Montauk Moorings

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Today is our anniversary. Exactly 53 weeks ago, The East Hampton Press began its publishing journey and, somewhat before that, this writer was contacted and invited to become a part of the new enterprise by the paper’s editor, Peter Boody.

He needed a “social” columnist for Montauk and was looking for someone willing to offer her two hands and some writing experience to this new venture. Never one to turn down a new challenge, our response was a resounding “yes.” Begging a week’s reprieve, the first Montauk Moorings was published 52 weeks ago, one week after the paper’s initial publication.

What a trip it’s been! So many Montauk people have been willing to talk about their experiences and share their relationship with the community. Some are movers and shakers, and many are just plain folk who live their lives quietly, newly drawn to this community, or descendants of prior generations with stories to tell. On a personal level, this columnist has achieved an ever-deepening respect for this sacred land, the people who love and share it, and for those who care for one another.

If this writer had an unfulfilled wish, it would be to hear more from readers about the engagements, weddings, graduations and the garden variety news that friends and neighbors want to know about. Though we acknowledge that we’re “the new kid on the block,” we hope readers will accept the invitation—we are a mere phone call or e-mail away. Meanwhile, we are grateful to Peter Boody for the opportunity to do and learn from the experience. Most of all, thanks to all of you who are kind enough to share your enjoyment of Montauk Moorings as we encounter each other at the IGA, the library, or at other events.

Besides making the trip into Manhattan relaxing, sometimes the Jitney provides a chance to meet Montaukers whom we rarely see. This was the case two weeks ago, when we had a lovely chat with Betty Pyne and Tom and Marilyn Bogdan.

Betty, who had arrived from a week’s trip to London and Paris the day before, was heading to a Lincoln Center concert, a fact of stamina that amazed us. Both Tom and Marilyn were heading toward a museum afternoon. Marilyn noted that she was an art history major in college, and that they frequently make these trips.

Both were relating their pleasure in seeing the outstanding program of professional Irish musicians the night before. Called “From Galway to Broadway,” it was a fund-raiser for both the Montauk Playhouse Community Center and St. Therese of Lisieux Church, where it was performed. Tom estimated that there were at least 200 attendees. We regretted our inability to attend the event.

We also spoke of the recent loss of Suzanne Koch Gosman, and that she had been such a potent force for building our marvelous library. Marilyn mentioned that there were a number of people who are discussing the possibility of naming the library for her. We wonder whether it will be actively pursued.

And speaking of trips, what an unusual excursion a large group of mostly Montaukers took to Manhattan’s Cherry Lane Theater last Wednesday to see two Albee plays directed by the playwright himself and starring Lois Markle. The idea that the two artists are Montaukers was the big draw.

People were so eager to go that we learned of one who postponed eye surgery scheduled for that day in order to see the show. After the performance, Lois came out of the stage door entrance to greet the receptive group, thanking us for our support. The pleasant hum of animated voices chatting on the way back was testimony to the satisfying experience everyone seemed to have had. We again thank Gerry Pluenneke and Carolyn Balducci for making the whole delightful day happen.

As a postscript, we add the coincidence of our Jitney driver’s discovery. She had parked to wait for us in front of a locksmith shop on Seventh Avenue, and found that the locksmith had a shop on Industrial Road in Montauk for five years, that his wife Sandy drove a school bus, and son Phillip, now age 21, had gone to school here. Several of us went to chat, including Pat Smyth. Phillip reeled off with great fondness all his teacher’s names. They were: Alice Houseknecht, Marliss Walsh, Cindy Stinson, Gary D’Amario, and Pat’s niece, Regan Maloney. It was an amazing cap to the whole splendid day.

Is there ever an end to the amazing cultural events sprouting like dandelions this spring? We were fortunate enough to get the last few tickets for the “April Love” dinner theater at the Community Church last Saturday. The food was delicious and the program a delight, showing off the varied talents of the East End community. We congratulate Debbie Coen, Chris Pfund and Don Mendelson for their efforts.

We’re hoping that at least some of the Montauk School faculty will be at the Longhouse Reserve’s Educator’s Open House from 4 to 6 p.m. today, Wednesday, April 16. It’s a great opportunity for our children to expand their artistic horizons, and this year the institution will launch a publication of student work in their summer newsletter.

If you can’t make it or have questions, consider contacting education committee chair Selena Rothwell at 329-3568, who is eager to work with teachers in incorporating a visit into their teaching. We’ve been a docent with school children from all of the East End, and they are excited and creatively stimulated by the experience in this nearby setting.

Ingrid Lemme has sent us a schedule of some interesting interviews she has lined up for her American Dream Show broadcasts from Gurney’s Inn. Some guests include Bay Street founder and actress Emma Walton as well as reporter Debbie Tuma, who once interviewed Richard Nixon. For information on program schedules and available channels, contact www. HamptonsTV.com.

We want to wish all our friends who celebrate the occasion a Happy Passover. It begins this Saturday at sundown.

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