Bay Park Association has installed dog waste bag stations a various locations around the town. These have been very effective in Ocean Beach and I hope that people make use of them here as well.

I’d like to send speedy get well wishes to Barbara Stecher, Robbie Harris and “So Tastee” Dino, who are all recuperating from their recent surgeries. I am sending very special wishes to Huron Street’s Chas Kingsley, who has a milestone birthday this month. Happy birthday and good fishing, Chas; I hope you catch a keeper.

All in all, the weekend after Memorial Day was a welcome respite to the frenetic activity this holiday brings each year. I hope you enjoyed “the sound of silence” as much as I did and now it’s time to get our summer on!