Dishing with Dee: Food and fun with friends highlight this year’s July 4

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It’s hard to believe this past weekend was the Fourth of July. The general consensus is that Memorial Day is the start of summer, the Fourth is the middle and Labor Day is the end. The fact that June 21 is the official first day of summer is an inconvenient detail. It’s easier to calculate summer’s divisions by the more popular way.

We spent the Fourth at the annual barbecue at Barbara and Ralph Barba’s home in Douglaston. It was good to see many old friends, some of whom we only see once a year at the barbecue. Some of the friends attending were Chet and Marion Szarejko, who drove in for the occasion from their Hampton Bays summer home; Frank Mileski and his wife from the Polish American Congress; and a group of the Wednesday night Il Bacco gang consisting of Carolyn and Bernie Karoff, Bobby DeCarlo, Jenifer Mostel, Gus Iurillo, Barbara Leonardi and at least a half-dozen others from that particular group.

The real shocker was Barbara’s son, Jimmy, who was there with his mother-in-law, Maria; his wife, Sandra; his baby, Siena; and dog, Noodle. The reason it was a shock was because at the first Barba barbecue I attended Jimmy was just a college student, but look at him now. How time flies.

Another déjà vu moment was seeing Joyce Gasser. Joyce was a special friend of John Farrell Sr. I had taken the last photo of John at the Barbas’ 2008 barbecue. He died shortly thereafter. In the world of coincidences or six degrees of separation, John’s daughter-in-law, Pat Farrell, who is married to John’s oldest son, John Jr., works for good friend Sal Bacarella of Garden Works and Land Serv. Small world, isn’t it? Other guests who also dropped in were Bill Bart; his wife, Barbara; and her mother. Last but not least was state Sen. Frank Padavan, who was the most notable of the guests attending.

There were lots of snacks, good food, tons of desserts, numerous libations — something for everyone’s taste. The fun part included a Chinese auction and karaoke music provide by Jim Darmos. Everyone had a great sing-along time. The evening ended watching the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks special on TV. A totally relaxing day and evening. We are all looking forward to the same time, same place next year. I hope your Fourth celebration was equally as much fun as ours.

The politicians are busy with the last-minute push to finalize their petition gathering, which will end shortly. It was our understanding that Frank McKay and the Independence Party had given their endorsement to Isaac Sasson in the 16th Senate District race. Now I am told they have rescinded their endorsement of Sasson and are supporting incumbent Democratic state Sen. Toby Stavisky instead.

I don’t understand how you are able to do that. The Queens GOP endorsed and unendorsed three separate candidates for governor and now the Independence Party is unendorsing a candidate it promised to support. How does that work? What is the mindset behind this type of decision? It beats me and I’m sure I’m not the only one scratching their head in confusion. What does it all mean?

This off-again type of endorsement is not the only instance of confusion. Another head-scratcher is ousted lawmaker Hiram Monserrate’s bid to run on a ballot in a special election for the seat taken away from him by his Senate colleagues. Some things just leave you speechless. Monserrate also got his order of protection to stay away from his former girlfriend, Karla Giraldo, modified so he can have contact with her again.

Don’t you think the political world seems to get more perplexing with the passage of each day?

Lots of luck to good friend Bill Driscoll on his new job with a Nassau County consulting firm, as we understand Bill has left Parkside, where he was one of the founding members. Again, Bill, we wish you the best. Do be sure to keep us informed.

Congratulations to DCAS Officer Richard Price and Marie Ramsey, who were married June 26.You can usually find Rick on duty and handling the security at Queens Borough Hall during the week.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Till next week, Dee.

Updated 6:14 pm, October 10, 2011
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