On The Beach Blog | Off the record, on the QT in WHB, and very hush-hush…

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Am I so sheltered that I just now...

Antifa logo

...learned what Antifa is, and what role it's been been playing around America over the past several years?

(Antifa = "anti-fascist," a commendable political and social stance which seems to have been co-opted by loosely organized, mask-wearing radical Leftists.)

What's propelled it into my (and others) consciousness this week has been the violent events in Charlottesville last Friday, and the war of words between the Trump Admin­istration and the media. More...

Monday, August 14, 2017

The forgotten Boy of Summer

Gil Hodges Bobblehead

In truth, the man will never be forgotten by me or any of the "Flatbush Faithful" from the lively Dodgers days in Brooklyn, but it is those myopic mutts on the Hall of Fame Oldtimers' and Golden Days committees who either have huge holes in their memory banks, or are simply ignorami who have neither the wit nor the pride to perform their job properly.

I rise to again address the issue of Gilbert Ray Hodges' disgraceful absence from Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. More...

Friday, August 11, 2017

A timely blast (heh heh) from the past!

Federal Civil Defense Administration

I didn't even think of this in October 1962 when half the country was sure that JFK's brinksmanship with Nikita Khrushchev had plunged the world into nuclear Arma­ged­don over the subject of... surprise!... missiles where we didn't want them.

Unusual, considering I grew up in the '40s when the United States developed and tested the world's first nuclear weapon (then called an atomic bomb) and then proceeded to drop a pair of them on Japanese cities on the otherside of the world.

Japan, already fighting a series of losing battles in a war they had started 44 months earlier, quickly sued for peace and agreed to an unconditional surrender less than ten days after the second mushroom cloud appeared over the Land of the Rising Sun.

(I remember that evening, the setting sunlight struggling around the blackout shades darkening my bedroom as the bells of the Beach Methodist Church pealed joyously throughout the evening.)

It wasn't long before the country, if not the world, was swept up in an abiding fear of atomic bombs, and by the early '50s "Popular Mechanics" was publishing plans for what came to be known as "bomb shelters."

(We didn't go that far, but by the time our father had deployed to Korea... remember that name!... we had case goods of Mary Kitchen Roast Beef Hash and Campbell's condensed soups... heavy on Black Bean and Bean with Bacon... in our basement.)

Anyone paying attention to this week's news, can under­stand why I felt this might again be pertinent!

(Pretty terrifying stuff to a pre-teenager!)

On a historical note, the Federal Civil Defense Administra­tion, created by President Truman in 1948, went through a series of mergers and consolidations, from the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization under President Eisenhower in 1958 to the Office of Civil Defense in 1961 and the Office of Emergency Planning less then two months later (both under JFK), then being renamed the Office of Emer­gency Preparedness under LBJ in 1968 and finally abolish­ed by Nixon on July 1, 1973.

Just remember, "Duck and Cover" is still a sound strategy, and an even better one if you've prepared a place in which to do it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Pete Fenner (1936-2016)

This was passed onto me just this afternoon.

David Fenner, age 80, died Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, in Portland, after suffering a stroke. He was surrounded by family, and passed peacefully.

Pete was born April 18, 1936, to John and Janice (Gleason) Fenner in Montclair, N.J., the middle of three children. He grew up in Madison, N.J., and graduated from Madison High School in 1954. Pete attended Lehigh University, and graduated in 1958 with a degree in Industrial Engineering.

Nancy Royce weds Pete Fenner After college, he married his childhood sweetheart Nancy Carrell Royce, and began a long career with Ma Bell, starting as an engineer with Western Electric, and finish­ing as a Vice President and Divi­sion Head at AT&T. More...

Thursday, August 03, 2017

August Village Board Meeting

After opening the meeting acknowledging that Clerk of the Village Elizabeth Lindtvit has been Certified by the New York State Society of Municipal Finance Officers and tossing some kudos at Westhampton Beach Police Detec­tive Steve McManus for his efforts in illegal pharmaceutical diversion, Mayor Maria Moore got down to business with a Special Exception Application for Entertainment Permit for The Claddagh Restaurant.

Following a recommendation by the Planning Board, a final approval of The Claddagh's permit was contingent on re­submitting a completed application.

Although the actions occurred this past April, the real news to emerge from the Village Board meeting was that due to the joint efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Village Police Department, an investigation More...

Monday, July 31, 2017

Out, damn'd squirrels!

Boy, did this catch my eye on this afternoon's 27east!

Squirrels Might Have Caused Fire At Quogue Refuge's Ice House

"Last month’s fire that damaged the Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s old ice house building might have been started by unlikely culprits: a family of squirrels."

Long before Jeanne began fighting the good fight against the giant "hooved rodents" (Odocoileus virginianus) whose population has burgeoned within our Village over the past 18-20 years and savaged her gardens... More...

Monday, July 24, 2017

They've got to tighten...

Updated Monday, July 24, 2017 – 5:34 pm

...the requirements for allowing people into the country by at least adding a rudimentary intelligence test!

Whatever else potential entrants would be asked, high on the list would be:

"If it has been raining throughout the night and morning and you are tasked with leaf-blowing on a landscaping job, so you:"
  1. Go ahead, put on a set of earphones and wander around the yard pointing the blower at anything resembling a leaf, no matter how soggy? (Adelante, ponga un conjunto de auriculares y pasee por el patio apuntando el soplador a cualquier cosa que se asemeje a una hoja, no importa cómo está empapado?)
  2. Pack up and go home to wait from a dryer day? (Pack y volver a casa a esperar de un día de secado?)


Friday, July 21, 2017

'Bout damned time!

I've been railing against the disparity of gasoline prices in the area it seems like for-freakin'-ever...

(See: "Con$umer Ga$oline Advi$ory" exactly six years ago!)

...and prodding our Assemblyman Fred Thiele to do something about it!

For his part, Fred would issue an annual press release claiming he was introducting legislation to address the problem... which, not surprisingly, remained shame­fully unaddressed. More...

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Major Re-evaluation

I took snide potshots at Fred Havemeyer during his extended tenure as Southampton Town Trustee, based solely on his campaign photo, dressed in pristine waders intended to certify his credentials as an authentic bayman.

Of course, he was no such thing, just a gentleman Bridge­hampton farmer with lengthy fealty to the Republican party, but that campaign photo bothered me almost as much as the one of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry posing with a shotgun as if this was a regular activity of the long time gun prohibitionist.

John Kerry 2004 Presidential Campaign Photo

(Hilariously, Kerry "shot himself in the foot" with his target demographic because firearms owners everywhere immediately recognized that image as less a photo op than a cynically posed bit of fakery; had it been genuine, the candidate would have been wearing eye and ear protection!) More...

Friday, July 14, 2017

I'm rooting for the guy

This caught my attention this morning:

Tim Tebow exceeding expectations in high-A ball

...and I was immediately reminded of that famous, long-running magazine advertisement from 1926: "They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano – But When I Started to Play!" More...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Boooo! Hssss! to the Sunset Avenue 7-Eleven

...to the Sunset Avenue 7-Eleven for discontinuing the July 11th (7-11, get it?) promotion of a free small slurpee with more than five hours left in the day.


We'd rushed all the way back from Stony Brook to our local 7-Eleven store only to find the sign of denial on the front door! Bad form!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Catching up with Evans Killeen

Years? Not nearly!

Evans Killeen basecall card, circa 1959

It's been decades since Evans Killeen and I ran across one another... it had to have been 1986 when "Rocket Gibraltar" was filming at Henry Immes former home on Beach Lane and one of the actors portraying a professionl baseball pitch­er, needed some serious coaching for his role.

Who ya gonna call? More...

Thursday, July 06, 2017

A misspent mind...

...is George Guldi's, as we learn from 27East:

Appellate Court Tosses Guldi Conviction In Westhampton Beach Insurance Fraud Case...

(Yes, all aspects of the Mortgage Fraud trial were upheld.)

2009 Guldi mugshot

As someone who has known George his entire life... he was born and raised in my extended rear yard in the house he was convicted of setting fire to... it's been apparent that the man is a very smart attorney, just never quite as smart as he considered himself to be.

How this ruling affects George's freedom from incarcer­a­tion is not immediately known, but had he approached his two parole hearings with a less truculent attitude, he'd've been back on the street some time ago.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Here's a weird one...

...uncovered during a 60 hours marathon viewing, in sequence, of the full six seasons of "Games of Thrones" over this extended weekend as cable HBO whets every­one's appetite for the delayed premiere of an abbreviated Season 7 on July 16th.

Not that this viewer needed much stimulation... I've been all in since midway through the first season when I sud­denly "got" what "GOT" was all about! More...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Owls of East Main

We have some welcomed new inhabitants at the ol' family homestead... ones that are decorative, inquisitive and beneficial in that they keep the property rodent-free!

(Not that we were infested with such critters, but mice and voles are not unknown hereabouts.)

Jeanne's younger daughter Kate, passionate birder she, came for a visit earlier this month, and found a number of feathered friends right here, on the East side of the house and atop the garage: More...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Latest Tesar Sighting...

...courtesy of Elyse Richman in a Comment to a previous OtBB entry.

Tesar, like "The Dude" in "The Big Lebowski," abides.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hope there's a video record of this event

I'm doubly up for this one:

This summer you can hear Vin Scully become Abraham Lincoln in 'A Lincoln Portrait'

As the immediate universe knows, I'm a huge Dodgers fan, and have a tremendous fondness for the dulcet tones of the great Vin Scully, their broadcaster for 67 years. More...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Now it can be told...

Yvonna Craig as 'Batgirl'

..."Batgirl" was a babe of the major variety!

While puttering 'round the 'Net researching some facts for the previous OtBB entry, I came across some nifty photos of the late Yvonne Craig.

Barnara Eden as "Jeannie"

Craig was a curvaceous gal who, despite her feminist activities was not reluctant to appear in two piece swim suits, more bikini than the con­ven­tional bathing garb of the time... remember that Barbara Eden's bubblegum-pink harem pants routinely covered her navel for the five year (1965-1970) 139 episode run of the popular "I Dream of Jeannie" series. More...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sic transit signum "camp"

Fresh from today's news:

Adam West, Straight-Faced Star of TV's 'Batman,' Dies at 88

With the exceptions of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, I'm not given to celebrating anyone's death and I won't start now, but I'm not going to mourn West's pass­ing at home last evening of leukemia. More...

Thursday, June 08, 2017

June Village Board Meeting

Newly sworn Westhampton Beach Police Officers Joseph R. Loria and Andrew Kirwin

Mayor Maria Moore opened the Monthly Village Board meeting at the appointed time and went straight to the first order of business, lauditory remarks by Chief Trevor Gonce and the swearing in of two new full time police officers, Joseph R. Loria and Andrew Kirwin, bringing the departmental staffing levels back up to 13 members, a figure which includes suspended officer Joseph Pesapane.

Two perfunctory Special Exception Public Hearings were dispensed with, granting an Outdoor Dining permit to Joe's American Grill but not Mill Road House which withdrew its application.

(The one approval is timely as weather reports unanimously suggest that the chilly weather is over and this weekend will see temperatures in the 80° to 90° range! Huzzah!) More...

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The things I never used to notice...

Los Angeles Dodgers

...in the first 40 or 50 years of watching major league baseball.

This afternoon's match-up at Dodger Stadium between the league-leading Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers featured the first ever head-to-head meeting of All-Star right-hander Stephen Stras­burg and the consensus "Best Pitcher in baseball," ace southpaw Clayton Kershaw. More...

Friday, June 02, 2017

A teary moment at 256

Doctor Baier Rakowski

...earlier today when Jeanne and I watched a live streaming video of her capped and begowned son Baier graduate from the Western University of Health Sciences as a Doctor of Osteopathy.

The "D" word as far as my wife is concerned, is the operative one because it allows her to borrow a line from that old Mike Nichols and Elaine May mother and son sketch:

"...and that man is a doctor." More...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Frank Deford (1938-2017)

Frank Deford

I can't really say enough about Benjamin Franklin Deford III, so I'll keep it brief: he was an old school sports writer/editor (as well as author of a score of books, not exclusively about sports), and six times voted Sports­writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.

Deford's résumé is unassailable: his half-a-century at Sports Illustrated, his 37 years of commentaries on National Public Radio, and his journalism on HBO's "Real Sports" where he always shown above the mediocrity of host Bryant Gumbell and other hacks like Soledad O'Brien and that uber-weenie Bob Costas. More...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Jack O'Connell update...

...courtesy, as is her wont, of Mary Fitzgerald:

Jack O'Connell Coca Cola commercial

Yeah, it's a cola commercial... it keeps the lights on... but I take comfort in knowing that the former Club Marakesh doorman and Magic's Pub bartender abides.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday's once again in balance

It's not much of a secret that a feature of my mid-week routine is an egg, sausage and cheese wrap at Eckart's Luncheonette, a repast that's not only tasty but holds me for the day so that I skip breakfast and can enjoy a lighter-than-usual dinner/supper.

Not so, however, the previous two Wednesdays! I had left feeling uncommonly incomplete as the wrap seemed less substantial than usual. More...

Monday, May 22, 2017

If you thought MSNBC anchors...

Shepard Smith

...like Rachel Maddow were biased, the last of the big names on Fox News, Shepard Smith, is right up there with the worst.

Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren have jumped ship, and with the firing of those gasbags Bill O'Reilly and Bob Beckel (and that tinhorn phony Sean Hannity rumored to be on the bubble), with Tucker Carlson still wearing training wheels, Smith is the leading news network's biggest name!

The irony here is that the least antagonistic-to-the-Trump-Administration of the broacast media, now features one of the most openly hostile to Donald Trump anywhere on the airwaves.

For his part, Smith doesn't even try to disguise his con­tempt for the President.

That's going to cause some problems for Fox News.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Never let it be said...

...that the developers of the old bowling alley property on Sunset Avenue and Mill Road are going to let nature stand in the way of their project.

Young tree at risk.

The yellow overlay area indicates the approximate curb cut and driveway apron along Mill Road, with the healthy young tree smack in the middle of it. More...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Robert Yale Lary (1930-2017)

He wasn't in any sense of the word "spectacular," playing the position which has today come to be designated "Free Safety," but Yale Lary, the 5'11" first-team All-Southwest Conference defensive back in 1951 in his third and final year playing for Texas A&M University, was a great one during an interrupted 11-year career for the Detroit Lions, playing on three NFL Championship teams.

Having traded away their picks in the first two rounds of the 1952 NFL draft, the Lions made Lary their first selection, #9 in the third round (#34 overall), ahead of such notables as Pat Summerall (#45 overall) and Jim David (#261 overall). More...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why I'm reading Dennis Lehane...

...and have been for the past year or so... so many of his books are so good:

"The only thing good Catholics love more than God is a short service. Keep your organ music, your choir, your incense and processionals. Give us a priest with one eye on the Bible and the other on the clock, and we'll pack the place like it's a turkey raffle the week before Thanksgiving."

– "Prayers for Rain," November 1999.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

May Village Board Meeting

The meeting again started late this evening due to Black Sheep Television's tardy arrival with, according to video­grapher Jacques Dittes, a new high definition camera.

(Exactly what that has to with with the 7:10 pm start time was not immediately clear.)

Mayor Maria Moore announced that the June Village Board Meeting would be held June 8 instead of June 1 due to Trustee availability... two of the Board will be else­where engaged on the usual day. More...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Here's a face and a name...

...I hadn't seen in over 50 years, since we were young men in Westhampton Beach, Tommy, elder son of Helen Elfmont for whom I worked when she and her partner ran The Busybodies out of what is now Country Heroes.

This "reintroduction" occured during Friday's ABC telecast of a compelling documentary "Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992," the eve of the 25th Anniversary of the riots following the acquittal of four LAPD officers charged with excessive force in the arrest of Rodney King. More...