Montauk Community Notes, October 31


Like the red and yellow bittersweet berries littering my garden path, I’m bittersweet after bidding farewell to our son, Dan. He doesn’t plan another trip from New York City to Montauk till Thanksgiving. Seasonal work in Montauk has cooled while grad school assignments heat up. “Mom, it’s easier to focus on school work if I don’t make this drive out to Montauk, which is disruptive to say the least.”Dan’s birthday was Saturday. I baked a chocolate cake. Since age 10 I’ve baked cakes so I know what I’m doing. Half a century later I’m not quite as energetic at the end of the day and must carefully read the recipe twice before pouring batter into two layer cake pans. Have I left out an essential ingredient?

At 5 a.m. on Sunday Dan topped the weekend by heading to Napeague for surfcasting. Dad couldn’t go due to other commitments but awoke early just the same. Dan said at first there were only about 10 others on the beach. By 7 a.m. “at least 100 people were there and it was a hassle just to pull in my line and not get it crossed,” according to Dan. He walked up the beach about a quarter mile where no one else was fishing.

By 8 a.m. my husband Don and I were at choir practice at Montauk Community Church. Dan’s uncle, Paul Melnyk, and Don both must have been staring at their cell phones during church because they instantly knew Dan caught a striped bass, 21.5 pounds and 39 inches long. “It must have been meant to be,” Dan later told me. “Mine was the only decent-sized fish.”

I was present when Dawn Rennar dropped off a gift basket at Atlantic Beach Realty and I chatted with Ms. Rennar about her business, Dawn’s Delicious Delights. Ms. Rennar is a longtime Montauk resident and raised her family here. You may have noticed her selling cookies at the Montauk and other local farmers markets this season. She also supplies local restaurants and businesses. I was impressed by the professional look of the gift basket. Each cookie or scone is individually wrapped in crisp cellophane. Holidays are approaching and orders can be shipped. To place an order, contact Ms. Rennar by visiting The website shows different sugar cookie shapes and decoration styles as well as other kinds of baked treats available Ms. Rennar will bake exactly to fit your order.

At Atlantic Beach Realty Group we look forward to the annual Montauk Halloween Parade, which takes place this week on Halloween, tomorrow, October 31, from 4 to 5 p.m. The parade starts right in front of our neighbor, the Corner Store. We have the ideal vantage point from which to see adorable costumed kids and we at ABRG often dress up too. The parade proceeds east up Main Street and ends at the edge of downtown at Martell’s. Trick or treat in downtown Montauk following the parade.

Montauk Library is having its own Mini Trick or Treat Night this afternoon, Wednesday, October 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. for children of all ages. Stop by for treats, trivia, and a scavenger hunt. Kids receive an extra treat for checking out a book with library card. Costumes are optional. Try out your outfit ahead of time to see if it needs some tweaking before Thursday’s big parade!

Storytime is Monday at 11:45 a.m. All ages welcome to listen but the crafts are most appropriate for preschool-age children. Visitors and walk-ins welcome. Children’s events at the library are free of charge.

New for adults, a computer class will be held at Montauk Library on Wednesday, November 6, from 6 to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, November 12, from 2 to 3 p.m. Learn about transferring and managing photos from your digital camera. Bring your laptop computer, camera and wires.

On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending “The Life & Work of Domenico Scarlatti,” a lecture and concert, also free to the public, given by Katherine Addleman. What a interesting and informative way to spend Sunday afternoon.

I came away having learned many interesting facts about Domenico Scarlatti. He was born into a musical family in 1685, the same year as both Bach and Handel. Bach he never met. He did meet Handel. At their first meeting Handel guessed Scarlatti’s masked identity when Scarlatti was harpsichordist at a masked ball when they were both 19. Handel recognized him by his virtuosity. His father, Alessandro Scarlatti, wrote operas and was internationally famous but Domenico was almost forgotten for nearly 100 years.

Domenico Scarlatti spent much of his life in the service of Portuguese and Spanish royal families and today is most known for his 555 short keyboard sonatas, the longest of which is only about seven minutes. He was described as a pleasant, unassuming man who rarely performed in public. He wrote the sonatas as teaching compositions. Happenstance rescued the sonatas from obscurity. His royal students’ classroom texts were preserved, most notably those of talented Portuguese princess Maria Barbara, his lifelong pupil. None of his handwritten scores survive.

On the subject of preservation, while at the concert I had time to scrutinize archival photos from what looked to be the 1950s through the ’70s currently on display in the Suzanne Koch Gosman Room. I recognized a few people, notably young Skip Duryea with parents. Others look familiar. Bonnie Archer is in one photo, I believe.

This Saturday, November 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. you are invited to join Montauk Library archivist Robin Strong for an Archival Open House at the library to see this photo display of people and events from the archival collection. Ms. Strong needs help to caption the photos. Identify your friends, family and perhaps, yourself. View photos and documents contained in some of the collections given by families and organizations with Montauk connections.

Coming up next week, Sunday, November 10, at 3:30 p.m., the library presents “Paris! A Moveable Musical Feast,” a concert and discussion lead by the piano duo, “Masterworks Conversations.” Matthew Harrison and Vlada Yaneva describe Paris in words and music, explaining why artists, poets and intellectuals flocked to Paris in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Their program invites you to stroll in the steps of Renoir, Monet, Picasso, Hemingway, Cocteau, Stravinsky and others. In addition to leading a lively discussion of the City of Light, Matthew and Vlada perform romantic works for piano composed by Debussy, Rameau, Mozart, Chopin and Liszt.

The Hamptons Dancers AARP Community Group invites you to join them for the next benefit dance at Riverhead Polish Hall this Sunday, November 3, from 3 to 7 p.m. for general dancing, ballroom showcases and fun. Tickets are $20. Visit for more information or call the Southampton studio at 283-1488. Posted on the website you will also find the November schedule of dance and exercise classes here in Montauk.

Friday, November 1, is Movie Night at the Montauk Movie Theater for students at Montauk School. The program is presented by the fifth and sixth grades and proceeds benefit their upcoming trip to see a Mets game next spring.

“Monsters University,” is showing from 4 to 5:45 p.m., followed by a screening of “Iron Man 3,” from 6 to 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $5. The refreshment counter will be open for your purchases. Children in grade three and under must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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