Meatball Mayhem & Madness Challenge/Feast of San Gennaro – IACHH

Hi folks. I’m Sam, the Beach Beagle on Hilton Head, pinch-hitting again for Blog Angel because – as Johnny D says – she has too much going on, and gets her head stuck someplace up her keister – a place I can’t reach because I’m short-legged.  My job is to bring things into focus around here, and get the word out about the only important thing in the world I can think of, right?

A 1,500 LB MEATBALL.

Beagle thinking about meatball

Just saying this, makes me.. me very,… wait… I gotta go outside a minute,… and collect myself….

Okay, let me begin again.  Because these two knuckleheads, Mom and Johnny D, are so strung out, with all their shi-shi events, I knew this blog was going to wind up in my food dish.  See, Mom gets side-tracked with all kinds of dumb PR stuff, forgetting about important things like the Loggerhead Turtle necklaces she sells at the * Italian Club Events,* to help save the little turtle hatchling nests on the beaches at the Coastal Discovery Museum, because a couple weeks ago, she had to dress up like Marilyn Monroe, like last year, to surprise Johnny D, who’s president of the IACHH (that stands for the the Italian.-American. Club. Of. Hilton. Head. for those of you, Unawares), on his birthday for the annual Omni ZinFest, in October.

Except, that little bright bulb idea fritzed-out pretty quick this year for a couple reasons, so she’s running around like a nut, telling everyone that they suck; meanwhile Johnny D, has to be in the dark about it, because he’s supposed to be organizing the annual ZinFest at the Omni Hotel – ON HIS BIRTHDAY, like the JFK bash a bunch of years ago –  because she’s got to surprise him again, and it works; but by the end of the night, I don’t think we could take anymore Marilyn surprises as you can see.

Sammy and Johnny D sleep on the sofas

Johnny D & I crapped out after the 2nd Annual Marilyn Monroe Birthday surprise.

[You know, last year, Marilyn sang after a guy named Matthew stormed through here, now that I think about it. Maybe Marilyn needs strong winds to ride around on her broomstick.]

Awright, just like BlogAngel, I digressed a momento, here…  where was I…

So, Irma comes up from Florida, whirling around, totally ruining the whole Eating Feast, the Hilton Head, Italian-American Club (IACHH) hosts every year for St. Januarius, (which is SAN GENNARO, to you discerning Italian-Americans out there), while SOMEONE IS SUPPOSED TO MAINTAIN CLARITY ON THE GIANT, DRIPPING, 1,500 LB MEATBALL.

Sammy Close up

I lost again… my train… of thoug.. clarity about the…thhe meatburblschmiemiener…

So, the seed for this world meatball record thing got started like, kinda’ like a small snow ball rolling down a hill in Meshanticut Valley Parkway, which is where we used to live in Cranston, Rhode Island, eight years ago like, in this picture,  when Johnny D and I were still getting to know each other.

Johnny D and Sammy the Beagle

Johnny D and Sam make meatballs in Cranston, Rhode Island, (circa 2009)

I was trying to mind my manners, but back then, when I was fresh out of “college” (that’s what the boys on the Hill said, when one of their buddies went someplace for a while), if a guy was cooking ground beef, Johnny D always says, FUGGETABOUTIT! There was no way, I was going to sit on my duff with the moonie milk chocolate eyes my Mom likes, with a little paw at the ready…

No way, when Johnny starts rolling a meatball, and then says, “I’ll make one as big as your head, Sam!” Well. I can’t even think straight, now.

Sam the Beagle in his first city shelter

This was the size of my head, when Mom found me in the Providence City ” college”. She said it was a heart-shaped, mushroom cap for kissing.

A meatball as big as my head? How big is my head?  Mom’s always smooching it, so it can’t be that big, but then I’ve got a lot of thoughts in my head, and she also likes my velvet lop-ears, so, it must be pretty big to handle all that, right? Smooches, thoughts, and velvet lops?  How big a meatball is Johnny D talking about?

Well, I’m telling you now, 1,500 lbs of meatball is more than my beagle brain can handle every couple minutes without getting vertigo, maybe drooling, and my back knees buckling; I am aged 70 -ish dog years, which may be the average Hilton Head Island resident demographic, but it doesn’t mean I’m like Snoopy the Red Baron, flying around at night on top of his doghouse.  I’m just Sam the Beach Beagle, trying to hold it all together down here on Governors Road sucking it up occasionally, for BlogAngel.

IACHH Meatball Festivall 2017, Shelter Cove Park

Starting at 8 am for the 5K Run, and going all day including a Silent Auction, food vendors, craft booths, a kid’s zone, live entertainment. Don’t Fuggetaboutit!

So now, Johnny D’s at the Veteran’s Day Memorial event which is very important, and we’re out of ink cartridges and paper, and they got a rule around here that whoever uses it last has to restock the printer, so I better run to Staples before Blog Angel wakes from her nap – she likes her naps – in the mornings, because she works late night with Rachel Maddow and Seth Myers (yeah, really yukking it up with those two, with pencils sticking out of her pony tail and Johnny D, snoring away on the sofa).

oven wrapThe current world record for the largest meatball stands at 1,100 lbs, which is pretty big, when you think about it.  So our own genius engineer, Joe Carpinteri, who designed the oven (with a little input from another member, a retired NASA guy) to conduct heat with like, big stainless steel prongs to go inside the meatball, and then there’s this whole POD- RIGHT-  THEY HAD TO MAKE A POD – to hold the meat in like a form, so it wouldn’t all fall apart while it was cooking, which, I told them I could spread my body around it and hold the thing with my four paws, but Johnny D thought maybe, I was getting carried away.  I could see he was getting that look on his face he gets, when it’s time for me to walk outside and shake it off… you know…

Sam the Beagle yells out the window

Next Saturday, the 18th! A 1,500 lb meatball! Don’t FUGGETABOUTIT!

All right you guys, darn, I don’t have time to tell you anything else, except be there next weekend sharp  in the morning, because of the 5k race, and limited parking, and tv cameras and the Guinness Book of World Record people….

What: Meatball Madness Guinness World Record Challenge – 8t Annual Hilton Head Italian Heritage Festival

When: November 18th, 2017, 8am – 4 pm

Where: Shelter Cove Park, Hilton Head, SC

Cost: $6/Adults, Children under 10/free

Proceeds to Benefit Local Charities with a focus on hunger awareness and organizations that provide our neighbors with the comfort, and nourishment they may be lacking .

Festival Info: Paul Caimano, Festival Chairman (412) 897-1148, paccomkt@aol.com

IACHH President, Johnny DeCecco, (401) 524-1416, jdc3@hargray.com

Meatball Challenge Marketing & PR: Triad Design, Rob Lembo & Christina Belen (843) 706-3320

*IACHH is a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization. Proceeds from events benefit local charitable organizations and scholarship funds. Proceeds from the Meatball Madness Festival Guinness World Record Day Challenge will go towards hunger awareness specific organizations and charities that directly service the underserved in our community. More information can be found on our website here.  http://iachh.org/about-us.html

 

 

Advertisements

A First Date with Joe Maffo

Man holds alligator

Joe adorns me with a snake necklace while showing off  one of his toys; a baby (live) alligator.

If you haven’t yet been to the Joe Maffo’s exhibit at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, then you are missing out on something special.  Held outside on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Joe and his staff of students and volunteers educate delighted crowds about reptiles, chickens, and rabbits, among those he had the day I visited with Johnny D.

Brothers  Brothers, Miles and Owen, share a python.

kid holds baby gator

Local student assists Maffo as summer job.

kid with snake

Visitor from Beaufort, Miguel wears a python “hoodie” with Maffo.

Joe carefully wraps onlookers with his friends, then explains how and what they eat, and why they should never be approached in the wild.

“I want people to educate people to respect our wildlife, but not fear it.  We are all part of the same eco-system,”  says Joe.

 

 

 

 

And we’re not the only ones who appreciate Maffo’s expertise.  Featured in August’s Men’s Health magazine, pg. 34, he’s gone nationwide.  Also look for a piece in the Wall Street Journal called What’s in My Bag, for a look at what Joe Maffo carries around with him… maybe you don’t want to know!

chicken on guy's shoulder

Johnny D bonds with a chicken.

For more information about Critter Management call, 843-681-8050

Or check out the exhibit schedule here: http://www.coastaldiscovery.org/home/discover-and-learn/site-tours-programs/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Week to Get a Johnny D Tree at Sonesta Resort, and Help Hilton Head Prep!

Christmas Tree

Hilton Head Prep Decorated Tree for Sale at Sonesta Resort

Season Greetings, Islanders, and Holiday Guests!

This is the last week of Hilton Head Prep’s Annual Festival of Trees at Shipyard’s Sonesta Resort.  Representatives from Hilton Head Preparatory School will be selling these beautifully decorated Christmas trees from 3pm – 7pm.  When Prep representatives are not available, trees can still be purchased at the Sonesta Front Desk.

I call these, Johnny D trees.  For those of you who don’t know my husband, Johnny D, you also may not know that his favorite holiday family activity is NOT packing the family into Sorel snow boots, going to the nearby Christmas tree farm and carefully picking out the perfect fir, cutting it down, loading it into the flatbed in the snow with the kids helping, and driving it home singing Christmas carols.

No.

Johnny D

Johnny D, Tells a Friend About His Day Choosing a Tree.

Finding a Johnny D tree, means sliding barefoot into your Ferragamo driving shoes, taking your convertible Mercedes to a nearby hotel on the beach, choosing the flashiest, most sparkly, already-decorated tree, palming the valet an extra fiver to heave it into the trunk, reward oneself with a glass of pinot grigio at the bar, for a job well done (having braved the traffic circles to get there), and then contributed to the Prep Christmas fund, his wife’s alma mater. High-five Johnny D, and Merry Christmas Hilton Head Prep!

Below, is what’s left on the Festival of Trees schedule this week.  Don’t miss out, get yourself a Johnny D tree, and then pat yourself on the back.

Please join us for the following Special Events coming up this week at 
The Sonesta! 
Christmas Tree

Decorated Christmas Trees Benefit Hilton Head Prep’s Scholarship Program

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Hilton Head Prep’s Strings will perform.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 6:15 pm

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes will perform Lessons and Carols, which is based on a service originally offered at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England in 1918.  The service combines readings about the Christmas story from prophecy of a messiah to the fulfillment of the prophecy in the gospel texts. Carols will be sung by Candace Woodson after each lesson; and students from middle school and lower school will perform the carols in sign language.

Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 6:15 pm

The Chamber Readers of Hilton Head Preparatory School will perform “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore.  The poem, which has been called “arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American” is largely responsible for some of the conceptions of Santa Claus from the mid-nineteenth century to today.

Support American Capitalism; Buy Jewelry from Hilton Head Blog Angel

necklace sets at Italian Heritage Festival

Jewelry Sets Did Very Well at the Italian Heritage Festival Last Saturday, September 19, 2015.

Segueing into my new business from the Italian Heritage Festival, I promise not to use up too much of my precious WordPress blog space promoting my new line of jewelry.  So, I’ll keep this one short and to the point.

(“Right,” I can hear you thinking.  “She wouldn’t know short-and-to-the-point if it smacked her on her keister.”  And you’d be right, for the most part.  But, I’m really going to try on this one, so give me a break.)

Sam the beach beagle on his cloud

Sammytones, Works Hard Assisting Blog Angel on His Cloud.

In order to maintain my lifestyle of sitting on my duff days in the Carolina room of our Hilton Head condo watching Sammy, the Beach Beagle, hold down the cloud (his white blanket-draped couch) in front of me, I must somehow generate revenue.  Being that my musings on all people, places, and things Hilton Head – while they may be pithy – do not put bacon or veggies on the table, or scarves and jewelry around my neck, or cars in my driveway, (my little, red, 2006 Sentra – AKA, the family ‘dog-car’ – paid for, thank you very much, although Sam has made sure that it trails sand, and frayed seat belts when you ride with me), I have decided to venture into the online retail business.

Johnny Carmen and Sam at the beach

Johnny, Carmen, and Sam – Hilton Head Island – circa, 2010

Jewelry is the name, and affordable, fun, and colorful, is the game.  I have picked out pieces that are perfect for an active lifestyle; unpretentious, while versatile.  Please enjoy, and let me know if you’d like to see something in particular.  I am currently designing some originals, and will have more choices soon.  For now, shop my website, take advantage of some of my opening deals while I work out the kinks and designs, and decorate yourself!

For those of you more comfortable with Etsy or Shopify, go ahead and check out the discounted necklaces there.  The holidays are upon us, and now is the time to think about that which you don’t really want to think about.  Affordable gifts.

All of which to say; let me help you, help me, sit on my duff, on Hilton Head Island, and entertain you.  Otherwise, I’ll have to go to work like everyone else – eight hours a day in an office – complain about how hard I’ve got it, and how no one understands me, how my boss doesn’t know as much as I do, get fired, and start all over again.  And remember, while I’m working for the Man, I’m usually too tired, burned out, and annoyed, to blog about anything remotely funny.  I don’t even have the energy to make fun of Johnny D, after recovering from a whole week of sucking it up in an office.  Okay?

Carmen DeCecco on the beach

Hilton Head Blog Angel Sitting
on Her Duff

We don’t need to go through all that recurrently, do we? Buy Jewelry Gifts For Less today, and keep me in my place, which is over here, looking out at the Spanish Moss sachaying down live oaks, and far away from the cubicles and the office norm.

They really don’t want me back, the Big Companies.  And when you think about it, you’d be doing Corporate America a favor by purchasing my jewelry.  See, if I can make a go of it out here, in entrepreneur-land, then they won’t have to put up with me, and my lousy attitude anymore.  So, that’s your incentive.  Support American Capitalism and Corporate conformity.  Buy Hilton Head Blog Angel jewelry so we can maintain the status quo!

In closing (I told you this would be short, and to-the-point, didn’t I?); remember when the Johnny and Carmen Project moved to Hilton Head a few years ago?  Some of you received an announcement that looked like this:

Family on beach with beagle

DeCecco Deal Newsletter, Hilton Head Island – circa, 2010

Well, we thank you all for the empathy, and support, and pats-on-the-back we received after we sent this out.  But, now we’re really in the business of being in business down here.  And I’m still writing cheesy family newsletters, only they’re called ‘blogs’, and we still want to hear about your cheese, wherever you are.  So go ahead, Like, Follow, Friend, Fan, Tweet, Toot, Pin, Tumble, Stumble, post, share, comment, and above all, BUY, so we can get off our duffs, and fly up to visit all of you, during the holidays and for weddings, and funerals… our patient, tolerant, dear friends, and readers.

And thank you, as always for playing with me.

Gratitude Blog From Hilton Head Blog Angel

Jewelry display at festival

Hilton Head Blog Angel Jewelry Booth at the Italian Heritage Festival at Honey Horn

This past weekend couldn’t have been better, even if we had scripted the event.  Which actually, we did.  Or rather, Paul Caimano, Committee Chairman of the Sixth Annual Italian Heritage Festival at Honey Horn, and his friends at the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head (IACHH) did. (Script the event, that is).

Three people at Italian Heritage Festival 2015

2015 Festival Goers Fan their Beers.

And that’s probably the reason everything at the Italian Heritage Festival at Honey Horn came off without a hitch or a glitch.  That, and the God-wink bestowed upon us, when San Gennaro instructed the heavens to shine sunny and warm all day long on Hilton Head, while his blood liquefied over in Naples, Italy, in front of the astonished, and awed, Catholic congregants.

And now that the Pope is visiting the United States this week, I thought it appropriate to share this great video I snagged off YouTube, of the March 21, 2015 blood miracle that occurred; a phenomenon that was visited by Pope Francis in Naples, just this past spring.  This is the same blood miracle that we celebrate in the United States every year, only it is the September 19th, scheduled, liquefaction that is fêted.  You see, we are fortunate that San Gennaro’s blood liquefaction is a frequent event – AND annual – so that nobody ever misses a moment to party down Vatican style.

Now according to the video, the March melting was just a partial miracle, as you will note, and Pope Francis – the good sport that he is – did not take it personally, but rather joked, that San Gennaro was probably none to happy with the state of the world, as it is.  Ergo, the blood only melts a little, and looks like pudding.  I guess we’ve got some work to do here on earth, to get his blood liquefying, and roiling the way it’s supposed to.  Way to go, World.

George Paletta at Festival 2015

IACHH Vice-President, The George, Happy that the Sun Shined Brightly on Saturday.

I’m just glad that San Gennaro saw fit to bestow a happy, sunny day on us, this past Saturday on Hilton Head, because lots of fun and entertainment was consumed by the Italian-American plebeians, of the New World.  And Yours Truly, reaped some of the spoils, thankfully, due to arduous planting of marketing seeds prior to this auspicious annual Hilton Head event.

San Gennaro Statue

San Gennaro Statue at Las Vegas Feast, sports paper bills for a tie (big surprise).

That is why I am thanking Islanders and visitors from near and far, who trod courageously through the fairgrounds Saturday, fending off pesky fan-wavers, and smoldering scents of pizza and grilled sweet Italian sausage wafting through the air, to brave the crush of local business vendors selling everything from hand-made ceramics, to raffle tickets, wine, and jewelry.

All, to the rousing musical entertainment of Larry Tanelli and his wife, Claudette, whose showstoppers included, “Fly Me to the Moon,” “That’s Amore!” and of course, the ever-popular (and my personal favorite), “Has Anyone Seen Il Presidente, Johnny D?  The Port-o-johns Are Running Low On Toilet Paper!”  That one, as always, drew a standing O.  Interestingly, the ubiquitous Johnny D, was suddenly scarce during that little ditty.

I also want to thank the IACHH Board, Club members, Festival volunteers, and especially the USCB students who assisted the set-up of my booth, and the ROTC who directed traffic and parking.  It would have been a rather amusing, end-of-day activity driving out of Honey Horn without the supervision of these patient, courteous guides, for many festival-goers (and ragged vendors, like me).  As it was, I felt cared for, and looked after by my young attendants.  Great job everyone.

Pink Beaded Necklace

Multiple Shades of Pink Beaded Strands Accent Any Beachy Outfit.

For those of you who couldn’t attend this gala event, and are devastated that you missed the grand opening of Hilton Head Blog Angel Jewelry, fret not.  I have here, the hyperlink needed to go directly to the website (Jewelry Gifts For Less), and choose a lovely, colorful, necklace to wear to almost any festivity that lies ahead in your future. And for those of you who read all the way down to this point, you will know that there is a contest with a free jewelry gift as reward, to the first patient reader/generous customer that sends me a link to any news media reporting on whether or not the blood liquefaction miracle occurred fully this past Saturday in Naples.

I could not find any, and I’m concerned since the last one didn’t, you know, totally liquefy.  I’d like to know if San Gennaro is getting over his Agida with this world full of wanderers from the flock.

In closing, I leave you with a full-blown, ten-minute documentary, explaining the blood miracle (for those of you obsessive, curious geeks, like me) of San Gennaro, that draws an explicit history of this Christian martyr’s journey from teenaged, medieval, Italian priest, to principle patron saint of Naples, seventeen hundred and fifteen years after his death.  Behold.

The Italians Are Coming! The Italians Are Coming…

Cardinals look at Blood Vials

Roman Dignitaries View the Blood Miracle of St. Januarius (San Gennaro)

If you believe recent local media tabloids (CH2, Hilton Head Monthly, and Pink), you might think an Old World invasion was upon us here in the LowCountry.  And you’d be right.  On September 19, 2015, the Italian American Club of Hilton Head Island will be hosting its Sixth Annual Italian Heritage Festival Honoring the Feast of San Gennaro.

“Come one, come all, and don’t fuggetaboutit,” reads one billboard on rte. 170 going east from Savannah to Hilton Head.  Which is Italian for, “remember to bring the escarole”, in case you were wondering.  And escarole, of course, is American-Italian for Il denaro, so you can pay $6.00 for your ticket, and buy local Italian-inspired handmade gifts and crafts, raffle tickets, bid on silent auction items, play festival games like bocce, and Drown the Clown (dunk-tank action), and of course, eat and drink like a respectable Italian.  Which may require a little extra Il denaro, as our Mediterrannean neighbors really put the ‘ate’ in satiate, a long time ago, when Rome reigned supreme.

Painting of St. Januarious

Artist’s Representation of St. Januarius Standing Over His Own Decapitated Head

It was during those reigning days of yore that the legend of San Gennaro came about, in whose name the feast began all over the world, but most auspiciously on New York’s Mulberry Street during the early turn of last century when a vast number of Italian immigrants came to our shores.  The easiest way to understand the devotion to this martyred priest is to rent the Godfather Part II, and/or Mean Streets, imbibe a few sips of cheap chianti, and notice how much carnage and thievery ensures while parade goers dance and chant down the street next to the San Gennaro effigy and Madonna (the Virgin, not the singer) floats.

Now, if you research this history (ie. Google, San Gennaro and click on the Wikipedia link), you will find an interesting – if not disturbing – to us plebeians of non-Catholic backgrounds – bit of detail regarding the legacy of St. Januarius (the latin form of San Gennaro); his fame is based on the “blood miracle” as depicted in one of his relics.

(You may have noted so far, that punctuating this tale is challenging, so bear with me.)

Yes, to review for the pleibs, Catholic tradition places a premium on the body parts of dead martyrs and saints.  The remains are placed in sealed glass boxes known as reliquaries, and put on display to the public (under heavy guard), usually in the home church of the late saint, or some other equally revered, ancient, stone edifice, that visitors often kiss, and place coins in the accompanying alms vessel.

Worshippers sometimes pray to the saint, or in the saint’s name, which is also a curious sidebar, given that the saint usually died a gruesome death, involving scourging, lion-baiting, burning, stretching on a rack, hanging, and beheading.  And not necessarily in that order.  For what, are people praying to these tortured souls?  “In the name of St. Joan of Arc, when it’s my time to go, just take a little off the sides around the ears!”2015_IHF_Ad

Yes, I know, digressing.

A young priest, St. Januarius of Benevento, Italy, was beheaded for his Christian beliefs in 305 AD.  According to Catholic folklore, his execution occurred after extended torture, flogging, flaying, gnashing of teeth, and even attempted cremation (it is said he walked out of the incinerator, unscathed).  Due to his apparent stranglehold on the physical world, his ultimate demise was regarded as somewhat of a triumph by the petrified Christians of the time, who were used to living in fear for their lives under pagan rule.

As was popular testimony to a revered person of the cloth during those days, body parts of the deceased were spirited away by various and sundry of the Christian flock, and stored in vaults for safe-keeping, in case the martyred soul were to return from heaven for his/her… ahem, personal effects.  In the interim, these “relics” became symbols of Christian suffering and courage, and pilgrims began to make their way across the seas to pay homage to the interred skeletal remains of said martyrs.

Italian Heritage Festival Statue

2014 Statuary Contemplates the Festival of the Blood Miracle

Stay with me here patient reader, because the punchline is really worthwhile.  As noted above, after the execution of St. Januarius, members of the Flock came from all over Italy and spirited away his remains.  Okay. You got that.  The head stayed in Naples (where San Gennaro is, to this day, the principal patron saint), the body went to his birthplace, Benevento (where it resides in a Chapel, waiting to be reunited with the head – inter-Vatican politics prevent me from elaborating further on this anatomical/spiritual conflict), and his blood was poured into two delicate glass vials by a devout Catholic woman, so-named Eusebia, who boosted the metaphoric ‘wine’ of the saint, and kept it hidden in a vault.

Fast-forward (as fast as the dogged centuries can go), to 1389, when, upon the vials being displayed on the anniversary of San Gennaro’s death, it was noticed by some Vatican dignitaries to ‘liquefy’, from its coagulated state.

What does this mean?

Well, apparently, this meant a lot to the Roman Catholics of the Middle Ages, who knew somehow, that scientifically, nine-hundred-year-old coagulated blood could not liquefy on its own without some divine intervention.

So began the canonization process for the martyred priest Januarius, now known as San Gennaro.  And there’s more to the story.  (“More to this strange tale?” You’re probably thinking, so go take a break and get an espresso to cap off the ending of this yarn).

Yes, more.

Since the initial liquefaction and re-coagulation of the blood from the veins of this ancient, revered priest, Januarius, the phenomenon has re-occurred.  Yes.  Not once, not twice, but many times throughout the following centuries, the blood liquefaction miracle re-occurs to the delight of on-lookers, pilgrims, cardinals, bishops, AND popes, at various dates on the Roman calendar year (notice all of this trivia leads us back to the Romans; like the roads).

All this to say, that THIS particular year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Fifteen, the next scheduled blood liquefaction miracle will occur on September 19.  (Hold your breath…)  THE EXACT DATE OF THE HILTON HEAD ITALIAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL HONORING THE FEAST OF SAN GENNARO AT THE COASTAL DISCOVERY MUSEUM AT HISTORIC HONEY HORN! (Exhale, now and ponder).

Where will you be, to commemorate this legendary saint?  Staring at the ancient vials of blood in Italy, or laughing, eating pasta, drinking wine, playing bocce, and listening to live entertainment from Larry Tannelli, on Hilton Head Island?

I think, on hindsight, San Gennaro would approve of our festivities.  Especially, knowing that proceeds from this event go towards local charities and scholarship funds.  So, if you’re in the LowCountry neighborhood, around the weekend of September 19, 2015, drop by The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn and, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”  (From the first, Godfather, movie).

WHAT: Sixth Annual Italian Heritage Festival

WHERE: Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, Hilton Head, South Carolina

WHEN: 11 am – 4 pm, Saturday, September 19, 2015

COST: $6.00/person.  Parking – free, Advance tickets online: http://iachh.org/festival.html

CONTACT: Paul Caimano, Festival Chair: paccomkt@aol.com, or (412) 897- 1148

WEBSITE: http://iachh.org

As Il Presidente says, “Ciao, for now!”

Ciao, Hilton Head!

George Paletta & John DeCecco

‘The George’ Paletta, Vice President, with the ‘Legendary Johnny D’, President, of the Italian-American Club of   Hilton Head at 2012 Italian Heritage Festival, Drown the Clown dunk tank.

Okay.  You knew there was no way I could let Hilton Head’s 2013 Italian Heritage Festival get by without posting a blog about it.  Last year, I had to bite down on my nails to keep from commenting on, and displaying the proud images I now depict.  No, last year, I had to limit myself to sending these visual gems in covert emails with restrained captions, to close friends and associates near and further north, because it might smack indecorous, given that the two gentlemen portrayed thusly, en masquerade, are also Board Dignitaries of the Italian-American Club of Hilton Head (IACHH).

Please note, I have exercised enormous restraint in recent print media descriptions over which I had some control, by not taking advantage of all the literary parallels, puns, metaphors, and ironies implicit in two Italian-American men being dunked at the Drown the Clown booth – one’s face covered by an Obama mask, the other, behind Italian flag sunglasses – during an election year in America… and BOTH wearing fuggetaboutit! t-shirts.  The only inappropriate, tactless item that seems to be missing is a bottle of non-FDA approved jug of homemade grappa from Cousin Luigi’s backyard cantina (thankfully, that was hidden somewhere during this auspicious photo-op… along with Cousin Luigi).

Yes, I held off the laughs, in deference to my husband’s sincere commitment to the IACHH, a wonderfully philanthropic community organization that donates proceeds from the annual Italian Heritage Festival  (along with that of four other yearly events) to local island non-profits, and high-school graduate scholarships.

So now I bask in some relief, knowing that I have finally shared one of the funniest pictures ever taken, with all my friends and patient readers.  And it brings me to question why, for the life me, they, didn’t publish it alongside the article in September’s issue of Hilton Head Monthly – that classy, sophisticated publication, with accompanying cerebral content – that sits on the coffee tables of our most stylish vacation beach homes, residences, and gets mailed to subscribers all over the world.  Why on earth would they choose images of lovely children and cultural activities, and not the above delicate portrait of two pillars of the Hilton Head community?  One can only guess at the wisdom of such censorship.

Which brings me to my plea.  If you thought you might, y’know, lay low, this weekend because you just need to rest, or you can’t get a babysitter, and you can’t get too excited about anything after weathering the most humid, wet, summer-from-hell in the lowcountry, please reconsider, amicos.  First of all, this is a family-friendly event, and children under 10 enter free.  Secondly, this Saturday at Shelter Cove Park, from 11 am – 4 pm, the 4th Annual Festival being held in honor of the Feast of St. Gennaro, will be bigger and better than ever.  And, as in the past, the Island Recreation Center partners with the IACHH, and the proceeds go to local non-profits and scholarship funds.  And if you need more encouragement, see the video below for Flash Mob activity at the 2012 Italian Heritage Festival.

There will be food prep demonstrations, grape-stomping, stickball, bocce ball, live music, and the incomparable cuisine prepared by the best Italian restaurants south of the Mason-Dixon.  And that’s saying something.  See below for further details, or IHFestivalProgram2013.  Or, if you prefer a more high-brow article and pictures with details, you can click here, or here.  Otherwise, always check with HiltonHeadBlogAngel for the fraternity-level take on anything.

What: The 4th Annual Italian Heritage Festival in Honor of the Feast of St. Gennaro

sign

Italian Heritage Directional Signpost

Where: Shelter Cove Park, 39 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head, SC  29928

When: Saturday, September 21, 2013

What Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Cost: $6.00 at the gate, children 10 & under, free

Contact: 843-682-4625

Why: fuggetaboutit!

A 2013 Wish From Sam, the Hilton Head Beagle Blogger

Sam the Beach Beagle

I’m Sam. Standing in for HHBlogAngel Today.

Hi.  My name’s Sam.  I’m subbing for BlogAngel today, because she’s sick with something called blog-writer’s block.  At least, that’s what she calls it.  If you ask me, it’s more like, laying-around-in-my-pajamas-with-an-attitude-in-the-middle-of-the-winter-writer’s block… but that’s just me.  What do I know, right?  I’m just a hound dog she sprung from the can a few years back, and nobody asks what I think about anything.  Now, I’m no Einstein, but I can tell you one thing, you aren’t going to burn up the tar to riches, sitting around in your pink, checkered pajamas, while the early birds are out there catching worms, and you’re just catching some more zzzzz’s (Johnny D says stuff like that when Mom’s moping around, and it really ticks her off).

So, I thought I’d sneak up here on this fun, swivelling chair, and take a stab at this writing thing, which, by the way, looks really booorrrrring to those of us who’d prefer to run around in crazy eights on the beach.

Hey. How hard can it be, right?

Sam and John type

This typing looks pretty easy…

You just sit here and push down on these keys, and you don’t even have to have opposable thumbs; I know, because when I need Johnny D’s attention, I have to stand on his desk and stare at him, and that’s when I see him typing with just his two index fingers, really slow-like (sometimes swearing in between the key punches, and sometimes shouting down to Mom – that’s BlogAngel – “How do you spell, mozzarella?“).  So I know, any idiot can do this writing thing.

Anyhooo… woops, i just hit an extra “o” on ‘hoo”.  Didn’t mean to do that.

So, I’m known around here as the Beach Beagle, but I didn’t start out as a ‘beach’ anything, because, well… I’m from Providence – which is a city in Rhode Island, a BIG city, the capitol city where Johnny D’s from, too – and to be truthful, I’m a beagle mix.  Which, really doesn’t mean anything, Mom says, except that the “mix” part of that label adds spice to my character.  She’s always saying stuff like that about me, because… well, Mom loves me.

I mean, REALLY loves me.  I know, I know, you think you love your dog as much as Mom loves me, but there’s no way… no.  She’s my soul mate.  I knew it the first day I laid eyes on her and she knew it, too.  We HAD to be together forever.  But, there was just one problem with our romance back then; see, I was living in the city shelter, on account of, I got cut loose by my hunting pack, and I kinda’ had a rough time of it for a while in those early years.  I got picked up a couple of times for stealing food, and both times, nice families came and bailed me out (with just a few dollars, called an adoption fee).  But, for some reason, I dunno… something about chewing, biting, baying (What the heck is baying anyway?), the families kept dumping me back in the can.  They were always sorry, but we had a good time, right?  Jeez!  How was I supposed to know that the rubber bone I was chewing while lying on Grandma’s lap, was an oxygen hose!  Who knew?  Why didn’t someone say, “Sam, don’t chew Grandma’s oxygen hose?” or,  “Here Sam, have a treat, Grandma needs the hose to breathe.”  No.  They just all assumed that because I was housebroken, I knew everything already.

So anyway, Mom had a husband named Johnny D, who would never, never, NEVER, allow a dog near their apartment because he thought they should own a house before getting a dog, and…  Okay, so I guess that’s two problems we had with our early romance; I was in the can, AND she had a husband.  Oh boy, when I say it that way, I don’t know how we ever made it this far – wait… quiet… I hear the key in the door –

Beagle and Johnny D

I’m Ready for My Goodnight Belly-Scratch & Smooch

Uh-oh, Mom’s coming, and I’m not supposed to be climbing up and all around the desk, so I’ll have to wind this up, quick;  I just want everyone to know, if you’re even thinking about a pet for your family, then please think about springing one of us out of the clink before shopping around the breeders and puppy mills.  We really appreciate it, and I was thinking last night while Mom was smooching my neck and scratching my belly (she does that after Johnny D. falls asleep on the couch while watching a movie), that if I had one wish for 2013, it would be that ALL my compadres from city shelters everywhere, could have what I have now.  Who would believe, after getting picked up for loitering in Cranston, Rhode Island four years ago, I’d be so lucky to be living here in the lap of luxury on Hilton Head Island, with a dizzy blonde cuddling me every night?

It just goes to show you – woops, here she comes.  Gotta go…

OKAY Mom, I’m done over here! … No, I wasn’t doing anything wrong, and I did NOT chew that yellow sticky-pad on the floor over there… No… it was there, all chewed up like that before I even came into the room…

Hilton Head Humane Association

10 Humane Way, Hilton Head Island, SC  29926

843-681-8686

Providence Animal Rescue League

34 Elbow St., Providence, RI 02903

401-421-1399

 

Great News for Hilton Head Porsche Lovers!

911 S Carrera

Yellow Cabriolet Model is Newest Design in Carrera 911 Evolution; ie, 991 Series

JohnnyD Porsche

‘Which one will I buy?’

What a relief for all my friends who have told me through the years that as much as they love Porsches, the reason they don’t own one is because there’s really no place on Hilton Head Island where they can open it up so the engine can get the exercise it regularly needs.  Apparently, they say, the frequent shifting of gears on paved, flat roads, with rotaries, and stoplights interrupting the flow of traffic, would simply be too hard on the engine of this Stuttgart-bred machine.  Therefore, their reasoning goes (usually after several Jaegermeister snorts, and loud interruptions), in deference to the well-oiled, coiled inner workings and pedigree of said Porsche, they’ve decided – somewhat magnanimously, I must say – to allow the next guy in line to buy it, and they would instead settle for the more eco- and island-friendly Fusion.  As you can see, we are careful to select friends whose priorities place the environment, and the feelings of German-made machines, well above their own selfish impulses to own them.

Well, good news friends!  Your sense of compassion and patience has paid off.  Now, you can sign on and drive off with a Porsche, with no ill-effects to the engine or the environment!  Yes!!  We just found out that there’s a racetrack nearby that Porsche-owners have access to, for stretching their little Turbo Olympians, without upsetting the local laws or noise ordinances.  Isn’t that great?  Located outside Savannah, the Roebling Racetrack is home to the Coastal Empire Region Porsche Club of America’s (CERPCA) quarterly rallys sponsored by Porsche of Hilton Head dealership.  And boy, they really know how to roll out the red carpet for their members, who are also very generous when it comes to sharing the joy with non-members,  the wanna-be’s, the maybe’s, and the can’t-get-out-of-our-lease-until-next-yearly’s.  Johnny D and I fall into the last category, but our good friend with a great sense of humor, Roy Stine (aka, Porsche Client Advisor, Extraordinaire), doesn’t let little details like contracts get in the way of Johnny D’s day on the racetrack.  Remember Ferris Bueller? No Siree, Bob, nothing’s getting in the way of Johnny D’s day to burn up the track.

And, especially now that Johnny D has been elected to President of the Italian-American Club, Hilton Head Chapter, for the next year 2013!  JUST YOU TRY TO STOP HIM! RUN FOR THE HILLS , if you think for one minute you will not be swept up in IL PRESIDENTE’s New Year’s wake as Johnny D shows us all how it’s done down here in the Lowcountry (more on this recent development in international political news will be forthcoming in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned, breathlessly, and I will regale you with the details in a couple weeks. I know, you’re dying to know more right now, but I’ve already digressed too far.)

woman rides in porsche

Going for a Ride, Clyde.

Back at the track; the New River Auto Mall catered this special day with a lunch buffet from Jim & Nick’s BBQ at noon.  Then, a presentation by industry professional race car driver, Andrew Davis (who recently won the Rolex GT Series), followed by an afternoon rolling around the track, test-driving the newest Boxster and Carrera S models, or as in my case, riding shotgun with Davis, while white-knuckling the little side handle-thingy’s.  After that, the Club members took their own cars out and yes, exercised their little protégés.

So, there you have it.  No more worries about where you can open up the engine and bust 130 mph, you can go buy that brand new Boxster Spyder, or Carrera 911, secure in the knowledge that you will be able to give it the exercise it needs.  Call Porsche of Hilton Head, 866-831-9008, visit the website, or just go there now and buy one. After all, it’s the New Year, we’ve survived the end of time, as the Mayans would have it, AND you can open up that baby at the Roebling Racetrack, with no fear of upsetting the very serious German automakers who worked so hard on it.  In fact, that is my New Year’s call to action to Hilton Head road lovers; GO BUY THAT PORSCHE YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED NOW!

And if you still need a little further motivation, check out the overview of our day in the video below.

Porsche of Hilton Head, New River Auto Mall, 107 Drivers Way,
Hardeeville, SC 29927 Phone: 888-370-3590

Porsche of Hilton Head was established at the New River Auto Mall in 2005. The dealership sells new and pre-owned vehicles, and has a service and parts department that is available to maintain both new and older-model Porsches. With many vehicles in stock, Porsche of Hilton Head has a wide selection from which to choose, and there is also the option of ordering custom vehicles from the manufacturer. The dealership also sells a wide variety of other pre-owned luxury automobiles. The sales associates and technicians are constantly trained and kept up to date on the newest technology and features that Porsche has to offer, so customers can be assured that their needs are met.

http://newriverautomall.com

Open M-F, 9 am – 8 pm, Sat, 9 am – 6 pm, Sun, 1 pm – 5 pm.

Hilton Head Off-Season, Beats In-Season, All Day Long

Guys playing beach volleyball

Hilton Head Sports Enthusiasts Prepare for Winter

We, here in Always Paradise Isle, have known all along that Hilton Head is tops when it comes to, well… just about everything to do with living life fully, stylishly, outdoors, under swaying palms, while slurping frozen libations, and wearing flip-flops, regardless of where we fall in the Conde Nast Travelers, Readers’ Choice rankings (#8 this year, for Islands in the United States, in case you were wondering).

And that’s because you can’t beat the off-season down here for motivating you to do just about anything outdoors (or, for seemingly endless good hair days).  Or, for meeting locals and running into old friends that you thought had moved away, died, or were doing time in the can, because you haven’t seen them out and about in so long.  This is the time of year to hook up with our old buddies and laugh (or cringe) about the old days on the island, and talk about how Hilton Head has evolved so well into the new millennium, while we, adjust ourselves to changing development, cultural needs, politics, and another huge growth- spurt in the vacation rental and hospitality industries.

The up-shot of all this is that, no matter what we are doing, or who we are bumping into from around town and around time, it’s happening on the beach, on the golf course, and on the tennis courts.  Where else, in America, say you, is hometown so much fun?

When I went to college in New England, lo, those many moons ago, my friends all wanted to come visit my family with me.  I was suddenly, very popular in the middle of snow-crusted winter, Rhode Island.  While my college friends from the mid-west, and New England, had to go home to… well the mid-west, and New England for the holidays (I can’t name a mid-west town for an example in this blog, because then it would be like I’m saying Hilton Head is better than that town, which it’s not.  It’s just warmer and on the beach, which to some people, may seem better, but that’s not what I’m saying, okay?), I got to fly home to a sunny resort, to visit my family.  Then, I started dating Johnny D, who seemed to relish telling his friends he was going to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage Golf Classic presented by Boeing every year (back then it was simply the Verizon Heritage, but we won’t split hairs), and that he had a perfect back deck view of the 11th tee, and all the pros walking by because his girl’s family lived right there on the course.  And his friends would say, “Eh – oh!  Who’s better than you, Johnny D?”  And Johnny D would say, “Nobody, because my girl’s father also gets us passes for the tournament, and I get to eat beer dogs with Brad Faxon.  How’s that?” (That last part is rhetorical).

Clayton sitting on the floor

Clayton Lewis, Dean, Sea Pines Academy, Back in the Day

And while I run into old friends on the beach with my beagle, Sam, I also meet new ones, like Peter Cooper, headmaster of Hilton Head Prep, while walking his dog, Vicki.  This brings up great memories because Mr. Cooper is a friend of Clayton Lewis, who was the Dean of Sea Pines Academy, back in the day when Hilton Head Prep was known as Sea Pines Academy, which is a long way back and we don’t need to get specific about the years; suffice to say off-season on Hilton Head is not only great vacation time, it’s also great nostalgia for those of us who dare to look back.  And, if you do dare, that is, you can take a look at the video we made last year to raise money for the HHPrep Alumni Fund.

You may recognize some islanders, you may see yourself, you might even cringe a little.  Which is a good thing, because it means you cut your hair since then, and you probably don’t wear your add a bead necklace anymore.  We had fun making this, and if you are a Sea Pines Academy, May River Academy, or Hilton Head Prep graduate reading this, we hope you enjoy the video.

And if you haven’t already, please go to HHPrep.Org, click on Alumni and start filling in your information. Really, I know it’s annoying to create these accounts and write your bio and all this stuff, but if you don’t, they have no choice but to identify you by the worst high school picture they have on file, and take a blind stab at where you are today, based on what you wrote when you were seventeen.  It’s not always pretty, what they come up with, so do yourself and us a favor, and go to the Alumni portal (I know, it sounds like you’re going to step into a pod that shoots you backwards in time, like, “Step aside from the Alumni Portal, I MUST REVISIT the Christopher Cross years!”), and update your bio, so we all don’t think you really did peter out in rehab after chasing the Dead for ten years.  And then, connect with everyone on Facebook.  Yes, you must do that, too.  Like, Tweet, and Pin; yes, you must.

And if you really want to impress us with your achievements since high school, how about contributing a pile of dough-ski to the Alumni Fund and make us all jealous.  Like, wow, you made so much money, you can throw THAT much back at your alma mater?  Eh – oh!  Who’s better than you?