I’m madder than an alcoholic groundhog who went on a bender on Feb. 1 before collapsing in his bed at 5 am, only to be annoyingly dragged out two hours later by crazy guys in funny hats over the fact that, once again, those hoity-toity folks at the Oscars have stolen my thunder by announcing their candidates for their awards dinner the same week that I’m announcing mine!
Look, you all know that the Screecher prefers the stage to himself, and when anyone — and I mean anyone — steps into his limelight, he tends to lose it!
So when I found out that Brad Pitt was officially up for “Best Ascot” the same week that I was announcing who the Bensonhurst West End Community Council’s “Couple of the Year,” I was outraged! I mean, who cares what kind of neck garment that pretty boy is wearing? Really!
And the only Oscar I aspire to is the grouchy one who lives in a garbage can in the Village! So you can bet there was smoke coming out of my ears when I learned that George Clooney would rather hang out with his pals at that ridiculous “Kodak Theatre” in Hollywood to hear what those dimwits at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have to say instead of making a b-line to the fabulous El Caribe in Mill Basin to cheer on the true heros of America (and when I say America, I mean Brooklyn!).
I mean, seriously, what do you care more about? What movie had the “best sound mixing,” or what neighbor did the most for his community! It’s no contest.
So this week, I’d like to tell you about our roster of spectacular honorees (and I’ll do it without all the pomp and circumstance of the Oscars, in one big, run-on sentence): Man of the Year: Victor Iacovano the Assistant Principal from IS 303; Woman of the Year: Connie Hamilton from Kingsborough Early College Secondary School; Couple of the Year: Salema and Don Marbury, Principal from 329 and Parent Coordinator from PS 18 in Staten Island (that’s right! Staten Island!); Parent of the Year: Maria Di Graziano Vice President of President’s Council D21; Humanitarian of the Year: Eddie Mark, Chairman of Community Board 13; Educator of the Year: Harla Musoff- Weiss, Principal of PS 238; and introducing our inaugural Outstanding Student Activist: Priscilla Consolo of Midwood High School.
In the coming weeks, I’ll feature a biography on each of our esteemed award winners (after I screech about something, of course!). It will all lead up to our 51st Gala, which will be, as if you didn’t guess, a food orgy. Last year, the honorees were so popular and the reservations response was so large (twice as large as we anticipated, in fact) we moved the gala to the El Caribe.
Oh, and there’s a story there too. One casualty of the move was, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Cataldo — the one couple that didn’t learn of the change of caterers. Belated apologies. Our musical entertainment is provided by our favorite emcee, Nicky, who we use for most of our galas. I won’t at this time comment on the catering of the EL Caribe. OK, I will: it will be outstanding, extraordinary and a guaranteed two pound weight gain for everyone.
Of course, I can’t do all this alone, so before the music comes up, I’d like to get in a few “thank-yous.”
There are the Committee Chairmen from each honoree that set up the reservations, etc. etc. There is our Dinner Dance Committee that does all the legwork, which obviously I can no longer do, as I do not walk. That committee is headed by my lovely wife Sharon, which is great for me because it permits me to get away from all of her scrutiny and bossiness as she diverts her attention to the committee, which, incidentally, she has been heading since March 16, 1968. Wow, that’s a long time.
Look, you all know that I’m not a mathematician. But let’s do the math. On March 22, Sharon and I will have been married 44 years and six days. And that is why I am so glad for these two months; she will be too busy to pick on me! She can pick on Mary Montemorano, Randi Garay, Linda Dalton, Heather Fiorica and Sid Schatzman.
And it’s really nice to have all these people working for you, because when everything goes right, I get all the accolades. But when something goes wrong, well, you can blame the committee!
Screech at you next week!
Carmine Santa Maria selects his awardees on his own, without help from anyone. He can be reached at DiegoVega@aol.com.