They say tis the season to be jolly but sometimes that is easier said than done. We have been asked to submit our columns early for the Christmas day issue, and to share a holiday story or memory which I will do after I report the Amagansett goings on.
As I sit down to write this I have a heavy heart filed with sadness for my friend who lost her mom on Saturday, December 14. My thoughts and prayers and love go out to her and her beautiful family, may they find peace in the joys and memories the season does bring.
Please come to Main Beach New Year’s day, January 1, where the East Hampton Hurricanes Swim team, and East Hampton Volunteer Ocean rescue are joining together for the Polar Bear Plunge at 1 p.m. There will be hot cocoa and chili for sale and please support a plunger by making a donation to the East Hampton Food Pantry. Amagansett’s own principal, Dr. Robert Brisbane, will be plunging, sponsored by funds raised from the Amagansett Student Council. The suggested cost is $30 for each plunger. See you there.
Congratulations to John Reinbold, a summer resident of Montauk. He is the 2013 winner of the annual raffle conducted by the East End Classic Boat Society for the boat constructed at its Community Boat Shop in Amagansett.
The boat is a Goeller dinghy, the first sailboat built by the Classic Boat Society at its boat shop since the building’s opening in the fall of 2008. The boat was constructed by volunteer members of the society. The drawing took place during the Holiday Open House at the Community Boat Shop on Saturday, December 7. Mr. Reinbold also won a new galvanized trailer to tow his boat with.
Plans are being made to construct a raffle boat for 2014. Next year’s raffle boat will also be a sailboat. The boat is modeled after the Cape Cod Oyster Sloop, a popular boat in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The boat is called the East End Sharpie.
The Community Boat Shop is managed by the East End Classic Boat Society, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization, which is dedicated to sustaining the skills and traditions of small wood boat building and restoration on the East End.
The society conducts programs on small boat design, building, and restoration at the Community Boat Shop. There are lessons in navigation, lofting, sailor arts, boat repair and maintenance.
The East End Classic Boat Society welcomes new members, from beginner to advanced skill level. Membership is $35 for an individual and $45 for a family. The Community Boat Shop is open Wednesday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. year-round. The address is 301 Bluff Road, Amagansett (behind the Marine Museum). There is no admission charge and it is handicap accessible.
School is on winter recess until January 6. Families looking for free, entertaining programs during the two week winter vacation will find something almost every day of the week at the Amagansett Free Library. Mondays at 2:15 p.m. is Flash Story and Craft time for pre-K children and their siblings. Tuesday is First Story Time at 10:15 a.m. for caregivers and babies. Wednesday is Tot Hop at 2:15 for preschoolers. Thursday at 4 p.m. is Lego and Games Club for all ages, Friday at 10 a.m. is Shake, Rattle and Roll for babies and then at 2:15 p.m. is Family Film Friday, December 27 the movie will be “Happy Feet” and Friday, January 3 will be “Ice Age.” Saturdays are Family Story and Craft Time. On December 28, you can make a pinecone bird feeder and on Saturday, January 4, you can make a snow globe. With all those programs and reading to your children, you should be quite busy. Crossroads Music has joined with Amagansett Library for an exciting new program called Teen Music Month. It will be for ages 13 to 19. Rising stars on the local music scene will perform for our teens. It will take place on Saturdays, January 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the community room of the library. For more information, call the library at 267-3810.
Growing up, I went to the School of American Ballet. Those were the days of George Balanchine. As a child, my parents took us every year to see the Nutcracker and I dreamed that one day I would be in it. In 1970 and 1971 my dream came true and I auditioned for and danced in the New York City Ballet as a soldier in the first act and an Angel in the second. My Sugar plum prince was Edward Villella and the sugar plum fairy was Melissa Hayden. It was the experience of a lifetime. Not only did I have the honor of dancing under the direction of George Balanchine, but I danced with some of the finest dancers in New York City Ballet history. I was 10 in 1970. In between shows we would go to the dressing rooms of all the stars and ask them to sign their toe shoes for us. They wore one pair per performance. By the end of the season I had shopping bags filled, which my parents made me sort out. To this day I have kept a pair and show them proudly to my daughter. The New York City Ballet had its 50th Anniversary of Balanchine’s Nutcracker in 2004. Former members were all invited to attend. I went with my mom, my husband (at the time) and my daughter, Lucy Pearl Emptage. We sat in seats with the other soldiers and angels and we were all in our 40s. Time does fly and was nicer to some of us. Lucy was amazed at the whole event and had her picture taken with one of the ballerinas. The music of Tchaikovsky is Christmas to me and a tradition I have passed along to my daughter. You can’t help but smile as the one-ton Christmas tree grows out of the stage and sugarplum fairies and angels dance around in the snow. I am grateful for those days and for these too. Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014 to you all, and thanks for all your Amagansett news.