2009-10-09 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

Well, here it is a few weeks past our 25th Fall Festival and I think I've just recovered from all the excitement.

Things started out a little damp on Saturday, the first day of the festival, but we went on with the event as planned and surprisingly there were many people attending. In fact, some folks came strolling in before we were actually open. The weather changed on and off all day but thank goodness we never had a read downpour, just kind of drippy all day.

Through all of that, the karate kids did their thing, Ronald McDonald walked around entertaining everyone, there was hot coffee and tea for breakfast and everyone who came out in the not so great weather seemed to have a good tune. Of course, we were a little damp from being out all day and we wrapped everything up at about 4:30 p.m..

Sunday, however, was a different story. The sun shown bright and beautiful and we had a spectacular day. As you may have seen in the paper the week after the festival, there were lines of adults and kids everywhere. In walking around the festival I found some wonderful new vendors and purchased several things for holiday gifts and I found other folks doing the same thing.

Since I'm a big kid at heart, I really enjoyed Davis Designs by Jayne Davis. Jayne's tent was all doll clothes and the most adorable ones you have ever seen. I picked up a child's size canvas tote bag with a picture of Miley Cyrus on it and beaded fringe around the edge, just right for my seven year old grand cousin. There were even tiny little doll backpacks and knapsacks. The whole display was just adorable. Another vendor, Frank Cerrone of Designs in Detail had standard sized chopping boards that you would used in your kitchen. They were hand painted and each board had painted designs in the center made, not with a brush, but with toothpicks. Each board was individual and at the top where you have the hole to hang it up, there was a bow the same color as the board. Wonderful gifts, inexpensive, and I bought one for someone for the holidays.

My favorite, The Pickle People were sold out before the day ended and I didn't get my pickles.

Rob's Smokin' Barbeque had the best chicken wings and the gyro's were great at another food vendor. No I didn't eat all of that in one day....but in two days, yes.

As we folded our tents on Sunday afternoon we felt we had a very successful 25th Anniversary and much credit goes to our Festival Chairman, John Musumeci, our Vendor Chairlady, Fern Liberman, and all of our board members who work so hard all year for this one weekend and our festival volunteers.

Besides those, there are our sponsors, the new ones who were mentioned in my last column as well as Green Mountain Coffee and others, and our special "go-to" guy for the past 25 years, Marvin Eisenstadt.

There is nothing you can ask from Marvin, Sweet 'n Low and Cumberland Packing, that is too much. Need a place to store some festival material, put it in Marvin's garage. Need a place for big boxes of supplies, store them at Cumberland in Brooklyn. Marvin has two of his fellows, Adrian and Diego available to help out at the festival each year and we couldn't do it without them and you may also find Marvin under one of our tents helping out during the festival.

You know those "Burma Shave" signs on Seagirt Boulevard in Far Rockaway, Adrian puts them up each year, taking them from storage at Cumberland. Of course, Marvin has a special place with me as he held my hand when I had to get stitches on my nose.

Don't ask, it's too long a story, but he's the best.

On the Saturday of the festival, Beach 144 Street and the Boulevard was named "Barbara's Way" in honor of Barbara Eisenstadt. While most of us at the RMAC could not attend because the Festival was starting, we were all there in spirit as Barbara had been the driving force behind everything we accomplished over the past, at least 25 years.

We all miss her and as I pass Beach 144 Street I look at the sign and smile.

As a special tribute to Barbara, we were to have a concert at Beach Channel High School this past spring when the School Construction Authority came in and told the school the auditorium would have to be closed, so there went our concert.

However, in Barbara's memory we will be having a very special Fine Art and Photography Exhibition and Sale at West End Temple beginning on Saturday evening, November 14. At this preview there will be cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and music and invitations will be going out shortly.

On Sunday, November 15, the show will be open to the public and you may come and purchase fine art and photography items.

If you would like to exhibit please call for prospectus at 718-474-6760.

More information will be forthcoming shortly.

For now, thank you to everyone who attended the festival and to our Jewish friends a very happy and healthy New Year.

See you around the neighborhood.

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