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Dishing with Dee: Gala plans, political plays afoot in Queens

Later that evening we hopped over to the New York Young Republican Club to cover their meeting held at the Soldiers, Sailors Marines and Airmen's Club located on Lexington Avenue between 36th and 37th streets. Their guest speaker was former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, who has now formed a good-government group known as New York Civic. Henry is always a fun guy to listen to. He has his own inimitable way of viewing the world and all its citizens. Who can forget Henry's dog Boomer, a golden retriever who accompanied him to all events? Henry was trying to get Boomer into the Guinness Book of Records as the dog who received the most pats on the head. To achieve this status it was necessary for a young man to accompany Boomer with a counter keeping track of each time Boomer was patted. It was all working out well until someone complained, and that was the end of Boomer's potential claim to fame. Sadly, Boomer has gone to the big dog heaven in the sky and is sorely missed, as he, like Henry, was a genuine, bona fide character who contributed to making New York City the unique and fascinating city that it is.On Tuesday, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall addressed Queens Chamber of Commerce members at a breakfast in the LaGuardia Marriott Hotel. The borough president provided an update on economic development and other activities around the borough that were of interest to the chamber members. Helen Marshall thanked Chamber President Al Pennisi and the Chamber for their generosity and cooperation in hosting the annual February meeting of the Borough Cabinet. It was, as usual, a most interesting and informative meeting - and the breakfast wasn't bad either.Queens Theatre in the Park has had its first committee meeting in preparation for their May annual gala, which is their biggest fund-raising event. They plan on holding it in their beautiful new cafe. The cocktail party, that is - afterwards the show is presented in the theater, as is their custom. As we get more information we will pass it on to you. Do try and attend, as it is an event not to be missed. The Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee is also hard at work with the thousands of details required to produce their annual dinner dance, children's art and essay contest, memorial wreath laying, their interfaith services, the annual breakfast for the volunteers and parade participants and last but not least, the parade itself which is always held on the actual Memorial Day. This parade is the largest Memorial Day parade this side of the Mississippi and will start off promptly at 2 p.m., rain or shine, from the front of the firehouse on Northern Boulevard at the city line. More details later.On a sad note, I would like to comment on the passing of former Queens Tribune Editor David Oats. As most of you know, I worked for the Tribune for more than 10 years. During that period of time David was the editor and he was the one who hired me. Although we had our ups and downs, in spite of them we remained good friends until the end. One memorable moment comes to mind, after David and I had a few words and he informed me things had to be his way, whereupon I informed him I wasn't working there any more and went stomping off. About a year later, David had Liz Goff call and ask me if I would come back, as he needed me. Since I missed the old gang, I was happy to return. I brought with me a branch off a bush to which I had tied many olives on a ribbon. I stuck the branch in a vase from the 99¢ store, that was my way of extending the proverbial olive branch. David got such a big kick out of it that he kept it on his desk for the remainder of his time at the Tribune and was only too happy to tell the story to anyone interested enough to listen. David was also one of those larger-than-life characters. I will miss him and this is my requiem for a friend.That's it for this week.I always look forward to hearing from you directly with information on people, parties, politics or some plain old-fashioned gossip.I also like to receive your voice-mail at 718-767 6484, your faxes at 718-746-0066 and your e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.Till next week, Dee.

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