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Epiphany concert and Goldcoast grand opening kick off 2014 in Ocean City

Around our town with Cathy Finnegan Around our town with Cathy Finnegan

Snow was melting on a warm Sunday afternoon when the Cape Shore Chorale presented an Epiphany concert at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. 

Bob Johnson directed me to the sanctuary where my son, Jimmy, was waiting by the organ with Scott Breiner to greet me. With the concert about to start, I took a seat in the fourth row next to George Walters, who just walked across the street from his home to the church. George and I admitted we were busy taking down our outside Christmas lights earlier in the afternoon. George was under the gun to get his down as he was leaving in four days for his winter home in Chandler, Ariz.

I waved to Gene D’Andre when he sat down in front of me as Bob Beakley welcomed everyone and introduced himself as the senior warden at Holy Trinity, the equivalent of an unpaid CEO of a big company. Scott Breiner opened the concert with an organ solo “Vom Himmel Hoch” arranged by Walter L. Petz. The 50-voice chorale presented part one of J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and Michael Haydn’s “Missa Tempore Quadragesimae.”

During intermission tenor Bruce Rahn announced the chorale’s upcoming concert schedule and said that CDs of the chorale’s Christmas concert would be available at the reception. Harpist Andrea Chieffo performed a solo of “Danse Sacree et Danse Profane” by Claude Debussy. The chorale closed out the concert with a lively rendition of seasonal favorites, receiving a standing ovation.

I chatted with Harriet Reardon Bailey and Ruth and Paul Anslem as we walked into Fellowship Hall for the reception. Michael Covington was busy during the concert setting out light hors d’oeuvres and desserts while his wife, Debbie, sang with the chorale. Cecelia Dugan has been singing with the chorale since its inception 10 years ago. Cecelia’s 94-year-old mom, Marie, attends all the concerts, but missed this one because of a cold.

JoAnne Blackwelder has enjoyed singing with the chorale the past four years and will miss the weekly rehearsals during the chorale’s five-week winter break. Helen O’Brien had a hard time juggling her plate filled with desserts and beverage when I snapped her picture. I joked with Loretta Stewart about not sporting her trademark hat as Scott won’t allow hats during the concert.

I called Pat Ray “The Party Girl” as she hosted a chorale reception at her home last year. Phil Heck from Cape May Court House has been singing with the chorale for six years and was delighted when several ladies invited him to join them for a picture. I enjoyed chatting with Sue Beakley, who moved to Ocean City with her husband, Bob, in ’72 when they got married. Bob is a lawyer and Sue taught French and Spanish at Holy Spirit High School. Their son, Tim, works the sound board at the Music Pier while daughter Tara lives in Delaware County and works in human resources at SAP International.

It was great to see Barbara and Bob Johnson again. Bob was in real estate in Ocean City for years with offices at the corner of Ninth and Wesley. Barbara and this columnist played volleyball at the Civic Center in the 1970s. Ginny Coco is working on the Pops 85th anniversary gala to be held at The Flanders Aug. 2.

Burt Wilkins was at the door greeting folks when they arrived at the new real estate offices of Goldcoast Sotheby’s on 34th Street. I told Burt I attended the opening of Hager Real Estate’s second office in December 1987 when this building was originally constructed for Richard Booth. Phil Gieseler of Coastal Construction breathed a sigh of relief at the ceremony, as Burt gave him just 45 days to get this building renovated and ready for the grand opening and ribbon cutting.

Becky Stanislaw checked out her new desk and told me her husband, Dick, is taking a crash real estate course and plans to join The Stanislaw Team. Shawnda McGinnis and Sally Huff showed up with a large pair of scissors for the official ribbon cutting.

As soon as Michele and Jay Gillian arrived, along with Tony Wilson and Bill McMahon, they joined Burt, Suzi and Emily Wilkins to cut the ribbon and say a few words.

With the office next to the bike path, Burt plans to install a bike rack encouraging his staff to bike to work. Gail Crafton of AC Photo in Linwood took lots of pictures and was one step behind this columnist whenever I got a group together. Barbara and Rich Deaney are heading to the West Coast for a couple of months this winter. I knew Bobby Fingers was a piano player, but didn’t know he has been in real estate for 25 years, his last job at Goldcoast.

When I took a picture of agents Ed Devlin and Eileen Carr-Devlin, they told me they weren’t related. I later met Ed’s wife, Pat, the bookkeeper at Goldcoast, enjoying lunch with her husband. Thanks to Midge Grunstra, who gathered agents together for me to take their pictures.

Kudos to Susan Plourde, who coordinated this open house, which included a luncheon catered by Chris Corso at The Cheese Board in Linwood. I enjoyed lunch in the conference room chatting with Linda Hinchman, Anne McDowell and Terri Mueller at the butcher block conference table that I told Burt I carved my initials in. Suzi Wilkins found this beauty at Restoration Hardware.

Betsy Barr and Tom Giacinto didn’t eat lunch as they just started The Title Company of Jersey’s biggest loser contest with monthly weigh-ins through April 10, when the winner will be announced. After talking to Bill Gillingham on the phone for years, it was nice to meet him in person. The Wilkinses enjoyed Christmas in Puerto Rica where Suzi and Emily ate more than they bargained for, so now they are on diets.

Ron Denney took a break from working around his house, but didn’t have time to change his sweatshirt. I chatted with Linda and Curt Gronert at the front counter where they were sampling the sugar cookies then Ron Grunstra gave this columnist a guided tour of this spacious, two-floor facility. 

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 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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