Saltaire Summery

by Hugh O’Brien

Since our Founding Fathers didn’t exercise sufficient foresight to prevent the Fourth of July from occasionally falling on weekdays, I’ve had to betray my country’s Anglophobic roots by writing this on Canada Day (July 1) to make my Sunday deadline…which means that some events you’ll read as having taken place in your perfect past are yet to take place in my present future. If that makes any sense outside of a grammar class. These are, after all, tense times.

The holiday highlight was the resumption of the Fourth of July field games after a three-year Covidian hiatus, and Camp Director Molly Davis has reinstated the full monty of races, tosses and assorted flingings for fit and fiddle alike. Relying on the undisputed truism that weather forecasting is an infallible science, I can confidently state the event was held in bright sunshine and was a huge success – and thank you Molly and staff! The games served to kick-start the regular camp season the next day; check Mario’s Municipal Messages for info on how to register, as well as information about Miss Kate’s busy library doings.

Speaking of the library, the SCA is commandeering said venue this Sunday, July 9, from 9:30 to 11 a.m., to showcase final plans for the re-imagined playground, installation of which is expected this winter. SCA Chair Kathy Shaw is spearheading fund-raising efforts for donations to help defray some of the expense, so drop by and look over what’s being proposed. Coffee and breakfast treats will be served as inducements to donate, and if they don’t work, mimosas will be deployed to better encourage the impulse to contribute. This is the culmination of two-plus years’ efforts, so your generosity is appreciated. Also watch for the SCA’s second annual Sea & Sand Sustainability Festival, July 15 and 16.

There’s a pair of other SCA-sponsored events this weekend, both making somewhat earlier appearances than usual. First, the sandcastle contest, Saturday at Broadway beach, judging at 1 p.m.; second, the Captain Al watermelon party, Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Art Shed. For the record, Captain Al Skinner’s birthday (at which parties he served the kids watermelon and their parents bourbon) was Aug. 27. Years later the kids’ portion was incorporated into the then-Music & Arts Festival in early August; but now, for some reason, it’s been helicoptered out of its historical context and plunked down in early July. Not quite in the tradition of Saltaire traditions.

But speaking of helicopters, the town was aghast and abuzz last week when a low-flying, olive-green copter darted and hovered low over the walks before vanishing in the eastern mists. So, as mayor, allow me to bury the gossip: a medevac (plausible); a UFO (laughable); but the conquest of Fair Harbor begins promptly at 3 a.m. next Tuesday.