Everything that exists was once someone’s dream and idea. From the wheel to the device driving around Mars taking photos. As you grow older, you make choices, and some dreams go by the wayside. Interviewing people you get to hear of dreams or crazy ideas that came to fruition either by luck, planning, hard work or a combination of things. The east end of Long Island is littered with both heartbreaks and dreams that came into fruition beyond one’s wildest dreams. From the mansions along the ocean’s shoreline to the original small Baymen’s homes many an east-end Long Islander goes to sleep each night only to dream again.
Have you ever caught yourself writing in last year on checks or signature/date requests? Years back I did that on a January Mortgage payment only to have the bank not accept the check for payment. That was long before automatic payments online.
Now it is 2023. That’s twenty-three years into the 21st century! For me, it seems the year 2000 was just yesterday. I was living and working in Manhattan then just a few thousand feet from Times Square. Passing through Times Square daily was something I took for granted. My company had our annual meetings in the Marquis Marriot. People would fly in, and I would walk from my office to the convention hall in five minutes. Now I go there and I feel like I have landed on another planet. The bright lights, and huge electronic billboards stun me like I am in Oz.
I still have a few attainable dreams. Striving to achieve one or two in 2023 has me excited about the coming year. What is life without attainable goals and dreams? I remember when things were going sideways at work or in my family life I used to climb a mountain somewhere to bag a peak, see the view, and feel like at least in that moment I accomplished something.
One morning while hiking up Bear Mountain in the Hudson Highlands of New York, I mildly sprained my ankle. I tripped on a branch on the trail rushing down after reaching the summit. I felt stupid being alone in the middle of nowhere, but obviously, I hiked successfully back to my car. Later that night I attended an Annual Meeting of the American Alpine Club N.Y. Chapter at the Union Club (east 69st.) I was early and Phil Erard who was the President of the chapter and a friend introduced me to someone while I was ordering a cocktail.
Phil said, “T.J. meet Robert Anderson.” So, I limped over to Robert Anderson and said, “I did something stupid earlier today; I sprained my ankle hiking solo down Bear Mountain. I felt stupid being alone but I did get down.”
Anderson replied, “I had almost the same experience solo climbing down from the summit of Mt. Vinson (16,050 ft.) in Antarctica.” It seems Mr. Robert Anderson was the guest speaker as he was one Mt. Everest Climb from achieving his dream of climbing the “Seven Summits,” the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. That next spring, he successfully climbed Mt. Everest Solo becoming the first person to solo the “Seven Summits.”
I asked him, “What was it like being alone on Mt. Vinson alone in Antarctica with his ankle throbbing?” He smiled and said, “At first probably the same as you, wondering how I am going to get down.” Then I joked, “At least you didn’t have to ice it!”
Some of my goals for 2023 include some new sailing adventures in Gardiner’s Bay. One of my dreams is to get an extensive tour of both Plum Island and Gardiner’s Island. My desire to get to Gardiner’s Island as a guest, was stated on the screen of the 2022 HIFF Documentary about the island titled, “The End.”
To be one of those “featured” in a film at the Hamptons Film Festival was a dream of mine that came true in 2022.
Hopefully next year I will be revealing another goal/dream that happened in 2023!