By Emily Sunshine BrafmanAs I sit on my deck on Central Walk, it is evident to me that the summer season is almost upon us! There is a steady stream of bikers passing by, and the off-season sounds of car engines are gone. Some renters have moved out to the beach and they are beginning to find their Fire Island groove. Early this morning the park was filled with children. The shiny new lifeguard stand was up waiting for the brave children of Fair Harbor to take their first jump from the top. We hung out with Amanda and her boys, Ryder and Chase, and Ruby with her kids, Seamus and Oona. A little pat on the back for us mommies who let the husbands sleep in on this fine Saturday morning!In a few short weeks July 4, will be upon us, and summer will be in full swing. Fair Harbor’s biggest event will make its way to the front of the firehouse and all along our dock. The 43rd annual Pine Walk Fair is scheduled for Saturday, July 4 (rain date Sunday, July 5.) This is a fun event not to be missed by anyone. It is Fair Harbor’s largest annual fundraiser. It enables the community to pay for both regular as well as emergency necessities. The actual fair and the Fair Harbor’s online auction (www.biddingforgood/fairharbor.com) raise most of the money for assorted community needs such as paying the insurance premium for the bay lifeguards. The Pine Walk Fair also gives an annual donation to The Fresh Air Fund. As always there will be a variety of vendors selling items that appeal to everyone’s tastes and styles. Food will be for sale in front of Le Dock throughout the day. I have a tradition of buying something special from the fair every year. The funds are for a great cause and it is important to support our community. I encourage you to make your way downtown and do the same!The Pine Walk Fair is especially close to my heart because my parents, Pam and Kenny Goodman, along with several other Pine Walk residents, Carmen Sejias, Ellie Majorie, and Lucy Suarez, were among the creators 43 years ago! Originally, the fair ran along the ocean side of Pine Walk where many of the residents sold their goods on their decks. My father sold his silver jewelry. Carmen dressed in a caftan and set up a booth where she told fortunes behind a purple curtain. Lucy and Ellie painted children’s faces. There were also handmade quits, shell ornaments, holistic vitamins, baked goods and Jean Green’s famous chili.After a few years on Pine Walk, more vendors wanted to join so the Pine Walk Fair was moved to the front of the firehouse. Jean Green took the reins and became the organizer of the annual event. During this time Jean Green and another community member, “Great Neck” as he was affectionately known, were very involved with the Fresh Air Fund. It was decided that along with giving a part of the proceeds to the Fair Harbor Community Association a portion of the proceeds would go to the Fresh Air Fund. It is an amazing organization that sponsors city kids and sends them on summer vacation. I would estimate that Helen Kornblau began running the Pine Walk Fair sometime in the late 80s, and has been doing it ever since. She has grown the event to include an online auction, many nationwide vendors and beautiful 2015 Pine Walk Fair Posters contributed by vendors, Jane Sklar and Max Cartagena. Helen works on this event year round and the Fair Harbor community is better because of her. Thank you Helen! She has asked me to let you know that volunteers are needed to man the miscellaneous merchandise table in front of the firehouse at the Pine Walk Fair. There is a signup sheet with hourly time slots posted in the Pioneer Market.I am thrilled to tell you that for the first time, I will be sitting beside my dad, signing my book, “I Know A Place: A Fire Island Story,” while he celebrates his 43rd Pine Walk Fair. We will be in his usual spot in front of the Fire House. I look forward to meeting many of you there!The Tomato PatchI took a trip to Home Depot last week and got all the necessary supplies to let my babies grow and blossom into ripe red tomatoes. Sadly the supplies are sitting in the car. Michael had seconds to spare and opted to make the ferry rather then get my supplies. Gardener Bea has kindly been taking care of the triplets for the past few weeks and says we have a small tomato! She says the plants are looking a little sick and need to be replanted ASAP. My kids and I are going to plant them in a temporary pot so they can get in soil and begin to grow. What I have learned is that anyone who gardens has advice about growing perfect tomatoes.“It’s all about the soil,” a nice gentleman at The Home Depot told me. “The better the soil is, the yummier the tomato will be.” I told him I had soil waiting for me on Fire Island and that I planned to add fresh seaweed to the mix. He gave me the thumbs up but warned me to wash the seaweed well or I would have salty tomatoes.As always, have a wonderful couple of weeks. The next time you hear from me, I will be in Fair Harbor for the summer!!E-mail me at [email protected] with your news and events.