Montauk Community Notes, November 14

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A deer family has adopted our yard. The first one to wake up mornings, is Chance, who alerts us as to the presence of deer by barking and bouncing off the sliding glass door.While puttering inside on Sunday, after lunch, I notice the deer family grazing in broad daylight. At this time of year I don’t care if they eat stubble, all that’s left of my few remaining perennials. I glance out a bit later and see just one little guy, not much bigger than a large dog, with bony buds on his forehead. He’s right up on the patio eating wind-blown leaves one by one. He notices me on the other side of the window not four feet away. I’m wearing a brown sweater. He bleats repeatedly, like a little kid goat, all the while staring at me with big soft eyes. Little hooves clattering, he finally wanders off. In the meantime Chance slumbers on, enjoying a leisurely nap.

The Montauk Chamber of Commerce End of Season Gala is at Gurney’s Inn this Friday, November 15, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and will honor Perry “Skip” Duryea III.

According to Montauk Chamber Executive Director, Laraine Creegan, a vote took place among chamber members sometime this past August, when Mr. Duryea was unanimously chosen as this year’s honoree.

“Chip is a very unassuming man,” Ms. Creegan said. “He always works behind the scenes, especially here in Montauk. Nor does he toot his own horn. Did you know it was Chip behind the cleanup at the Montauk train station? He got after those guys at Long Island Rail Road. It was a mess down there. That’s the first thing people see when they arrive. Chip’s been here forever, his whole life, helping others.

“And he’s done much with Fighting Chance too, helping cancer patients on the East End,” Ms. Creegan went on to say.

The gala opens at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour-and open bar, followed at 7:30 p.m. with dinner, music and presentations. Tickets, $80 each, are available at the Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Montauk. Please call the chamber at 668-2428 for more information.

Montauk Community Church will hold its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday, November 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gail Webb would like to ask the congregation and community at large to donate new and nearly new items for the church’s traditional silent auction, to take place at the fair. Items can be left in a box designated for this purpose in the church narthex, or please call Gail Webb at 668-9342 for more information. The Ladies Guild of MCC also seeks donations of handmade or holiday items and baked goods for the fair.

Happy birthday this week to Montauk Community Church member Jean Ruggles. When you see her out and about Montauk this week, especially if you’re lucky enough to have been one of Ms. Ruggle’s former pupils at Montauk School, be sure to give her your best wishes.

So you think there’s no good place in Montauk to “meet someone new”? Try Co-Ed Adult Volleyball, brought to you by the Town of East Hampton Department of Parks and Recreation at the Montauk Playhouse on Thursdays, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Volleyball continues through December 19, excepting Thanksgiving.

Also at Montauk Playhouse, teens, grades 9 through 12 can get together for basketball on Fridays in November, from 7 to 9 p.m., hosted by the Town of East Hampton. Let off some steam and learn some basketball or other sports skills. Visit the www.montaukplayhouse.org or call 668-1612 for more information on sports and other fitness activities currently available for folks of all ages at the Playhouse.

It’s migration season in Montauk. Migration Challenge, an educational program for the whole family, happens this Saturday, November 16, at 11 a.m. at Hither Hills State Park. Explore the hazards and helpers that migratory animals encounter on their journeys. Roll the dice and move to the appropriate migration station. How many will survive the challenges of the journey?

Also this Saturday at Hither Hills State Park, a Backyard Bird Brunch at 11 a.m. is the place to discover the most popular seed to feed your backyard birds. Explore the different types of feeders, which seed is best, and which birds prefer which type of feeder. Make your own feeder to take home. Meet at the Hither Hills Visitors’ Center.

Saturday, November 16, at 1 p.m. at Camp Hero State Park there’s a two hour Family Hike. While hiking, you’ll “seek” out items from a list that includes plants, animals, and other objects. Please wear weather appropriate clothing and comfortable hiking shoes. This hike is designed for the whole family.

Fun for all ages, State Parks programs do require reservations. Call 668-2554 for more information and to reserve your spot. Parking is free. Fee for each program is $4 for adults, $3 for children, age 3 to 17, with no charge for children under age 3.

The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society is also sponsoring an informative hike this weekend. On Sunday, November 17, at 10 a.m. hike the Ocean Dunes Nature Trail. Walk a two-mile trail, 3,000 years in the making. Meet at the Napeague Dunes parking area on the south side of Montauk Highway (Route 27), approximately two miles east of the Cranberry Hole Road and Dune Road intersection on the Napeague Stretch. Hike leader is Richard Poveromo. Call (631) 283-4591, or on day of hike at (917) 584-7280 are the numbers to reach him for more information.

At The Library

One of results of writing this column, I’ve been inspired to attend many of the cultural programs brought to us by Montauk Library programs director Caroline Balducci.

On Sunday afternoon I had the thrilling experience of attending “Masterwork Conversations,” a special musical presentation by two very talented young pianists, Matthew Harrison and Vlada Yaneva. Ms. Yaneva,from Bulgaria, currently resides and teaches in NYC, and frequently shares the stage with Mr. Harrison, whom she met at the Manhattan School of Music.

It was the first time the young people had been to Montauk. They confessed themselves to be a little jealous of those in the audience, (numbering about 40) who live here, and hope to be able to return to Montauk again soon.

An interesting fact I learned during the program, Voltaire considered the piano to be “an ironmonger’s instrument that would never replace the harpsichord.”

Ms. Yaneva performed a piece by Franz Liszt, (born 1811, died 1886), “Transcendental Étude No. 10 in F minor, allegro agitato molto.” Mr. Harrison introduced this piece by saying there’s a reason for the word, “agitato.” This piece is so difficult, few pianists are able to master it. A hush fell as Ms. Yaneva gave, what to my ears seemed a flawless performance.

Afterward, a personable gentleman in the audience stood to ask, “How do you manage to learn a difficult piece like this, which you have played entirely without music?”

“Learning music is like learning a new language,” Ms. Yaneva said. It takes a long time and you must have a solid base with which to connect. She said on this particular piece she learned the notes first, but felt she had “no control over the meaning of the piece.” She let it rest for two years and then returned to it. Her first performance of the étude was very scary. “My hands must work faster than my brain. It is like trying to control a wild horse.”

According to Ms. Yaneva, in his day, Liszt was like a rock star. Pianos were more lightweight then. Liszt was famous for fevered performances. His wild and passionate playing would often demolish the piano right on stage.

Sign-up at the library has begun for the Friends of the Montauk Library “Do As You Like” bus trip to Manhattan on Saturday, December 7. The round-trip ticket is a bargain at $30, and comes at the best time of year to enjoy the city. Passengers pick up the bus at the Montauk Post Office at 8:30 a.m., and meet the bus 5 p.m. at the New York Public Library, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, for the return trip. Deadline for sign-up is November 20. Payment is due at sign-up; no refunds unless your ticket is resold.

“Monsters University” screens this Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., presented by the Friends of the Library, with refreshments to follow. Admission is free.

November’s book discussion group selection “Swamplandia” by Karen Russell, is now available at the circulation desk. The book discussion group meets from 12:30 to 2 p.m., this Sunday, November 17.

All are welcome to the Montauk Library for an afternoon of Family Storytelling, appropriate for all ages, this Saturday, November 16, at 3 p.m. Listen to stories from near and far about autumn, winter, and the changing seasons. Have you heard of the Greek myth about Persephone and the changing seasons? Robin Bady has this as well as some new tales about the seasons ready for your enjoyment.

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