Written By: Lori  Diorio




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


our minds.

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,