On Island Time – The Ocean Beach Report

On Island Time – The Ocean Beach ReportBy Samantha Sigelakis-MinskiHello, all, and welcome to your Ocean Beach report! If you are reading this, it means you survived Memorial Day, our tumultuous unofficial start of the season. Unlike last year’s overcast skies, this year’s weather was perfect for the festivities, sunny in the 70s all weekend, and with a crowd to match it. With the ocean still on the frigid side, many decided not to brave the waters, but the light breeze didn’t stop anyone from sunbathing, strolling through town, and having their first rocket fuel at the newly opened establishments. Ocean Beach alone had enough crowds that one resident stated they couldn’t get from Midway to CJ’s to meet with friends. Another resident who went down to Flynn’s in Ocean Bay Park told us that the wait time just to enter was over three hours. For all locals who braved a walk through town this weekend, we salute you.Of course we cannot forget the true meaning of Memorial Day, for it is not all barbecues and drinks. It is a day we honor the deaths of all who fought for our nation, and what better way to do so than to honor the living as well? Ocean Beach’s annual Memorial Day parade was a huge hit as always, with veterans from Ocean Beach and Long Island coming together to march around the village green. Included in the parade was Ocean Beach’s own Lou Wenger, who is the last surviving World War II veteran from our town. The Joseph Loeffler, Sr. Post of the American Legion in Brentwood sent representatives to march as well, along with Ocean Beach Fire Department’s Color Guard and Ocean Beach Police Department, which has many veterans amidst its ranks.Unfortunately, many who flock to Fire Island for our opening weekend fail to remember why they have a long weekend off from work and celebrate a little too hard. While this year’s rate of injuries and crime pale in comparison to last year’s revelry, Ocean Beach Fire Department and Rescue did have to respond to almost twenty EMS and fire calls on Memorial Day Weekend, a considerable portion of the overall call rate. Please be careful and thank your neighbor first responder when you see them; their job is thankless and voluntary. We would also like to thank the Ocean Beach Restaurant Association and Ocean Beach Police Department, for it is they that help the “bad” numbers go down.On that note, we would also like to thank Northwell Health Physician Partners (formerly North Shore LIJ) for providing onsite treatment in Ocean Beach for those in need. For anybody who needs a healthcare provider, the staff is in the office at 504 Bayberry Walk on the corner of Midway from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day from now until September 13.Back on topic, another big part of Ocean Beach’s Memorial Day contribution is the annual Blood Drive, held in the firehouse by the Ocean Beach Fire Department for the Long Island Blood Bank. Last year, we sent the blood bank 45 pints of blood, and this year has been just as fruitful. As OBFD Chief Ian Levine states, “[The blood bank] was very happy this year.” What more can we ask for? “Bloody” good turn out, fellow islanders!If you care to throw in your thoughts on the state of Ocean Beach and its community issues, Kenny Goodman and Laura and Christopher Mercogliano of the Palms notoriety are hosting their second “Come together to come together” session on June 26th from 3-5 p.m. at CJ’s Restaurant. Come with your concerns, complaints, or perhaps even your suggestions, and all will be listened to at this informal no-agenda meeting of the Ocean Beach minds.Given the Ocean Beach spirit of giving, we urge you to consider donating to beloved town resident Helen Tannehill’s medical fund. Helen has been fighting (and beating!) breast cancer this year. She could use all of the massive support that our community has to offer. You may know Helen from her old CJ’s days as the cook that used to pop her head out for a quick chat, or from behind the market counter at the Mermaid for your morning hangover bacon egg and cheese. You would definitely recognize Helen if you saw her riding in town with the biggest smile and warmest hugs, summer and winter months alike. Many of us simply identify her as our “other mom.” She has always been there to support many of us in the neighborhood, myself included, and now it is our turn to give back. Please visit the donation page set up at https://www.gofundme.com/aff9wfgg and demonstrate what this community does best: Helping out our Ocean Beach family.Photo 2Unfortunately, Ocean Beach has lost another star. We are sad to announce the passing of Harry Spillman, beloved longtime Ocean Beach resident, New York actor, and beloved father, husband, and grandfather. Others may best remember Harry for his role in films such as Born Again (1978, as President Nixon) or The Crazies (1973, as Major Ryder) but locals remember him as an unassuming man who was quick to tell a joke, but liked to come to Ocean Beach for the quiet months. Harry leaves behind his wife Helen Cuneen; his three daughters Allison, Lee, and Blaire (Burke); as well as grandchildren Liam and Dylan. He will be sorely missed.Photo 1Ocean Beach news you want included in this column? Email Samantha at [email protected].