My spirit lifts at the sight of white lights framing my living room front window. Simple is best, is my philosophy on decorating, especially for our old home. The Santa clock is installed above the TV and I’ve made progress de-cluttering. I’ve stowed away extraneous accumulated stuff, especially piles of books which I’ve hauled upstairs, just for the time being.This year the fireplace mantle has a slightly south-of-the border theme to match pottery candlesticks Southampton Press colleague Jean Raymond brought me from a recent visit with her daughter, who lives in Arizona. Next to the candles, which are only for decoration and never lighted, I’ve placed two small straw handmade donkeys I bought more than thirty years ago in Bazaar del Mundo, San Diego, at Christmastime. Lifting the colorful little donkeys out of their box brings a flood of memories of when I lived in California and actually missed snow.
I know I have an active readership of this column because friend Jean Ruggles remarked recently that she received numerous well wishes from Montaukers after I wrote she was celebrating her birthday.
This week Ms. Ruggles has asked for mention of a special dedication ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m., Tuesday, December 10, in remembrance of Gloria Sanlorenzo, Sally Martin and Patricia Smyth. In Jean’s words, “The Montauk Cheers & Chatter (C&C) group were saddened at their passing and have planted an evergreen tree outside of St. Therese Church in memory of these lovely ladies. The tree has been adorned with lights and a plaque that includes their names will be installed. Members of the three families are invited to join in for the dedication, and a small reception at East by Northeast restaurant in Montauk follows the ceremony.”
According to Paul Monte, general manager and CEO of Gurney’s Inn, it’s heartwarming to hear how so many folks are anxious to help those affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines. Much relief is being sent to the hardest hit areas. However, remote islands and villages are still wondering when they’ll be helped.
Working with East End Cares, and in conjunction with Paddlers for Humanity, Gurney’s will hold a fundraiser to help some of these smaller areas of Leyte Province.
The event takes place at Gurney’s this Friday, December 13, from 7 to 11 pm. Tickets are $25 at the door. Expect an evening of local entertainment (with the possibility of a surprise performance), local and ethnic foods prepared by some of the area’s best chefs, local beer and wine, raffles, lots of dancing and fun. Mr. Monte hopes to use some of the valuable lessons learned from the successful “Girls Night Out” to create an event that will raise awareness and funds to help unfortunate victims of the typhoon.
Sponsors, donations, raffle prizes and volunteers are needed to help make this event a success. Please contact Mr. Monte this week at firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your support in any way you choose.
The Hamptons Dancers AARP Community Group and Walmart will present a free Lunch and Learn program at Montauk Library on Tuesday, December 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free vision screenings and eyeglass checks, as well as information on common eye conditions in those 40 and over, and how to prevent and manage these conditions, will be available.
There will also be a presentation, “Pharmacy Health: Know What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet and Understand What’s in Your Medicines,” offering information on understanding your medications, including prescriptions, over the counter and herbal remedies, how to store them properly and when to throw them out.
Free blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol screenings by Southampton Hospital and East Hampton Healthcare Foundation will also be provided and light refreshments will be available. RSVP is required as seating is limited. To register or for more information, please contact Hamptons Dancers AARP Community Group at (631) 283-1488 or (631) 259-1385, email them at info@hamptonsAARP.org. or visit www.hamptonsAARP.org.
St. Therese Christmas concert with the Harbor Bells handbell choir is this Sunday, December 15, at 2 p.m. A freewill offering and donation to the food pantry are requested. Please bring a plate of your favorite holiday cookies to share afterward.
The Friends of the Library free movie series continues this Thursday, December 12, with “2 Guns,” an action film starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, rated R, 109 minutes. Light refreshments follow.
To help as you decorate your home for the holidays, the Friends of the Library are also holding a Holiday Floral Workshop on Wednesday, December 18, at 6 p.m. at the library. There’s a $10 materials fee, due when you sign up at the circulation desk. Please bring along to the workshop garden clippers and a box to carry home your arrangement. Space is limited so it’s recommended you sign up at the library as soon as possible if you wish to attend.
A few days ahead of the winter solstice, this Saturday, December 14, at 7:30 p.m. Maksim Shtrykov, virtuoso clarinetist and concert pianist Alina Kryakova return to the library to light up the dark winter skies with “Carnivale”! This is a concert of classical works for clarinet and piano by Verdi, Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninof, Rosini and more.
According to a Montauk Library events press release, Carnivale! is billed as a breathtaking celebration of virtuosity. Some of the world’s most famous classical works for clarinet and piano will be performed. Montauk Library Program Director Carolynn Balducci recommends this concert as especially appropriate for younger audiences, first-time concert-goers and families with children.
The press release also tells us that Clarinetist Maksim Shtrykov is gaining renown in the United States as a young emigré artist of remarkable charisma and extraordinary musicianship. Maksim thrills audiences with his profound musical sensibility and flawless technique. As the recipient of The Artist International New York Debut Award, Mr. Shtrykov presented his solo debut recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in April, 2007.
A native of Belarus, Mr. Shtrykov is a first prize winner of the Belarus National Woodwind Competition and prizewinner of Dymtro Bida International Woodwind Competition in Ukraine. In the 2006-07 season, Mr. Shtrykov played in the Centennial series performances conducted by James Conlon at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center and in performances at Avery Fisher Hall, as a member of the Juilliard orchestra. He holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.
Praised for her powerful command of the instrument, unique interpretations and clarity of sound, pianist Alina Kiryayeva captivates audiences with philosophical insight and charismatic stage presence. A native of Ukraine, Ms. Kiryayeva performed her first solo recital at age 8 and her solo debut with an orchestra at the age of 11. The first prize winner of the Senigallia International Competition in Italy, Ms. Kiryayeva has also won top prizes in several international piano competitions in the United States, including the Grace Welsh International and the California Young Artist International competitions.
Having completed her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees as a scholarship recipient at The Juilliard School, she continues her education in the Doctoral Program at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Please call the library at 668-3377 for more information on these and other free programs.
The Board of Trustees of the Montauk Library will hold its regular monthly meeting on Monday, December 16, at 7 p.m., at the library. The public is invited to attend.
The library will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.