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Written By: Patricia  Walsh

It was summer of 1984 and we had been coming to the Soundview Inn in Southold for a few years. We were a young Long Island family of four living on a budget and the Soundview was affordable, beachfront, and family friendly. You could rent a room or a suite where you could cook. All rooms had a view of the sound, hence the name, with either a community boardwalk or private balconies. The quaint town of Greenport was a walk away and had all the amenities necessary, from restaurants, historic sites, food stores, and boutiques. Aside from the aesthetic qualities, the Soundview had a history, something which drew me in and kept me coming back. It was such an intoxicating and intriguing place.
Historically, it began with a snack bar on the beach and a young man looking for work in the 1930’s. The township on the North Fork was looking for someone to run the concession stand on their local beach and a young man was given the opportunity. The snack bar soon became a popular summer spot, selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and thick shakes. Folks, young and old, danced to the jukebox, played on the beach and swam the sultry summer days away.
By the late 1940’s when the Soundview Restaurant was built, it was a small beachfront seafood restaurant at the tip of the beach. Just a stone’s throw away from snack bar, it quickly became a go-to destination for country drives. A few yards away on the beach stood a boat landing where local fisherman would haul in their fresh catch from a day of fishing, giving the chef at the restaurant fresh fish inches from the kitchen door. In the early 1950’s, the Sound Shores Motel was built one mile east of the snack bar and adjacent to the restaurant. Finally in the late 1960’s, the seaside resort was born. The motel and restaurant, under the same ownership, created an East End playground for beach lovers and fishermen.
That August of ‘84 my husband and I, with our 11 year old twins had rented a 2 ½ room suite for the week. It had been a long cruel winter and we were anxious to begin our vacation. It was already late afternoon and we wanted to do as much fishing as possible before the sun descended. We finally got settled and headed down to the beach with its magnificent view of Long Island Sound. The water was so clear you could look down and see the sound’s floor. Shells, sparking and bright, were nestled in the green flora. It felt so good, so tranquil. Beyond the horizon, fish swam in a flurry of rainbow colors as we coaxed them with our baited hooks. Avid fishermen know that the North Fork and Long Island Sound are great spots for snapper fishing.
As the four of us fished adjacent to each other, I marveled at the number of fish that were being reeled in around me. All along the beachfront, hotel guests and others were enjoying the bounty of the sound – all except me! I kept checking my hook for bait, which was either there or gone. Where were my fish? A few hundred yards away, men were fishing solely with lines, hooks and bait – no rods. As they cast their lines into the sound lasso style, they were graced with gifts from the sound. Why not me? Was I invisible? I never did catch anything that day, which still remains a mystery to me. But between my husband and the boys, thirty snappers were caught that afternoon. Despite their size, we knew they would make for a nice dinner that evening!
The sun was still high in the sky as we headed back to our balcony. Walking along the rocky beach was like walking on hot coals, and after a harsh winter, the heat radiating from the sand felt heavenly. As the sun began to set we sat on the balcony watching the sunset and the rainbows it produced. Fresh caught fish, sunsets, and sound views from our balcony – life was good to us that day. Little did we know that it would be the last summer of its kind. Sadly, the boys lost their dad the next year.

Cost of vacation – $800.00
Number of fish caught that one beautiful day – 30
Memories for a lifetime – Priceless