OCEAN BAY PARK

OCEAN BAY PARKBy Barbara Gaby PlacillaWhere did July go? It seems like just yesterday it was Memorial Day and here we are in August! The summer is flying by way too quickly but the weather has been glorious and the activity in Ocean Bay Park non-stop.On Friday, July 17, a contingent from OBP FD and Auxiliary assisted the Ocean Beach FD with their Warrior Appreciation Day event. It was an honor to help our neighbors in Ocean Beach pay tribute to the young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This year the event benefited Hope for the Warriors, an organization founded by military wives, which focuses on the support that military families need as they transition to civilian life. Maria Silsdorf, if you are reading this, a big cheer to everyone who made this event a success. OBP will be back to help again next year.The Art Show, organized by Fran Miller, was held the next day at Schooner. After a rainy morning, the sun came out and the first thing you saw when you walked up the steps to Schooner was a display of exotic fabric beach wraps that could be tied in a gazillion different ways. Inside, were artisans of all ages with their handiwork. There were kids from Point o’Woods with Darlene, their art teacher, displaying the bead bracelets they made in camp. At the table next to them, Beth Sugarman offered her beautiful and unique handcrafted silver and vermeil jewelry. I bought a pair of mini bicycle earrings and avid tennis player. Ellie Mal got the mini tennis rackets. Janice McBride exhibited her meticulously done cross-stitch work, and I acquired two of her pieces. Joyce Greenberger beat me to the sand dollar picture in a driftwood frame. Frank Pillitteri had a display of his stained glass boxes that he embellishes with shells and beach glass. Frank is a master craftsman who did the bamboo stained glass that surrounds my front door. Across from Frank, the Vannoni girls displayed their artwork.The highlight of the show, of course, was Fran Miller’s photographic art. Fran takes images of Fire Island and presents them in a very colorful and edgy way. Fran is our own Andy Warhol and a skilled photographer who sees art in everything she shoots. I particularly love her handmade cards, the subjects of which are all shot in the Pines and the Grove during the annual invasion. You won’t find these “cover girls” in a Hallmark store!Lisa Jaffe has a July birthday. Her son, Harrison, called me and asked if I could help him make a cake for her. Harrison came over and we made a dark chocolate with salted sea caramel cake, which we decorated in a most unique way. Those six degrees keep coming back because a week or so ago these photos arrived on my iPad via “the cloud.” The pictures were vintage photos that somehow Lisa’s mother, Susan, unwittingly and unknowingly sent to me. One of them was a classic baby picture of Lisa in her birthday suit looking very much like the Coppertone girl. We made an edible image of Lisa and put it on the cake, which was served at her birthday lobster-fest hosted by Lori, Chas and Taylor Kingsley on Huron. The next day Lisa emailed me, “I bit my own ass”! Although I hear that “payback” may be coming, Lisa was thrilled to get those pictures, which she hadn’t seen in years.Anthony Catanese also had a birthday and I want him to know that I owe him a cake!The Auxiliary held its annual cocktail party fundraiser, on Saturday, July 25. This year the theme was “Denim and Diamonds.” The decorating committee: Diane Sweeney, Fran Miller, Rita Addo, Ken Klein, Niza Shor-Egan, Pat Kelly and Connie McElligot, outdid themselves this year with a denim covered buffet table decked out with diamonds. If I forgot someone from the committee, I apologize; I’m still recovering from shredding all that meat for the pulled pork that was consumed so quickly. We are now calling this party “Chinese Food 2” in reference to the famous Chinese party where the imported (from Bay Shore) Chinese food was inhaled within minutes of being served. There were so many “diamonds” in the room; we should have had an armed guard. Mary Ann Reuther and Kathryn Sekulo kept the bar going and the DJ kept the crowd dancing. Thank you KK for the fantastic cabernet sauvignon you donated. We have all come a long way from the olden days of the Gallo jug wine! Thank you to everyone in the community who came out to support this event, and we hope you come back for next year’s. Every year Robbie Harris and I stress out that no one will come because maybe there’s another party to go to. A big thank you to all the Auxiliary and FD members who worked so hard to make this party a success.Missing from the party were Pat and Lanny Vannoni who were celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary and many more! Here’s looking ahead to 50!SAVE THE DATE:• Aug. 15 — The annual Gourmet Fair is held. Please call Cami Meyer if you have goods or services to donate and if you are able to volunteer. The funds raised at this event help the OBP Association to keep the streets and beach clean and make our community the best one on the island.•vAug. 29 — Wine & Cheese Travel Lecture with Peter Greenberg, at the firehouse.That’s it until the next time. August is here and I hope it’s as great as July was. Please email me at [email protected] with your photos or OBP news happenings or events.