Sag Harbor Summer

Written By: C. Gillespie

It was the 80’s. The era of excess. Good music, big hair, short shorts, baggy shirts, rubber bracelets… the list could go on and on. But what do I remember the most? The good times because I got to live in little town called Sag Harbor. The “Harbor” is the jewel of the Hamptons. Sag Harbor has beautiful homes, the water, great shops, excellent food but most of all the people here are what make it so special.

We weren’t rich kids. Some were more comfortable than others. Some were here while their parents worked in the city (can you say party house). But most of our parents were just struggling to maintain the east end life. No matter what each of our stories were, we could always come together in one place. Town.

We could grab a slice of the best pizza at Conca Doro or some fries at The Paradise. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We could grab a bagel, soda, and bag of chips at one of the many great deli’s then head to the town bench. The one in front of the payphone. Yes, I said payphone. Because everyone knew the number by heart and if it rang you answered it. Before cell phones that’s how we knew where our friends were. Strangers would yell down the street. For dessert we could grab some amazing ice cream and play arcade games.

In the summer the boats let the tourists off at the wharf and although we might spot a celebrity or two we usually found something else to do because we felt invaded by all the people. So our summers were filled with riding our bikes, swimming in pools, going to the beach, horseback riding and enjoying life as kids should enjoy life. Sure we had our share of mischief. Sorry to all the teachers at Pierson High School. Every day the walk home from school led me around one of my favorite places, Otter Pond. Sometimes I would row my boat into the pond and visit the adorable otters. Another favorite spot, Mashashimuet Park, so many good memories here playing baseball with my friends, and watching my step brother play baseball with his league. Not to mention the awesome trails behind the park that were good for hours and hours of dirt bike and ATV riding. If we wanted to spend time with one of our friends we rode to their house on our bikes and knocked on their door. Or we could always walk wherever we wanted to go no matter how far. To be young like that again.

Those were all the best of times with my friends in our little town called Sag Harbor. Most of us moved in different directions to different states. Michigan, Florida, California, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, the list goes on.  Some are still in Sag Harbor. Sadly, we’ve said goodbye to a few.  Thanks to Facebook we can stay in touch with those who are left. As we often do, as we grow older, we learn to appreciate the things and people of our past. I wasn’t born in Sag Harbor. I moved there when I was very young and instantly fell in love. I made lifelong friends. And even at a young age I was enamored with the history of Sag Harbor. The town, the churches, and the school everything seemed to have a feeling of the past.  I imagined the women waiting for their men as I passed by the old houses with widow’s walks. Were their men out Whaling? And did they make it home?  I used to walk past the Bulova watch factory and imagine a time so long ago. And although Sag Harbor is not the same place as it was all those years ago it is still very special. And I thank God that we got to grow up in the time we did, with the people we did and most of all where we did. Because no matter where are now and how much has changed out east we all shared the Sag Harbor life.