2003-09-26 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter
On The Beach With Beverly Baxter

   One of the most uniquely endearing aspects of Rockaway is that it’s a place where everybody knows your name! It’s truly amazing and very special. When I returned from my sojourn in the Hamptons and came over the bridge, I was not stopped at a light for more than two minutes when at least five people called out my name! It’s that provincial "Our Town" kind of feeling that makes this place unlike anywhere else I’ve ever known.

   And as soon as the paper came out and my column appeared again in last week’s edition, I received so many calls throughout the entire day! Although there are something like over one hundred and fifty thousand people who reside here and read The Wave, when you’re writing a column, it’s just you and your computer, and you really don’t feel the magnitude of your reach or just how many of you read my column! I am truly touched that I was so missed and I thank you!

  As we enter into the fall season, we also enter into a season of many up-coming events. Since Rockaway is a very benevolent town, so many organizations that render so much to the community mount their fundraising events during this time. The first of these to be slated is The Night of Roses Gala at Russo’s-on-the-Bay hosted by Saint Rose of Lima. This is one of my most favorite events as I very much admire and have been so often inspired by Father Peter Gillen and the people of that Parish. It’s a wonderful evening; and because it usually sells out rather quickly, you will want to call Mike and Betty Keller or the Parish Rectory for tickets as soon as possible!

The James Conway Sullivan Queens County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Cultural Committee held its first general meeting of the 2004 parade season. With an annual budget of over eighty thousand dollars, our fundraising season will begin with our annual Dinner Dance at The Beach Club on Sunday, November 23 from 4 ‘til 8 p.m. Tickets are $40. This is the occasion where our parade honorees make their debut. I can merely intimate to you that they are an exciting roster of familiar names; and upon their notification and acceptance of their selection, I will let you know who they are!

Our annual Hearts and Shamrocks, which is everybody’s favorite parade event, will be held at Saint Camillus on January 18 from 4 ‘til 9 p.m. Music will be provided by The Black Velvet Band and perhaps Richie O’Shea will briefly come out of retirement to give a Guest Performance! Hmmm! Tickets are $35 and a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner will be served.

The formal Gala at Antun’s will be held on Saturday, February 15 from 8 ‘til 1 a.m. Last year we had over 700 people in attendance! We sold out quickly and had to turn many away. So make your plans early! You may obtain tickets to any of these events from any parade committee member or honoree.

On a sad note, the committee has endured the loss of several of its members, and I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families who survive these special people. I was saddened to hear of the passing of Kathleen Mulqueen. Although she had heroically endured her illness for quite some time, the finality of her passing touched me very much. She had tremendous spirit and courage with regard to life as well as with death. I remember so vividly one parade meeting when she got up in front of fifty members and spoke so blatantly and with honest humor about her illness; and she asked everyone to come out and cheer her on as she rode in tandem with Ed (Shevy) Shevlin on his Harley in the Biker’s Parade For A Cure. I sat there in awe of her fortitude and I will miss that often wink and twinkle in her smiling eyes. My condolences to Rosie and her family.
   We also lost Mr. John Dolan whom many of you had often met with Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey at many of the parade functions. Although he resided in Garden City, Long Island, he at­tended and participated at many of our hectic meetings, provided the stunning antique cars for parade day; and was a wonderful companion to Dr. Chapey, the two of them so elegantly attired at our fundraisers. He was a quintessential Gentleman. My condolences to Dr. Chapey, her daughters, Drs. Roberta and Geraldine M. Chapey, and her husband, Eugene Pasternak.

I also extend my condolences to John Murphy, the Brother-in-law of our Parade Founder, on the passing of his father, William Murphy of Beach 125 Street. Although I’d never met Mr. Murphy, he raised a wonderful Man, husband, and son-in-law that John Murphy is. My condolences to the Murphy and Sullivan families.

I render my thoughts and prayers to Teresa McCloskey, the mother of Grace McCloskey of Rockaway Point.

Failte to newly installed parade members Anne Maroney, Robert Hughes, and Frances Abbraccia­mento! Congratulations!

***Did You Know...it is rumored that the landmark Levine’s Washington Hotel on the Boulevard and Beach 125 Street has been sold and that some kind of housing will be erected on that site. I’ll let you know more as it is confirmed!

See you...On the Beach!        

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