With more yesterdays than tomorrows you look into mirrors to find the reflections of who you were, who you are, and whom you still might be. The sun is always shining in space as we spin into darkness and then back into light. The gift of life is both everything you can do and the limit of everything you can do while you are alive within the puzzle everyone solves everyday. Welcome to what it’s like being “Sixty Something.”
This week’s “Sixty Something” column is about how the East End of Long Island has an energy that while it doesn’t fight back the struggles of growing older, it disguises aging, making you feel young. Year’s back, I had the privilege to ask Lauren Bacall a few questions about a screening of Murder on the Orient Express (the original film) at Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Ms. Bacall was talking about the movie, when she stopped and said, “Everyone always asks me what it was like to be married to Humphrey Bogart for 12 years, and I had two children with Bogart and then my youngest son Sam with Jason Robards…” She then looked about, Alec Baldwin was sitting next to her and she changed her tone and in her dramatic unique voice recited loud enough to get Baldwin’s and everyone’s attention said, “Time, the enemy of us all.”
I believe living or spending quality time on the East End is a magical, powerful way to witness sunsets, sunrises, thunderstorms, snowstorms and hopefully “benign” Nor’easters. With the ageless beauty the East End provides, I have decided to spend much of my golden years here.
When I attended Montauk legend Nick Monte’s funeral (10 years ago this week) at Gurney’s Inn and world famous spa that he put on the map, it was special. One of the many speakers was a Gurney’s employee who told the story of being summoned to somewhere in Italy where Nick was in a hospital due to an illness. When she arrived, she asked Nick Monte, “How are you feeling, Nick?” He was sitting in the hospital bed yet he beamed and said, “Never been better!” That she said was the state of mind Nick Monte used to live a long, full life. He passed away just shy of his 91st birthday. Paul Monte, in his reflection, said to the gathering that Nick used to drink a shot of Gurney’s beach ocean saltwater every day. As to his wishes, Nick Monte’s ashes were released from a stunt plane over the Montauk Ocean Beach of Gurney’s Inn. I know I was there. It was a raw cold day on the beach.
It is ocean beaches that I love so much on the East End. Walking the Montauk ocean beach after midnight with my old Beagle under the canopy of a billion of stars was almost always a nightly event. Seeing and actually hearing the commercial fishing boats with their lights on was somehow soothing. Believe it or not, my ritual was not to head back home until I saw a shooting star and I always did see one.
If you are reading this you must know what I am talking about, how special it is to live or vacation on the East End. When I sail and watch the nightly dazzling sunsets I feel something. So many souls have lived a life on this earth over the thousands of years, their energy must be existing somewhere somehow all the time. A huge chunk of that forever energy is in the skies of the East End of Long Island.