Montauk: Miracles, Magical and Motivating

Written By: Judith Entes

Montauk: Miracles, Magical and Motivating I am sobbing while watching the news. They are tears of joy. John Aldridge, a commercial fisherman, is found alive, after 12 hours in the Atlantic Ocean, about 43 miles from Montauk Point. The lobsterman fell off the boat. Though he was treated in the hospital for dehydration and sunburn, he said he hoped to return to work, the following week. It is an amazing story. In reading about the ordeal, I learned there were sharks surrounding him. What this incident represents to me is how he and the people from this region were able to demonstrate intelligence, inventiveness, integrity, and initiative. Mr. Aldridge knew that he needed to conserve energy; he had no idea how long he would be in the water. I do think he thought that there would be a search. He was right; there was a massive search and rescue effort. So many parties were involved including the Coast Guard, its partner agencies, and fishermen. Look, what can be accomplished when there is collaboration. If Mr. Aldridge didn’t use his rubber boots which he was wearing as flotation devices, who knows what could have happened? However, he used his mind, carefully making important decisions. I consider him to be a hero and a role model. Unfortunately, I do not know him but I do wonder what was going on in his mind. This July 2013, I was visiting Montauk and was reminded how beautiful the area was, with its open skies, sparkling waters, long beaches, green vineyards, and scrawling countryside. I felt embraced by Nature. And in my short stay I was surprised how my thought processes were working. I had never been able to read four books within a week. Initially, I thought that the sunlight and the outdoor air contributed to my success. But now, I think there may be other factors. Going to the beach reminded me of my childhood, especially my dad (he died when I was a teenager). Though, I felt his presence. In watching Aldridge’s family reunion, I felt such happiness. You could see the love. His young nephew was petting his hand, his dad embracing him, and all had huge smiles on their faces. They realized that one of their family members almost could have died. It would have been a tragic loss, for all of them, but also for humanity. And after all of this, John Aldridge was ready to get back to work. It seems that there were many working to find Mr. Aldridge. In so doing, they probably lost income. But many took immediate action. A Coast Guard spokesman, “credited recreational and commercial boaters with helping in the search. ” In recognizing the importance of the local people and the sacrifices they made, it was reassuring. I have not lost hope in society. But, I do live in New York City, and I can’t escape the news in print, on the Internet, and on television. A major story (or should I say, material for comedians) is about Anthony Weiner, running for mayor in New York City. A couple of years ago, he was forced to resign from Congress, because of sexting. And it is validated that he has continued this behavior and refuses to step down. What is he thinking? And why isn’t he spending his time on worthwhile activities? Perhaps, he needs to visit Montauk. Perhaps, here he can think logically. Perhaps, here he can observe hard-working people, enjoying, and cherishing their families. Maybe, this atmosphere can knock some common sense into him. And maybe the air is special. I wasn’t surprised to read that there was going to be an outdoor pop-up exhibition in Montauk, this August. “The idea was to celebrate Montauk’s legacy as a haven for artists.” I attended SUNY at Stony Brook, and was pleased to hear that the Southhampton campus of Stony Brook received landmark status for the windmill, based on the playwright, Tennessee Williams, living there during the summer of 1957. I am so anxious to return to Montauk so I could be inspired and motivated by the magic and miracles.