Even after fifty years every time I go to Montauk I can still hear my mom’s voice. As my dad would drive us to Ditch Pains in his black and white Ford sedan for the best summers ever my mom would be shouting- Thomas slow down. The more my mom would yell the faster my dad drove. My sister and I would laugh at every dip in the road on Old Montauk Hwy. and after the fourth or fifth dip we knew we were almost at the caboose we would call home for the rest of the summer. Once we arrived we would put our bathing suits on and head to the beach. The water was still cold but we didn’t notice. We stayed in the water all day until our parents called us for dinner. After dinner all the kids would head back down to the beach again while moms and dads sat around talking and catching up and drinking whiskey sours. The dads would stay for long weekends and then head back home for work while the moms and kids got to stay from the last day of school in June until a few days before school started up again in September. Whenever I hear someone order a whiskey sour I think of Montauk. It seemed like one big happy extended family. Old and new friends, barbeques, surfing and always a trip to White’s Department Store. White’s Department Store was the best. My sister and I always got new flip flops and kites and my dad got a toothbrush because every year he forget to pack his. I learned how to skim board and surf in Montauk and have to admit we used to “borrow” stop signs to use as skim boards. We never were bored and there was always something to do. Crazy how we didn’t miss television at all. At night we would have bonfires and look at the darkest skies filled with what seemed like millions of stars. All the kids would try to be the first one to spot a shooting star. To me it felt like paradise. When it was time for bed my dad would heat bricks in the fire pits and put them under our mattresses for extra warmth. Fishing was always a big part of our time in Montauk and we would have contests to see who caught the most fish. I never won but had a great time trying. One morning we woke up to find a dead beached whale. As kids, we thought this was the most exciting thing and didn’t notice the horrible smell of the whale like our parents did. We even played King of the Mountain on the dead whale. That whale was the coolest thing to us. Now at fifty nine years old I still think these were the best vacations I ever had. Although the cabooses are now gone from Ditch Plains, I still think Montauk has that wonderful family friendly feel and laid back vibe. My son is now thirty two years old but also loved the special times we’ve spent in Montauk and he still visits for work and pleasure. He is now a photographer and has shot many photos at the lighthouse and on the beaches looking up at the cliffs. When we have out of town guests we take them to Montauk to enjoy. Beautiful and clean beaches, great restaurants and shopping are all available as well as some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I hope to someday have lots of grand kids and enjoy Montauk with them as I did as a child and as my son did.