My journey to shoot for the moon.

New York Memories

A couple of months ago I was reading one of my magazines.  They are mindless fun for me, as there are just some days that I can’t concentrate on a “real” book.  I tend to take them with me when I’m with Chris for appointments; I can’t concentrate on anything that I need to think about.  I also have a few in the car for when I’m waiting on the boys.  There are a couple more in the bathroom for bubble baths.

Anyway, I was reading one of them (I honestly don’t remember which one) and there was an article written by a woman who went out to Montauk Point, New York with friends and family every year.  I could probably find it if I looked for it, but the article isn’t important.  It was the memories that I had because of the article.

My parents lived in New York until after I was born.  My grandparents and great-grandparents lived in New York.  My mother’s grandmother (Nana) had something like 7 brothers and sisters.  They all lived in New York and my mother’s grandfather had a slew of them as well.  These were my mother’s maternal grandparents (her paternal family is for another story).  So, there were tons of cousins and extended family in New York.  Some of this extended family gets confused in my mind:  sometimes I can’t remember if the people were relatives, or just really good friends of my grandmother’s.  But someone (Mickey and Murray) had a house out near Montauk Point.

We only went there once.  It was my grandmother, my parents, my brother and I.  I remember only bits and pieces.  I remember that there was an in-ground pool at the house.  I remember the ocean.  The smell of the ocean, the smell of the salt in the air.  Oh, and the glorious sound of the ocean.  There is nothing more breathtaking than your first glimpse of the ocean.  It is such a sensory experience.  You hear, smell and feel the water and salt in the air.  You hear the gulls and the waves.  The waves are violently beautiful and loud.  I love the ocean.  I think that I’ve been to the ocean fewer than 10 times in my life and only once as an adult.  But I love the ocean.

From our trip to Montauk Point, I remember walking on the beach and Jeff, my brother, finding a sting-ray.  I don’t think that we got to swim.  I think that it was too cold.  But I really don’t remember.

I know that we went to see the lighthouse.  What I don’t remember is how we got there.  My impression is that we walked, but looking at the current pictures of the lighthouse, I think that is unlikely.  I don’t think that we got to go inside.  I have no memories of ever being inside a lighthouse (and I think that I would remember that – but who knows?).

Photo by: Pamela Bednarik from http://www.montauklighthouse.com

The clearest thing in my memory, besides that my parents went skinny-dipping in the pool after Jeff and I went to sleep, was eating at Gosman’s Dock.  I went and looked at the current pictures of Gosman’s Dock, it is still there, however, they don’t do my memory justice.  I remember walking on the boards of the dock and being able to see bits of the water underneath us.  I remember sitting outside on the dock and watching the boats.  I remember the smells and the sounds.  I don’t remember what we ate, but I do remember it being a big deal.  I remember it being an expensive restaurant and that Jeff and I were on our best behavior.  But I also remember it being casual.

When I think back, I remember the wonder of seeing the ocean (I was a midwest girl) and the beauty of it all.  I don’t think that we would have stayed at the house for more than a couple of days, many of our trips to New York were less than a week and since my father was there, I’m sure that we drove (Grandma didn’t drive) from Illinois.  But to read an article and have the memories come flooding back was a very enlightening experience.  I had forgotten.  Maybe not forgotten, just had no reason to remember.

When sparked, these memories are very clear in my mind.  I have to ask my mom if there are any pictures of our visit to Montauk Point, as I wonder if my memories are accurate.  Or maybe not, as the pictures on the internet aren’t what I remember of Gosman’s Dock.  They are too modern.  Too clean and sterile and much too bright.   The shapes of the dock are right, but the colors are wrong.  The pictures under the History link at their website are too old (Gosman’s Dock opened in 1947) as I think we would have gone either in the late 1970’s or very early 1980’s.  Pictures of our visit there might just ruin the memories.

I think that if I were to visit Montauk Point, it would be very different from what I remember.  My memories of this trip, this short episode in relation to my entire life, are precious.  They deserve to be shared.  I only wish that I could take a picture of what I see in my mind.

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