Fair Harbor

By Emily BrafmanON THE BEACH: July 4th week is often a vacation week for many working families. The Island seems full and summer has taken off. It was especially fun for me because many of my friends reunited. We all gathered on the beach like old times. Friday turned out to be a picture perfect day from start to finish. With all the buzz about Man O’ War and sharks in our ocean this week, I wasn’t sure if I should make my way down to the beach. When I went to check the flags with my kids, the ocean was perfection. Green flags, smooth sea, and perfect waves for jumping and riding. There was no stopping us! I stopped to chat with my old friend and ocean lifeguard, Anthony Olivetto. He said Man O’ War move by the wind and on this particular day the flags were flying south. The Man O’ War were out to sea, and we were safe to swim. And the sharks, well, we all know they are out there. Let’s just hope they stay far away.The ocean was cold but glorious. It was a milestone for my kids as they were able to brave the ocean on their own for the first time! They jumped the large smooth waves like experts. They knew when to run forward and dive under just before the wave broke. Nicky took his first tumble. I saw his feet first then he popped up, gave me a smile and a thumbs up and ran towards the water for his next wave. I’m not going to lie; it was a hard first for me. I respect the ocean and know how dangerous it can be. I pictured myself stripping down going in for a save. I wanted to be beside them keeping them safe at arms length. But I stood on the shore and watched my kids in their glory. There were many kids surrounding them, all between the ages of 6 and 10. Mason, Griffin (another first timer), Eden, Gaby Girsha Thomas’ four kids, Meredith Pearlman Davis’ kids and many others. I wish I had a little anxiety medication for the moment, but everyone made it out safely and the day will never be forgotten!Saturday was another glorious day at the beach. We spent the afternoon in the perfect ocean waves. At two o’clock music began pumping from the deck of Lisa and Billy Cassara on Broadway. I made my way over with my friends Sophia, Amy Beth and Brendan. We arrived just in time for The Rich Mahogany Band’s second set. They are just amazing. Every song they sing brings me back to fun times. The deck was crowded and everyone was dressed in beach casual. Lisa and Billy’s party always has a great vibe and this year they did not disappoint. Thanks for having me!LOCALS Of FAIR HARBOR: In this week’s Locals of Fair Harbor I want to introduce you to Timothy and his family, Mom Jeannie and Dad Bill and siblings, Christopher and Sarah Eslinger. I first met this family when they showed up to my book reading last September in Bay Shore. Jeannie said she read about my reading and wanted to come support a fellow Fire Islander. I was completely flattered. This was not the first time I had seen this family. You see, in the real world, I am a special educator and work with kids who have special needs. I am also a bit of a voyeur. I am always fascinated when I see a family who has a child with special needs navigating the world. Timothy is autistic. For the past three years I have watched Jeannie and Bill around Fair Harbor with their three kids. I have always been amazed by their interactions with Timothy. As a special educator, I have always believed that happy as we know it is not the same as an autistic child’s happy. I feel that Jeannie and Bill let Timothy find contentment in the world in the way that he can. The support of his family is imperative. He is a lucky little guy. On that note, Jeannie and Bill have decided that Timothy would benefit from a therapy dog. A golden retriever puppy! Jeannie says, “We are hoping that Timothy will connect with this dog in way that he can’t with people and it will provide him with new opportunities to make him the happiest and best that he can be.” They have started a go fund me account for the new addition to their family. They are not far from their goal of giving Timothy a companion that with fulfill so many aspects of his well-being. “This dog will make Timothy happier, this dog will make Timothy safer, and this dog will be the friend Timothy deserves.” As members of the community that Timothy loves so much, just like all of us, let’s make this happen. Go to the link https://gofundme.com/timothyeslinger and give what you can. A little goes a long way!! When you see him walking around town with his new puppy next summer, you will know that you made this boy’s life better in so many ways!COMMUNITY NEWSGena Goldstein reports that Joyce White and Leo Schulman got married on July 2, at the Water Club. It was a beautiful ceremony. I happened to be at sunset when their friends surprised them with a champagne toast to celebrate the event. They seem overjoyed. Congrats cousin Leo!!