Ocean Bay Park

Barbara Gaby Placilla ~ Why does August somehow always feel like Sunday? Like you just need to pack in as much activity as you can before Monday and you have to go back to work or school and “the real world?” It doesn’t matter where you live, there just seems to be that imperative to have as much fun as you can in August before reality takes over.Well, I can report that the month of August so far has been a very busy one in Ocean Bay Park. It seems everyone I know has family and friends visiting. Leslie and Sharon Cohen’s daughter, Jillian, is back on Ontario with her young son and new baby boy. On Cayuga at “Sirens” Paul and JoAnne Brincat had their own mini Byrnes Invasion. They spent their vacation week keeping 22 family members happily occupied and fed. The 2021 Sirens Squad numbered 22 with 16 adults and six children. Their house is named “Sirens” as a clever play on words referencing JoAnne’s obsession with all things mermaid and Paul’s job as an FDNY battalion chief. There’s a way to go before they catch up with the Byrnes-Donohue clan, but you never know!In what has become an annual get together and one that I truly hope continues Danny and Anetta Kozyra celebrated their son Patryck’s 17th birthday with a dinner party for 12 of us at the Schooner Inn. We first met Patryck when he was 9 years old and his parents, who spent summers working in Ocean Bay Park, brought him with them from Poland. He would finish the last few months of his Polish school term at the Woodhull School in Ocean Beach where he quickly picked up English. Tristan Visitacion of our local band Running Loose introduced him to the saxophone. We listened to him practice, sometimes wincing at a missed note, and watched him grow into the wonderful young man he has become. His saxophone solo this year brought the house down. Early on Patryck became somewhat of a mascot for the members of the Ocean Bay Park Fire Department and now that he is 17 he will be voted in as a new member at the fire department’s September meeting.I was happy to see George Greenberger is back on Erie Street after the recent loss of his wife, Joyce. George and I reminisced about his mandarin orange tree, which we have been caring for so many years that we can’t remember. The tree was a gift from Jeannine Pollack’s son-in-law from England. Joyce wanted to throw it away at the end of that summer. We intervened and said we would “board” it in our sunroom during the winters and bring it back to Erie in the summers. We eventually gained custody of the tree but continued to freeze the bitter little oranges for George to make marmalade. Joyce would laugh that if there was enough for one jar it was enough!Sadly this is my last column until next year. I’ll leave you with Rodgers and Hammerstein “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye.”