A Spectacular Sunday

| vschneps@queenscourier.com |


My friend John Buran, CEO of Flushing Bank (surrounded by his family) was the honoree of this year’s American Heart Association walkathon

The baby blue, cloudless sky and the brilliant sun greeted me when I got up at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning to go to Jones Beach for an American Heart Association walkathon honoring my friend John Buran, CEO of Flushing Bank. After Jones Beach, I got to play golf and then have lunch with my six-year-old grandson Blake, and then my husband Stu and I saw the spectacular and innovative “War Horse” at Lincoln Center. It was to be a joyous, jam packed day.

This is the season of walkathons, a perfect time to help others while helping yourself. With just a nip in the air and an abundance of sun, what better than to be outdoors for a few hours. My organization, Life’s WORC, held its walk this week, as did the Alzheimer’s Association. Hopefully they had as large a crowd as the Heart Association did.

I hadn’t been to Jones Beach in years and was a little anxious I would get lost, but finding field five turned out to be easy and fast because at 8 a.m. there were few cars on the road. Since the beach was deserted I was able to see the empty but enormous parking lots as I passed one field after another. I imagined them full of cars for many people to enjoy what is considered one of the best beaches in the country.

It was good to see many friends from Flushing Bank, who were joined by sponsors Astoria Federal, Winthrop University Hospital, North Shore-LIJ Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital, J.H. Cohn accounting firm, Jenny Craig and Allstate Insurance.

It was remarkable to see so many people willing to share their Sunday.

Then off to keep my date with blessed Blake. We have made it a ritual between his baseball and soccer games and birthday parties to share a few hours together, first taking a golf lesson and then having lunch. We talked about seeing the show “Annie” when it opens on Broadway, featuring my favorite song “The sun will come out tomorrow.” We talked about what it means and how it makes Annie believe things will be better. I asked him if he felt sad about anything and like a real athlete he said, “I feel sad when I lose my game.” May his life always be so simple!

Then he was off to his soccer game and Stu and I to Manhattan to see “War Horse.” The traffic was torturous going in and then crosstown. We were late and had to wait outside and see the show on a monitor for the first seven minutes. I told the usher how stressed I was “getting through the traffic,” and he shared his wisdom: “When you sit in your seat, within minutes you will have forgotten it all and be captured by the show.” He was right.

“War Horse,” the Tony Award winning play, was originally written as a children’s book and I had seen and enjoyed the movie adaptation. The show’s magic is both the strong cast and the remarkable choreography that has fashioned puppets as horses and made me almost believe they were alive!

The theme is about a young boy who raises a horse he named Joey. You see the transformation on stage from foal to adulthood before your eyes. War comes to England in 1914 and the horse must go off to battle, but the boy, only 16, is left behind. The story is dramatically told with great theatrics and direction of the journey of the boy and the horse during World War I. The ending brought me to tears as the emotions the cast were able to create is what great theater is all about. Hurry and see the unique production before it closes.

What a day …