2002-06-01 / Columnists

On The Beach… With Beverly Baxter

I hope you all enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend. If you are not of the "Great Generation" and perhaps like me, you were too young to vividly remember Viet Nam, then you will now, in the wake of 911, have a deeper appreciation for and understanding of what we are "remembering" with this holiday. I must admit that in the past, Memorial Day was not at all a very somber holiday. It was a day off, to wistfully spend with friends and family, a day of leisure and frivolity. It now has a much deeper meaning.

When I was growing up in the 1960s during the Viet Nam War, I was too young and hardly aware that President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated. Although the Art of the time reflected the turmoil and social combustion of our society, I was quite oblivious to what was going on. Although my mother dressed me in cute little paisley dresses with "peace sign" designs, tie-dye halter-tops, and bell-bottoms, I, along with my little friends, was blissfully practicing our cheerleading and cartwheels out on the front lawn. Indeed we went to see "Hair" on Broadway and we learned how to play some of rock opera songs on our Baby Grands. I even remember skipping down the street with my best friend Suzy singing "Four Dead In Ohio" as if it were merely a song to sing-a-long to. We were simply too young to know its meaning. Those of my generation grew up in mostly peaceful and prosperous times.

When President Kennedy was shot, it was the end of our innocence. Since 911, it just seems that if something isn't done, it could be the end of our world. No, I don't think I could ever again just drive across any of our bridges or tunnels with my top down and the radio blasting. I now say a prayer. It hardly makes sense. Al Qaeda is supposed to be running scared. Not us. I just want to express my condolences to those who have lost precious loved ones in any war on our behalf.
***The Chamber of Commerce has an exciting slate of events planned for
Summer 2002. On Tuesday June 4th, it's Meet Mayor Mike Bloomberg. As part of its Business After Hours series, the Chamber will host the Mayor who will give an address at The Beach Club from 6 'til 8 p.m. Although Chamber members will be given first priority to attend, it will, space permitting, be open to the general public. The event is being sponsored by North Fork Band. Contact the chamber for details.
***It's an Art Frenzy! Artists from around the community will be showing their work on June 8 and 9th at Fort Tilden. Vendors are always welcome and should contact the Chamber for more details. The event is being sponsored in collaboration with The Queens Council on the Arts.
***We are sailing.... Our Community Cruise will take place on July 11th. Since this event is always a Rockaway "happening" and tickets sell out
really fast, contact the chamber a.s.a.p to obtain tickets.
***West End Realty will sponsor its annual Sand Castle Contest on July 28. Contact Barbara J. Morris for registration details for this popular event. There will be categories for all ages!
***August 16th will be the Golf Tournament.
***August 24 and 25 will be the weekend when our skies will be filled with a colorful festival of Kites.
***Still in its planning stages will be Bands On The Boards. It is hoped that this event will take place in various locations on "the boards" throughout our community. Sites being considered are Beach 116 Street, Far Rockaway, and Riis Park. The date will be announced.
***Congratulations once again to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Sulik and Chamber President John Lepore for the Herculean efforts they continue to make on behalf of our town.
***The Rockaway Music and Arts Council will be hosting its Summer Concert Series on the Great Lawn at Fort Tilden. In addition to their very exciting program, this season RMAC will also host the Irish Group, Cherish The Ladies who will perform on July 7th. Bring a blanket or a chair and enjoy a musical evening under the stars!
   See you.... On the Beach!
  


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