This diary contains diverse views and opinions on what goes on in Cherry Grove, the nation and the world. Racism and bigotry have no place here. Please do not engage in personal attacks on other users. The cardinal rule here is to respect others. The opinions published here are those of individual writers and may or may not represent those of our publisher/editor or any other members of our volunteer staff.

To paraphrase a piece of writing that caught my eye on the Internet: "The ability to put my thoughts on (virtual) paper and put them where people can read and respond to them has been marvelous, even if most people who have read my writings haven't agreed with them. If there is any hope for the long term success of democracy, it will be if people agree to listen to and try to understand their  opponents rather than simply seek to crush them." -- RLF

In Memorium -- "My primary purpose in writing these articles is to help provide gays with a sense of their history outside of Stonewall. I feel we have to grab it wherever we are living it and get it down for the generations that will follow in our footsteps."--Mary Kapsalis.

Fresh Meat Just Got Fresher at The Grove Market

August 06, 2008 -- Tired of same-old, same-old food and entertainment offered for your dereliction (I mean delectation) in Cherry Grove? Quality food, entertainment and cultural events are the soul of any community. This week's column salutes Cherry Grove people and businesses who are willing to go the extra mile to get your attention.

Sunday Barbecue at Island Breeze -- One of the best bargains in town is the outdoor barbecue that Island Breeze is offering  customers on Sunday afternoons from 2-6 pm.

Choices include barbecued chicken, out-of-this-world spareribs, delicious hamburgers, baked beans, homemade potato salad, pasta salad, corn on the cob, corn bread and fresh-cut watermelon. All-you-can-eat: $15.

The Authentic Taste of N'awlins -- When people dine out, they usually like to treat themselves to something different, as well as good. The New Orleans menu prepared by Chef Ryan at Top of the Bay Bistro fits the bill with wonderful Seafood Gumbo (left); Huge Sea Scallops (the real thing) grilled and served on a bed of tasty Corn Mache Choux; wonderful Marinated Ribeye; bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and Grits and Grillades. On Saturdays and Sundays, they offer a very nice brunch served to the tune of a live jazz band. I recently had a sensational Shrimp over Linguini in white wine sauce that was terrific. Myth: New Orleans food is very spicy. Wrong! Some of the food here has a subtle kick and some does not. Chef Bryan comes to Cherry Grove direct from cooking gigs at the famous Emeril's in both New Orleans and Atlanta.

The Best Kickass Pizza in the U.S. of A. -- People rave about the pizza served at Cherry Grove Pizza as some of the best they've ever had. I agree. I don't know what makes one product better than another: some say the water; some say it's the skill with which the dough is tossed; some say it's the sauce; quality of the cheese, etc. It's hard to tell, but there's no doubt that the raves are well-deserved. The college jocks who work here are typically full of themselves; cute waitresses give the place a nice friendly feel. Dining al fresco adds another nice informal touch.

Chinese Food at Jumping Jack's. Wednesday might be Prince Spaghetti Day in South Boston, but Tuesday is the night for Chinese Food at Jumping Jack’s in Cherry Grove. I haven’t left the Island since May 1 and sometimes the yen for Chinese food (pun intended) is so strong that I could jump into the Bay and swim to the mainland. Fortunately, Jumping Jack’s has heard my call and has added Chinese food to the menu on Tuesday nights. Of course, the option of choosing from fifty different dishes isn’t there, but there is nice Barbecue Beef, Szechuan Chicken, Grilled Shrimp and Salmon dishes to choose from. All are served in appropriate Oriental sauces and Chinese vegetables with rice. Recenty, I had the Barbecue Beef (served in a nice brown sauce) and Szechuan Chicken (in a spicy/sweet one). A nice departure from the gastronomic same-old, same-old in Cherry Grove. Thanks guys!

August 10, 12, 19 -- Jason Cozmo at Cherry's. Jason is one of the best female impersonators to grace our shores. His Liza is amazing. His Lucy will have you rolling on the floor. If you think I exaggerate, check out this great cabaret show. It's your last chance to see Jason at Cherry's this season. Don't miss this one! Curtain: 11 pm. Jason on the web:

Free Admission To Vintage Hollywood Movies With Gay Themes -- Film historian David Johnson loves old movies and has been collecting them since the early 1990s. In 1995, he compiled film clips of gay characters and stereotypes in a film he titled “The Lavendar Lense” which has been screened at The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and at various film festivals. If you want to view portions or purchase the film on DVD, go to the Internet and Google The Lavendar Lense.

Every Monday night at The Tides Playhouse at 7:30 p.m he will screen one of his early gay-themed favorites. Admission is free. Here is the lineup:

August 11 -- "The Boys In The Band" (1970). Director William Friedkin's film of the original Broadway cast of Mart Crowley's 1968 play still holds up forty years later. Faggots are still as bitchy and campy now as they were then. Camping was a product of oppression, and there's plenty to go around here. The negative self images will seem odd to today's generation.

August 18 -- "Different From The Others" (1919). The first gay liberation film ever made, this film argues that homosexuality is not a mental illness and that German Law Paragraph 175 should be repealed. Progressive even today. Also two tasteless "sex ed" filmsof the 1960's "Chained Girls" and "Boys Beware." Directed by Richard Oswald.

August 25 -- "The Strange One" (1957). Director Jack Garfein's film of the Calder Willingham play brought Ben Gazzara sizzling onto the screen as a closeted sadist whose magnetic sexuality exerts a hypnotic effect on his fellow cadets, whom he tortures daily. Positively dripping with animal magnetism. The two gay characters are presented as repulsive oddities. George Peppard's screen debut.

September 1 -- "Camp" (2003). After a series of flops, a Broadway songwriter agrees to teach at a musical camp for performers. Based on a real music camp in the Catskills, this low budget film offers fresh, new, real faces with great voices singing great songs. Robin de Jesus appears as a cross-dressing Latino. Directed by Todd Graff.

August 8-17. "Sordid Lives" Is A Monster Hit! -- Since the year 2000, The Island Repertory Theatre Company has been producing time-honored and new plays at various venues in Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines. This year, the company is enjoying record attendance with blockbuster productions of "Confessions of a Mormon Boy" and its current production of "Sordid Lives" which plays The Tides Playhouse through August 17. At this writing, there are only a few seats available for some performances. Call 631 597-9439 for more details. ("Sordid Lives"cast photo above left.)

Island Rep is also importing The Rarest of Birds by John C. Wood, starring Omar Prince (photo right) direct from its recent off-Broadway run at The Wings Theatre in Manhattan. The play chronicles the life of film actor Montgomery Clift. Performances August 22 and 23 at 8:00. Tickets are virtually sold out!

The Rep will wind up its 2008 theatre season with a staged reading of a new play titled "Between The Covers" by award-winning playwright Tony Finstrom, who describes the play as a cross between "The Devil Wears Prada" and "All About Eve," A cast of six will be directed by Richard LaFrance. This is the first time that the play will be presented in front of an audience and a "talk-back" session with actors, director and playwright will be held after the show.

"Between The Covers" will not be your usual thrown together reading that puts everybody to sleep, but a carefully rehearsed presentation with a top-notch cast. Limited seating is available at the Island Rep box office or at 631 597-9439.

Thru August 28 -- The Fire Island Film & Video Festival. For years, visionary Steve Flynn worked hard to get the Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival established and his efforts paid off. Steve brings  his film project to Cherry Grove under the title "Fire Island Film & Video Festival," and most screenings take place at the Cherry Grove Community House. This year the festival will present the following works:

August 7 -- Pageant (2008). Behind the scenes look as fifty-two ordinary gentlemen go to extraordinary lengths in order to be crowned the 34th Miss Gay America.

August 14 -- Steam (2008). Tells the story of three very different women, Doris (Ruby Dee) recently widowed, Laurie (Ally Sheedy) a divorced single mother, and Elizabeth (Kate Siegel) a college freshman.

August 21 -- You Belong To Me (2008). A Hitchcockian thriller.

August 28 -- Between Love & Goodbye. Casper Andreas ("Slutty Summer" and "A Four Letter Word" returns to Fire Island with his first dramatic feature.

Note: All films start at 8 pm.

August 23 -- Cherry Grove Resident Shares His "Sitings" At The Ice Palace. Robert “Bobby” Lerch, a year-round resident of Fire Island, enjoys the off season because that is when he has time to take out his camera and capture the images that summer visitors don't get to see.

Chunks of snow at the shore and a fog that looks as if clouds are laying on the frozen waters of the bay; a sunset over the ocean reflects on the waves, causing them to look like they're on fire are just a few of Bobby's images that most of us never get to see.

Join Bobby for his premiere show at the Ice Palace. In the meantime, you can view some of his work at

ONGOING -- Walter's Outdoor Museum of Camp. I think you'll find a true example of "camp," at Walter & Carmen's House at the corner of Surf and Lewis. For years now, Walter Quetsch has erected sometimes satirical, sometimes  politically incorrect exhibits on his property that comment on what he finds funny (or not) in his world.

His work has grown to camp art status in the last few years and the current exhibit constructed by Walter and Renee Ravid is brilliant. (See "Miss Havisham's Attic" exhibit in photo upper left)

Unfortunately, not everybody appreciates a cultural movement taking hold in Cherry Grove. Some of those who feel threatened have been known to tear down posters, mar and destroy glass display cases, boycott attendance, etc. Walter's Outdoor Museum is constantly being raided and art pieces have been stolen or destroyed. In the current exhibit, art pieces have been maliciously removed from the site and returned in a damaged state. When this happens, Walter and Renee patiently try to repair or replace them.

Recently, someone ripped the principal figure from the "Miss Havisham's Attic" exhibit and threw it in the garbage. Walter and Renee rescued the doll and restored her to her rightful spot as best they could . However, the wedding dress is beyond repair. (See photo right).



GREG CHEPLIN died at his home in Cherry Grove at age 80 of cancer on July 30, 2008. Ashes to be scattered at a private ceremony at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heifer International, PO Box 8058, Little Rock, AR 72203.

Greg was a longtime member of Cherry Grove and board member and treasurer of the Cherry Grove Memorial Fund. Rest in Peace!

Sherwood (photo right) is back and guest bartending at Island Breeze and Top of the Bay Bistro . . . The Cherry Grove Fireworks event scheduled for August 15 has been canceled. (See Letters to the Editor below). . . Red tape has also delayed the opening of the ice cream parlor being erected in front of the Ice Palace. Liquor licenses are obtained in less time than it has taken this place to open. Ridiculous! . . .

If you'd like your event mentioned here on ATGT, just e-mail info to and you'll no doubt see it in our next edition.

As The Grove Turns was founded on May 15, 2000. So far, we have received over a million visits to our site from over fifty countries. Next edition of As The Grove Turns: August 27, 2008. 'Til then, God bless.


"Because a great community deserves great theatre."


Richard LaFrance, Founding Artistic Director

E-mail:  Website:pan:


August 1-3, 8-10, 15-17



Thanks for all the love!

from the "Sordid Lives" cast and crew:

 John Philip, Dell Harbin, Sally Ann Piacentino, Dennis Callahan, Vicki Solomon, Robyn Murray, Tommy "Tush" DiMastri, Seth Michael Donsky, Barbara Flood, Cem Utanik, Michelle Coffaro, Edrie Ferdun, Michael Spina, Rob Wisdom, Andrew Loren Resto, David Johnson, Richard LaFrance, Richard Fenn and The Tides management and staff.


a black comedy about white trash

written by DEL SHORES

directed by RICHARD LaFRANCE

August 22-24

NEW PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS SERIES:  Staged Readings of exciting new works.

Fridays and Saturdays at 8; Sundays at 7
*Free Event — Subscribers Only.

 For more information visit

Tickets: Call Island Rep Credit Card Hotline: 631 597-9439.

"Sordid Lives": Theatermania/Sordid Lives





Dear Friends:

For all the hours of free informative fun you spend reading our webzine, we hope you'll consider making your 2008 tax-deductible donation to The Island Repertory Theatre Company, our sister organization that is asking for your assistance in helping raise the money to produce their ninth fabulous season of presenting gay-themed comedies and dramas that chronicle the GLBT experience at The Tides Playhouse in Cherry Grove.

Please add your name to the following list of contributors:


The following people have made tax-deductible contributions to The Island Repertory Theatre Company in 2008 in the following categories. Please contribute what you can afford.

Founder $1,000+:

Richard Fenn

Richard LaFrance

This 'n That


Cherry Grove Pizza

Ron King & Justin Jones

Producer $500*:

Tony Finstrom & Jack Dezak Cherry's

Director $250+:

Jan Felshin & Edrie Ferdun Michael Kobos & Donald Egan
Walter B. Quetsch Charles Whipple
Eric Coyne

Michael Romanelli

Dr. Anna Tirado & Ms. Henriette Von Woerkom

Patron $100+

Edwin & Neil Juan Punchin
Anonymous Jeffrey Zirpolo
Karen Durka Steven Tepper
Anonymous John Langan
James P. Hughes The House of Mae Bush
Tom Holden Roy and Barbara Flood
Bill Ottignon Virginia McInerney
Dan Nafziger John Philip
Rita & Jack Lichtenstein Bill & Tony Tholtsiniathis 
Jim Kapsalis The Cubby Hole (Fort Lauderdale)
Paul E. Elsener Ralph M. Hays & Harold Fried
Emma McGrattan  

Supporter $50+:

Mark Donatelli Anonymous
David J. Garfinkel Al Wolff
Lorenzo F. Pugliese Harold Seeley
Thomas McKenna Robert Michel
Ken Fabbrini Carl & Linda Eisenberg
Al Wolff James Keys
William Marino Anonymous
Tom Cunningham JKTWO LLC
Richard Daddario Gay Nathan and Julie Paradise
Edward Mallon Dan Daly
Jim Kelly Kim Guzalak & Anita Grosso

*Let us know if you prefer that your name not be listed as a contributor.

For your convenience, you can charge your tax-deductible donation in increments of $100 at PAYPAL or send a check payable to The Island Repertory Theatre Company in any amount you can afford to:

Richard Fenn, Treasurer,

Island Rep,

150 East 69th Street, #20M,

New York, NY 10021.

Island Rep is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Be sure to mark your check “tax deductible contribution.” 

You can also charge your donation to a major credit card by calling us at: 631 597-9439.

Unless you advise us otherwise, your name will be added to the list of 2008 donors that is published in every edition of ATGT as well as on the Rep website.

Does your place of employment have a matching-grant program? Donations made in this manner are also completely tax-deductible.

Our 2008 Fundraising Goal is $18,000. Please Help!

"A Fire Island Gem" – Dan Evans, F.I Tide

"The Miracle of Legitimate Theatre" – Jeanne Lieberman, Fire Island Sun


For further information, visit our website: 

Thank you,
Richard LaFrance, Artistic Director
The Island Repertory Theatre Company

OUR MISSION: The Island Repertory Theatre Company is a Cherry Grove-based not-for-profit 501(c(3) arts organization dedicated to promoting cultural exchange, social interaction and goodwill between Fire Island communities by presenting time-honored and new plays that chronicle the GLBT experience.

Board of Directors: Richard Fenn, President; Lorie Bradshaw, Peter Downes, Pierre Galarneau, Ron King, Richard LaFrance, Nicole Pressly-Wolf, Juan Punchin, Frank Santoro, Bill Todt.


All Donations Are Tax-Deductible!


 Fort Lauderdale's Butch Bar For Men


To visit our website on the net click here.



To whom It may concern:
This is a notice that the August 15, 2008 Fireworks Display has been canceled. After receiving a phone call from Mr. Robert Dixon on July 29th and again on August 1, 2008 from Mr. Peter Lonhy to my office, in both cases they notified me that they no longer desired to fund this years event.
While the original offering to the Grove community was that my family would match whatever amount Mr. Dixon was graciously donating, it is with great sadness that I have to inform our wonderful community, that as a result of their decision, this wonderful event and our community will be dark on August 15, 2007.
Should anyone have any questions relating to this matter they are free to contact me directly.
Again with sincere apologies
Vincent J. Grucci
Grucci & Associates, Inc.




(Editor: Much of ATGT has been archived on a site called Wayback. Click here


Do I read correctly that some are for censoring bare breasts IN A PLAY? If they don't like it, they [whoever they are] should stay home. I do not understand their Taliban-like mentality.

As for people with kids, when will they get it that their kids are not supposed to be in bars. This being said I remember that last year you were resolutely against the sign "gay only" and you were preaching tolerance towards straights,,,,,so you have a part of responsibility  in what is happening now.


(Editor: The ruckus is even more absurd, since it is a man who bares his breasts. I guess it'll soon be illegal for men to take off their shirts in public. I don't think you remember my comments about the "gay only" sign correctly. I thought it was funny. I really can't, in good conscience, approve of barring straight people here, but also agree that it is a touchy situation. When I walk on the boardwalks, I say hello to everybody. When I do, straight people seldom respond back and rush their children past, as if they had cautioned them not to say hello to the "queers." Weeks ago, some early teenagers were mimicking me on the walks.

(At the same time, I say "good morning" to the gay twinks running on the walk and they don't say hello either. In their egocentric state, I think they connect  a hello with someone trying to pick them up. lesbians have a tendency not to acknowledge a cheery greeting, either. At one time, everyone said hello when they passed. Sad . . . .)


Hey Everyone..
The summer is in full swing and Cherry's is the place to be this summer!, please join me for a cocktail and some Fire Island fun...hope to see u on the dance floor!


Dear Richard,
I am back in NYC and am looking forward to doing the play at your theatre. Everyone has been so friendly and supportive. I hope I can live up to their expectations. Thank you for the tickets to Sordid Lives. I love parody and you did a great job with the space, actors and piece. I did not know anything about it until I got to Fire Island. I'm a big fan of Charles Ludlam and Charles Busch. We need people like you promoting theatre!
Take care and be well.
- Omar.

(Editor: Omar Prince is the star of "The Rarest of Birds" a biographical play about Montgomery Clift that Island Rep is bringing to Cherry Grove direct from the play's off-Broadway run in NYC.  Tides Playhouse on August 22 and 23 at 8 pm)


THE PETER PRINCIPLE   by Peter Ellison

Comments, Questions or Quibbles:




Photos by Justine La Hagela

To view more of Justine's work, go to



As The Pines Turns  

by Alan and Carlos (The Freedom Guys)




There were no hunks in Cherry Grove this week . . .



Fire Island Follies




Sex and the Island



About the author: Lloyd is 25 years old and has a BA degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University. He is currently pursuing his Masters degree in Social Work at Fordham University. He currently works for a printing/graphics design company as a production coordinator. He loves volleyball, badminton, bowling, movies, books, writing, biking, hiking, the beach, and hanging out with his friends. He is currently single. He currently resides in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY. Prior to that, he lived in Huntington, Long Island for 6 years.

For comments or questions, please email him at


For more information click here



Packed with 13 breathtaking natural scenes of Fire Island Men on pristine beaches and forests of Fire Island. The images are from Emmy award winning film maker Tom Castle's upcoming photography book licensed exclusively for this project. All models are Pines/Grove residents or visitors over 18 years old who volunteered to be photographed ‘as is’ in clothing optional areas of the beach and forest.




By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff,

Surrounded by cheering, clapping gay-rights activists and legislators, Governor Deval Patrick today signed a bill repealing a 95-year-old statute that had prevented gay and lesbian couples from most other states from marrying in Massachusetts. (Photo above: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)

"It's a good day," said Patrick, declaring that the repeal will "confirm a simple truth: that is, in Massachusetts, equal means equal."

Massachusetts will "continue to lead the way as a national leader" and affirm "all people come before their government as equals," Patrick said in a bill-signing ceremony at the State House's Grand Staircase. Gay marriage "is still troubling for some of our citizens," he said, "but it is still the law."

Patrick, who turned 52 today, also called the bill "a great birthday present."

Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality, a gay-rights organization, said, "This is really a new day. We welcome everyone from New York to come here and get married. We think it's a shame people can't get married in their own states."

The repeal took effect immediately, making Massachusetts the second state after California to allow same-sex couples to marry, regardless of residence. It opened the borders for potentially thousands of nonresident same-sex couples. That includes an estimated 49,000 couples from New York, where Governor David Paterson has instructed state agencies to recognize and grant benefits to gay couples who marry elsewhere, even though the Empire State does not authorize same-sex marriages.

The law specifically barred out-of-state residents from marrying here if the marriage would be considered void in their home state. The origins of the law could be traced to the national backlash over the interracial marriage of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. At the time, 30 of 48 states banned interracial marriage, and many other states, including Massachusetts, enacted provisions that would keep interracial couples from crossing borders to marry in their jurisdiction.

The law remained on the books but fell into obscurity until gay marriage became legalized in Massachusetts, and Governor Mitt Romney cited the law as a means to prevent Massachusetts from becoming what he called "the Las Vegas of gay marriage."

Unlike past same-sex marriage debates, the repeal of the 1913 law did not draw protesters to the State House. Advocates cited the absence of demonstrations as a sign that same-sex marriage has become an accepted fact of life in Massachusetts, after lawmakers in a joint session last year rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to limit marriage to heterosexual couples..

The repeal passed swiftly in the Senate earlier this month on a unanimous voice vote. The House voted 118 to 35 to pass the repeal bill on Tuesday after a 45-minute floor debate.

Supporters called the 1913 law a vestige of racist opposition to interracial marriage, while opponents argued for keeping it in deference to the rights of other states to set marriage laws. Several representatives called for keeping the law on the books because they said it would create legal chaos for other states that would be forced to consider same-sex marriage or resolve disputes among couples who marry in Massachusetts but want benefits, or to divorce, back home.



MASSAGE. Relax and Enjoy! Outcalls Only. Todd Alexander. 631 235-4945.

CUSTOM FRAMING, Digital Framing, Digital Paintings and Portraits of Pets, People and Cottages. Louis Nelson, 631 597-7760,

DOK-TA-HOUSE MOVING. We go down on everything, but the price. Jack 631 597-6638, Bob 631 597-9756, Cell 631 671-9688.

LIMO SERVICE. Rainbow Rides. Prompt, Courteous Service. Alex Bender 516 351-4481.



Judge to prostitute, 'So when did you realize you were raped?'    

 Prostitute, wiping away tears: 'When the check bounced.'