Montauk Mooring, September 4, 2014

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The buzz around Montauk is speculation as to whether this year’s record crowds will be just a memory now that Labor Day weekend is behind us. Something tells me this isn’t likely.My husband and I look forward, about a week from now, to having our house back to ourselves. The Albanian boys who stayed with us this summer will all have left. Son Dan has already started fall classes. He’s opting to travel back and forth to Manhattan for a few more weeks as he continues to work on the East End. We won’t be seeing as much of Dan once his classes really hit full swing.

This week Dan looks forward to a trip to Block Island with the staff at Sausages Pizza and Pastabilities of Montauk, for whom he has been making deliveries on weekend nights this summer. From what I hear the crew, as well as the management at Sausages, make work a positive experience. Here’s hoping they have a fantastic day trip to Block Island.

I stopped in at Montauk Community Church on Saturday morning for the last regular MCC rummage of the 2014 season. At Sunday church services, Women’s Guild members seemed to sigh collectively in relief. Their summer work is complete.

Women’s Guild president Iris Mitchell stood during announcements on Sunday to give a brief follow-up on how Montauk Community Church has lately helped its sister church in Guines, Cuba. For more than 10 years MCC has partnered with this church which is situated in an agricultural town just south of Havana. Members of the Guines church have visited Montauk many times and members of MCC also have traveled to Cuba.

This week, Ms. Mitchell had particularly good news. MCC, along with contributions from First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton, has been able to help fulfill a longtime goal, a home for the Guines church’s pastor and family.

What if the pastor of Montauk Community Church, along with wife and children, had to live in the Sunday school wing of MCC, or even in the small rooms downstairs where the Women’s Guild holds its sales? Imagine pastor and family preparing meals in the church kitchen, sleeping on cots, not even having a private bathroom of their own. According to reminiscences by Mr. Virgil Conway, enjoyed by all at the recent luncheon in his honor, things weren’t much better here in early days of MCC. In the late 1920s and early ‘30s, the first bachelor pastors of MCC lived right at the church, downstairs behind the stage of the community room. For later pastors rental housing was provided, until 1964, when an adequate manse was finally built.

At the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Guines which was established in 1901, things have not progressed as smoothly, particularly since the upheaval caused by the Cuban Revolution in the early 1960s. In recent years the pastor and family have lived right at the Guines church. From descriptions by Iris Mitchell and Mayela Vargas, I visualize this church, of roughly 200 members, including a Sunday school class of 50 children, as an exceptionally friendly and hospitable place. Yet, it’s been a hardship for pastor and family to live without the privacy of their own home.

All this is about to change thanks to the generosity of congregations of local East End churches, particularly the Women’s Guild of Montauk Community Church. This week contracts were signed for the new manse in Guines, by our standards a modest home, the price of which, as Pastor Bill Hoffmann recently said, would probably not buy a new car here. Ms. Mitchell was overcome with emotion as she announced the good news. Ms. Mitchell, who hails originally from Argentina, has visited Guines several times. Her fluency in Spanish makes her an essential goodwill ambassador.

Ms. Mitchell extends thanks to all those who work at the rummage, as well as the Montauk community who support the Women’s Guild through donations of items to sell, as well as patronage of sales. Now you know how the money you spend at the rummage, or a portion of it, is put to excellent use. The next Women’s Guild rummage sale is planned for Saturday morning of Columbus Day weekend.

I note the spiffy new look of the Montauk School website, www.montaukschool.org. Today, Wednesday, September 3, is the first day of school for Montauk students. The PTA invites you to the “Montauk Parent’s Guide to Student Success.” Join the PTA first thing this morning for tea, coffee and refreshments, from 8:15 to 10:30 a.m. at Sole East, 90 Second House Road. Even if you can’t stay long, you’re invited to share questions and concerns. Topics will include the Lighthouse and Carl Fisher Awards, Spirit Day and how to navigate the new school website.

A quick glance at what’s coming up in Montauk this month: The Second Annual Montauk Seafood Festival takes place under two tents at Montauk Marine Basin on Saturday and Sunday, September 13, and 14. Here’s an opportunity to sample fresh and tasty seafood, locally made treats, local beers and wine, enjoy live music and raffles and try your hand at clam and oyster shucking contests.

This year’s All-Photography Show is on view at the Depot Art Gallery from September 4 to 15. Seven photographers offer a wide range of images and techniques, depicting people, places, abstracts and, most notably, seascapes and familiar landmarks of the East End. Photographers are Jerry Cooke, Lori Corless, Gerry Giliberti, Anne Palermo, Gaelin Rosenwaks, Hiram Jacob Segarra and Rich Silver; billed as seasoned professionals as well as talented newcomers. The Depot Art Gallery is located at the Montauk railroad station. The show is open from noon to 5 p.m., closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. A reception takes place this Saturday, September 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery.

The 4th Annual St. Therese of Lisieux Parish Golf Outing at Montauk Downs Golf Course happens Tuesday, September 16. Get your foursome together at 8 a.m. for a shotgun start. $200 per player includes golf fee and cart, tournament prizes and a buffet breakfast. An open bar lunch will follow.

There’s many ways to support this event: Buy raffle tickets or volunteer to be part of the committee. The main way is to come out and golf! For tickets and more information, call the Parish Center at 668-2200. All proceeds benefit the rejuvenation of the St. Therese of Lisieux Parish Center.

This Saturday, September 6, at 7:30 p.m., the Montauk Library presents a return engagement of the ZigZag Quartet. Four brilliant musicians from Manhattan, Alexander Wu on piano; Francisco Roldan, guitar; Hilliard Greene, double bass and Danny Mallon on percussion cross boundaries with musical genres from jazz to flamenco. The program will include pieces by Leonard Bernstein and Dave Brubeck among others.

Next week and not to be missed, brilliant young concert artist Drew Petersen returns to the library on Saturday, September 13, for a 7:30 p.m. performance of works by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Concerts at Montauk Library are free and open to the public.

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