The Croatian New Yorker Club
15th annual picnic at Centerport Beach
The Croatian New Yorker Club - A Community Alliance of Business People held its 15th annual picnic at Centerport Beach, Centerport, Long Island, New York on Sunday July 28th.
The Croatian New Yorker Club is a not for-profit independent organization of professional and business people in Metro New York. Its purpose is to socially bring together people of Croatian birth or descent in this area. In the course of the last 15 years the organizations has undertaken many projects to benefit our community here and in the old country. Many of our members are members of the Croatian Fraternal Union who is always willing to help support our efforts.
One of the highlights of our year is always the picnic at Centerport Beach. This year was no exception. We had a great turn out!
Despite threats of rain and forecasts of excessively hot temperatures, the weather held out. Centerport Beach is an exceptionally fine place for a picnic, there is a protected pavilion, a fine beach, a shaded grove and various sports facilities including a volleyball area, bocce courts and windsurfing.
The picnic featured a great diversity and abundance of excellent food including barbecued lamb, grilled chicken, kielbasa, potato salad, fresh Long Island clams, delicious corn on the cob and Croatian pastries including hrustule. The BBQ was well manned by Lou Carrara, Angelo Gasparini, Dr. Bartol Matanic, Nevenko Glavan, and George and Anton Angelich.
The picnic brings together old friends and new for a relaxing day of swimming, barbecueing, and conversing. Sally Pasaric is close to her 90th birthday and enjoyed telling her amazing life story, from life in Zagreb to being a college professor on Long Island. Vlado Marjanovic, originally from Mostar, brought three generations of his family to the picnic. Stipe Vukelic, second generation Croat from Australia and friends had a fun filled day of volleyball. Davor Zidovec, who previously lived in Argentina, enjoyed the day with his Argentine wife Mirta. Lillian Raspolic Carrara brought a big box of old Croatian records to give away. The Bernic sisters, whose family hails from Krk, came to the picnic for the first time, after having become involved in the Croatian New Yorker Club's Oral History Project. The Josilo-Telosmanich-Angelich women ( from Olib) had a lot of fun playing bocce. Kay Angelich, Elizabeth Fabijanic, Mary Lou Gasparini and Lillian Raspolic Carrara got a chance to catch up on what's new while making potato salad together. Carolyn Babich, an L.A. native, enjoyed taking a spin at the polka. As always, there were a number of people whose roots come from the islands of Unije and Krk, including John Kraljic - President of the National Federation of Croatian Americans.
A special treat is always live music. Dominic Karcic, a talented accordionist, delighted the picnic goers by playing old Croatian music.
All in all a good time was had by all. Ellen and Roy Schoenberg, Americans whom I met vacationing in beautiful Hvar, stopped by to say hello. Roy wrote a poem about our lovely picnic grove/beach site that we would like to share with all:
LITTLE NECK BEACH
Killies jumping, under sized fish offshore,
Family gatherings, Indian Summer sought,
Afternoon's carpet spread, blanketing skied.
Senior Citizen Center, gated secure.
An anonymous watchman am I, not yet entering
To give old age a try.
Yesterday's past, searched mussels and clams
At low tide, with a child's bucket alongside;
Not drinking the dregs of seasonal wines.
My wife races ahead, a child again,
Forty nine years of marriage, hoping for more,
One, five, ten, perchance a score?
The beach emptying, we're not alone.
A coin toss, anger, tears, laughter -
A few seeds we have magically sown.
Little Neck Beach nostalgia, driving away,
Vanderbilt Museum, Centerport unfolding,
Appointments beckoning, we cannot stay.
Anton Angelich & Katarina Tepesh