Hi everyone! Hope it was a “not so bad” summer for you all. It certainly made the record books for rain. And how about those lightning storms? One prevailed over the Juniper Valley Park Summer Concert on 8/7 and really hit us hard that night. But for the most part, the concerts in the Park were a great success and enjoyed by many. It was great to see the park filled with lawn chairs and people singing and dancing to the music. Thank you to Gary Colter for hiring the bands and making all the arrangements.

Long time JPCA board member and advisor Ed Kampermann and his wife, Jo Marie, have moved to Texas to be near their grandchildren. We miss them and wish them all the best. Be sure to come back and visit!

Congratulations to John Mastronardi, Commanding Officer of the 104th Precinct, on his recent promotion to Deputy Inspector.

Christ the King students got the surprise of their lives on the first day of school when NBA superstar Lebron James visited their campus. James donated Nike Zoom LeBron 3 PE sneakers to the members of the men’s and women’s varsity teams and new locker rooms to the school, which is known for producing top-tier basketball talent. Thank you for your generosity, Lebron!

Joseph Lynaugh of Middle Village will be one of four teens representing USA in the JDC Junior Darts World Championship being held in Bristol, England this December. Joey is a graduate of Our Lady of Hope and is currently a senior at Monsignor McClancy High School. Congratulations Joseph and best of luck in Bristol. Middle Village will be rooting for you!

From June Mooney: “Along with all our family and friends, we want to thank Villa Erasmo, Panepinto Bakery, Bunch of Balloons and DJ Eric Ritter for making Roy Mooney's 70th Surprise Birthday party on June 23rd truly memorable.” HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROY!

Congratulations to Danny & Danielle Sollecito on the birth of their daughter Madeline Rose, born on July 6th. She was 10 lbs, 7 oz.

JPCA president Tony Nunziato was honored for his dedication to our communities at a ceremony at All Faiths Cemetery in June. Tony received the General Slocum Award, which is bestowed upon a worthy individual on the anniversary of the sinking of the General Slocum. Keep up the great work, Tony!

Tom Goltsch of Middle Village revealed on September 6th that he managed to grow a monster zucchini from a plant purchased at Enchanted Florist, whose stock comes from 3rd and 4th generation farmers of New York. That should make many loaves of zucchini bread!

Maspeth native John Aherne became “Fr. John” in a ceremony June 23rd at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan. Aherne had worked in publishing and as a dance teacher before becoming a Franciscan Brother in 2012 and has now been ordained into the priesthood. He has been assigned to serve at St. Mary’s parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J.

Congratulations to 13-year old Anthony LaRussa of Middle Village for becoming a 2018 US Open Anthem winner. He was one of only 13 kids from across the country selected by judges for the privilege of singing during US Open events. Hi big turn in the spotlight happened on August 29th when he sang “America the Beautiful”. This could be the start of something big!

The Daffodil Project which began to honor victims of 9/11 has been held annually for the last 17 years. The bulbs will be distributed in Forest Park from 10:00am to 12:30pm on September 22nd. Organizations and volunteer groups can sign up to plant bulbs on the organization's website.

On June 23rd the annual Relay for Life took place in Juniper Park. Donna Hibbert's team Woody’s Walking Warriors took part for the seventeenth time. This event raises money and awareness for the American Cancer Society and Woody's team has always been a fun and festive campsite since 2009. This year's theme was 101 Dalmatians. Their team raised over $7,000.

Recently, my wife's nephew, Chris Buoncore, was in Santa Monica, California with his family visiting his wife's brother. At a restaurant, a guy named Joe O’Neill commented on the beautiful baby Chris was holding. They began a conversation and “Middle Village” came up. They immediately found out their families were great friends. Chris is the son of John Buoncore who grew up on 80th Street and Joe is the son of Buddy and Virginia O'Neill growing up on 77th Street. A conversation followed and the two became immediate friends. Joe recalled playing ball on our block, 60th Road, where kids played all day. Joe was attending a wedding in Santa Monica and now lives in Overland Park, Kansas with his family. Chris lives in Staten Island with his family. What a small world!

Sal Reale is an old smoke eater like me. He retired in 1977 and moved to Florida with his wife. One of the items on his bucket list was to make it back to his old firehouse one last time. That would be Engine 287, Ladder 136 on Grand Avenue in Elmhurst. As a big Yankee fan, he also wished to meet some of the current players. On June 14th, all of that happened. Six Yankees – Greg Bird, Chad Green, Adam Warren, Tyler Austin, Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder – visited the firehouse while Sal was there. The entire event was made possible thanks to the Yankees and the Wish of a Lifetime organization, which received a $10,000 donation from the team that day.

And rounding out the FDNY mentions, last 9/11 Fire Chief Joseph Pfeifer retired from FDNY. Joe Pfeifer lives here in Middle Village and I'd like to tell you how I first met Joe. He walked into my firehouse one day and said, “Hello Mr. Killcommons, I am the new Lieutenant here at 128 and I went to high school with your son, Jack.” Well, I went home that night and said to my wife, “I think it's time to retire. A kid that went to school with Jack is my new Lieutenant.”

Leaving you with one more laugh: While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip. The elderly woman had unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn't miss them until they had been driving for about forty minutes. By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turnaround in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses. All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grumpy old man. He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up for a single minute. To her relief they finally arrived at the restaurant. As the woman got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, “While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and credit card.”