Montauk Community Notes, May 15


Mid-afternoon on a beautiful Mother’s Day our son Dan phones me. His voice is gruff so I ask what’s wrong. ‘Nothing,” he says. He’s just working round-the-clock on papers for graduate school and on top of that, next week is final exams.Perhaps writing college papers was good training for maddening newspaper deadlines. With the sun finally shining, it’s hard to come indoors and get to work.

Outside my kitchen window a pair of orange and black orioles have returned. They perform acrobatics to reach the blossoms on a Japanese quince bush. This week I also spotted several whirring humming birds attracted by the salmon-colored flowers. Our albums contain yearly photos of son Dan and his dad either holding up for admiration or cleaning fish at the kitchen sink where that same quince is visibly abloom.

Incidentally, the Montauk Chamber predicts a fantastic fluking season due to relaxed regulations initiated by the NYS DEC for the 2014 season. Summer flounder (fluke) have to be 18” with a five per person limit from May 17 to September 21 — truly cause for celebration!

This is a busy week for Ken Giustino, publisher of the Montauk Sun. I spoke with him last Friday while I was submitting ad materials for his June issue for Atlantic Beach Realty Group. Due to Memorial , the June issue of the Sun goes to print early and just about simultaneously with the Montauk Music Festival.

The fifth annual Montauk Music Festival happening this week, from Thursday, May 15, through Sunday, May 18 is produced by Mr. Giustino and the Montauk Sun, along with Sean Dalton and Tarik Solangi of Ocean Productions. This festival generates real excitement in our hamlet.

For up-to-date schedules on the roughly 100 acts chosen, according to Mr. Giustino, from more than 3,000 band submissions, go to or visit the Montauk Music Festival page on Facebook. Mr. Giustino has provided pages of detailed descriptions on each scheduled performance inside the May issue of his free publication, available now in stores and businesses around Montauk. We have a stack at ABRG so stop in and pick one up.

As part of the festival, don’t miss the Montauk Youth Afternoon Showcase this Friday at 3:40 p.m. at Gosman’s Dock stage with performances by Montauk School students, followed by the East Hampton High School Jazz Band at 5:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, this popular show moves to the tent on Montauk Green.

That same night, drop in at Montauk Community Church at 7 p.m. for a free Community Coffee House. Montauk’s Bill Akin, performing along with Steve Skoldberg, will provide an hour of live acoustic music. All are welcome.

The music keeps happening. Mark your calendars for next week when The Chickpeas, the East End’s newest eclectic all-girl vocal ensemble, make their debut performance at a free show at Montauk Community Church on Friday, May 23, at 7 p.m.

Though not part of Hamptons’ Collegiate baseball teams, Montauk Youth director Maureen Rutkowski feels, the Montauk Mustangs, the new team in town, is well worth supporting. According to Ms. Rutkowki, “it’s pretty exciting stuff for our children, our school and our community. The league — along with team organizers and local volunteers — has been prepping for the arrival of 20-plus college athletes and coaches. They’ve been upgrading the baseball field at Montauk School and scheduling lots of free home games.”

The organizers are still seeking housing for these athletes and coaches recruited from prestigious colleges and universities all over the country. Needed are host families willing to give up a spare bed or two for just over two months, June through early August.

“I know it sounds like a lot: Honestly, I was less than thrilled when I learned that my husband signed us up to take in two athletes,” Ms. Rutkowski said. “I’m starting to look forward to it. My kids have always enjoyed having the NOGA soccer coaches around when we’ve hosted them over the years. We’ve learned about other places. My kids have learned what it feels like to have older siblings. It’s forced us to keep the house a little neater.”

The players will have transportation and the league takes care of most meals. With part-time jobs and a five- to six-game a week schedule, practices and team workouts, these guys won’t be hanging around the house. There’s a no-drinking policy and the league steps in if there’s issues. Please contact Bob Aspenleiter at or call him at (631) 903-1010 for more information.

As if that’s not enough excitement in Montauk, this week at the library Josh Gladstone returns on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to lead an ensemble of actors in a staged reading of Bertolt Brecht’s “A Life of Galileo.”

Originally written in 1939, it’s considered Brecht’s greatest play. As described by library programs director Carolyn Balducci, “it’s a multi-character opus focusing on the last decades of the legendary Italian philosopher and physicist Galileo Galilei’s life. It depicts the never-ending clash between science and dogma, truth and ideology. The play involves a total of 37 characters — an array of snarling senators, pontificating priests, sycophantic students and insidious inquisitors — who bully and cajole Galileo as he stubbornly tries to cast the light of truth upon the world.”

You’re invited to join a small company of professional actors in this participatory, “dare we say ‘Brechtian’ reading.” Audience members will be tapped to read, working together with the actors to breathe life into this classic play. No rehearsal necessary, just a willingness to dive in and have fun.

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