Montauk Community Notes, June 26


Right now in my garden the New Dawn climbing rose is exquisite. Many blooms have just emerged and very few petals litter the ground. I planted this rosebush about twenty years ago from a shoot given to me by my aunt, Helen Dolce. She had an equally huge New Dawn by her sunny brick patio. Her rosebush came from a shoot from my own mother’s garden in South Orange, New Jersey, probably in the late 1950s. There’s an old photo of me when I was about 8-years-old dressed in shorts standing in front of my mother’s massive rosebush holding my first two-wheeler bicycle.New Dawn, I have discovered, was the first plant ever patented, back in 1930. It’s a vigorous cane growth with good disease-resistance and does well in Montauk. The double blooms are pale pink.

On the subject of exquisite, I greatly enjoyed the concert at the Montauk Library this past Sunday afternoon, June 22, when I had the extraordinary experience of hearing the duo, violinist Akiko Kobayashi play with Eric Siepkes on piano. At the last minute a respectably-sized audience appeared. Due to perfect weather, I suspect people had a hard time deciding, concert or beach? The beach will always be there, I hope. Rare perfect weather days happen. How often does one get the chance to experience world-class, young musicians, and for free?

I especially enjoyed the Six Romanian Folk Dances by Bartók which the young pair performed as a duet. I learned that Béla Bartók (1881-1945) traveled the Hungarian and Romanian countryside collecting recordings of folksongs before World War II. The large and inconvenient recording device Bartók used for this looked like a phonograph, according to Mr. Siepkes. The composer kept meticulous records of exactly who performed for him. Even now his journals are used as historical documents of the people who lived in these remote areas. I came away resolving to listen to more Bartók!

Congratulations to Thea Grenci, named to the Dean’s List at Penn State University for the spring 2014 semester. Thea is a student at the School of Agricultural Studies at Penn State’s main campus, and is the older daughter of proud parents Tom and Lisa Grenci of Montauk. Younger sister Eva Grenci graduates from East Hampton High School on June 27, and heads for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in September. Eva is an early (February 2014) high school graduate and National Honor Society member.

Please send me news of graduations, academic awards and distinctions achieved by your family members. I’ll be pleased to include them in upcoming columns.

At Montauk Community Church, where I along with some of my family members are choir members, two weeks of choir remain before we take a summer break. Thereafter, we look forward to performances by congregation members as well as visitors; all of whom are folks willing to volunteer their musical talents. If you’d like to participate, contact choir director, Lydia Shaternik Burns, through the church office at 668-2022 or enquire at

The MCC choir gladly welcomes new members. I didn’t join immediately because I was under the mistaken impression that it’s necessary to be proficient at reading music. Reading ability is valued, and I’m gradually learning more. However, the group welcomed me even in my relatively untrained musical state. It’s a lot of fun and I’m convinced choir is good for my intellect.

Joe Delia and Friends kick off the annual Monday Night Concerts on the Green summer series on June 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. These free outdoor concerts are sponsored by the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. Bring your own blanket or beach chairs for seating.

The Chamber presents its Annual Stars over Montauk patriotic fireworks display by Grucci on Friday, July 4, at 9 p.m., at Umbrella Beach, about an eighth of a mile past the center of town. The Chamber has been a sponsor of the annual fireworks show for more than 16 years and couldn’t produce this event without your generous donations, which they would love for you to drop off at the Chamber office. As the date nears you can visit the Chamber’s Facebook page for fireworks updates.

The annual Shark’s Eye Tournament and Festival returns to Montauk Marine Basin, July 11 through 13. Limited team entries are still available to compete for prize money.

For more information on the tournament, contact Carl Darenberg of Montauk Marine Basin at 668-5900, or visit

At The Library

Children’s librarian Julie Anne Korpi is planning a Mad Science’s Fire and Ice Show this Saturday, June 28, at 3:15 p.m. to kick off the Summer Reading Club, for grades kindergarten through six. “Fizz! Boom! Read! Learn about science while watching this exciting show!” Visitors are welcome free of charge. Sign up for reading club begins this Friday, June 27. There’s also a “Read-To-Me” program designed for infants and up to age 5, because, according to Miss Korpi, your child is never too young to listen.

This Sunday, June 29, at 3:30 p.m., you’re invited to another free summer concert at the library, “A Very Innocent Diversion: Music in Jane Austen’s England.”

Kate Hurney, soprano, and Kathleen Addleman, pianist, will present a program of readings, songs and informal musings about this loved author and her musical contemporaries. According to Library Programs Director Carolyn Balducci, at some performances the artists wear period dress. The program will include pieces by Arne, Haydn, Rossini, Beethoven, Gay, Sarti, Bishop and Graef.

I probably don’t need to remind you about the Friends of the Library Book Sale coming to the Green on Saturday, July 5, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I will urge you to volunteer. It takes a lot of people to make this popular event happen. Call the library at 668-3377 to sign up.

If you’re interested in learning Mah Jongg, Shelly Faber will be teaching classes on Tuesdays, July 22 and 29, from 1 to 3 p.m. Mark your calendars! Register and ask for details at the circulation desk.

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