The 2014 R.L. Keller Memorial Music Series kicked off with a bang last Sunday afternoon. The extra snow flurries seemed to encourage instead of discourage folks from leaving their homes and warming up at the Cultural Center with good friends, food, cheer and most of all music.
Performing in style was License to Chill, a band formed four years ago, and they are hands down one of the most noted and diverse live acts performing on the Jersey Shore, with the strong melodies of lead guitarist and vocalist Vince Berardi, the deft playing of jazz influenced bassist Jon Sebastian Brice and the percussions of legendary original Springsteen E Street Band drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez.
(Their first CD “Moon Motel” is available on their website: www.licensetochill.net and through iTunes)
This year, Vini will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2014, along with the other members of the E Street Band. Between 1968 and 1974 Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez backed Bruce Springsteen in several bands, including Steel Mill and the E Street Band. He also played on Springsteen’s first two albums but was fired after a falling out over a manager and money. This was not just his loss but theirs as well, as Vini is pure talent.
On Sunday, playing only a single snare drum with brushes, Vini and his bandmates rocked all the old favorites from the Grateful Dead to the Stones, prompting several dancers to get up and twist and shout; Bobby “Hoser” Jones was a joy to watch.
As well as the delicious lunch spread there was champagne and dessert and a huge birthday cake for Ann Marie Thayer, who was there celebrating with her family and childhood friends. The event was free, but one could give back and support the worthy cause which, among other things, gives scholarships to young residents in recognition of their volunteerism by buying basket chance and 50/50 tickets.
On a somber note, it was also a time to remember Jeff Anthony who passed away on January 30, 1996 from a brain tumor at the young age of 34. His mother Shirley was there with many of her girlfriends and Jeff’s friends and classmates for support. They presented her with flowers.
Check my Upcoming Events column for info on the next concert in the series.
Super Bowl Sunday
Luckily no one knew what the outcome of the evening’s game would be yet during all the Super Bowl parties around MB that day, everyone I talked to was 100 percent positive that the Denver Broncos were going to win.
Lucky too that those little boxes you write your name in have nothing to do with predicting the winner although I still don’t really understand how they work and now I am out $40.
My first stop was Pat McConville’s Super Bowl party and it didn’t take long for me to realize I was the only female there, so I only stayed long enough to sample some of the fabulous spread. There were three kinds of chowders, lots of ribs, four types of sausages; the maple flavored one with sauerkraut and bacon was excellent, two grills going with burgers, cheesesteaks, cod and hotdogs.
Best of all were the delicious clams Al Jones brought; I could have eaten a dozen if I wasn’t saving room for Artie’s chicken wings at the next party.
Woody and Mary Kay Wedel’s party just gets bigger and better every year. This year Artie not only outdid himself with the chicken, he also made crispy yet juicy turkey and the most amazing sweet potato fries I’ve ever had. This party had both of the sexes represented nicely and if you felt brave (or tipsy) enough you could go up and sing or play with the live band!
Everyone was remarking on the balmy 55 degree weather and there was no need for the usual shots of warming whiskey on the tables or the fire pits that people still congregated around.
The big surprise was not the just the Seahawks’ win but the huge snowstorm we all woke up to the next morning; can you say climate change anyone?
Twilight Concert Kick Off
Josh and Carole Costell once again opened their home in MB to host the Twilight Concert kick-off party for the supporters of ARFC, AIDS Resources Foundation for Children.
This very worthy cause helps children and families who are impacted by HIV/AIDS or who have other serious medical conditions to be resilient and to build healthier futures. The foundation was founded by Faye and Terry Zealand who were on hand to speak, as was their son Kevin, and several staff members.
Quadhera Simmons, who grew up at ARFC and now works there, gave a wonderful speech that really pulled at your heartstrings and wallet.
This will be the 18th year of the concert on March 1 at St. Georges’ Church by the River in Rumson. The theme this year is a Beatles tribute and will feature many of our local musicians; Pat Guadagno, Pam McCoy, Layonne Holmes, Maureen McCrink and Jeff MacPherson to name a few.
This is a highly entertaining concert in a gorgeous setting for a wonderful cause and should not be missed. Tickets are $50 or $55 at the door the day of. The concert starts at 5 p.m. and there is a fabulous post-concert Gala afterwards with food and drinks in the church rectory.
Special Boro Meeting
A special Borough Commissioners meeting was called on January 28 with a motion passed for bills totaling $79,129.82 be paid and the following resolutions were also passed; Construction Variance for 37 Valentine Street, Authorizing the Clerk to advertise for bids for the Bathing Pavilion Concession, Establishing the 2014 operating dates and times of the Bathing Pavilion, Appointing William E. Antonides and Co. to provide Accounting Services for 2014.
Also passed was an ordinance amending the beaches, dunes, pavilion and waterways section 11-2.2 Facility Fees, Beach Rates and Bathhouse Charges. A public hearing will be at the next regular Borough Meeting on February 11.
Scholastic Book Fair
February 7-11, 2014 at the MB School one of the goals of the fair is to ensure as many children as possible receive books and have access to books. One of the ways to do that is through the All for Books program. With your help, all of the money collected goes to purchasing more books for our school library and classroom libraries.
Not only will your donation help the cause but Scholastic Book Fairs will match monetary donations raised with a donation of up to one million books to two non-profit organizations dedicated to helping children, families, and teachers acquire books and educational resources — Kids In Need Foundation and Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc.
This year, they are collecting loose change in classrooms during the days before the event, starting with pennies on February 3, nickels on February 4, dimes on February 5, and quarters on February 6. On Friday, any coins can be sent in. Collection boxes will be in each classroom until February 11 and the class collecting the most coins will win a pizza party.
On January 31, MB Patrolman Ryan Rodriguez conducted a traffic stop on Ocean Ave.
According to the Monmouth Beach Police Department, during the investigatory portion of the traffic stop officers determined that the operator of the vehicle had a suspended driver’s license and the passenger was in possession of marijuana, 44 bags of a controlled dangerous substance, and $4,551 in cash.
The driver, Ean Bloom (formerly of Monmouth Beach, now of Atlantic Highlands), was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended driver’s license and released on a summons.
The passenger, Nicolas Vargas Jr. of Long Branch, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of CDS – a substance known as “Molly” – with intent to distribute, and obstruction of justice. The cash possessed by Vargas Jr. was retained for evidence and seizure. His bail was set at $16,000.
Ptl. Rodriguez was assisted by Captain Dennis G. Cahill of the MB Police Department and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Division.
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