2007-01-12 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

Happy 2007. I hope everyone had a happy, pleasant and safe New Year and just because you haven't seen this column since the end of last year doesn't mean that we are asleep at the wheel, so to speak.

At the present time we are waiting for Gateway to come up with a formula for this season so that we can present our concerts and our Fall Festival. As soon as discussions are finalized we will let you know.

Our Music Memory and Opera programs in many of our local elementary schools are going nicely and more schools are participating each year. Ideally, we would like all of the schools to be included and that takes quite a bit of funding. So between your membership and our grants we hope that each year these wonderful programs will continue to grow. When the children in our schools win citywide competitions at Lincoln Center, they (and we) must be doing something right.

The newest program on our agenda for the spring is a Literary Arts Festival to be held on April 22. The time and place are now being determined. The Festival will be open to both young and old, professional and non-professional who write novels, short form stories, poetry, screenwriting, etc. Several book publishers have already signed on and we are very excited about this new program. As the project moves forward we will let you know how you can participate.

There are a few very important people in Rockaway who we may have overlooked to thank for all of their guidance and assistance over the years. Audrey Pheffer and Joe Addabbo have never said no to any request and are always there to help us. Thank you both for your generosity of time and knowledge. I also want to take this time to thank our newest Vice President, Harold Cornell and his wife Arlene for their guiding hands in negotiating with the city agencies for our grants. They are constantly running to Manhattan to sign papers, dot the I's and cross the T's that the different agencies forgot to tell them were needed the last time they were there. I must say, dealing with our city is a hoot!

Needless to say, I won't go into the gory details.

Can you believe this weather? It would be great if it lasted through March but the chances of that are very slim. However, the New Year's Eve weather was wonderful for this time of year and I spent it with some wonderful friends, Geraldine Chapey and Gene Pasternak and Beverly and Owen Baxter with dinner at The Belle Harbor Steak House. I must say that I have never been to that restaurant and had a bad meal or know anyone who did. The food and service are what you would expect in any first-class restaurant in Manhattan and the prices won't break your wallet.

Speaking about the weather, I was speaking to a friend in Colorado; I called to make sure they were okay after their third snowstorm in the last couple of weeks only to learn that they are expecting more this week. It was so bad that the Post Office had to close. Once the snow stops, the wind whips up and creates drifts so high that they can't get their cars out and if they do, the roads are a sheet of ice. It is very dangerous out there right now. All I can say is thank goodness for El Nino, global warming or whatever that is giving us this great weather. Knowing that I don't have to shovel my car out is a blessing.

Keep all those warm and good thoughts and maybe we'll get through this winter in good shape.

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