Montauk Community Notes, May 30


On weekends, while I work in Montauk, and also from friends at Montauk Community Church, I find the best topics for this column. Earlier in the week I collect emails from helpful people who keep me informed on what’s happening. I think of this column as a place for you to discover what’s coming up, yet as I’m writing I’m typically immersed in what happened over the weekend.
At the moment we’re in the midst of Memorial Day weekend. Sunday in Montauk was a mix of clouds and sun, even a few raindrops when I was hanging laundry out to dry. Hasn’t it been unusually chilly? Our family home was built in the mid-1960s and in the’70s, I worked summers here, and May was chilly. Beach days took forever to arrive. Since I’ve lived here full-time for the past 20 years, it’s been warm or even hot on Memorial Day. I enjoy this cool weather. It reminds me of my youth.

Pastor Bill Hoffmann of Community Church on Sunday urged all to make the effort to attend Memorial Day observances at noon. I debated with myself whether to stay put and work at home, or change into warm clothes, hurry back and join the crowd at the beautiful new memorial garden on the green.

So, I went. In the crowd, I bumped into many friends, including Jean Ruggles, who felt chilly despite wearing a down jacket.

Pat Baradi Pacis reported the May 22 Montauk Writers Group’s “Works in Progress” event at Montauk Library was a success with an attentive audience of at least 40. Standing room only—two people were standing, Pat said with a laugh.

Sue Maier told me her son, Bobby Maier, returns to school this fall and, like my son Dan, plans to pursue a career in teaching. Bobby and Dan both graduated in the same class at East Hampton High School.

I enjoyed singing patriotic songs with fellow choir member Pat Cidlowski. Husband Joel Cidlowki marched in the parade and held a ceremonial flag during services on the green.

We were moved by the words of John Behan. Mr. Behan said, and I was close enough to see tears in his eyes, that the most important day of his life was May 23, 1966, the day he was gravely injured in Viet Nam while on active duty in the Marines. A double amputee, having lost both legs well above the knees, he spoke from a wheelchair. He said people often call him a war hero and thank him for his sacrifice. According to Mr. Behan, the true heroes are those American men and women over the course of history who gave up their lives while serving their country.

Lisa Grenci delivered an informative speech about Montauk’s contribution to various military engagements and wars, starting with conflicts among competing Native American settlements as far back as 1637. She continued through the French and Indian Wars, American Revolution, the War of 1812, Mexican American War, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War period. Great encapsulation, brava Ms. Grenci! I was especially interested to learn that the enormous structure at Fort Pond Bay I remember from my childhood was a dirigible hangar built in 1917 during World War I.

Many thanks to John Hughes and The Local Band who traveled from the Amityville area to provide rousing patriotic music.

On Saturday, temperatures of 48 degrees, wind and pelting rain didn’t stop dedicated locals, including parents with small children, from marching through downtown Montauk in a Stop GMOs demonstration. Lisa Grenci and I held the fort at Atlantic Beach Realty and saw the marchers from the office windows. We speculated as to what the demonstration was about. GMOs are genetically modified organisms, including seeds, such as corn, which have been altered, typically to boost resistance to pests and diseases. According to The Washington Post, on Saturday, marchers in more than 400 cities protested against chemical giant Monsanto and GMOs.

The East Hampton Trails Preservation Society is dedicated to the establishment, protection, maintenance and enjoyment of trails, paths, and natural lands in the Town of East Hampton and New York State. The society’s annual membership drive is under way. You are cordially invited to join or renew your membership. The cost is only $20 per year, which covers an entire household. EHTPS members enjoy many social events including a winter holiday party, spring brunch, summer beach picnic and occasional “movable feasts.” Hikes include moonlight hikes, historic hikes, exercise hikes, bike hikes and kayaking. To join, visit and go to “How to Join,” for a downloadable membership application in pdf form.
At The Library
Mark Vosburgh, who was named a certified master food preserver by Cornell Cooperative Extension, presents safe food handling, food preparation, water bath and pressure canning methods in a home canning seminar on Saturday, June 1, at 1 p.m.

Valerie Coates, mezzo-soprano, and Jason Alexander, pianist, return to Montauk for another concert, this time including Richard Wagner’s “Wesendonk Leider” and Giusepe Verdi’s “Composizioni da Camera,” on Sunday, June 2, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Monday, June 3, from 10 to 11 a.m., story time is held for preschoolers and their parent/grandparent/caregiver. Listen to stories, sing songs and make crafts with Miss Korpi.

On Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m., composer and conductor Victoria Bond will present a fun and informative talk, “Wagner for Kids … and Everyone Else!” Wagner’s epic four-opera cycle tell the stories of gods, heroes and supernatural figures found in German and Scandinavian myths and folk tales. From a young person’s point of view, “Der Ring des Nibelungen” (“The Ring of the Nibelung”) is an action-adventure saga. More powerful than Terminator, tougher than X-Men, better armored than Iron Man, more agile than Spiderman is Siegfried, who searches for a magical ring and a fabulous treasure while battling dwarfs, giants, warrior-women, mermaids, and a ferocious dragon. Suitable for family audiences, slides, audio clips and an animated film will be included in the program.

Please call the Montauk Library at 668-3377 for more information about upcoming programs.

Pat Donna of the Book Fair Committee sends word that the Friends of the Montauk Library will not be accepting used book donations after Memorial Day weekend for the July 6 Book Fair. They already have enough books, thanks to our generous community. Jewelry and yard sale items are still needed. So are volunteers!

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