Rocka-Pulco members eschew vacations except in the winter, since good attendance is crucial to one’s standing in the group. Consider Bobby Stack, 55, of Middle Village, who earned his nickname, “Bobby Beach,” by showing up most days for 25 years. Then a string of absences led to a stripping of his nickname “until he earned it back” by returning faithfully, Mr. Sendek said.And just showing up isn’t enough. “You have to go in the water or it doesn’t count,” said Mr. Sendek.
Many members come without their spouses, who lack the same enthusiasm for the beach.
Mr. Sendek, a retired National Grid worker, said he showed up six days a week, much to the consternation of his wife, Susan. He called her on his cellphone and then handed the phone over.
“These guys are crazy,” Ms. Sendek said. “They go to the beach obsessively. They don’t take a day off. I live with sand in the bed every night.”
Mr. Sendek laughed and pulled out his pool thermometer. The water was 76 degrees.
“About time for another dip,” he said, and headed down to the still-summery sea.
“Classical music, trying to seem cool and less stuffy, reeks of some sort of fossilised art form undergoing a midlife crisis,” the expert in non-equilibrium molecular reaction dynamics, who is a visiting scientist at Stanford University, said.
“Witness what happened to me when I started cheering with a 30-strong chorus shouting ‘praise God’ two metres from my face: I get physically assaulted, knocked down to the floor and forcibly dragged out by two classical vigilantes.
He denied being drunk, adding: “This may be a consequence of me being American, but I can quite easily be provocative without the need to be inebriated.”