OCEAN BAY PARKBy Barbara Gaby PlacillaThere’s something very special about June. The sun gets brighter, the days become longer and the air smells delicious. June teases us with a hint of the long, lazy summer days to come. June is the month for weddings, graduations and if you’re a kid, the end of school and the beginning of summer vacation. As I was riding my bike through Ocean Bay Park, I was overwhelmed with how green everything had become and how sweet the air smelled. June is the month for roses. The wild roses are in full bloom and their perfume delicious. Shakespeare got it right when he wrote, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” So stop and smell the roses!It’s not just roses that are blooming all over town. There is a real effort to put the PARK back into OBP. Flynn’s has installed a new garden of annuals and perennials in front of the restaurant and Schooner Inn has donated the hanging baskets of geraniums on the light poles along the ferry walk. Landscaper Dylan Wallace has been working on the property at the corner of Champlain that Paul and Megan Mohring are renting. What a difference some trees and plants can make! Several years ago, Steve and I started a beautification project under the auspices of the OBP Association. We just added more Vitex and grasses to the ferry walk area and planted the railing boxes we installed last year. The Auxiliary has donated the plants that Ellie Mal and I put in the bay beach planters. Please feel free to water them!Many of you knew and loved Jackie Streicher, who passed away last November. Jackie spent 40-plus summers in Ocean Bay Park and was co-owner of the Escape Hatch with Maryann Reuther and Kathryn Sekulo. Her son Scott told me that Fire Island was her sanctuary. When we discussed how best to honor her memory, Scott agreed that plantings in the bay beach park would be a fitting memorial since Jackie loved flowers and gardening. The Association received many donations in Jackie’s memory and I am pleased to write that we installed the first plants this week. When you are down at the bay beach park you will see that we planted two flowering Crape Myrtle trees, butterfly bushes in purple, white and pink – Jackie’s favorite flower colors, as well as Vitex and Santolina. I know that Jackie would be happy and I will think of her when those plants are in bloom.There’s been more than planting going on in Ocean Bay Park. The official King and Queen of ALL Happy Hours and party occasions have finally arrived! Those two snowbirds, Tom Byrnes and Robbie Harris have finally left Nettles Island and are now in residence on Fire Island. Tom had a very unfortunate accident while on a cruise to the Bahamas while celebrating Robbie’s “39th” birthday in March. His broken ankle is finally on the mend and we are so glad that they are back. Welcome home Tom!Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers and grandfathers I see in this town who do so much for their families. It’s a bittersweet Father’s Day for Angelo Sakonas who has become a grandfather or as the Greeks say “Pappous” for the fourth time with the birth of Lucia Rose Nolan Hewitt on June 10. I know that “Yia Yia” Roni is beaming down from heaven and will live on through her new granddaughter.You never know what is going to happen next in OBP and each day brings something new. I met “the boys of summer.” When I was taking the ferry the other day, a baseball team of boys got off the boat. They looked to be about ten years old, probably fourth or fifth graders. They were accompanied by five adults, not sure if they were teachers and/or parents. Not knowing if there was a special baseball game planned for the newly refurbished Newman Field, I asked one of the adults if they were here to play ball in Seaview and he told me, “no, we’re here on a class trip and we’re going to play baseball on the beach.” I asked if I could take their picture and since the ferry was not going to wait for me, all I got was that they were from Port Washington. So if you’re reading this and you know who they are, please tell them thanks and I hope they had a great time here.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next day, I was sitting on the “porch” of So Tastee, catching up on the latest gossip with Dino (who believe me knows everything that happens in OBP) when we saw not one but three “Flying Nuns” not in the air, but on bikes! Being the intrepid reporter that I am, I had to stop them and ask who they were and where they were from. Sisters Veronica, Gabriella and Mary Theresa are members of the Sisters of Life order who were visiting from St. Frances de Chantal parish located in Throgs Neck. They were staying at the rectory house in Ocean Beach. I told them how to sneak into Point of Woods so they could see the “other side” of the fence. I hope they enjoyed their first ever visit to Fire Island.Milestones: Paul and Megan Mohring feted his parents John and Veronica with a big 60th birthday party at Schooner. Happy 7th Birthday “Minecrafter” Caleb Gaby. Congratulations Nicklas Gaby on your graduation; now it’s on to high school. Best wishes to all the June brides and grooms, brides and brides and grooms and grooms who tied the knot this month. To quote the Beatles: “All you need is LOVE”!Email Barbara at oceanbaypark@fireisland-news.com with your OBP news and happenings.