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Farewell to summer with museum’s annual luncheon

Dan Skeldon (center) is welcomed to Museum Luncheon by Jeff McGranahan, Jay and Michele Gillian and Floss and Ken Cooper.  Dan Skeldon (center) is welcomed to Museum Luncheon by Jeff McGranahan, Jay and Michele Gillian and Floss and Ken Cooper.

Bright sunshine and cool breezes off the ocean greeted guests when they arrived at The Flanders Hotel for the Ocean City Historical Museum’s 49th annual luncheon. Music filled the air as Steve Gring entertained at the grand piano in the upstairs lobby and Jean Robinsonand Carol Dotts welcomed guests and gave them name tags.

Karen Bergman and her staff at The Flanders did a super job as the crystal ballroom looked elegant with white linen tablecloths and chair covers with maroon napkins, fine china, crystal and silver. Bill Dotts, who owned and operated the Mallard at 34th and Central in the 1960s, was busy setting up several framed historic pictures from the museum for guests to enjoy. Carol and Bill are looking forward to the Exchange Club’s trip to Quantico and the FBI Academy in October. Fred Miller, who chaired the luncheon, placed programs at each guests seat and got help from wife Susan, Maryann Gring, Noel Wirth and Marilyn Evans.

Museum President Ken Cooper traded his trademark for a black suit accented with a black and white print tie as he and Museum Executive Director Jeff McGranahan made sure everything was in order for the luncheon. I chatted with Anita DeSantis and Doug Longenecker, then enjoyed catching up with Bonnie Ault and her mom, Floss Dungan, who I often see walking by my office on her way to SuperFresh. Ruth and Paul Anselm and Edwina and Roy Wagner were good sports when I kept moving them around to take their picture. Bobby Gross wants to say hello to his family in Monmouth, Maine as he sends my column to them every week. Rick Fitzpatrick was behind me with his camera every time I took a picture.

Bette Hink, 88, told me she was the oldest person selling beach tags this summer. Charlene Oldfield-Porreca is headed to Palm Beach Gardens in Florida to baby sit three Chihuahuas. Jackie Mulford reports her granddaughter, Gianna, just started preschool and is taking dance lessons. Betty and Rod Schumacher were at the museum when the lifeboat arrived last week. Peggy McKee looked great, but was still using a cane as she had her hip replaced this summer. Jean Bell is delighted son Bobby is the executive chef at Sandi Pointe.

I didn’t have to fix Mike Dattilo’s tie as he was wearing a golf shirt. I did want to take a crack at Jay Gillian’s tie, but gave it a second thought. I had a hard time keeping Michele Gillian’s attention for my picture as everyone kept waving to her when they walked by. Sandy and Bill McMahon filled a table with their clan, sons Bill, Brian, Michael and Patrick and daughter Maura. Michael McMahon recently got engaged and reports the wedding will take place Oct. 11, 2013 at the Union League. The Ocean City Home Bank contingency, Debbie Clark, D. Brodton, Fran Jerve, Anita Messina, Sylva Bertini, Josephine Stringari and Kath Rubba, gave me a big howdy and hello when they arrived. Winnie Piriano looked great as she enjoyed biking all over town this summer. Marie and Bud Knight arrived just in time to take their seats for lunch.

Ken Cooper welcomed everyone to the luncheon and introduced dignitaries, joking the mayor had to leave early to paint yellow lines and superintendent of schools had to get back to clearing away mold at the high school. I enjoyed lunch chatting with Susan and Fred Miller, Dan Skeldon, Judy Engle, Jeff McGranahan, Ken Cooper (when he wasn’t at the microphone) and Ken’s mom, Floss Cooper, who I had a great time getting acquainted with. Judy Engle is an administrative assistant at Prudential Fox & Roach Battersea Road office, has lived in Ocean City for 27 years and has two daughters and four grandchildren. Judy is excited her grandson is playing football on the freshman Red Raider team.

Kathy Taylor rushed in during lunch, sat down next to me and tried to muffle her cell phone when a text came through while guest speaker Dan Skeldon was at the podium discussing his career as everyone’s favorite weatherman. I enjoyed catching up with Rose Haas, who sported very large hoop earrings and Arlene Diaco, who will be heading south to her home in Florida after Halloween. Joanne Budnick ducked out early to go to Philadelphia. Sandy Crescenzo chose a pretty print blouse in shades of red while husband, Al, coordinated nicely in a solid red shirt that both admitted was not intentional. Helen Kirchner often passes me walking the boardwalk, so I told her to be sure and say hello.

I hurried back to my table when the dessert was served and put the salt water taffy favors from Shrivers and red seahorse key chain from Stainton Gallery of Stores in my purse. The fall flower arrangements, compliments of Linda and Mark Videtto at the Spinning Wheel, went to the oldest person at each table and Fred Miller and I were disappointed when Floss Cooper beat us by 10 years. Carol Rieder wants her picture taken Saturday since she missed getting in one at the luncheon. I caught up with Joan Chapman and Wilma and Dan Murray as we walked downstairs and out to the parking lot. I’ll miss waving to Wilma and Dan when I bike by Oves where they enjoy coffee with all their friends during the summer. Joan and Ed Wismer got off the elevator carrying the flowers from their table. Floss Cooper was parked behind me and told me she liked my NEWS Z license plate.

All too soon summer came to an end as it seemed like yesterday we gathered at the Jessel’s for their Memorial Day party. Now, we are here again, saying farewell to our favorite season. Jon Werley and Jenny Sylvia arrived as we parked in the driveway. June and Doug Heun followed Jim and I up the 29 stairs to the party. Gary Jessel sported one of his Hawaiian print shirts while Denise showed off a turquoise stripe sleeveless top accented with a necklace she got for her birthday. Mare Frei’s German potato salad was another crowd pleaser and she and Betty Ray helped set out the buffet. Bart Russell spent his last day of summer selling goodies from his ice cream truck, posing for pictures and saying goodbye to all his little friends. Kendall and Bob Becher, DJ and Clay Rossiter and Tricia and Paul Audino walked down the boardwalk from 16th Street with all their children, so they didn’t have to worry about where to park.

Eric Wakabayashi was busy all afternoon making his famous wontons. Joanne Budnick’s apple pie with raisons was quite popular, especially with my husband. Everyone checked out Gail Blevin’s dessert when husband, Bob, carried in over to the table. Joan Walker told me to check out her son Eric’s new home being built on Gilbert Lane. Cathy and Joe Rebl and Joanne and Bob Marzulli joined friends at their favorite table on the porch while Jen and Charlie Bowman, just back from a vacation in Maine, relaxed on the swing.

Around our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around our Town with Cathy Finnegan

Around our Town with Cathy Finnegan


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