Dishing with Dee: Saul Weprin Democratic Club elects new president

By Dee Richard

Thank goodness we have had a few sunny days. All those rainy, dark, dreary and damp days were getting rather depressing. The Forest Hills, College Point and Whitestone parades enjoyed the weather’s cooperation; it is too bad the Little Neck-Douglaston Parade did not.

This was the second year in a row that they were deluged with downpours. They worked so long and hard to make their parade the success it usually is. It’s frustrating when the weather refuses to cooperate. Unfortunately, the weather is the one thing we mortals have no control over. I hope that on next year’s Memorial Day the sun will also shine on the Little Neck-Douglaston Parade.

As reported in last week’s column, state Assemblyman Mark Weprin will become the new district leader of the Eastern Queens Democratic Club. Originally, Chet Szarejko and Honey Miller were co-district leaders. At that time it was a large, powerful club; however, Miller and Szarejko had differences of opinion on a number of issues.

Szarejko stayed with the Eastern Queens Club and Miller formed the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club. Will Weprin and Miller try to unite the two clubs to make one large, powerful club again? Only time will tell.

On the surface it seems like a good idea, but sometimes when there has been a split there are bound to be some leftover hard feelings. Some are still angry and hurt and it may require lots of smoothing out of all the ruffled feathers. It seems like a very worthwhile project.

Szarejko says he is happy at the prospect of becoming state committeeman as well as that there are some goodies also being lined up for him. It sounds like everyone is satisfied with the new deal. Congratulations to all.

Speaking of the Eastern Queens Democratic Club, Szarejko wants me to remind you that the club was to have its annual dinner dance Thursday at the Douglaston Manor.

The new owner of the Douglaston Manor, Dominick Bruccoleri, is doing a great job at renovating the place. I hope that the food at his new place is on a par with the food at his Papazzio’s Restaurant in Bayside. If you are going to the EQDC dinner we will see you there. Be sure to come over and say hi!

Congratulations to Arthur Flug on being elected president of the Saul Weprin Democratic Club. The swearing in will be done by Queens County Democratic Leader Tom Manton at the club’s next general membership meeting next Thursday at the Hollis Hills Jewish Center.

Club members, you made a great choice. Flug has been one of my favorite people for years; whatever he gets involved in always has great success under his leadership. You have no place to go but up.

While we are congratulating Flug, let’s not forget his recent appointment as education outreach coordinator of the Holocaust Resource Center and Archives at Queensborough Community College in Bayside. For those of you who have never visited the Holocaust Museum, it’s a very worthwhile trip. Lest anyone forget that terrible experience in the world’s history.

Peter Boudouvas has had some disappointing news. The Independence Party endorsed state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza. Naturally, he feels this is a challenge that will only make him work harder. There will be more details next week. Good luck, Peter.

Whatever has happened to our Democratic process? The voters really do not have a choice anymore. The Democrats and Republicans can only vote for their leaders’ choices. Now it seems the Independence Party — which, if you recall, started out as the “Reform Party” whose purpose was to take the leader’s choice out of the process and truly let the people’s voice be heard — has evolved into an equally rubber-stamping group.

Whatever happened to equal opportunity for all? From what I understand, they have denied Boudouvas the opportunity to a primary, which would indeed have given the public the right to decide. Maybe there is some validity to Mike Niebauer’s accusations, after all. We will check it out, so stay tuned. There is never a dull moment in the world of politics.

Old friend Jeff Wiesenfeld invited us to Carnegie Hall last Thursday to a World Premiere Concert featuring star Neal Sedaka. The concert was an Evening of Yiddish Memories and Classic Hits. The beneficiary of the concert was the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater. It was a fun evening and all you proponents of political correctness, get a life.

I would say 90 percent or more of the audience was Jewish and the laughter at the ethnic jokes was so loud you missed some of the lines. Not to be missed was Sedaka’s saying how much his parents sacrificed to send him to the Juilliard School of Music to become a concert pianist.

Needless to say, when he embarked on a rock-and-roll career, they were disappointed. His mother forgave him when, with the proceeds of his first hit record, he bought her a mink stole, which was a fashion must-have in those days. The family thereafter referred to her stole as her “Hadassah Tallis.”

Another funny line came from the evening’s stand-up comic, Mal Z. Lawrence, who said: “Did you ever notice that all the people in the lobbies of the resort hotels were all wearing sweat suits? What sport were they all engaged in? I finally figured out — it was the race for the dining room.”

Jay Parker of Ben’s Best Deli said, “Yiddish Theater is definitely on its way back due to a tremendously revived interest in the art form.” At one time there were more than 60 Yiddish theaters on the Lower East Side, and now there’s only one. Plans are being made to increase the number.

It’s a great idea; many of you younger people never had the pleasure and enjoyment of spending a weekend at one of the Catskill resorts and hearing all the great entertainment they had to offer. In fact, those very same resorts were where all the top talents used to go to get their starts.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a cameo appearance and captured the audience members, all 3,000 of them. He surely has a lot of votes and support coming to him from that audience in his run for re-election. Wiesenfeld also tells us that Sedaka donated his time and talent for the evening to help raise funds to support the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater. I forgot to mention that Roman Kent and Wiesenfeld were the evening’s honorees. Thanks, Jeff, for inviting us to join you in enjoying a wonderful laugh-filled evening.

Requiem for Ronald Reagan

On Saturday Ronald Reagan ended his long journey home. While physically he remained with us the 10 years of his affliction with Alzheimer’s disease, little by little the Ronald Reagan we knew and loved slipped away. That’s the curse of the disease.

He was often referred to by many as the “Great Communicator,” but there are those who prefer to remember him as the “Great Uniter.”

His charm, wit and sense of humor coupled with his sincere convictions of what was right for America and Americans were so persuasive that even the “Bickersons” on Capitol Hill, the Republicans and Democrats, would go along to get along with “The Gipper.”

While his physical presence is gone, his spiritual legacy will live on forever in the hearts of Americans and foreigners alike, all of whom have benefited from his vision.

Let us not let his legacy be lost. Let us keep the good will and the good work he produced for our future generations. Help keep his vision of a better, more beautiful America as an enduring memorial to the man and his life.

Goodbye, Mr. President.

As usual time and space have run out. Call me at 718-767-6484, fax me at 718-746-0066 or e-mail me at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week,


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