Dishing with Dee: Daring souls, politicians, brave rain for parade

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Memorial Day has come and gone, the parades that were held on Sunday were lucky and the weather was fairly decent; however, Monday was a total disaster. The Whitestone Parade was called off; they had no choice because the rain came down in torrents. Most parades are rain or shine, but it would have been ridiculous to even try.

The Little Neck Douglaston Parade organizers were on pins and needles, hoping for a break in the weather. When Mayor Mike arrived, complete with Bloomberg golf umbrella, the parade committee said, “It’s a go!” And go we went!

During the beginning of the parade it was raining rather heavily, but, miracle of miracles, it cleared up about 20 minutes later with a few occasional spritzers here and there.

Understandably, many of the units that had signed up to March were no-shows, and the spectators were rather scarce. Those who did show up had a great time with tons of free hot dogs and lemonade for all.

The Grand Marshal was Col. Eugene Lombardo, Man of the Year was Joseph Mattone, Woman of the Year was Gloria Bodie, and the two Youths of the Year were Jessica Fishstein and Benson George. The other honorees were Moshen Zandieh, Monsignor Michael Cantley, James Fitzgerald and Michael Maclaga.

The hardy political types that made it were Mayor Mike and Deputy Mayor Dennis Wolcott, state Sen. Frank Padavan, Assemblyman Mark Weprin and City Council Members Jim Gennaro, Tony Avella, John Liu, Melinda Katz and David Weprin.

Speaking of David, he introduced me to a young man thathe said is his opponent for the council race. The young man said he is 23, but he looks 16. The only thought that crossed my mind was, why? We will check it out and have more info for you next week; it doesn’t seem to make much sense.

Jim Rodgers and Vic Mimoni announced that because of the rain the traditional awards ceremonies would be held at Fort Totten within the next week or two, stay tuned.

The Little Neck Douglaston community takes Memorial Day and its celebration very seriously. On Friday evening the committee judged the children’s Art and Essay Contest. After they awarded the prizes, they followed up with a pizza party at Father Smith Hall for the children and their families.

Monday at 8:30 a.m., Douglaston resident Dr. John Farrell had breakfast at his home for the parade honorees and a traditional bell-ringing ceremony for those who have departed, both on Sept. 11 and in the Iraq war.

The parade committee had an interdenominational ceremony at the Zion Church in Douglaston. There was a wreath-laying ceremony on Almeada and Northern Boulevard followed by a coffee and bagel collation at Father Smith Hall.

Considering the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that they had to contend with, they are to be commended for pulling off any kind of a parade at all. Even though it was much smaller this year than usual, it had a good feeling about it. Better weather luck next year.

I promised you last week to fill you in on the newly named Northeast Queens Republican Club’s cocktail party at the Reception House. It was an exceptionally nice turnout.

New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels brought greetings from the governor, Debbie Markell did the same for Mayor Mike, President George Bush sent a letter of congratulations and state Sens. Frank Padavan and Serf Maltese were there with proclamations.

The man who stole the show was Curtis Sliwa, who was off on a roll and even Queens District Attorney Richard Brown couldn’t keep from laughing at his antics. Former Astorian Vinny Tabbone joined the club as he has just bought a house in Bayside.

The big surprise of the evening was Jimmy Meng and his table of guests. Hmm! Lots of luck to new Club President Janet Malone and her plans for the club’s expansion.

St. Andrew Avalino finished off its golf outing at the Clearview Golf Course with a dinner at Friends Restaurant in Flushing. The proceeds from the event go to help support St. Andrews Athletic League. Martin McGuire said they were pleased with the results.

Thursday, May 29, the William Jefferson Clinton Democratic Club held its annual awards dinner at the Reception House. The honorees were U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, UFT President Randi Weingarten and Flushing businesswoman Anita Lai.

There were between 250 to 300 people in attendance and as a diversified a group as one could possibly imagine. It seemed more like a U.N. affair than a Democratic Club dinner.

It was good to see new immigrants wanting to participate in the American custom of getting involved in the political process. It makes for better citizens and makes them feel that they have a voice in what is going on in their community that affects their lives as well as their children’s.

If they have their own business, which many of them do, it helps them to understand all the regulations and procedures involved in getting things going.

Gary Ackerman, my favorite stand-up comic bar none, quipped that since both he and Barry Grodenchik came from the Pomonok Housing Projects, he guessed that made them “Boys from the Hood.” One of Randi Weingarten’s closing remarks was “The school management is at war with the people trying to teach the children; they are squandering the opportunity they were given.”

Happy 100th birthday to Bob Hope and the Brooklyn Bridge, and thanks for all the happy memories connected with both.

If you have anything you would care to share, or invitations to events, etc., call me at 718-767-6484 or fax me at 718-746-0066.

Till next week,


Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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