Montauk Community Notes, June 20


Our son Dan caught a 24.5-inch fluke while fishing off the Montauk town dock on Saturday. From a young age Dan was taught by his dad to clean his own fish. I vividly recall my mother, Wanda Melnyk, in this same Montauk backyard, cleaning fish. When relatives visited—it was a constant summer stream of aunts, uncles, cousins, my older sister and her family—everyone went fishing. A constant stream of creative expletives soon erupted because my mother hated to clean fish. Dad didn’t like fishing and never cleaned a fish, though fish was his favorite dinner.I’m suffering just a bit from empty nest syndrome and perhaps that’s why I’ve opened our home to a couple, both 22, from Lithuania this summer. Dan’s living with a bunch of guys in a house much closer to his job in East Hampton. I’ve been taking kids in for years even when Dan was home, as Dan loves to remind me with a wry grimace, although some were Dan’s friends or friends of my nieces. When Dan was 14 it all began when a musical couple, friends of my husband, stayed in the studio. Many Montaukers know and love Bruce Aaronson. He now successfully writes music for movie scores and television ads and doesn’t perform in nightclubs much anymore.

I’m learning about Lithuania. The national sport of Lithuania is basketball. Marius and Migle are tall and slim. Marius, as well as studying civil law, is on a national collegiate basketball team.

Migle (pronounced “Migla”) handed me a gift in a small cardboard box with words printed in Lithuanian. I thought she said it was Lithuanian gold tea. I later discovered the box contained a small tree formed of bent wire and small pieces of amber. Amber is plentiful in Lithuania.

Thank you, kind management of Lessings at Montauk Downs (“catering to uncompromising clients from Manhattan to Montauk”). After some wheel spinning I was inspired to send the young couple next door to Montauk Downs to seek work. Now they awake at dawn for the early shift, which can last 11 hours. On Saturday they served at a women’s golf luncheon. Although good, their English isn’t perfect. I recently used a cookbook to point out an eggplant. The word eggplant made no sense to Migle. Poor Marius was stumped when one of the lady golfers requested a cosmo, a delicious mixed drink with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. Hey, I, myself just had to google this definition.

Susan Raymond of Montauk is a member of the choir at Montauk Community Church, as well as a member of the Choral Society of the Hamptons. On June 9, Susan returned from an overseas trip, which included a stay in Turkey where she participated in a choral event with DCINY, Distinguished Concerts International New York. The choral group sang complex works of 1930s classical Turkish composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun. Also participating with the choral group was Karen Padden of Montauk. Susan stayed at the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul not far from where demonstrations were taking place. She was briefly in the capital city, Ankara, which is an uncomfortable 10-hour bus trip away from Istanbul. Roughly 90 choristers participated in the concert, most from the United States, with a few from Ireland and Canada.

The concert hall was near the site of demonstrations which all have seen recently on TV. Susan described the taxi ride from her hotel to the concert hall as an adventure, with roads blocked off and milling crowds of men and women. At first she didn’t know what was making her eyes uncomfortable. This was the first time in her life she encountered tear gas.

Longtime Montauk Community Church member Jon Forsberg, announced in church on Sunday that his daughter, Chef Renee Forsberg, was chosen to travel to California to prepare a meal for President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 7. Imagine being responsible for six fine-dining restaurants spread throughout the country and supervising the food put out under the name of one of the country’s most famous chefs. According to the Institute of Culinary Education website, that’s what Renee has done as Culinary Director to Bobby Flay. She managed all his restaurants, including Bar America in NYC. Ms. Forsberg graduated from ICE’s Culinary Arts program in 2002.

You may have seen her as Mr. Flay’s sous chef on episodes of “Iron Chef America.”

I stopped at the Montauk police station on Friday, and there found friend Dorothy Peel working at the front desk. Ms. Peel is proud to send word of her daughter, Victoria K. Peel Margraf, who graduated from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, on May 19 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Literature and Culture, and a second bachelor’s in music. Ms. Margraf minored in both anthropology and Spanish. Congratulations to Ms. Margraf, who is the granddaughter of Anita Peel of Montauk.

Montauk’s first Satellite tag and all-release fishing tournament, Shark’s Eye, hosted by Montauk Marine Basin, will expand to a two-day festival for sport, science, conservation and education on Saturday and Sunday July 27 and 28. Some of the foremost research scientists in the country will come to Montauk, where they will be joined by country music performer Colton James, and folk singer Caroline Doctorow. It’s all to promote better understanding of the vital work being done to bring back large sharks and other species that once flourished in our waters. All profits from the two-day event will go to the Montauk Boatmen (MBI), Montauk School, the Montauk Chamber of Commerce and the Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM). For more information on Shark’s Eye please contact Carl Darenberg at, call 668-5900, or visit

At The LibraryThe “Dig Into Reading!” summer reading club begins on Friday, June 21, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. with “Dinosaur Dimensions” and a Long Island Science Center guest. This program is for children age 5 to 11. Join in for a summer reading celebration while learning about dinosaurs. New will be three different clubs, for grades 7 to 12, kindergarten to sixth grade and “read-to-me” for infants to kindergarten.

“Czech and Slovak Folk Tales” will be presented at the library on Saturday, June 22, at 4:30 p.m. The free program, suitable for family audiences, features Vít Hořejš, master puppeteer of the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre. The company has mastered the marionette traditions of Central Europe where puppetry has special status in the culture. For additional information, call (631) 668-3377, or visit

Children’s librarian Ms. Korpi has asked me to announce that starting Monday, June 24, storytime will be at 10 a.m. only. This will be for the whole summer on any Monday the library is open.

The Friends of the Montauk Library will hold their 34th annual Book Fair on Saturday, July 6 (rain date, July 7), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Montauk Green.

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