2003-01-04 / Columnists

Dorothy Dunne

Some dreams came true for a White Christmas, but we didn’t expect a blackout one, too. There must be many stories around the Rockaways about how the families coped. I was sitting in Patty and Bobby Crowley’s home among 30 members of family and friends; sisters: Claire, Maureen, Karen and Sheila and husband, Derek McCarthy and baby Danielle; in-laws: Gladys Crowley, Caryn and Joe Fata and others, enjoying all the folks and beautiful surroundings, the fresh garlands and the colorfully decorated fresh tree in her living room near the fireplace watching the snowflakes fall through the lighted windows and thought what a picture perfect scene for Christmas.

Everyone was in a jovial mood, sipping champagne, nibbling on mouth-watering morsels while wrapping and unwrapping presents. An abundance of food was presented including pork and delicious red cabbage sauerbraten; a specialty of Patty’s. It was amazing there were seats enough for all at the long, long table. How fortunate they started early, about three o’clock in the afternoon thus finishing most of the day before any darkened occurrence. They went unscathed except for cleanup.

I was truly blessed that day because my dear friends, Helene and Peter Danzillo invited me to share their Christmas with them on the early evening. As I was bidding farewell to the Crowley/Ritter clan, much to my surprise, all stood up to sing Happy Birthday to me as they placed a candle lit birthday cake in front of me. That was very nice. Thank you so much.

It was then on to the Danzilo’s Pink Palace for a very special Christmas Celebration with their daughters, Christine who had flown in from California, Lanie and her husband Richard Schroeder and Richard’s parents, also daughter, Maria and hubby, Richard Levh with daughter, Hollis and little twins, Clara and Peter. Earnie Barry, the talented pianist and singer who many of you know and have seen perform at the finest restaurants and nightclubs throughout New York City and the boroughs was playing and singing his heart out and, as I walked in, played Happy Birthday to me. How nice. They had a beautiful sit down dinner at their magnificent dining room table the goes on and on in length. The air was filled with lively conversation and even all the children were well behaved. Hollis (4) was just a delight that day. After shrimp cocktail and pasta course, we helped ourselves to well-seasoned chicken and vegetable main course when…………..all the lights and electricity went off. Someone scurried for the candles and it all this made a very romantic dining experience. It also made the lights on my birthday cake glow a little brighter, too. A beautiful, beautiful Christmas Day. Two birthday cakes! I hope that doesn’t make me twice as old?

Sad note, though. Ran into Helene and daughter, Christine at brunch at Kennedy’s the following day, Sunday. and learned husband, Peter Danzillo was taken to the hospital on Saturday with pneumonia. However, he is now doing very well now and may be released in a few days. Our prayers are with you, Peter. Also, brave, Patty Crowley, hostess Christmas Day, has been trying to recover from Mono. It is a big job to throw a party for 30 people, especially when you are not up to par. She would not have been able to get through it, she said, if it hadn’t been for her husband, Bobby, a great community worker. He was such a big, big help and she wants to thank him. We all thank him, too.

At another table at Kennedy’s, there was the younger addition of Kathy Pierce (is it she or her clone or really herself?) and her family, having a reunion brunch: Big Daddy, George Pierce, son, Duke and wife, Fran with daughter, Nicole (sister Danielle was home, sick). Pierce’s, daughter, Tracey and son Justine who graduates from Colgate College in May where he is taking his L-sats to become a lawyer and other son, Eric who will receive his five year masters degree in Physical Therapy at Quinnipac College.

Getting back to blackout Christmas, my heart went out to Grace Someck of Lincoln Walk who spent the day alone. Though she praises her helpful neighbors, being it was Christmas, they were all elsewhere at their children’s home etc. and Grace was all by herself in the dark. At first she thought she went blind till her eyes adjusted to the dark. What a relief to realize it was an outage problem. God bless her spirit, sharp mind and sense of humor. She came through it fine. She told me though she was upset with lottery winner, Andrew Jackson’s big hat. She hopes he can now afford a new chapeau (not that he couldn’t afford it before). One thing he won’t have to pass that hat around. It certainly could hold a lot of cash. Maybe he has such big hat for emergencies. The big plus I found about this winner is that he is giving money to three churches and putting his fired employees back on the payroll. At least some good came out of it.

The Voice of the Faithful, Brooklyn Chapter, is hosting a candlelight vigil at St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn on Jan. 6, feast of the Epiphany at 7 p.m., outside church because they are not allowed in by the Bishops. This is a nationwide vigil. All are invited. On Jan.18 a Bishops meeting will take place at a luncheon in Douglaston. Only a select few will meet with Bishop Cantanella who will represent Bishop Daly. And, don’t forget the Jan. 29 meeting at the American Legion Hall in Rockaway Beach.

If you like classical music a little off-beat you would have enjoyed PDQ Bach, Oops, I Did It Again Bach concert at Lincoln Center featuring Prof. Peter Schickle, leader, speaker, Bassoner who saunters on to the stage in tattered tails torn at the sleeve, baggy pants and sloppy shoes to conduct this charade of high brow music. It is slapstick funny in parts with beautiful musical sounds emanating from instruments played by very talented musicians.

The arrangements are complicated and complex; classical mixed with contemporary movements, strange to the ear. One must realize it takes a musical genius to create these arrangements. You may think it hysterically funny, a roaring "ha-ha" or a weak little chuckle. It is, I would say, a form of poking fun at classical music. In this concert there is a segment with all ancient instruments from, mostly Asian countries with weird sounds made melodiously pleasing by the talents of the musicians. The last act I found the best because it made the musicians shine in almost full complete classical pieces. If your likes are a mix of comedy and classical music with slapstick comedy this is your cup of tea. Go see it when it comes to town again.

TRAVEL:

The cruise ships are dying and are offering outrageously low, low prices just to fill the ships. January is always a slow month in the travel industry and this year even more so. But, for you…this is the time to go.

Take advantage! Guarantee Special cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore, 20 day cruise-Tour on Crown Odyssey Jan 29, 2003 from $2, 2799, 10 day cruise, all gratuities, 3 nts. Hong Kong first class or sup. Hotel, City Tour, 2 nts. in Singapore with City Tour,. 2 nts in Bangkok with City Tour, air from Singapore to Bangkok etc., etc. Two for one cruise from Nassau to Rome, 25 day on Marco Polo apr. 7 from $6,570, second person FREE total $6,570 for two includes 21-day cruise, with gratuities, 3 ts. Rome first class hotel city tour, workshops, lectures, ballroom dancing lessons, duplicate bridge tournaments and cocktail parties.

Feb. 19……. R/T from Singapore 19 days from $2,799, 15 cruise w gratuities, 2 nts. Deluxe hotel in Singapore, City tour, cultural presentation on board in Ho Ch Minh City, cocktail parties. 4 days in nassau $289 including air. (Costs you more to stay home). 5* pick the date, tour operator picks hotel all-inclusive, 4 days $459, Fri through Mion in January. 12-day Barcelona to to Rome, Apr. 20 cruise and land hotels, $1, 398.

More travel specials on UHF Ch. 35 12:30 p.m. E-mail dorothydunne@ yahoo.com.

Give me a call and "AWAY WE GO!!!"


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