There were crowds!
There was music!
There was food!
And there were lots of people!
And the weather smiled on us at our very first St. James Summer Nights gathering. The town came out in droves – young couples, families with kids and dogs, teens, seniors and all mixing and mingling, strolling, eating, saying “hi” to neighbors and friends.
Some of us came from “across the tracks”, the railroad tracks, that is, with our tents, tables, chairs, art, easels, paints, brushes, water in a bucket – that was Arline Goldstein’s Studio 455’s traveling water color class ready to give free art lessons to kids and adults, and she did, until dusk came upon us just before nine o’clock. I was holding court next to her giving free mini design consults and House Magazines and sending people on a scavenger hunt to Uniquely Natalie, our quality consignment store, where my partner, Jack Ader, was awaiting all comers. Lenny from St. James Jewelers had his jeweler’s glasses ready for free appraisals. Denise Davis had her table set up next to ours with her beautiful giclees (a process that turns photos into oil painting look-a-likes).
On this side of the tracks Anne Carlin from The CraftersTable set up outside her store and said she gave away 150 ornaments during the evening. Other vendors set up their wares, as well, and one of the fun things for kids was the face painting at the gazebo.
A special visitor arrived from the past, the distant past, to smile at all of us. Her name – Mona Lisa. She sat behind her picture frame next to Brad Harris, Smithtown historian, who spent the evening happily sharing facts with the folks about the enigmatic Mona and her world famous creator, Leonardo Da Vinci, as people stopped by wondering what was going on. Mona looked like Mona in the painting, was dressed like Mona and smiled that famous Mona Lisa smile. Thanks to Arline Goldstein’s handmade duplication of Mona’s garb and Kerry Maher-Weisse and her sister-in-law Melissa’s great make-up artistry, our own Susan from Pet Expressions was the consummate actress, in pose, all night. She created our very first tableau, a depiction of a famous painting or scene using real actors replicating the art, itself. The newly formed St. James Historical & Cultural Arts Society, welcomed into the fold by the Community Association of Greater St. James, was introducing the first of many tableaux and other forthcoming historical events and attractions. Thanks to the vision and hard work of Bill Capurso, Vice President of the Community Association of Greater St. James and the encouragement of Kerry Maher, President, Arline Goldstein and I have undertaken the happy and herculean task of bringing together the many talents of our St. Jamesers to highlight our rich and important history. As we celebrate our past, we will strive to educate and cultivate an appreciation for what was then in our town. Our goal is simply to make St. James an historical and cultural arts center for our children, our families, our businesses, ourselves, and for those who come to visit and learn. Not so simple – but definitely a worthy endeavor which cannot be done without the help of all of you. We need interested and willing volunteers to join our board. We need the talents of artists, musicians and those committed to St. James to help with planned activities. We need to create a website to disseminate information and let the world know we’re here, with many wonderful things to offer. “We can build it – and we know they will come!”
So – thanks to a great committee, the 1st St. James Summer Nights can be looked back on as a success. Now we look forward to July 12th with anticipation – more folks, more food, more fun – maybe line dancing – maybe another visit from a famous historical character.
Join us –you’ll meet some of the nicest people who want to make St. James a great place to live, work and bring up their children with an appreciation of our rich history.
Farmers Market – Every Saturday, 9:00 am-1:00 pm
St. James Lutheran Church
From now to October 28
St. James Summer Nights – Wednesdays, 5-9 pm
First location – July 12 on Lake Avenue in front of St. James Elementary School
Second location – July 26 & August 9 on Lake Avenue between 2nd Street and 3rd Street
Yoga at Deepwells – Sundays: July 16, July 30 & August 6 at 9:00 AM
Car Show – Friday, August 18, 5-9 pm (Rain date will be Saturday, August 19)
On Lake Avenue between 5th Street & Woodlawn Avenue
For more information about the civic events or membership, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the St. James Historical & Cultural Arts Society, please email Natalie: email@example.com or call 631-862-6198