Saltaire Summery

Saltaire’s future firefighters help bring the SVFC’s annual parade back to quarters. (Photo by Catherine O’Brien)

A longtime though now former Saltairian emailed me from Seattle the other day, asking about something he’d read on the never-to-be-trusted internet concerning the shark attacks we’ve been having off Fire Island recently. He labeled his email “Saltaire Sharknado!” which, his questionable taste in popular culture notwithstanding, I was charitable enough to put down to distance and the usual headline hype. Nonetheless, these incidents, such as they are, are real, and something outside the experience of island beachgoers, whose principle waterborne worries up to now mainly involved encounters with floating Twinkies wrappers and killer jellyfish. Now, it appears that the majority of these attacks involve small sand sharks, whose nips’n’nibbles, while certainly no fun and not to be minimized, don’t quite add up to the onslaught of a shark-filled tornado. Still, lifeguards up and down the beach are on full alert, and have gotten people out of the surf whenever suspicious sea life has reared its ugly fin. As of this writing, no one at Saltaire has yet been accosted, and much of this good fortune is due to the vigilance of Chief Lifeguard Rich Wilde and his excellent crew, who as always keep close watch over the community’s swimmers. In the course of his career Rich has stared down everything from illegal picnickers to topless sunbathers to Village administrators, so he’s clearly not one to shirk a shark if one comes prowling around our lifeguard stations. But when you do visit the ocean, remember you’re entering someone else’s realm, so mind the rules and the guards to make sure fish remain an item on your menu and not the other way around. But right on topic, and this is true, the Club is holding a special screening of “Jaws” on Aug. 5. Why they chose to run the film on the 47th anniversary of its release, instead of waiting three years for the 50th, was something of a puzzle until people realized it was done as a favor to those swimmers whose love of the ocean is so fearless it may reduce their chances of making it to a 2025 showing. Great turnout for the annual Maggie Fisher Memorial Cross-Bay Swim last Thursday, including a lot of hardy Saltairian veterans of the event. The SCA’s Sandcastle Contest is Saturday, July 23, judging at 1 p.m.; their inaugural volleyball tournament is Sunday, July 31, time undetermined. A pre-tournament clinic will be held for players to brush up on the rules and their skills, followed no doubt by a post-tournament visit to that other clinic to receive treatment for severely bopped heads. Congratulations on the successful Sea & Sand

Sustainability weekend, well-done and much enjoyed by all. Sharks included. Our deadline comes before the SVFC’s Parade July 17, so we’ll take a page from a “Twilight Zone” episode and report the future news that it was a huge hit, and if some catastrophe does intrude, well, at least we have a lead for next issue.