By Dee Richard
It’s the wrong time to cover the election results. Since we can’t do anything about that, we might as well give the election possibilities a rest. Yes, Virginia, there is a life other than election results.
This Saturday I was invited to the best Halloween Party I ever attended. It was held in Bowne Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The park was decorated from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. with tombstones, ghosts, goblins, trees covered in spider webs, scarecrows, bales of hay, chrysanthemums of all colors and so many pumpkins of every size and shape it seemed as if they had gotten a lock on every pumpkin in Queens.
There were pony rides, cotton candy machines and popcorn machines and there was face-painting. Cascarino’s of College Point supplied pizza for all and any interested for the entire length of the party. The only slowdowns were when they had to go back to College Point for more. A company named 4-Kicks Energy Drinks supplied a truck full of bottles of Poland Spring water.
Not only did children enter a costume competition, but many parents got into the act as well. At the end of the day, they lined up all the children according to age and the winner in each age group received a gift certificate from Toys “R” Us.
Raffles were held throughout the day with many great prizes. Aside from the usual gift certificates from local restaurants and pampering certificates from beauty emporiums, there was also a large TV plus a few other outstanding prizes.
The receipts from all the raffle ticket sales went to St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside. The most generous local businessmen bought a banner to tie on a park tree, and that money also went to St. Mary’s. Not one penny was spent on the Bowne Park Halloween party. Every item was donated by our big-hearted local businessmen.
Thy youngest partygoer was a 3-month-old baby in a little ladybug costume. The seniors weren’t claiming bragging rites age-wise, but they were up there and having fun. The partygoers ranged in age from 3 months up into the 80s.
Even dogs got into the act, including Dan Halloran’s behemoth, a Harlequin Great Dane named Dasher, sporting a T-shirt. A Chihuahua was in a red devil suit, which was finished off with a pointed gold tail and a pair of gold horns. I was sort of partial to a little gray Schnauzer in a black-and-white stripped prison outfit, complete with a black ball-and-chain on his leg. All the dogs were good and well-behaved.
I’ve saved the best for last. It was an eight-piece band. I didn’t get their name, but they sure sounded like the group Chicago. They played all afternoon and were great. There was something at the party for everyone.
Even after the party was over, there was a great reluctance on the part of some of the partygoers. They didn’t want to leave. Perhaps the change people are clamoring for is not political, but a hunger for a change in relationships. Man is, after all, a herding animal and loves being with his own kind. You saw that Saturday with all the happy faces, as total strangers struck up conversations and became friends that afternoon.
The self-imposed isolation many of us live in leaves much to be desired. While iPods, BlackBerry’s, text messaging, cell phones, computers, etc., may save time, they do not offer much in the way of human companionship. I think the group that arranged the party are on to something: humans having a need to be with other humans rather than gadgets. Perhaps that was why there was an overwhelming response to Saturday’s party.
We must thank Sal Bacarella; his right-hand lady assistant, Pat; Sal’s buddy John Watch; and their northeast Queens friends for giving without a thought of the cost to bring happiness to the children of their neighborhoods, as well as the children of St. Mary’s hospital. You can’t help but love a guys like that — and guys, I for one love you all.
State Sen. Frank Padavan had his Halloween birthday party at Towers on the Green in North Shore Towers. Mayor Michael Bloomberg stopped by to wish the senator a happy birthday, as they are good friends. James Trickis and I left the senator’s party and went to Michael’s in Douglaston, where we ran into Mayor Mike and Diana Taylor having a bite while they watched the Yankee game. Michael’s is a popular sports bar.
That’s it for this week.
I look forward to receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to check out the Focus on Queens page.
Till next week, Dee.