We had a fine day Sunday, May 25, for the 5th annual Montauk Memorial Weekend Parade and observances. A crowd of Montauk townsfolk and weekend visitors looked on as youngsters performed handstands, cartwheels and somersaults on the Green and flags flapped in brisk ocean breezes.St. Therese Church’s music director, Jane Hastay invited the Montauk Community Church choir to join them on the Green at noon to sing inspirational songs. Along with the choir, I found it a heart-stirring experience to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” and a few verses of “Amazing Grace.” Musical accompaniment and entertainment before and after the program were provided by John Hughes and his band.
Former New York State Assemblyman John Behan, who served nine terms in our State Legislature, opened observances by stating simply that it was on May 23, 1966, while on patrol in Vietnam as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, that he was gravely wounded and his life forever changed. However, he said, it is those like 19-year-old Lance Corporal Jordan C. Haerter, killed in action six years and one month ago, in Ramadi, Iraq, helping to save the lives of over 33 Marines and Iraqi policemen, who are the real heroes. He asked that we take a moment as we enjoy our beautiful Montauk day to remember the heroes to whom we owe our freedom and safety; men and women of all ages who have given their lives for us. “Today,” Mr. Behan said, “we remember what America is all about.”
Several speeches followed including short addresses by Marilyn Behan, wife of John Behan, East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, Montauk Fire Chief Joseph Lenahan, and, notably a gentleman who said the total American lives lost in active service since the Revolutionary War now exceeds 1,321,000. Montauk yoga instructor Cathy McGuire read the World War I poem by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields.”
While out and about in town on Sunday I toured some of the booths assembled at the east end of the Green for the Juried Art Show presented by the Montauk Artists Association.
“Natural Sur Organic Jewelry” caught my eye, the booth of artist and industrial designer Lula Castillo. Within a few sentences we established that Lula, who lives in Hampton Bays, is a friend of Angela Valasquez, my co-worker in charge of circulation at The Southampton Press. Like Angela, Ms. Castillo hails from Colombia and her jewelry is fashioned from seeds and husks from native Colombian plants as well as simple natural materials she finds right here. Lula quipped, “If you get tired of it, you can plant it, and it’ll grow!” Ms. Castillo starts off with tagua nuts from the ivory palm. According to a quick Wikapedia check, dried tagua nuts, also known as vegetable ivory, can be dyed and then carved just like elephant ivory. Many of Ms. Castillo’s creations are brightly colored. Look for Ms. Castillo’s jewelry in consignment venues around the Hamptons or find her on Pinterest.
The Chickpeas, all girl eclectic vocal ensemble, made a rousing debut at last Friday night’s coffee house at Montauk Community Church. With the crowd spilling over into the new elevator room, Pastor Bill had to add to the 50 folding chairs he originally set up for the audience. The Chickpeas are made up of nine local gals, eight of whom performed in the show, and two of whom, Debbie Coen and Susan Raymond, are members of MCC. This was the final coffee house until performances resume next winter.
St. Therese Church in Montauk presents, “Come to the Water,” on Sunday, June 1, from 1 to 3 p.m., an afternoon of personal refreshment, healing prayer and spiritual renewal led by Fran Karpiej, OFS of Sharing Christ Ministry. This is open to all.
The Nessel brothers, Jacob and Ritchie, are honorees at the Annual Montauk Harbor Old-Timer’s Dinner coming up Thursday, June 5 at 5 p.m. This year’s dinner takes place at the Clam and Chowder House at Salivar’s. Tickets are $40, which includes dinner with wine or beer. The evening begins with a roast of both brothers; dinner follows. Tickets are available at the Montauk Chamber of Commerce office, or by calling 668-2428.
Lori Newell of Hamptons Dancers AARP Community Group is offering Summer Fitness Specials in Montauk. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings in outdoor workouts, beach yoga and dance classes. Classes meet in the early morning before the heat of the day. Sign up now through June 16, just $150 for a full summer of classes running June 30 till August 29. For more information, a complete schedule and registration info visit hamptonsaarp.org/schedule. Classes are open to all ages!
At The Library
The Friends of the Montauk Library are totally overloaded with book donations for the Book Fair coming to the Green on Saturday, July 5. Alternatively, consider donating jewelry, which sells well and takes little room to store. Library Director Karen Rade asks people to volunteer and donate baked goods for the fabulous bake table at the fair.
According to Ms. Rade, the library has quite a few car schematic manuals which they’re offering for free to car buffs of older models, vintage or classic cars. The manuals are Chilton, Motor and a variety of individual makes, both domestic and import, for years ranging from 1971 to 2002. Inquire at the circulation. The library would love to see these go to people who need them.
This Saturday, May 31, at 7:30 p.m. classical pianist Olga Vinokur appears at the library for a concert of classical solo masterpieces composed by Scarlatti, Chopin, Schuman, Scriabin, Liszt, and Gershwin. Ms Vinokur has gained recognition for her impassioned performances and elegant musicianship, according to The New York Times.
Looking ahead, the Montauk Writers Group will read their poetry and fiction at the library on Wednesday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m. Mark your calendar for this very popular event!