by FIN |

John Schaffner at the July 4 parade with mayors present and past: Jimmy Mallott, Tom Schwarz, Natalie Rogers, and Joseph Loeffler. (Courtesy of Rita Silver)

By Joey Macellaro ~ “Life would just pass in a blur if it weren’t for times like this,” Jim Henson once said of celebrations in the voice of Kermit the Frog. Every moment matters, but milestones are worth commemorating.

We’re making up for lost time. Last year should have been Ocean Beach Community Fund Honorary Chairman John Schaffner’s 50th year emceeing the July 4 children’s parade, but we celebrated this year instead.

“The weather was great,” said John. “We came back stronger than ever.”

A reception was hosted by John’s wife, Nel, and Scott Hirsch at the Island Mermaid on July 2 in recognition of John’s parade anniversary and his 90th birthday. He expressed disappointment over having a limited guest list and hoped for a larger gathering, “God willing, maybe another year.” At the end of the party, Nel surprised him with a renewal of their wedding vows, officiated by Mayor Jimmy Mallott.

“After 42 years, we did it again,” John added. “All in all, it was wonderful coming home to the beach where I spent half of my life.” Another highlight: meeting his new great-grandchildren for the first time. He wishes to thank all who shared the weekend with him.

Community Fund Music Director Rick Kushner spoke at the reception regarding the upcoming the Fund’s annual dance, titled “100 Years, 100 Dances,” scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, at the Community House. Email to purchase tickets.

The Free Union Church thanks Rick for entertaining shoppers on piano at their very successful book sale on July 9.

Probably Ocean Beach’s youngest business owner, Thomas Sexton recently celebrated a milestone: his 19th birthday. Thomas and his father share ownership of Beacheria on Bay Walk at Evergreen, which opened in 2019. Working in his family’s restaurants since the age of 12, Thomas vacationed often in Ocean Beach and saw an opportunity for an Italian fast-casual establishment after Michael Miller left to purchase Le Dock in Fair Harbor.

“We’re the home of the mozzarella doughnut,” said Thomas. “We invented it.” With an extensive menu of Italian specialties including grilled artichoke hearts, penne Madiera, chicken Milanese, and an assortment of panini, Beacheria is much more than just pizza. Delivery is available through Grubhub to all surrounding communities. The kitchen is open until 10 p.m. every night, with pizza available until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Woody Salvan wants your input regarding the Ocean Beach Fishing Club’s 2021 catch-and-release tournament. The current plan is to hold off until 2022 for safety reasons. Write him at P.O. Box 104, Ocean Beach, NY 11770, with thoughts and let him know if you’d like to help with the event in the future.

The marvelous Edith Charlton was reminiscing recently about the Friday “Daddy Boat,” newspapers being reserved and picked up at Kline’s, and come-as-you-are parties after the beach. She’ll be sharing more here – and in the Ocean Beach Historical Society’s “100 Years, 100 Voices” show in August. Email me to share your memories.

Keep celebrating – and keep smiling.

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