2004-10-08 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter

BEVERLY BAXTER Tonight, I will have the occasion to fondly remember and speak about a great man who was also a personal dear friend. I share with the many of whom have seen their loved ones memorialized, the bittersweet feeling that we would not be gathering at these events if our loved ones were here with us—and we would much prefer it that way. However, their lives were so significant, measured not by their faults but by the contributions they made to enhance the lives of others, that we feel passionately compelled in our responsibility in keeping the magic of their legacy alive.

I would like to publicly thank Zandra Myers, Executive Director of the Joesph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, for hosting tonight’s first annual James Conway Sullivan Memorial Irish Night. The event will be held this evening at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Gerald Dever Middle School 180 located at 320 Beach 104 Street and Beach Channel Drive. The concert will feature locally renowned Irish performers: Owen Baxter, John Baxter, Deacy and Casey, Irish Step Dancers, The County Tyrone Pipe Band, and others. Tickets are $20. and may be obtained at the door. Proceeds from the concert will go toward the building of the new Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, as well as the dedication of an area named in memory of Jimmy.

Jimmy was a curator of people—and his collection was legendary! I, like Zandra Myers, and I’m sure she will tell you tonight, am not of Irish decent. I remember the first time I met Jimmy. The occasion was the Hearts and Shamrocks Dance to benefit the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, of which he was Chairman and Founder. I was not only introduced to a man with a proud Irish name who would become my friend and have an enduring impact upon my life, I was introduced to a culture that in many ways he embodied. There was an immediate feeling of warmth, humor, and acceptance. The Irish call it failte, which means welcome. And so, on this occasion of the first annual James Conway Sullivan Memorial Irish Night, I bid you Cead Mile Failte (one hundred thousand welcomes) to tonight’s performance as we share in the celebration of a great man, as well as a glorious culture that he loved so well. I know I will feel Jimmy’s deliriously proud spirit bobbing back and forth in the front row to the Celtic rhythms. And I hope to see you there.

***Congratulations to Parade President Mike Benn who will be honored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians New York County Division at their annual fete at Duro’s on Satuday October 16.

***Congratulations to Keith (Bugsy) Goldberg of the Graybeards and the CYO who will be among our honorees in our parade, which celebrates our 30th year! I will of course announce the other honorees as they are confirmed.

***Get well wishes to Monsignor Geraghty who recently endured hip replacement surgery. I hope you are on the mend and feeling better.

***There was a terrific turnout for the newly-formed Rockaway Republicans who introduced candidate Howard Mills who is running against Chuck Schumer for the United States Senate. Mr. Mills, a State Assemblyman from upstate, is a fiscal conservative and tough-minded reformer whose initiatives include cutting government waste, reducing state debt, reforming education, and preserving and protecting the environment. Although he does not have a 25 million dollar war-chest, he has repeatedly challenged Mr. Schumer to debate the issues as he believes that Shumer’s record does not merit re-election.

So far, Schumer has declined the occasion of a debate. You will be hearing more and more about the Rockaway Republicans and their initiatives as they are building an exciting momentum in our area.

Join them! The club wishes to thank Papa’s Pizza for donating pies for the event.

***See you...TONITE! at the James Conway Sullivan Memorial Irish Night Concert!

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