Notes from Montauk


Our English son-in-law would call it “gobsmacked,” translated into Americanese as totally shocked. This writer is speaking of our reaction to being given the 2008 President’s Award at the East Hampton Trails Preservation spring brunch on Sunday, May 27.

Montauk’s own Eva Moore, our organization’s president, wrote a touching paragraph for the plaque full of some kind words. We liked best being labeled “an instigator of good times.” Good times are the primary benefits of the trails group. Thanks to Eva and to all the 102 close friends from Montauk and points west who shared the joy of that very special moment.

Not long ago, The East Hampton Press threw a lovely party honoring its first birthday. Held at Cittanuova on a benign spring afternoon, the place was hopping. It was replete with VIP’s including publisher Joe Louchheim, editors, staff reporters, columnists, politicians, advertisers, and just plain people with connections to the paper. It was a great mix. We were also happy to meet another Montauker. Patricia Gilchrest, president of East Hampton Rotary, is a lively, interesting woman who moved to Montauk fairly recently and is drawn to civic activities. She certainly is in the right community for that. We hope to see more of her.

Earth Day at Montauk School was celebrated by the first grades. They created sidewalk art to make a statement seen by those who entered the building. They also presented a play to other classes and visiting parents concerning the rain forests.

On Saturday, April 26, the Concerned Citizens of Montauk celebrated with their annual Earth Day cleanup. Members’ children, after filling up many orange bags from a wide area of the hamlet, were offered hot dogs, drinks and a raptor show. It’s great that the kids are learning environmental awareness. And on that subject, have you noticed how many people are switching from plastic and using the green and blue thermal bags at the IGA? It’s becoming a veritable trend.

A few papers ago, we had a feature article on Joseph and Adrienne Bresnan, career architectural preservationists, who helped to obtain an Excellence in Historic Preservation award for the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation. The story had an impact on Nick D’Agostino, the manager of The Tower, another historic building of the Carl Fisher era. Now a condo in need of further renovation, Nick called us to get in contact with the couple for some guidance. Last we heard, he had reached them. We’ll follow up soon to see how things are evolving. We also know the Bresnans are working on a project related to the Montauk Manor.

Before we abandon sketches of things past, a word or two will hardly suffice regarding the superior theatrical evening provided by The Naked Stage’s dramatic reading of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” at the library on April 26. The play was painfully contemporary in the theme of ethics, or lack thereof, in wartime. Under the excellent direction of Hilary Adams, a daughter of our Amagansett friend Barbara Adams, who was in attendance, the acting was just shone. A full audience stood to applaud the group and program director Carolyn Balducci for this gem. Arthur Miller’s sister Joan Copeland of Amagansett, herself an actor, was present with her son.

Now for things present, we note that Harry McNally has just celebrated his 80th birthday. His wife, a smiling Barbara, was pleased to share that after four months of hospitalization and rehabilitation, Harry is at home and doing really well. Congratulations to both for coming through a hard time and getting to the other side of it.

We learned that Dan Lindley was here from Florida with his family for a visit to the home in the woods of Theodore Roosevelt County Park that has much meaning for him. It was the childhood summer of Dan and his brother John and sister Diana. It was here that their mother Hilda, with the help of a few neighbors, started the movement to take a stand for Montauk’s precious open space and save it from ruthless overdevelopment. It was Hilda and that small, dedicated group, who started the Concerned Citizens of Montauk. That story is recorded in the book this author wrote at the request of CCOM, “Holding Back the Tide.”

Frank and Carol Gannon have alighted for a little while, after a wintertime schedule of travel. They spent a long spell in Puerto Rico and then returned only to get ready for a trip to the Amalfi coast. Carol has recently retired as a school administrator in Westchester, and she’s making up for lost time, according to Frank. Their next big scheduled trip is New Zealand and Australia next winter.

Our library will offer a free one-hour lecture this Friday at 6 p.m. by Joe Malave entitled “Mars Geology and Mineralogy: Following the Water.” It will focus on how geologists and planetary scientists are using infrared spectroscopy to look on the surface of Mars for secondary minerals formed only in water, and how that could lead to the discovery of life there.

An observing session will follow the lecture at Third House using the new Montauk Observatory telescope weather permitting. Seems like it’s about time the weather did permit this wonderful opportunity to occur. The writer attended the unveiling of that spectacular telescope and would welcome the opportunity to search the heavens with it.

Mary-Anne Szabaga tells us that Senator Kenneth LaValle will be at the Montauk Library on May 15 at 11 a.m. to speak about the cancellation of home insurance and the inordinately high price we pay for gasoline out here. The event will be sponsored by the Montauk Chapter of the AARP.

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