Montauk Community Notes, May 2


Sunday was a perfect spring day. At Montauk Community Church I sensed the choir, myself included, was distracted. I blame spring fever. We began the anthem on some slightly different beats, yet forged ahead and concluded our performance nearly together.
Pastor Bill Hoffmann announced Al Cragnotti will appreciate help with rides to Riverhead for chemotherapy in upcoming weeks. Please call the church at 668-2022 to sign up to assist Mr. Cragnotti. A number of others need prayers and our concern, including Ruth Zimmermann, also undergoing treatment, Anita Peel, recovering from emergency pacemaker repair surgery last week and Ted Shaternik who was struggling with pneumonia on Sunday.

After church I stopped at Becker’s Hardware for a few packets of garden seeds. Then walked home the long way, along the beach from town to Ditch Plains. There are not many Sundays when conditions are perfect to do this. Erosion has made the beach narrower, and I wasn’t sure if the tide was going out or coming in. I took off my shoes and walked as fast as possible.

Along the way I met Jenny Baker who I had just seen at church. She had already been home to fetch her funny dog who romped in the water on short legs. I saw an amusing beach sculpture, a 6-foot driftwood board placed at the pinnacle of a small hoodoo formation. An impressive feat of engineering, three piles of flat rocks, one in the center and one on each end balanced the board in perfect alignment.

Thank you, Lisa Grenci, for sending word of six Montauk School graduates who were National Honor Society inductees at East Hampton High School on Thursday, April 25. The Montauk scholars are Shana Devlin, Eva Grenci, Benjamin Newbery, Brittany Rivkind, Caley Serin and Ryann Ward. Ms. Genci says to note that six out of a class of 30 Montauk School graduates is a very good percentage.

Here’s some happenings for your calendar: Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to noon, Southampton Hospital and the East Hampton Lions Club will co-sponsor a free Community Health Fair at the American Legion Hall, 15 Montauk Highway, Amagansett. There will be health screenings for blood pressure, glucose, body fat, cholesterol as well as healthy food tastings, zumba, yoga and tai chi. Have your health questions answered by professionals from Southampton Hospital. For more information, please call (631) 726-8800.

The fifth annual Hither Hills Off-Road Half Marathon, to benefit Paddler’s for Humanity, will be held at Eddie Ecker Park on Navy Road in Montauk on Sunday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. Paddlers for Humanity is a Hamptons not-for-profit that donates to children’s and youth charities. Proceeds will the benefit the P4H East End Catastrophic Fund and will immediately make a difference for families and individuals living on the East End of Long Island. All runners must register. Check-in starts at 8 a.m. The pre-registration entry fee is $65 per person or $100 per two-person relay team. Those interested may register online at Call Tara Berkoski at (631) 329-0050 or visit for more information. Although online registration deadline is Saturday, May 4, the race is limited to 75 participants and may already be full.

The Montauk Library presents “Enchanted Gardens,” a free concert with classical pianist Amber Liao on Saturday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. The program includes masterworks for the piano composed by Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Danielpour. Amber Yiu-Hsuan Liao has given numerous concerts throughout United States, Western Europe and Taiwan. She is currently director of Piano/Theory at Snow College in Utah.

Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day. Moms have been invited to Montauk Youth’s ninth annual Mother’s Day 5 K for Fun. Run, scooter or stroll around Fort Pond. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m.; the race starts at 8:30 a.m. The race begins and ends at the gazebo in downtown Montauk. The suggested donation is $10. All proceeds go toward helping a local family in need. Call 668-1540 for more information or visit .

Publisher Ken Giustino phoned Atlantic Beach Realty on Friday to remind me to put together ad materials for the upcoming May issue of his Montauk Sun publication. Hearing my sigh, Mr. Giustino described how he’s currently in contact with upward of 200 people in an effort to pull together the fourth annual Montauk Music Festival, which takes place May 16 through 19 at venues all around Montauk. I felt silly for complaining about my lightweight pile of work.

Last but hardly least, happy birthday to my brother Paul Melnyk and sister Sandy Nicholson who both celebrate birthdays on Sunday May 5. Sandy, who lives on Wellfleet, on Cape Cod, is 13 years older than Paul, but my siblings share similar dispositions and look alike, which gives me a vague sense they may plot against me. Paul would say his sisters are ganging up on him and our sister might believe us youngsters to be in league against her. There’s lots of ways for this to play out.

When they suddenly realize Paul and I are related, Montaukers often ask, “What was it like to grow up with Paul as a brother?” I’m glad I have Paul for a brother. It’s an adventure! Paul began teasing me the moment he could talk and hasn’t missed a beat, except maybe Sunday, in choir. Fellow choir member Evan Harrel observes our antics and comments, “Remember, you two share at least 50 percent of the same genes.”

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