Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mat Thorp "Cokinos"

Because "exclusive" is not in my family vocabulary please welcome my neighbor, Mat Thorp into the fold of this blog. Although Matt is not from here, he has spent enough time here to have plenty of street cred. since his arrival after serving in World War Two. Here is Mat's "inclusion":

"To make sure that I get included in your, obviously exclusive, blog; here are my Greek bonafides: The second photo from the right margin on the top line is Lynn`s mother, Lynn, with Nick Gaston owner of the Old New Orleans night club on 18th St at Connecticut Ave. This was taken by the Old New Orleans cigarette/photographer girl. On Lynn`s and my first date,in 1949, she asked me to meet her at Nick`s house on the VA side of Key Bridge where he had Sunday poolside parties. Nick`s main business was brokering restaurant deals. When Lynn and I were married the second time, Nick had the wedding group to the Old New Orleans before opening time."

Thanks for the memories, Mat!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Great Cake-- Great Party

Thank you to all those in the Stone Family
for including the Cokinos Clan in the
wonderful party last Saturday

Ray, smiling
just before George
stuck his finger in the cake,
and blew out his candles.

Stacy, Sterling and George

Some things NEVER Change.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Birthday Ray

(Jeanne and Bebe 1952)

Once upon a time a woman named Jeanne Lightbound went to Western High School for just one year and became good friends with a Greek guy named George Cokinos. Jeanne went back to Bethesda Chevy Chase High school, but she never forgot George. And if she hadn't kept up that friendship with George, we never would have met all her BCC pals like Charles Bernard, whom she married and Ray Stone who is celebrating his 90th birthday today.

(Irene, Bebe and Ray 1945)

The gang, Ray and Irene Stone, Roy and Marge Cross and Charles Bernard met George and Bebe just before World War Two, but then the guys had to go off to fight. (except for George who had thought ahead and already had three children) After the war everybody started having children; thus the Bridge Party was born which went on for thirty years or so. George, Ray and Charles even were in business together before Ray started Bethesda TV. The friends went to the beach together and traveled together, and The Cokinos and Stone families almost lived together- well, near each other anyway. And they loved to vacation together, too.

(Peter and Roger Cokinos w/ Ray Stone1950)

(Trip to Bermuda 1970 back when everybody got dressed up to get on a plane)

In the late sixties, after countless beach trips and travel, George suggested that they build cottages together in South Bethany. Lots were available again after a huge storm had hit the coast on Ash Wednesday in 1962.

Bethany Beach after the storm

The lots were so cheap they bought three. Two to build on, and one for an investment. The two houses ended up being so close together that we could communicate with an intercom. That failing we could use sign language since we didn't have phones.

One time George summoned Ray in desperation, telling him a fire had broken out. Ray rushed over only to find George standing over a griddle full of pancakes. (Only problem was they forgot to tell Irene, who was waiting next door, that it was only a joke.)

Bebe recalls the time they went out on Ray's boat and their friend, Nadine spilled a cocktail down her front. She went below and took her bra off, and they hung it on the rigging to dry. When they went to dock for dinner, they made quite the entrance with Ray coming in a bit fast and the red bra flying.

Happy birthday, Ray. You still have your good looks, not to mention that winning personality.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hot Hazy Humid Then and Now

picnic at mayo beach 1940

It's hot which is nothing new here in Washington, DC. What is new is the heat index telling us how hot we FEEL. I could live without this. I have been living through these sweltering summers almost all of my life, but it's disconcerting now to know small children and older people should not even be breathing the air. On these hot summer days all eyes turn toward the Eastern Shore.

Way back when, before the Chesapeake Bay Bridges, a trip to the beach was most likely by car or ferry and did not necessarily mean the Atlantic Ocean. Ferries could take you to places like Betterton or St Michael's- once thriving communities. Now you can still find sleepy piers on either side of the bay while the traffic swarms down Route Fifty towards Rehobeth or Ocean City.

My parents used to go to beaches on the DC side of the bay like Chesapeake Beach, Mayo, and Woodland. There were nets to catch the nettles that didn't work very well, and the water was shallow, but it was wet and there might be a breeze. Cousins Koula and Thelma had a cottage in North Beach, and their friend, Johnny Monaco had a place in South Beach. Johnny would catch soft shells or fish for dinner. Sometimes Mom and Dad would sneak into the dances at Beverly Beach where no "immigrants" or "mediterraneans" were allowed, but Dad was light haired and blue eyed and got away with it.

The heat may not be new, but at least some things have changed.