Ocean Bay Park Column

Barbara Gaby Placilla ~ What’s better than a party? The answer is multiple parties! Everyone knows that here in the Park we never need an excuse to party, and especially when the occasion warrants it, we go all out!The invitation read “Fire Island High presents Katie’s Enchanted Forest Disco Prom at the Seashore.” When Katie Clukey’s senior prom in Newport News, Virginia, was cancelled twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her uncle, Jeffrey, decided that she would have a prom and it would take place on Fire Island. On July 16, the Seashore Condo Hotel was transformed into a disco within an enchanted forest. I know it sounds strange, but it worked.The hotel was decked out in all kinds of magical forest decorations highlighted by a huge mirrored disco ball. For an evening we were all transported back to the Ice Palace of the late ’80s complete with fog machine, laser lights and the fantastic music spun by DJ Stacy from Cherry Grove. Hosts and the Seashore’s managers, Jeffrey Clukey and Brett Brubaker, were both resplendent in gold lame. Prom Queen Katie wore red chiffon and danced barefoot.The finale of drag queens Chola Spears and Victoria Falls was a rousing rendition of The Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men.” It was the kind of party you never want to end and it established Brett and Jeff as OBP’s new hosts with the most. I must commend “better call Paul” Brincat for fixing the small disco ball I put on the cake. I mean, what’s a prom cake without a spinning disco ball?The next day, Jack Lyddy’s family and friends surprised him with a party at the Schooner to celebrate his 80th birthday, which was delayed by one year due to the pandemic. And off-island, Vera Drake’s family toasted her three quarters of a century with a party that was attended by several former “Watch that Basket” housemates including Ellie Mal.Just back from a trip to Iceland, Lisa Jaffe celebrated her birthday with a family dinner at Flynn’s along with her mother, Susan Abbot, who is visiting from Florida. While the party was not a surprise, the birthday cake her son Harrison made and decorated himself, was. Harrison recently finished the NYS Firefighter 1 training and is now a proud member of the Ocean Bay Park Fire Department.A beautiful celebration of life was held on July 24 in memory of Beth Errico who tragically passed away last September. Beth’s sisters, Bonnie Lumagi and Barbara Errico, gathered a group of 100 family and friends including Beth’s beloved dog, Sarge, for a sunset memorial service in the bay beach park. Bonnie’s son, Anthony, and Barbara’s son, Riley, shared memories of their Aunt Beth, a woman whose smile lit up every room she entered. An Irish/Italian cocktail reception followed in the fire hall and included the reading of a poem written by their father, Bob Errico, who could not attend.Thanks for reading and until next time, let’s keep this party going!