Dune Road Dreams

Written By: Elisa  Shostack

Two Thousand and Nine was Robin Stringer’s year. It started off with a travel writing trip to Las Vegas. A trip that included another romantic escapade, explained away as part of her writer’s “research.” At least she convinced herself of this. If this happened on many past travels, why would this year be any different? Day job as a social worker, and travel writer “on the side.” This was unique enough, no need to add new elements this year. Or perhaps there was a desire for change and for “settling down.”

The best person to attest to Robin’s wild experiences and double life, was Martin Fish. Martin was Robin’s best friend for over 10 years. A quarter of a century age difference couldn’t get in the way of their friendship which was immediate, yet devoid of anything remotely romantic. He was her go to guy, the person she could laugh and cry about anything with and with whom she did a great deal of traveling. If he had a comedy show to manage away from home, she would find a way to finagle a free room as barter for a travel article. Of all the places they visited together, the Hamptons were their favorite.

The late night road trips out east to beat the traffic. Crossing Montauk Highway and feeling a personal sense of peace that the whole weekend was ahead of them with the NYC bustle in the rear view mirror. The idle chatter over a local latte. And their favorite, people watching from the wicker rocking chairs at the Westhampton inn they frequented.

Robin and Martin made these trips frequently, year after year, both in summer and during the off season. On Thanksgiving they would drive all along Dune Road and gasp at the houses they would probably never afford. One time, Robin asked a local homeowner an innocent question as they drove by. It gets pretty dark along Dune Road and she could not see the owner’s car close up. She asked if his car was “a Kia?” “Noooo, he scorned, IT’S A PORSCHE,” emphasis placed on the last E of course!

From attending a house of worship with famous movie directors, well known business people and not so spiritual leaders to garage sailing across the towns in order to work off their weekly wedding style buffet, they had THE life. Like Bonnie and Clyde, without the bank robberies.

Summer of two thousand and nine was different for Robin. Yes, she had her usual encounters with men she fell in love with for the day or the weekend. She wrote about them in a pen name of course. This particular summer, the man of choice was someone she thought was completely unattainable for her. Ronan was a prominent elected official. Robin was a smart but silly chick from Brooklyn. He would never like her. But he did, he liked her a lot, in the rain and on the beach. While these meetings would be as short lived as many of her other “lost loves,” there was a keen difference. Ronan actually cried to Robin and admitted what they were doing was wrong. He was newly married, she thought he was newly separated. He truly cared for Robin but could do nothing about it. Immediately she realized, probably for the first time in her dating/love life, that men do have souls and they are capable of admitting mistakes. They are actually HUMAN, what a concept. No sooner did the rain clear up, and Robin apologized to Ronan but thanked him for helping guide her new path and renewed faith in true love.

Summer was over in the Hamptons, back to reality. A new reality. Robin traveled less but when she did, she kept it to touring, not scoring. She focused on her original career, her immediate family and friends and her new found weight loss, thanks to Mr. Pilates.

Fast forward to around Thanksgiving, two thousand and nine, again one of Robin and Martin’s favorite times to visit the east end. This Thanksgiving was spent with family instead and it was extra special because Robin met a wonderful man online just before the holiday. His name was Joseph Stack. They grew up blocks away from each other yet they“never met.” She kept calm but knew in her heart that since she was different now, this love would be different. And sure enough it was.

Robin and Joseph married in 2011 and had a baby boy 10 months later.

Sounds too romantic to be real? Well it was finally real for Robin. And yes 2009 was her life changing year.

Only one person was missing. Martin.

He passed away at the end of the 2008 summer season. All the laughs, travels and times together and yet he never saw Robin finally find the man of her dreams and “settle down.”

Perhaps he WAS with her and he did see it happen. IS it possible he helped to guide her heart from a far away place and in her dreams, Dune Road Dreams?