Montauk Community Notes, January 9


We were hit by the first significant snow of the season in Montauk last Thursday, January 2. Thanks to high winds our neighbors across the street had an almost clean driveway and wouldn’t have had much work cleaning up had they been in Montauk. They live most of the year in Nassau County.For years my husband Don has heeded the advice of friend Susanne Katz at The Southampton Press, which is to park our car facing the street at the foot of the driveway when a snowstorm’s in the forecast. Mind you, not so close as to get in trouble with passing snowplows. We shovel only the street end of the driveway and then clear around the car. Shoveling the entire driveway at this stage of our lives would be difficult.

This time of year I’ll be wearing my Sorel boots just about every day to keep my feet dry as well as warm. Though not much of a fashion statement, I love these insulated rubber boots as much as any fashionista loves her knee-high leather boots. Thick rubber treads protect me from slipping on ice. They cost about $100 10 years ago and are well worth the investment as they are practically indestructible and may last me forever.

At the rummage sale at Montauk Community Church on Thanksgiving weekend, I was thrilled to find a pair of Smartwool socks just my size. I had been wishing for a pair of wool socks. This week, temperatures may again drop to zero.

The ladies of the Women’s Guild have kindly sent advance word that their next rummage takes place on Martin Luther King weekend, Saturday, January 18, from 9 a.m. to noon. Be advised that the event cancels in the event of ice and snow. The dear ladies of the guild must be careful of slips and falls, as we all should be in this weather. The new shed is installed in back of the church and ready to receive donations. I think it looks very neat and tidy.

When temperatures drop to near zero,

it’s wise to wear an extra layer of clothes. Call them long Johns or woolies. Are leggings still in style? I was too self conscious to wear leggings as they were intended, with just a tunic or short skirt. Be that as it may, I find leggings handy as an extra layer of warmth under jeans or trousers. I also wear snug cotton thermal weave shirts under heavy winter sweaters.

Early January 3, the day after the recent storm, our friend Lydia Shaternik Burns had a scary experience at the Montauk train station. Lydia works as a nurse at a maternity clinic in Southampton and was worried about her regular patients, some of whom don’t speak English. Lydia was concerned her patients might venture out despite cold and snow. She decided to take the train so as not to drive on icy roads for more than 30 miles. She checked ahead and knew the trains were running on a holiday schedule. Her son, Mike, home from Stony Brook University, dropped Lydia at the station with the understanding that she would call him on his cell phone should she have any problem. She could see a train waiting at the platform with lights on. This was just before 7 a.m. on Friday when it was about 10 degrees outside and terribly windy.

It’s a long slog through the snow from the new ticket machine that has been installed by the old station building, now the Art Depot, which was locked and doesn’t provide much shelter. The platform was slippery with snow.

Lydia said she could see Long Island Rail Road employees inside the train, the engineer in his compartment, conductors standing around. However, all the doors of the train were locked. There was no updated message on the electronic sign boards to report delays in Montauk. Lydia was the only prospective passenger trying to board the train. She stood there for what seemed forever, waiting for the doors to open, feeling colder and colder. Lydia waved at the people on the train but they ignored her, she said. In order to phone her son to get him to come back, she had to take off her gloves, which made matters worse.

What I don’t understand is why no one opened a door to one of the train compartments to at least allow Lydia to wait inside the train where it was warm, even if the train were canceled. Why weren’t the electronic sign boards showing information about delays or cancellations?

The Montauk train station now has a ticket machine. A word to the wise, the period of grace is probably over. Lydia’s son and his friends had some problems trying to purchase tickets on board the train last week. Plan extra time to purchase your ticket at the ticket machine and walk the long walk from there to the platform.

The Suffolk County Senior Advocate will be at the Montauk Library on Wednesday, January 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. Seniors age 60 and over, and/or their caretakers may meet for a one-on-one session with Frank Masterson, senior advocate, to gather information or receive help with any of these services: Medicare/Medicaid ID cards, EPIC, food stamps, home care services, benefits counseling, HEAP (home energy assistance program) and other federal, state and Suffolk County programs.

Word reached me too late from the Friends of the Montauk Library to inform you that the documentary “Blackfish” was canceled last week due to inclement weather. This week’s free film scheduled for January 9 at 7 p.m. is “Frances Ha” with complimentary refreshments to follow.

AARP Line Dancing will take place on Friday mornings in January from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Register in advance with AARP. You can check AARP’s website at for a complete listing of dance and exercise programs for seniors in Montauk or call (631) 283-1488 for further information.

Bridge takes place at the library on Wednesdays in January from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Bring a partner and join a game!

For parents and care givers of young children, Story Time with Miss Korpi continues at the library Mondays in January, with the exception of Martin Luther King Day, starting at 9:45 a.m. Listen to stories, sing songs, and make a craft with Miss K. The crafts are most appropriate for preschool age children. Story Time is a great cure for cabin fever, a place for you and your preschool age children to meet and socialize with others in Montauk.

The Reading Discussion Group at the library meets on January 26 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. to discuss “Open Heart,” this month’s reading selection, by A.B. Yehoshua. Copies of the novel are available at the circulation desk all month.

Please contact the library at 668-3377 to confirm scheduled events are happening. Some cancellations are bound to occur due to extremes of winter weather.

I wish all readers of Montauk Moorings a very happy 2014. Please contact me at to alert me about any upcoming events as well as social happenings around town you wish to publicize.

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