Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Time for Another Reunion


Thank you to Jon and Hugh for sending along the important and sad news and for giving us the opportunity to extend condolences to the Weinlandt and Corrigan families.  I add to the list Joel Carr, who died on February 27, 2014.  Joel served with distinction as Saltaire's Mayor for several terms.  He and our Dad were known as the "Odd Couple" of Saltaire as they jogged the boardwalks together, socialized with their remarkable wives, Peggy and Sue, and managed the governmental affairs of the Village Beautiful for many years when Dad served as Village Administrator. These recent passings, added to the many others over the years, plus reading the names of the addressees on this email and thinking about so many others, cannot help but bring smiles of memory, stretching back over many decades-- all of them Saltaire-based.  We are strangers to each other, some are friends and many more are acquaintances of varying degrees of familiarity, but all of us are Saltairians. Some of us still call Saltaire home, others are away. But all of us have Saltaire in our DNA. In a wonderful way, the ferries, boats, docks, bay, ocean, the field and playground, the store (sadly, at least in memory, for the time being), race week, the wagons and bikes, the day camp, the boardwalks, the poison ivy and deer, the Yacht Club and its bar, main room, movies, dances, dinners, Labor Day shows and church bazaars, the Village Hall, post office and doctor's office all endure as part of who we are. Many of us have lost parents, aunts and uncles (but there continues to be a healthy and active group of octogenarians who are our life models and heroes!).  Too many of us have lost children, siblings, spouses and peers.  But our shared grief does strengthen our memory bonds. For me, the recent deaths have generated a cascade of flashbacks centering on our parents' generation.  Jimmy O'Hare did a wonderful job remembering Mrs. Weinlandt in a way that rings true for many of us.  It triggered memories for me of Bill and Ed Weinlandt and so many others playing softball when the aging Dads of Saltaire (who were much younger than we are now) took the field in legendary games like "Marine Walk v. The World" or sailed to infamy in Sunday Yacht Club "Landlubber Races" which were more about sandbar groundings than speed, and multi-generation bumper pool games at the Club. I remember Bill Weinlandt and so many other Dads wearing their dress shorts, knee high socks, jackets and ties as church ushers and at Club formals.  I remember Mr.Corrigan, Dick Starkey (still!), Charlie Shaw, Dad, Norman Monath, Harry and Ray Scanlan and others forming chorales of sorts at Our Lady Star of the Sea and Mrs. Corrigan, through last summer, faithfully trudging the boardwalks to daily Mass. Without naming names, we remember the men and women who served as Village and Yacht Club officials, played banjo, piano, accordion and guitar and music of all kinds, built our recreational facilities, organized the day camp. softball, soccer basketball tournaments, jogathons and festivals, taught us to swim and sail, hired us to work as camp counselors, swim instructors, lifeguards, ferry deckhands, Village, store and Yacht Club employees and, of course, the tennis players and fisher folk.  May they all rest in peace. To my ears, our Saltaire rings true as part of this John Masefield stanza : "I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-roverAnd quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over." To which I add : "And all come back next year...." 

 Bill Cunningham  (JR)



Beautifully written, Bill.  Yes, we did know of Joel’s passing, and as you say he and the others were links to the Saltaire we grew up in, the community that brings back such happy memories to us all, and which is, sadly, vanishing into the past.  I look around and reflect on how many of our parents’ generation has passed away in recent years, and how quickly it seems the changing of the guard can occur.
Yet Saltaire remains, as it has for a century and more, and this is fitting.  Amidst loss and change we remember that all of us are simply custodians of the place.  We enjoy it for a period of time, shape it to our needs, and hopefully have the wisdom to accept the inevitable changes that time and people bring about.  (We all know how accommodating Saltairians can be to change!)  We make sure Saltaire serves not only for our own pleasure and relaxation, but for those of the generation that comes after us — and the ones after them.  We look about today and see the far-sightedness of the founders of the village in setting aside land for the recreation field, incorporating so we can manage our own affairs and maintain the community in its founding spirit, instituting the camp program, lifeguards, a fire department, retaining green space, preserving our beaches and dunes and bayfront, and favoring families by keeping commercial space to a bare minimum...insuring the continuation of all the things you wrote of that infuse our memories.  
We are the beneficiaries of this foresight.  And we’re fortunate that these decisions made the village the kind of place that would draw so many wonderful people to Saltaire generation after generation, people who would be good citizens as well as lifelong friends.  We have been provided with an irreduceable foundation for allowing the village to grow and change as necessary while retaining the community’s essential character.
Our parents were the inheritors of this tradition and this responsibility and passed it on to us, as we prepare to pass it on yet again.  That too is a tradition, an inevitable part of life, and a necessity.  It’s the role we play in giving life to Saltaire, preserving and enhancing it and everything it means to us. Those who succeed to the task will create their own memories as they sustain and improve our community, comforted by the friendships they’ll make and the enjoyment they’ll derive in the recurring story of Saltaire. 
Hugh  (JR)  



 note to all

THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE SECOND SEXENNIAL  REUNION OF ALL SALTAIRE GENERATIONS.The first  one was in 2008,         so we must have one this coming  September.

This MUST  be done.  Bill Cunningham, please set it up. EVERYBODY CHIP IN. Please.  The majority of us are not getting any younger. 

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