ON ISLAND TIME: Ocean Beach Report

ON ISLAND TIME: Ocean Beach ReportBy Samantha Sigelakis-MinskiHello all, and welcome to the last issue of “On Island Time.” The summer came in slow and left all too soon, but that could be the nostalgia of the long summer days from my youth talking. Dodie Smith asks the question, “Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist just sad?” but I think Fire Island never wonders about that answer.Autumn is a time for goodbyes: Friends and lovers go to their respective “permanent homes” while some are left behind to face the long autumn and winter on-island. Goodbye is never easy, even when the times spent together are nothing short of perfect. While Labor Day is no longer considered the “end of summer,” with the seasons shifting and fall being warmer than ever, it still signals the beginning of the end.Labor Day also signals the end of our expansive summer ferry schedule, so be sure to get the new schedule from the Fire Island Ferries website. If you are like me, you will miss at least one ferry per summer, but having the new schedule can at least potentially stop that from happening. This weekend also brings in a special freight schedule, so be sure to check that out as well.However, even though the end of summer approaches, there are still a lot of things to do before your time in Ocean Beach comes to a close. For the rest of the season, here are some local events:

  • On Labor Day, Monday September 5 is the Ocean Beach Fire Department’s annual Pancake Breakfast held at the Fire House from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be raffles, a 50/50 drawing, and limited amount of 2016 Fire Department t-shirts available for sale. Come for the food made by our favorite Tommy Brown, and to support your favorite local organization. Stay for the raffles and good company. Fall and winter are a rough time for the fire department, so come and say “Thank you” to those that guard the island when no one else can.
  • Tumbleweed Tuesday, September 6 Ocean Beach’s favorite excuse to drink beer and celebrate a lack of “shoebies,” is being held this year at Houser’s Bar as a fundraiser for everyone’s Ocean Beach mama, Helen Tannehill. From 2 p.m. to whenever, come to Houser’s to listen to live music, win raffles and prizes, eat delicious barbecue, and of course drink Zippys until the sun is long gone. The $20.00 entry fee will be going to Helen’s battle with breast cancer. She is a tough cookie, but everyone should be able to “get a little help from their friends.” We are all here for you, Mama Helen! A special thank you to Brady Tannehill and Megan Kent for making this all possible!

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  • Tuesday September 13 is the ninth annual Field Day fundraiser, hosted by Eric Iversen (“Scoopin’ Ain’t Easy”). From 12 p.m. to 4:30, come dodge balls, spin on bats, and drink copious amounts of beer for a good cause. This year is for Catherine and Elizabeth Nocella, two members of the Ocean Beach Youth Group staff, who lost their mother on New Year’s Eve to brain cancer. Their cousins Caitlin LaRocco and Tom “The Bomb” Alfano, two beloved members of the Ocean Beach community, are ensuring their care, and their family can use all the help we can provide. Even if you don’t want to play, come to Bocce Beach for the after party at 5 p.m. Raffles, live music, and food and beer will be available, of course. Come support more of the Fire Island family in need, and have fun doing so!
  • Saturday September 18 is the memorial for much-missed Clifford “Cliffy” Bailes, who left us last year. Come to the Ocean Beach Fire Hall at 1:30 p.m. to celebrate the life of one of Ocean Beach’s finest, share a laugh or a tear, and saying so long for now. For more details, please contact Randi Bailes at randibailes@gmail.com for more information.

This is not a comprehensive list, of course, but a list that will keep you busy enough to forget that it’s season’s end.Approaching autumn also brings many birthdays for some of our Fire Island favorites, which in turn brings cause for happy times. John Horowitz, community basketball extraordinaire, celebrated his birthday on August 27. Rachel Doering’s time to shine came the day after, so stop in and get her a cake! (Just kidding; I don’t think Rachel needs any more cakes.) Noelle Morano and Robert “Bobby” Burke are a day apart; being September 11 and 12 respectively, while Sean O’Rourke comes in on the 13. Rounding out the end of the month is Jerry Hollstegge, lamp making guru and one of my personal favorite people, as well as another favorite Mama Helen Tannehill, on September 27 and 29, in that order. We should always celebrate each other in our little community, and when better than on a birthday?Summer may be gone, but it will be back before we know it, just in time to chase away the winter blues. In the meantime, come visit in the autumn, have a drink at CJ’s with those that stayed, and enjoy the clean air and warm ocean before winter grasps with its icy embrace. Until then, and don’t be late! Being on island time only works when you are on the island.Photo 1