2007-05-18 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

by Sharon Gabriel

by Sharon Gabriel

I thought it was about time for another column. I have just returned from visiting "Rockaway South," otherwise known as Florida.

Between relatives and friends, there was never a free moment while I was there. With driving up and down Route 95 and the Turnpike, I probably put more mileage on the car than I would do in a whole month here. And, the price of gasoline there was not much different from here in New York and you probably use a lot more of it because you need your car to go everywhere.

Of course, it didn't do very much for my diet, eating in so many different restaurants. So now, it's time to get back on the wagon.

While I was away, the schedule for our Sunset Picnic Concert series was completed. The concerts begin on Sunday, June 24, 6:00pm, at Fort Tilden, with "A Night at The Copa." If you remember the old Copacabana nightclub, which I believe was on East 60 Street in New York, you will remember it was a place where Sinatra and his pals hung out and where many Yankee ballplayers had a big fight many years ago. We're not bringing you any fights, but "Sinatra" will be at our June 24 concert. It should be a real fun evening, which we almost thought might night happen at all this year.

Because of many problems at Gateway National Recreational Area, some of which you might have read about in The Wave last week, we were not sure there would be any RMAC programs this year and that would include all of the concerts as well as our Fall Festival.

Steve Yaeger, Barbara Eisenstadt, Harold Cornell and John Musumeci have been in discussions with the Park over many months and Gateway finally determined that we could go ahead with our programs. All of the problems put a big dent in arranging our programming but thank goodness things have been straightened out and everything will go ahead as planned.

Having been the initial cultural organization to use Fort Tilden almost 25 years ago, it was very disturbing to me that the current management was considering not agreeing to our programs for this year. Thankfully, everything has worked out and we look forward to seeing everyone at the first concert.

I remember the first few years of our Festival when all of the ladies on our board were very busy baking cookies for the one-day event. In addition, since we didn't have food vendors, we would purchase cold sesame noodles from a very good restaurant in Chinatown and then serve them in small bowls for about $1.50 each. Boy, have times changed. Of course, we owe it all to you because you made it possible for us to continue and have the festival we do today.

For your calendar, this year our Festival will be a little early, on Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9. The early dates are due to holidays, which fall on the following weekends, so mark your calendars with the early dates.

As you know by now, our first Literary Festival at Gateway was a great success thanks to Stuart Mirsky, Barbara Eisenstadt, Geoff Rawlings and The Rockaway Artists Alliance and John Gilleece and The Rockaway Theatre Company and their staffs. Hopefully we have begun another event that will go on for years to come. Hundreds of people came to speak to the authors, get some pointers on writing and attend the symposiums. Several films were shown at the theater and each was greeted with applause and special attention to the authors and directors of each film. It was a fun event, hard work, but fun for all of us.

Our 2007 Membership Drive is now underway. If you have never joined us but have enjoyed our concerts, festival and children's events, please think about supporting our local organization. You can contact me directly by calling 718-474-8353 and I will be happy to send you an application for membership.

Speak to you soon.

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