Montauk community notes


This is what we like to call “feast or famine” time for news writing. Parties and visitors have become almost non-existent, though we believe there will be some festivities around and about here for the forthcoming inauguration. Some Montaukers have begun their emigration to warmer climes and, except for the intense winter winds blowing, a quiet has descended on our hamlet. Though difficult for small business owners, many people like this time, with an occasional event to offset the gray days spent being cozy indoors.

One of those bright events is the renewal of the Thursday winter movie series offered by the Friends of the Montauk Library. Tomorrow night, January 15, at 7 p.m., we’ll be able to see “Iron Man” directed by Jon Favreau and characterized as a superhero movie.

We have learned that Robert Downey Jr. won praise for his “fierce and funny performance in the film, which has Gwyneth Paltrow as the female lead and also stars Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard. Last week’s show of “Mama Mia” had a large audience and people were almost dancing in the aisles. I took an afternoon off to see the “Frost/Nixon” film in East Hampton, and endured endless advertisements and other loud assaults to the ear prior to the movie, which has underscored for me what a gift to the community these winter movie programs are.

For those who are interested, a training program for people who want to work for the 2010 U.S. census will be held at the library today, Wednesday, January 14, at 5 p.m. Call the library for more information at 668-3377.

The library has just issued an alert that the digital photography class scheduled for January 17 and 24 is to be postponed, due to personal considerations of the teacher, Bill Ruddock. We truly hope he will be able to offer the course in the spring, as many of us are interested in improving our skills.

The library also offers on a year-round basis a reading group open to all. Held one Sunday of the month, it’s an opportunity to exchange viewpoints and also keep all those little brain neurons firing. The next meeting will be on Sunday, January 25, at 12:30. The January book, which is available at the library, is “The Echo Maker” by Richard Powers.

While we’re at it, you may want to include on your calendar another mind-expanding opportunity. On Friday, January 30 at the library, Professor Sean Tvelia will give a lecture called, “In Spite of Earth.” It is a geologic history of life on earth. The 6 p.m. lecture will be followed by a “Star Party” at the Theodore Roosevelt County Park, if the weather cooperates. If you and your children haven’t seen or used this magnificent telescope in our “dark sky” area, now is the time to avail yourselves of the experience. Just think. You don’t have to travel to the city to explore the wonder of our skies!

A hearty welcome back to Rachel Lys, the lead physical therapist at Manual and Sports Physical Therapy in the Community Playhouse. Rachel has been on maternity leave, and returned on January 5. Brighton Jean, now 2 and a half, is the big sister of 3-and-a-half-month-old Brynley Katherine. They both attend day care at the center. Says a glowing Rachel, “Two are really a very different experience.”

We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Hilary Ostelere-Molnar, a longtime active member of the board of directors of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) who was also a dance critic for a British paper.

Geraldine Pluenneke will host an inauguration party this memorable Tuesday. Friends will not only celebrate that unique event, but also Jerry’s birthday, another unique event.

We bumped into Gert Murphy at the post office with her newly adopted dog Emily, named “for Emily Dickinson,” Gert explained. She is a replacement for Gert’s beloved dog Patches, who “went to heaven on someone’s bumper,” said Gert.

Though not everyone will agree with Bill and Ellen Crain’s views against hunting, many people are impressed by their dramatic three-day fast in front of Town Hall last week to call attention to their cause. We saw them with friends at the library movie show Thursday night after ending their fast. They are part-time residents of the hamlet.

Starting tomorrow, January 15, from 7 to 9 p.m., a women’s volleyball group is being formed that will meet at the Montauk Playhouse. It is sponsored by the town recreation department. The fee is $40 per person.

Early this month, Henrik Ibsen’s play, “Hedda Gabler” opened in Manhattan, and we’ve learned that Lois Markle, an actor and part-time Hither Hills resident, is a member of the cast. The last time we saw Lois was with a group of Montauk acquaintances who came by library-charted bus to see her in two of Edward Albee’s seminal plays. We understand library programming director Carolyn Balducci is working on a similar theater outing for “Hedda Gabler,” though nothing has been confirmed as yet. “Break a leg,” Lois.

Another Montauk part-time resident and actor, Gary Swanson, dropped us a note about having coached and shot the auditions for Michaela Mihut and Greg O’Connor, who are in a film called “Perkins 14,” which was screened in Manhattan last Sunday.

The photo provided by his father Alan, of Private Ryan Alan Burke offering candy to Iraqi kids on Christmas Day, was mistakenly omitted in last week’s column. We add it to today’s Montauk page. It has to run small because it was shot with a cellphone and has very low resolution, the editor tells me.

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