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Dishing with Dee

I hope everyone celebrated Memorial Day by either attending a parade or holding a barbecue with friends and neighbors. Barbecues are good ways to herald the beginning of summer and provide a chance to catch up with friends and neighbors.

It is also a day to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice so we can live in peace. I do not think our military men and women put their lives on the line so we could storm malls to save $20 on an item.

Sunday morning we attended the Forest Hills parade on Metropolitan Avenue. It seemed smaller and less well-attended then previous years. I did not, however, march the parade's length to the park where ceremonies were held. Perhaps there were more people at the end of the avenue or in the park.

While Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not make it, I spotted U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), state Sens. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) and Serf Maltese (R-Glendale), state Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway Beach), state Senate hopeful Peter Koo and others.

It was off to the College Point parade Sunday afternoon. There were many participants, which makes for a more interesting parade. They lined up on the corner of 26th Avenue and College Point Boulevard.

I intended to take photos at the start and then leave, but ran into Debbie Markell. She said, "Don't leave, Dee. Walk with me and it will give us both the opportunity to chat with each other." I agreed and walked with her the parade's length, several miles long. It was a hot day and mostly uphill. My calves and thighs still ache.

Supporting this parade were Schumer, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), state Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing), Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), and other local officials. The parade ended in McNeil Park, a welcome change from the heat of College Point Boulevard. The park has many trees, and as it is on the water, there is always a breeze. Of course, it was not the same without Fred Mazzarello.

Monday was the granddaddy of all Memorial Day parades. It was an all-day affair, starting with an interfaith service at the Community Church of Little Neck at 10 a.m. It was sponsored by the American Legion Post 103, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1808, Jewish War Veterans Bell Oak Post 648 and Little Neck-Douglaston Parade Committee.

Speaking at the service were priests, ministers, rabbis, and Maj. Gen. William Terpeluk, commanding general of the Army Reserve 77th Regional Readiness Command. That was followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Monument at Alameda Avenue and Northern Boulevard. Monsignor George Ryan offered a prayer for those who gave their lives for our country.

Next was brunch at St. Anastasia's Father Smith Hall. The food was provided by Little Neck's Giardino Restaurant, which sponsored the parade's lunch. The parade kicked off at 2 p.m. and continued until after 4 p.m. Bloomberg attended this parade.

This year, I was honored as Woman of the Year. It was one of the most fun days I can remember.

The honorees were driven from the Nassau County line to St. Anastasia's school yard by volunteers. I was driven by Joe Oppedisano, owner of Little Neck restaurant Il Bacco, in the greatest car I ever saw: a 1931 Ford Roadster painted red, white and blue. Michael Ricatto was driven in a Fiat and Steven Newman in a Plymouth convertible with a rumble seat and picnic trunk strapped on the back.

Debbie Markell and Paul Vallone were driven by my partner, Michael Feldman, in his red Pontiac convertible. Even though Debbie and Paul are running for Avella's seat, they seem to be friendly rivals.

On the dais beside Bloomberg were Padavan, Borough President Helen Marshall, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), City Comptroller Bill Thompson, state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck), City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), Terpeluk and others.

That's it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I also like receiving your voice mail at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mail at deerrichard@aol.com.

Till next week, Dee.

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