Forever Montauk

Written By: Judith  Savino

Yeah! It’s finally summer and BEACH DAY SUNDAY!  Hope Mom remembers my little pool, and my favorite towels.  We wait for this all year, our weekly drive East. “All aboard “…our 4 wheel drive jeep that Daddy bought just for me and the beach.. Montauk… here we come! Affectionately known as, “THE END!”

We pile in the jeep early with anticipation of this scenic journey heading east on 27A.  The picturesque landscape and the smell of honeysuckle permeate our senses like a living painting on a canvas worthy of the Parrish Art Museum.  We love to see the farms stands with all their bounty and mentally measure the corn stalk’s progression on each trip.

First stop, Hamptons Classic Coffee in Watermill. Mom and Dad get their espresso and I get to walk around.  I love to strut and show off my stuff by the picnic tables.  The beautiful landscape nursery, Laurel Group, across the street, always has Mom’s attention to the vogue outside décor and her love of flowers.

As we approach Bridgehampton, the Candy Kitchen and Bobby Vans kindles a kaleidoscope of great reminiscences of our East End. Mom said she had her first Cosmopolitan cocktail there before anyone knew of that popular libation. The stunning  Topping Rose Inn with all its grandeur and elegance is in view as we trek ahead.

As we approach East Hampton with all its glamor and lavishness we traverse through the storybook tunnel of majestic, bowing trees that canopy our jeep. We turn left at the White Mansion with the picket fence and red geraniums. Who resides there is the burning question every year??

We pass the bygone windmills and the enchanting swans with their young as the jeep continues east.  The cemetery on Pond Lane seems to gaze upon us with laments of olden centuries. Mom says there is an unmarked grave of an accused witch from 1658 buried in its silence. I stick my head out of the window hoping to see a celebrity amongst the beautiful shops.

We motor through the panoramic backdrop of each historic town with eagerness and jubilation as we are getting closer to our beloved Montauk. We say hello to Stephen Talkhouse   in Amagansett and remind ourselves to get their tee shirts this year. Mom says when you need a definition of COOL, it’s the Talkhouse!

Mom makes Dad stop by Mary Marvelous for the coconut cupcakes…another must in Amagansett!

Soon, we reach the open road of the Napeague stretch after Amagansett. We pass our favorite spot, ”Lunch” at the world famous Lobster Roll. The Clam Bar too, is on the way where Mom and Dad get their favorite yummy Manhattan clam chowder. The smell of the beach plum roses and the salty air is our elixir as we forge ahead.

As we approach the fork to Old Montauk Highway, Dad always takes the Old Highway. It has the most idyllic vistas of Montauk’s sweet allures.  The ocean dunes look so inviting we can’t wait to run the pebbled beach. The undulating road takes us past our old haunts of hotels with amassed memories of affection. Mom and her sisters stayed a zillion summers at the WaveCrest and Beachcomber through the years. We reach Montauk’s bustling town and feel alive with the summertime pulse reverberating everywhere. We make it a point to stop at White’s Pharmacy. White’s is our lifelong favorite spot for unusual sundries.   We saunter down the aisles with childlike curiosity with me in hand looking for that special something.

As we scout for our landmark to turn on East Lake Drive, we see Camp Hero’s radar tower straight ahead. Mom and Dad always talk about this spooky decommissioned   Air Force base park we explored. The “Montauk Chronicles” alleges there were mind control experiments, time travel and ALIENS on these ethereal grounds. I remember devouring Thanksgivings dinner take- out from Shagwong’s above the cliffs of this park  as we watched the winter surfers below.

We have reached our stone gate benchmark signaling the turn to East Lake Drive. Our hearts race with exhilaration for we are almost at our destination, Theodore State Park, Shagwong Point where the jeep rides the sand like a surfer in aquatic motion.

Shagwong Point still remains the most tranquil enclave that is still mostly somewhat uninhabited and naturally unspoiled. This stretch of beach on Block Island Sound is like a vacation adventure where seagulls and powder sand decree its paradise domain.  We are in awe as the prop planes traverse the skies above and a few four wheel drivers are the true beach souls. Shagwong Point is where our hearts and water converge in perfect harmonic seclusion.

Mom is the scout for the best beach spot to mark our claim. We love Shagwong Point for I can run the beach free as a bird,  and watch the twinkling water ever so inviting.  Mom hurriedly fills my little pool and sets the towels and umbrella for me like a movie star set.

We all walk and run around. They have their ritual on who will find the first piece of beach glass. We laugh and act silly like it’s our first time here. We search for interesting artifacts and driftwood pieces worthy of sculptures. The salty air, the motion of the swaying dune grasses, and the freedom of this special place is hypnotic. The Montauk Lighthouse is our beacon where all time has stopped.

I get so many kisses in my parent’s arms as we splash in and out of the water. I cherish these moments in time and know how very lucky I have been….

For I am the love of their life …I am a dog. I was their Kozmo. The best looking toy Maltese with swagger this side of Malta. I was the “Montauk Monster” jesting around our slice of paradise for 12 years.

They had to put me down 6/13/2014 for my little heart could no longer sustain me. They are lost and broken with profound sadness. They resurrected a cross hidden in the dunes of beach roses by our favorite spot on this beloved beach.

If you see them tell them I love them. Tell them I am in every fluttering butterfly, every twinkle of the sun’s rays glistening on that water of the Block Island Sound. Tell them to keep coming to Shawong Point and do everything we so loved. My spirit will be waiting for them in our favorite spot ready to play.

Tell them I will see them in Montauk…forever my Montauk.

Homage through a loving Mom’s heart and Montauk memories…