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Published: Monday, 8/6/2007

Nautical & nice

Several events either sharing seafood or celebrating the sea set the local social scene afloat recently.

THE gracious, century-old Maumee River Yacht Club on a long strip of land below one of the city s most beautiful parks rocked Friday and Saturday night with its annual Homecoming Weekend.

For many years, the club s homecoming was a party for its own members and those of the 40 area boat clubs that belong to the Association of Yacht Clubs. About 400 people typically attended, said Bruce Spang, past commodore.

For the club s 100th birthday in 1999, it hired the Danger Brothers band from Columbus and opened its homecoming to the public. It was a success and the event grew steadily, drawing about 2,000 people and more than 100 visiting boats last weekend, said Barb Hupp, who planned the event with Linda Emch, Carrie Drossman, Teri Kluge, and Ron Rekart.

I see a lot more young people and a lot of nonboaters, said Mr. Spang.

Ginny and Jim Slattery get ready to ride on the zoo s train during the clambake.
Ginny and Jim Slattery get ready to ride on the zoo s train during the clambake.
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By and large, last weekend s was an above-average crowd, both for deep tans and fresh summer fashions.

The Blue Gavel, a group of past commodores, makes fresh-cut french fries and shrimp, and the club s kitchen staff cooks up a storm grilling at an outdoor kitchen. Also packed into the weekend was a commodore s cocktail party on Saturday hosted by Comm. Jeff Molnar and attended by about 200; a pool party Saturday afternoon with impromptu entertainment by Casey and Jacob Wasserman; Sunday brunch yesterday for members and visiting sailors, and the opening of the cards to determine the winner of this year s AYC Poker Run.

The club has about 175 social and boating members.

Friday s music was provided by the Menus; Saturday s by the Danger Brothers, who invited 10-year-old drummer Jacob Wasserman to wield the sticks and sit in for some tunes. Jacob is in a band called Mythiah with his brothers Casey, 19, and Tyler, 14. They re the sons of former Toledoans Kim and Les Wasserman, who were back for the homecoming from Lawrenceville, Ga.

Twenty-five miles to the north, the waterfront was full of aaarrrgghs and rough-around-the-edges folk with tricornered hats and black patches over their eyes. Aye, matey.

It was the Toledo Power Squadron s annual Rendezvous on the Green at Toledo Beach Marina.

The littlest pirate, Sam Karrick, in orange bandana and orange pants, tried valiantly to impale his hot dog with a knife and fork, but resorted to eating like a pirate who s been at sea awhile with his hands, ketchup and all. Sam, 22 months, was being coached in the art of toasting while saying a cheery bottoms up! by friends of his mother, Karen Karrick, and grandmother, Karen Tesorero, who made the fabulous treasure-chest cake.

Dinner under the big tent was a bit of an experiment for Chef Silverio Conte, owner of the nearby Bolles Harbor Cafe. Chef Conte had ordered live lobsters, clams, mussels, and shrimp from Maine, which were flown in Friday. Cutting large pieces of cheesecloth, Chef Conte and staff made 48 sacks, filled them with the marine life, cobs of corn, and red-skin potatoes and at the appointed time Saturday night, plunged them into huge aluminum pots of boiling water for 25 minutes, pulling them out, sack by sack when done, and flicking off hitch-hiking clumps of seaweed. Each sack made a hearty meal for the pirates.

The 65-year-old Toledo Power Squadron, with 235 members, is based at Toledo Yacht Club. It s part of the 93-year-old U.S. Power Squadrons, which have 45,000 members in 450 squadrons, according to its Web site. This boating-education club offers classes in water safety, weather, celestial navigation, charting, engine maintenance, and marine electronics.

Comm. Jim Balogh was fabulously attired as Pirate-in-Chief of the Captain Hook variety, wearing a long, red-velvet jacket embellished with thick gold brocade and large gold buttons, matching pants, and black spats. The icing on the cake, so to speak, was a long, black curly wig topped with a proper hat, and on his upper lip, an upturned black moustache. His wife, Jean Balogh, sported a wig of thick brown hair, some of it braided into long strands with beads, and an ankle-length velvet dress to match her matey s. Both get-ups were fabulous, but beastly hot.

When he took his first Power Squadron class in 1969, Mr. Balogh owned a 23-foot power boat; the Baloghs now own a 46-foot power boat. But he was ashore Friday as host of the commodore s party, grilling burgers and dogs, and serving four gallons of sangria made with a simple red wine, limeade, club soda, and lots of sliced n diced fresh fruit.

Entertainment was provided both nights by Mr. Entertainer, with Caribbean-feel tunes spun by Jody Monday, Mr. Balogh s kid sister.

Joining the locals was Noel McKeown of the Dayton Power Squadron and the national law officer for the U.S. Power Squadrons. An attorney at a Xenia law firm founded in 1894, he commands a 40-foot Tartan sailboat.

Welcome aboard the SS Toledo Country Club for a cruise to the Caribbean, South Pacific, and the Mediterranean. Nearly 250 members and guests crossed the gangplank July 27 to the annual lobster party, where ports of call offered a variety of decor, foods, and music. While party-goers waited in line with their passports, Cookie the Clown entertained them, and Julie, the cruise director, helped them to embark on new adventures, but not before they posed for their boarding photos. Pat and Warren Tipton wore tropical attire as John and Colleen Crisman snapped their pictures.

The sound of steel drums lured many to the tent overlooking the Maumee River, where candlelight with coconuts and palms set the tropical scene. Jamaican hors d oeuvres, including crab cakes, jerk chicken, conch fritters, tropical fruits, and oodles of shrimp, tempted appetites while rum runners and mai tais invited the thirsty. Serving the concoctions were wait staff in dreadlocks.

Enjoying the outdoors were John Bureau and Joan O Connell, there with Mr. Bureau s son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Mary Bureau, Tom and Judy Sattler, Laura and Norm White, Dan and Amy Grant, Kevin and Gina Kaufman, Ken and Diane Kuhlman, Bob and Alice Parisi, Joe and Cindy Licatta, Dan and Barbara Cutillo, Sally and Tim Goligoski, and Claudia Handwork and her husband, Peter, in nautical cruise attire with his white buck shoes.

Another stop was the Mediterranean, where a life-sized statue of a discus thrower held court with a live octopus and lobster. Greek salads and hummus, grape leaves, and grilled octopus were just right to go with lemon drops and ouzo beverages served by gods and goddesses in togas.

The South Pacific port of call boasted whole main lobsters that were flown in that day. Lava flow and daiquiris were the specialty drinks, and a hula dancer in a grass skirt entertained while some folks had their hair braided with beads.

Rudy Peckinpaugh and Sarah Bertram enjoyed the fun-filled night outdoors on the deck, where the view of TCC s round dining room all aglow gave the look of a ship at sea.

On board in the ballroom, where cooling jazz tunes by Kelly Broadway filled the air, was a feast for the eyes nearly too pretty to eat. But eat they did. It was a lavish display of tempting desserts, including flaming cherries jubilee and champagne. Cruising by were Beverly and Mike Porter and June and Erwin Effler.

But what s a cruise without a casino and dancing? Judy Dye, who once sang on cruise ships, was encouraged to perform for her friends.

In the air-conditioning were Anne and Carl Hirsch, Helen and Greg Emmert, Vicki and Bill Souder, Rita Mansour, Lynn Beverage, Bill and Donna Niehous, Karen Merrels, and John and Barbara Burson.

The ship at dock, the adventures were at an end. But not for Chef Richard Grimm, who had the task of taking the display, a giant-clawed, 8 pound lobster Stan the Man to his destiny with dinner the next day.

Masses of party-goers nearly 1,000 were lured into the Africa! area of the Toledo Zoo July 26 by the sound of the beating drums. It was for the annual Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Clambake 07 presented by National City, and it was all about fun and networking for the event that included a dozen big sponsors.

Past the polar bears and journeying on to where the drum signals from the Drums of Thunder, Ginny and Jim Slattery observed some safari sights while others took a train ride. Greeting guests were Mark Goodremont and Mo Devany.

The carousel with all the lions and tigers and bears as well as ostrich and elephants was just too tempting to pass up so Sara Moynihan and Jan Motter gave it a whirl with the other big kids. Noticed were the donor plaques on each animal, some waiting to be filled, while others, including one by Linda Dunbar and her late husband, Harvey, sparkled.

Many took the time to see the baby giraffe and watched as the zookeepers fed the herd.

Then it was on to the watering hole and feed area in the Nairobi Pavilion as jazz tunes kept the pep in everyone s step. Ken MacLaren drifted in for a while as did Susan Gibney. Julie Shanks, there with Alex Parks, said, This is the best time You see people you have not seen in a year!

Some folks were so busy gabbing they never got a chance to eat the zoo-catered, buffet-style dinner that cost $80 a person. But the majority who did feasted on items such as clam chowder, lobster, smoked fish, grilled chicken, and more, including tasty salads and all kinds of tempting desserts nearly too pretty to eat. Beer, wine, and soft drinks were included.

Age was not an issue. There were young professionals and businessmen as well as retirees still active in the community. Seen were Ben and Peggy Brown, Karen Fraker, Bob and Linda Helmer, Richard Wilkins, Brian and Bev Bucher, Denny and Sheila Johnson, Brian Epstein, Susan and Tom Palmer, Kristen Cajka, Cindy and David Taylor, Tim Yenrick, Sue and Denny Mortimer, Greg and Becky Bollin, Hugh Grefe, and Tim Alter, board chairman.

The KGB enticed guests to dance.

Blade staff writer Tahree Lane contributed to this report.



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