Montauk Moorings


Family friend Patrick Forde asks if I’ve cleaned up my vegetable garden yet for the season. I feel a bit lazy for having put it off. Patrick grew up in rural Ireland in a house with thic, stone walls and a large vegetable garden. He likes to garden and fondly remembers turning the soil for his mother when he was just a lad. If you’re reading the column this week, Patrick, I’ve finally made a start. I yanked up most of the plants zapped by frost and that bit of snow flurries we had last week. I picked all the green tomatoes, brought them inside and put them in a paper bag with a ripe apple, as my Aunt Helen taught me many years ago. We’ll see what happens. All that’s left edible in the garden is arugula and kale, my two best stalwart plants. I never did get around to planting fall lettuce. Most years creatures chomp it before I ever have the chance to harvest it myself.In Wellfleet, on Cape Cod, my sister, Sandy Nicholson, reports they had wet snow last week, enough to stick to the deck, making it a slippery mess for a day. She and husband Richard decided it was time to put away their deck chairs. The weather in Wellfleet is similar to Montauk’s, with more severe winters and milder summers. My brother-in-law has been cleaning up his gardens for several weeks. Something has eaten all the beautiful fish he had in his koi pond. Raccoons, they suspect.

Maureen Rutkowski of Montauk Youth says the scarecrows around town had a great run this year. It’s time to clean up and start planning for the holidays. Decorations typically start going up in town around Thanksgiving. She thanks everyone for their efforts to make Montauk a festive place for everyone.

Montauk Public Library free movie series continues this Thursday, November 21, at 7 p.m. with “The Heat,” a female cop comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, rated R. Refreshments will be served afterward. Come out and socialize with the locals after the screening.

Also on Thursday, at 7 p.m., Montauk Observatory presents “Science Be Banned: Implications of Cultural Resistance to Science, at the Ross School in East Hampton. Professor Matthew Pappas presents scientific advancements, both old and new, that have faced fierce cultural opposition. He’ll discuss the effects such opposition can have on scientific progress. Following this talk and weather permitting, Montauk Observatory telescopes will be available for celestial observations. For more information, please visit

Montauk Community Church is hosting another coffeehouse at 7 p.m. this Friday at the church. Join in for a night of acoustic music by local musicians. All are welcome. There’s no charge. Donations will be gratefully accepted to help support the Montauk food pantry.

Rotary Club of East Hampton is holding a food drive outside the Montauk IGA this Saturday, November 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., also to benefit the Montauk food pantry. Mary Siska of East Hampton Rotary thanks you in advance for your food donations.

Sweet’tauk Lemonade at 34 South Etna is very pleased to present its second annual “Handmade for the Holidays” fair, opening this Saturday at 11 a.m. All items offered for sale are handmade by talented East End artists and artisans. For vendor info and applications, please go to The handmade fair, which was very successful last year, continues through Monday, December 23.

Have you ever picked wild cranberries? They used to grow in many low-lying, sandy places all around Montauk. I remember picking them with my mother and Aunt Helen across the street from what is now Four Oaks Deli. There’s something romantic about picking wild cranberries just in time for Thanksgiving. East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, this Saturday morning is hosting a Cranberry and Dunes Hike (1.5 miles). Join Lee Dion for the 14th anniversary of this hike. Learn about Napeague’s walking dunes and spend some time picking cranberries. Bring a plastic bag and wear low boots for the bog. Mr. Dion promises to give away his secret cranberry recipe. Meet at the end of Napeague Harbor Road, off Route 27 in Napeague at 10 a.m. Reach Lee Dion at (631) 375-2339 for more information and precise location directions.

Thanksgiving weekend will bustle with even more events and activities here in Montauk. Add these events to your agenda now, so you and your family won’t miss a bit of the fun.

On Thanksgiving, November 28, from 8 to 10 a.m., the annual Turkey Trot Run for Fun helps you work up an appetite for the big dinner. Show up at the Village Green between 8 and 9:30 a.m. to check in for a three- or six-mile race around town. The event is sponsored by East Hampton Town’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Preregistration is not necessary. The cost to enter is $10. First 300 participants receive a commemorative tee-shirt.

Take a breather on Friday because there’s a host of things happening on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 30.

On that day Montauk Community Church traditionally holds its Holiday Fair and Rummage Sale, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ladies Guild is currently looking for and greatly appreciates donations for the fair, especially baked goods or handmade items and crafts. There’s a box in the church narthex for new or like-new items for the silent auction. Helpers are needed on the day of the fair. For more information, please call 668-2022. Office hours at the church are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or leave a message at if you want to help.

Across the road, the Montauk Library Holiday Book Sale also takes place on Saturday, November 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Be sure to stop there as well for new and like-new books, as well as small gift possibilities.

The Second Annual Family Fun Day sponsored by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce and Montauk Yacht Club takes place that same day, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Montauk Yacht Club.

What most consider best of all, the spectacular Lighting of the Montauk Lighthouse, takes place this year on Saturday, November 30, from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Plan to wear your woollies and bring a thermos. This is a free outdoors event for everyone. Sarah Conway and the Playful Souls will play Christmas hits. Sing along, dance and frolic. Isn’t it amazing to see the lighthouse decked out in lights. Don’t forget Santa arrives at sunset.

The next day, Sunday, December 1, at 3 p.m. plan to be at the Montauk Library for a free concert, “Sing We All Merrily: An Early American Holiday,” by Linda Russell & Companie.

Linda Russell is an early American balladeer who takes her music to historic sites, museums and festivals throughout the country. She has produced eight albums of traditional American music, including “Sing We All Merrily: A Colonial Christmas” on Rounder Records and “Christmas Past: Traditional Holiday Music from the 19th Century and Before” on the Helicon Records label. This will be a musical celebration of an 18th Century Christmas. I wouldn’t miss it!

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