Montauk Community Notes, October 2


Sunday afternoon I flipped up the hem of my old sweatshirt and filled my makeshift pocket with tomatoes, peppers and arugula from my garden. At the edge of the yard there’s ragweed and goldenrod abuzz with both bumble and honeybees. In recent years I hadn’t seen this many honeybees. In a few short weeks it will be colder, flowers will disappear as will the bees until late March or so.

Another joy on Sunday, at Montauk Community Church, Pastor Bill Hoffmann baptized his first grandchild, nearly five-month-old Nora Ellen Dunnett, the daughter of John Dunnett and Jordan Hoffmann who traveled to Montauk from Chicago. Nora fell asleep in her mother’s arms just before her baptism. She stirred and opened her eyes as her grandfather three times placed water on her forehead. She looked around and then went contentedly back to sleep.

Sunday school children gathered round to watch the baptism in a full church. Nora’s great-uncle Jack Hoffmann, from up-Island, sang and played guitar to a song he wrote some years back about the wonder and beauty of family. Sunshine and gentle temperatures outside blessed everyone for this special occasion.

Services are 10 a.m. each Sunday at Montauk Community Church. This Sunday, October 6, is World Communion Sunday.

Jane Hastay, music director at neighboring St. Therese of Lisieux Church, kindly replied to my inquiry about the recorder groups she teaches at St. Therese Church designed for those wishing to increase their musical proficiency.

“We still meet on Wednesdays in the parish hall; 3 p.m. for beginners and 4 p.m. for intermediates,” Ms. Hastay said. “Most could probably jump right in with the intermediates, if a person is willing to do some catching up for a few weeks. It wouldn’t take too long for a determined player to get up to speed.

“We started about a year ago on soprano recorders. We’ve since added alto and tenor. We’re becoming a real recorder consort! We have seven regular members in the intermediate group, one or two in the beginner group. Right now all of the players are adults, but young people are welcome. In fact, last year, our intermediate group rehearsed and performed with students at Montauk School. The group consists of eager learners who do their homework. They ask lots of questions, we laugh a lot and they are super nice people.

“We took the summer off, so right now we’re reviewing, but soon we’ll start working on Christmas repertoire. Perhaps this year we can do a collaborative Christmas concert with the Community Church.”

For more information on how you can join the recorder group at St. Therese Church, Ms. Hastay can be reached via email at

In more Montauk musical news, Carolyn Balducci, program director at Montauk Library, said this Saturday, October 5, “Arias from Verdi’s Early Operas” will be performed by coloratura soprano Jamie Ku. The concert is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the lower level Suzanne Koch Gosman Room.

Dr. Ku will perform several exquisite arias from Verdi’s early operas including “Oberto,” “I Lombardi,” “Nabucco,” Ernani, “Rigoletto” and “Un Ballo in Maschera,” written between 1839 and 1859. A versatile performer, in addition to operatic roles, solo recitals and performing with orchestras and small ensembles, Ms. Ku is the founding director of the Agape Trio, specializing in baroque and church music. She produced a gospel album with jazz saxophonist Richy Petrello.

The event is part of the Montauk Library’s year-long tribute to the bicentennials of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Verdi was born on October 9, 1813. October is also Italian Heritage Month.

The concert is free and open to the public. Montauk Library is located at 871 Montauk Highway.

For children, their families and caregivers, a Silly Scarecrow crafts event at the library is this Friday, October 4, from 5 to 5:45 p.m. Children’s librarian Miss Korpi invites you to help create a scarecrow for Montauk Scarecrow Days. The event is free, for all ages, and visitors and walk-ins are welcome.

More information on these and other upcoming programs at Montauk Library can be found at or call 668 3377.

This Saturday, October 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Montauk Historical Society sponsors its second annual Archaeology Fest, on the grounds of Montauk’s Second House Museum, on Montauk Highway at Second House Road. Funding is provided by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities. The event is suitable for people of all ages and everyone is invited. Last year’s Archaeology Fest drew a crowd of close to 700.

Archaeology Fest hopes to raise awareness and support for a second museum on the site, still in the planning stages, to celebrate and explore Montauk’s rich archeological and natural history. The Fest will provide the kind of hands-on demonstrations and displays that will be the core of the proposed museum’s educational programs. It promises to entertain, inform and delight visitors with topics like “friction fire,” “flintknapping,” “bow and arrow making,” and more. Early cooking techniques will be demonstrated using local produce and shellfish.

“Every schoolchild knows native peoples were expert hunter gatherers,” says Dr. Maria-Louise Sidoroff, archeological consultant to the museum committee. “As our technological world advances, it becomes more and more difficult for people to imagine what life was like in a pre-high-tech age. The Archaeology Fest will allow experts to demonstrate skills of prehistoric life that enabled early cultures to survive.”

There will be brief talks by world-known archeologists and historians. Family-friendly food and beverages will be available from Auntie Dorine’s Clam Bar. An exciting raffle will offer unique items from participating archeologists’ personal collections.

On Saturday, October 5, at 3 p.m. at the Montauk Firehouse, Concerned Citizens of Montauk’s 43rd Annual Meeting will present two world-renowned coastal experts addressing “Beaches or Boulders: Montauk’s Future Shoreline.”

Ensuring Montauk does not become a beach town with no beach requires planning. According to CCOM, a year after Hurricane Sandy, East Hampton Town officials have yet to develop a plan for managing erosion on Montauk’s beaches and prepare for rising sea levels and more frequent and stronger storms.

The first presentation will be by Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey, a James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University, a preeminent marine and coastal geologist specializing in the study of ocean beaches and coastal policy, particularly in resort communities. Dr. Pilkey is the author or co-editor of 40 books, including “The Corps and the Shore.”

Also speaking will be Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, professor and director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. Dr. Leatherman has authored, co-authored or edited 16 books including “Sea Level Rise: Causes and Consequences and Cape Cod: From Glaciers to Beaches” and is well known for his annual report, “America’s Best Beaches” under the title “Dr. Beach.”

Prior to the coastal presentation, there will be the election of the board of directors of CCOM for the next 12 months.

Montauk Youth and CCOM’s annual Field Day, a day filled with fun for all ages, is Sunday, October 6, starting at 10 a.m. at Third House in Theodore Roosevelt State Park.

Body Tech Health and Fitness is happy to announce the 10th annual Serpents Back Dualthlon on Sunday, October 6, at the Eddie Ecker Park in Montauk. The race is a 2.4-mile run, a 12-mile mountain bike and then another 2.4 mile run. Preregistration is available at Body Tech, Main Street, Amagansett and Body Tech in the Montauk Playhouse. Proceeds from the race will benefit the construction of an indoor pool at the Montauk Playhouse. For more information, call 267-8222.

The next Talkhouse show for Sarah Conway and the Playful Souls is Monday, October 7, at 8 p.m. Why Monday at this time of year? Because, Ms. Conway says, “a very cool group coming in from out of town asked us to do a show for them that night, and we said, ‘oh yeah baby, we’re in!’”

Expect an eclectic mix of tunes from country rock to blues, jazz swing, and gospel. Randolph Hudson is on guitar, Klyph Black on bass, Dan Koontz on keys, James Benard, drums, plus special guests. Arrive around 8 p.m. to settle in. The show starts about 8:15 and runs til roughly 9:45 p.m. $10 cover. The Stephen Talkhouse is at 161 Montauk Highway in Amagansett and you can call 267-3117 for more information.

The Montauk Chamber of Commerce’s 32nd annual Fall Festival is Columbus Day Weekend, October 12 and 13, on the green in the center of downtown Montauk. On Saturday the family-friendly festival kicks off at 11 a.m. with its famous clam chowder contest.

Laraine Creegan, executive director of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce, is currently seeking donations from the Montauk business community to bring back the free 30-horse carousel. Although the carousel is free for the children to ride, it’s not free for the Chamber to bring the carousel to the festival.

The Montauk Playhouse Committee is seeking donated items, services, or gift certificates for its Chinese Auction Under the Big Tent on the Village Green at the festival on Sunday, October 13.

Auction prizes typically include electronics, sporting equipment, artwork, jewelry, gift baskets, and gift certificates for local services, restaurants, hotels, and spas. Raffle tickets are just $1 per chance and are available for advance purchase on the green on Saturday, October 12. All auction proceeds benefit the MPCCF’s fundraising campaign to construct an aquatic center and community spaces at the historic Montauk Playhouse Community Center. Please call event chair Jennie Balcuns at 668-3381 or email for more information on the auction and visit the Montauk Chamber of Commerce Facebook page for the latest updates on the Fall Festival.

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