By Lori Diorio
Ahhh. The lure of the east end! What started as a spur of the moment trip has extended into a
twenty plus year tradition. Visiting friends vacationing in Montauk I remember thinking, “That much
for a little trailer!” But as we walked and talked the magic took hold, coming in with the breeze and
settling in to my very core. Thus began my love affair with the east end.
My journey began as a family of four…then five…then six. Like the tides the years came and
went with them some highs and lows. Like being witness to a fearsome but beautiful summer storm..
In an instant bright sunny skies turned pitch black with an occasional warning of natures’ power as
lightening lit the sky and struck the ground. Just as quickly the black turned bright again leaving
behind a double rainbow filled with promises of wonderful things to come. Or the very lowest of times
when my own skies turned black as my husband announced ,while I lay in bed incapacitated with a
mysterious illness for the second day, that our toddler had gone missing! These darkest of dark clouds
passed quickly too thanks to the caring family next door who discovered the wandering child and
returned her unharmed and smiling. Then there was the time the first discovery was made. The
discovery that gave rise to Who Will Make the Most Interesting Find game. This first discovery was
found after a rather hot and buggy, hike through the trails leading to some old WWII ruins. There
amongst the gray and crumbling walls of the past was the most refreshing and colorful expression of
youth painted on a rock by some unknown artist of the present. Then there was the discovery of a
wonderful little restaurant found off the beaten track after we shamefully left our original choice when
our young daughter made a scene in this very popular place because they did not serve chicken
fingers!. With every low comes a high!
Over the years we have discovered a plethora of treasures from a straw doll made of local brush
tucked under our porch to the floor show put on by a mother bird and her chicks as they danced in and
out of the waves , sights and experiences that only lasted for a fleeting moment in time but forever in
Another treasure hunt game traditionally played in our family, as well, is that of the five dollar
souvenir find. In this game I am always the winner since no one else can get past the fifty five dollar
sweatshirts! But me, I always find that perfect bargain. To this day, twenty years later, at the bottom of
my beach bag you will find my five dollar palm tree strewn straw sandals ready to rescue me from hot
sand and paved streets, on my finger an etched shell ring and on my counter a big mouthed goldfish
declaring me the winner over and over again.
Like the years, the children too come and go. The young boys that once splashed in the surf,
collected shells, and scraped shins now journeyed to the east on their own, appetites brewing,
surfboards in tow and arms wrapped around sweethearts. The little sister turns into a young girl,
replacing brothers with teenage friends to share in the fun of fireside chats,swimming, sunning,
shopping and always, ALWAYS, hoping to attract the attention of some handsome young boy with
beachy hair and tanned skin. Then, much to every ones’ surprise and delight, along came Jada. The
journey comes full circle as I once again watch the little one play in the surf,collect shells, make
friends, build castles, lick drippy icecream cones and plan for the day she brings her friends to take
part in our east end escapades.
Drawn back each year by the sun and surf, the festivals, the smiles, the mouth watering delights,