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Dishing With Dee: Always a new chance with start of new year

If you noticed the absence of our column "Dishing with Dee" and our photo page "Focus on Queens" last week, it was my fault and I do apologize. I usually submit both items every Monday. As last Monday was a legal holiday the paper was closed and both items were supposed to be in on Friday. I completely forgot and thereby missed the deadline. Sorry about that! I must be getting punchy from this entire non-stop running to holiday parties to the point where I don't know what day it is. This column hopefully will be the grand finale of the Christmas/Holiday parties.On Friday evening Dr. Fred Vagnini who has the "Heart Show" on WOR-AM Radio 710 Sunday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. had his annual Christmas Party at Leonard's of Great Neck. As usual it was a fun affair. It's amazing to see how rapidly his two young daughters have grown into two beautiful young women.On Sunday we were invited to an "Open House" holiday party given by Vice Admiral Joseph Steward and his wife Catherine in their home on the grounds of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Mrs. Steward is an interior decorator and she did a magnificent job decorating the house appropriately for the holiday season. There were many people there that we did not know, but there were some military men that we did know including Capt. Donald Ferguson of the Merchant Marine Academy, Col. James J. Darmos and Col. James Whelan, both of the New York Guard, and of course, good friend Dr. John Farrell of the Queens Flag Day Committee. It was a most happy and festive occasion enjoyed by all.On Wednesday the Northeast Queens Republican Club held its annual Holiday Party at the Reception House in Flushing, with a very nice turnout. The raffles and silent auction were financially successful. The evening's entertainment was provided by the Singing Santa of Whitestone. Santa arrived in his beautiful red velvet Santa suit from Rubie's Costume Company (a Queens institution). Santa brought along his karaoke machine for a sing-along shared with all the guests. The highlight of the evening was everyone sitting on Santa's knee and telling him what they wanted for Christmas. Our favorite photo was the one of state Sen. Frank Padavan sitting on Santa's knee. (Check out the Focus on Queens page). Santa, by the way, was James Darmos, aka Dee Richard's husband. Ho, Ho, Ho!On Thursday evening the TimesLedger Newspapers held its annual Holiday Party at the Douglaston Manor. Hosts Steven and Holly Blank treated everyone to a great holiday party. In fact, everyone there said it was the best party the TimesLedger has ever had, and they can't wait till next year. Judging by the action on the dance floor it seems as though the TimesLedger has a lot of talented dancers in its employ.Later on Thursday evening we attended the 25th Anniversary Celebration and Holiday Party at the Seoul Plaza Crystal Ball Room in Flushing for a combination reception, ceremony, performances and dinner dance given by the Korean-American Association of Flushing. Kwang Kim, president of the Korean-American Association of Flushing, provided everyone with an exotically different type of party.The entertainment was both traditional Korean as well as very modern American style entertainment.Among the guests were elected officials, community leaders and the local surviving members of the Korean War. A most interesting evening.One of the most fabulous parties we attended this season was the one given by a host and hostess who did not want any publicity or photos. We cannot mention them by name, but they and the other guests know who they are. We would at this time like to take the opportunity to thank them for inviting us to a splendid soiree. Although we usually work at every party we attend, this one was an exception. We can say that it seemed rather strange and awkward not to be running around snapping photos.It was a dangerous experience to have as one could easily get accustomed to relaxing and being a guest as opposed to the tension of getting the job done. One could get spoiled very easily. Thank you again.On Sunday we went to City Hall for the swearing in of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Comptroller Bill Thompson. We stopped in for a few minutes at the reception that followed before going to a local, private New Year's Day dinner in Flushing.That's it for this week; we look forward to receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, your faxes at 718-746-0066 and your e-mails at Don't forget to check out the photos on the Focus on Queens page. Till next week, Dee

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