By Dee Richard
This will be the last column for 2009 and thank heaven for that. This has not exactly been a blue banner year for me. If anything could have possibly gone wrong, it did. Hopefully 2010 will be better.
The holiday party season has finally begun to wind down, which is good. One more ho ho ho would have been one ho ho ho too many. It has been a busy time on the party circuit. One of the most recent covered was last Monday at Tom Long’s Conservative Party at the American Legion Hall in Forest Hills. Some of the guests were state Sen. Frank Padavan, Serphin Maltese, Grant Lally, Deborah Misir, newcomer state Assemblyman Michael Miller, Queens DA Richard Brown, Bart Haggerty, Joe Kasper, City Councilman-elect Dan Halloran, Councilman Eric Ulrich, Anthony Como, et al.
The Queens GOP had a biggie Tuesday at the Reception House in Flushing. The place was packed. Some of the luminaries at that gala were Ed Cox, the state GOP chairman and son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon; Chris Collins, the Erie County executive who may run for governor; and Padavan, Maltese, Halloran, Ulrich, Councilman-elect Peter Koo, Dennis Gallagher, Judy Stupp, Vito Palmeri, Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino, Queens GOP Chairman Phil Ragusa and the entire GOP executive board, along with too many others to mention.
On Wednesday the North East Queens Republican Club also held its party at the Reception House in addition. Many of the same guests at Monday and Tuesday’s parties were there, as well as Janet Malone, Tony Ramos, Joann DeMartino, Myra Baird Hersce, Chuck Wade, Joan Vogt, Marie Warhola, James Trikis, Dennis Ring, Sal Bacarella, John Watch, Padavan, Koo, Halloran, Helen Crowley — the list goes on and on.
State Assemblywoman Barbara Clark held on Friday an open house in her Queens Village office and the Greater Whitestone Taxpayers Association held its Christmas dinner party in Il Nocello’s in Whitestone.
Saturday was a red letter day. It was the Winter Holiday Festival for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Bowne Park, sponsored by the North Queens United Group and local businessmen.
In spite of the snow, they had a nice turnout and a good time was had by all. The “Original Cascarino’s” from College Point supplied the pizza, but hanging out with these guys and their wall-to-wall pizzas and donuts makes it hard to try and lose weight. Jan. 1 is around the corner and you all know everyone’s No. 1 new year’s resolution is to go on a diet. Enough said.
Saturday was a red letter day because Mike Niebauer, one of the chairs of the Independence Party, and myself have been engaged in our own “Punch and Judy” show for more than 10 years. Our mutual friend Bacarella heard us bickering for the thousandth time and asked what it was all about. We explained Niebauer never presented me with the news media plaque he and the Independence Party had selected me to receive for my coverage of the Independence Party. He instead gave my plaque to a southeast Queens reporter. He said he had to build up media presence in that area. I asked him what was wrong with presenting two plaques.
At about the same time Niebauer’s niece was getting married, he asked if I would be interested in taking a few photos to print in the paper, since former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani would be officiating. I said yes, providing he did not mind if I took some extra photos for myself to make an updated sample wedding album. That was the beginning of World War III.
Every time I saw Mike, he would ask for the photos of his niece’s wedding? I would ask where my plaque was. This stand-off went on for over a decade. At this point, Sal stepped in and said, “Mike, go out and make up the plaque for Dee you promised her and Dee, bring the wedding photos as they are of no value to you and let’s have an exchange on Saturday at the Bowne Park Festival.”
When good friend John Watch heard everyone agree to the terms and conditions, including Sal’s admonition that we kiss and make up, John said this was a photo he had to take to record posterity, but that I should behave myself when I kiss Niebauer by not biting him. Check out the photo on the Focus on Queen page. I am going to make up a plaque for Sal naming him the recipient of my first Queens Masterful Machiavellian Manipulator Annual Award.
That’s it for this week.
I like 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.