2013-08-16 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits

By Dan Guarino

Thanks for reading!

There, now we’ve taken care of that right up front!

I found that because it spills over to the second page of the column, that last line sometimes falls off completely.

But not to worry. I’m picking up those extra ‘thanks for reading’ off the floor and saving them for someday when I really have nothing to write about.

That’ll be 333.33 ‘thanks for reading’ in a row to make up my 1,000 word quota. No problem!

If you’re reading this on Saturday, August 17th, put down the paper, grab a roll of paper towels and head over to the VFW Barbecue, 713 Shad Creek Road.

There’ll be food, music, games, raffles, 50/50’s and drinks (soda, beer) from 2 to 6 p.m. Adults are a $20 donation. Children 5 and up: $10. Please come and support the rebuild.

Looking into the future, Josette from the Ladies Auxiliary also tells me that on Saturday, August 24th, the VFW “will be hosting a ‘Come Help Us Rebuild The VFW Bike Run’. Rain date September 1st. Kickstands go up from the Forest Park bandshell in Woodhaven at 12:30 p.m. Then the ride will be escorted to the VFW in BC. Donation to the Post is $20 for single; $25 with pass, with a BBQ at Post to follow. For additional info contact Debbie 347-556- 4750.” Raffles and 50/50 will be on available, too.

And on Saturday (10-4) and Sunday (10-3), September 7th and 8th, she added, “we will be holding a yard sale. Donation $10 for a table. For more info or to reserve a table call 646-344 -2640.”

“Come support our veterans,” says Josette, and “help rebuild our Post.”

St. Camillus and St. Virgilius are holding a blood drive, sponsored by the New York Blood Center, from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, August 18th. An air-conditioned bloodmobile bus will be waiting for you on Beach 100th Street at Rockaway Beach Boulevard. No appointment is necessary. Your donation will help save up to three lives.

Summer is the best time to enjoy a little bit of Christmas, with all the trimmings, as the BCAC proudly sponsors a “Broad Channel Night At the Movies” on Thursday, August 29th. Starting at dusk at the BCAC Field, it’s only $10 per family, drinks and snacks on sale and the movie is “Home Alone.”

Dress your Christmas best, come out and enjoy!

Tickets are still available for the Annual $10,000 Giveaway. Proceeds will go to BOTH the BCAC and the BCVFD, with the drawing happening after the Mardi Gras Day Parade at Field. Tickets are $100; only 400 sold! Call Sabrina Gross 347-804-2764, Jessica Allen 646- 784-1392, Jack Allen 646-267-5423 or Danny McIntyre 347-678-5857 to get yours!

Chances are you were at the great, great American Legion fundraiser last Saturday, August 10th. In fact there were so many people inside the Legion, there couldn’t have been anyone left in town.

It was so packed, when I got to the door the nice ladies told me “We have no tables left!” I said, “No problem. I would be happy to pay to stand, just to be here. If there’s no room to stand, I’ll be happy to pay, look around, then leave.”

My thanks to Kathy Smilardi and company who made room at their table and invited me over.

What a blast! People had so much fun many were still there past 1 a.m. and long after many of the tables had been cleaned up and rolled away.

The reunited Broad Channel Theatre was absolutely fantastic! What a show.

By the way, if you smelled beer on my hands, it was only because I helped clean up afterwards. Honest.

You can’t invite me to the party and not expect me to help clean up.

The next morning, Sunday, was just perfect for the first service to be celebrated at the beautifully rebuilt Christ Presbyterian by the Sea Church. Those who donated support, dollars and supplies, the volunteer workers who came from nearby and all over the country and the congregation really did create a miracle, right here in BC.

It was a very cold, damp and gray day, November 18th, when I was there last, in the sanctuary. It starkly still showed the damage the wild storm had left behind. There were no lights, no heat. Blankets were passed out.

Planned months in advance, in happier times, it was Reverend Andrea Zarou’s last service before retirement. She served Broad Channel for 25 years. It was bitter-sweet observance, with tears and yes, laughter.

So that it would not end as a sad occasion, we all sang a cheery Christmas song (Joy To The World?), to which all of us remembered most of the words.

I am pleased to report that not only did the church endure those hard times (as did St. Virgilius, too) and all the long months that followed, but came through to open its doors again.

And Reverend Zarou’s ‘surprise’ retirement party has been rescheduled to this November 17th at Roma View in Howard Beach. Details to follow.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Clarity, captain, US Navy, retired, and receiving copy of the book about his life and career. “Old Salt,” written by Mary Dady Clarity and woven from a rich lifetime of Mike’s stories, is available from amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and elsewhere.

I am looking forward to reading and enjoying it.

For those keeping track, yes, I just finished reading my post-Sandy donated copy of “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” It’s not that I’m necessarily a slow reader. It’s that I can only read when I am sitting still. If you know me, then you can readily see the problem.

Saturday, August 17th, is the big move day into a new, really nice apartment in Broad Channel that looks out eastward over the Bay. There’s more to the story, of course, but after all the months of being displaced by the hurricane, it’s time to come home.

Thanks for reading.

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