Notes from Montauk


As some readers may remember, we wrote some time ago about a conversation with our well-known local realtor, John Keeshan, who was considering the possibilities the new year might hold for him in terms of developing new community projects, as he has in the past. He hinted that there was something still in the formulation stage and not ready to be publicized. Well, if readers saw the ad in the other paper announcing a public meeting with the bold statement “Bury the wires,” called for tomorrow, May 15 at 7 p.m. at the Montauk Firehouse, they now know what John has been up to.

John is not alone in working this concept of improving the scenic and historic entrance to Montauk by burying the LIPA wires and eliminating the poles on Old Montauk Highway. Though he calls it a “group effort,” and just about every civic organization here supports the concept, Concerned Citizens of Montauk President Bill Akin has called John “the point man” in this effort. According to John, this idea was first discussed with Bob Lamparter, president of the Montauk Beach Property Owners Association, some 20 years ago and resurrected at a town meeting last fall. “All of the legislators support this and eagerly expressed their hope for a workable plan that will make this long-standing idea a reality,” John tells us.

We spoke to two representatives of the organizations enlisted to take part in this discussion. Mary Miller, president of the Montauk Village Association (MVA), regretted that the work to bury the lines was not done at the same time that the water authority was working along Old Montauk Highway. However, she noted that burying the lines would improve the whole aesthetic atmosphere on a scenic route into the village that has existed since the 1600s.

Bill Akin was pleased that CCOM has made a contribution toward the before and after photos John took and will show at the meeting. Said Bill, “It’s important for everyone to get on board in this public effort. Together we can make a difference. It will also be helpful to hear what the utilities—representatives of LIPA, Verizon, Cablevision—and state, county and town officials who will be there, have to say.”

We hope that Montauk’s citizenry will follow the lead of the MVA, CCOM, Chamber of Commerce and the Montauk Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and attend tomorrow’s meeting to learn about a plan that will impact on us all.

MVA president Mary Miller will be unable to attend the meeting as she will be in Connecticut visiting her daughter Diane and attending the graduation of her granddaughter Kristen from Fairfield High School. She informed us that Kristen is an outstanding pianist. “I didn’t mean to brag,” said Mary. We assured her that us grandparents are entitled to bragging rights.

We also note another pleasant event. Marti and Harvey Marks of Hither Hills, were given a trip to Amsterdam by his daughter, to mark Harvey’s 75th birthday.

Montauk is now in deep, splendiferous spring. Just for a few luxurious moments taken from a busy schedule, we have been sitting on the deck watching the delicate snow of the white shad blossoms gently waft to the warming earth. We always eagerly await the opening of the shad blossoms, which stay so briefly, as they announce the new season for us. And, as that gift recedes, nature offers us the deep purple of the lilacs as solace.

The other prominent sign of spring is an activity that has made its significant mark on this writer. It seems this year, as last, we’ve had a great deal of bird activity directed at nest building on top of our bedroom air conditioner, which sits high up under an eave. That translates into 5 a.m. scratching-on-metal followed by scheduled chirruping at 5:30 a.m.

There is no acceptable way to fight nature, especially a couple of determined robins, and so the only recourse has been to adjust our daily schedule. This includes watching the sun come up seven days a week and retiring earlier. Hopefully this will be the last word on bird life, which we wrote about extensively in last week’s column, unless any creative readers can come up with a helpful suggestion. (Truth is … we find it charming after a cup or two of coffee.)

Did you know that the Montauk Playhouse Community Center is offering free exercise classes for those of us of “a certain age?” They will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. It may not be a trip to Amsterdam, but it’s surely a lovely gift for the 60-and-over set.

Sorry we didn’t receive word of the Mother’s Day 5K annual race in time for last week’s edition, as our deadline is on Sunday. We do hope that the weather made it possible, particularly as besides the fun, the funds collected go to benefit a local family.

Two library notes: The reading group will meet there this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss “The Transit of Venus” by Shirley Hazzard. All are welcome, as usual. Also, don’t overlook the opportunity to register at the library for an “Insider Tour” of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn with its president Richard J. Moylan and architect/preservationist Joseph Bresnan, a part-time Montauk resident. It’s on Saturday, June 7, will cost $35, with a bag lunch suggested. Several of us who went last year through the Trails Society are returning again, as it is a most fascinating experience, chock full of history, architecture, art and 478 acres of beauty.

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