Saturday, July 30, 2011

Montauk Point would almost be The Beginning

I think the last time I went to the Montauk Point Lighthouse on Long Island had to be sometime right after the movie Amistad was released in 1997. I remember the display in the museum, and the fascinating letters that documented the fate of the brave men who overpowered the slave ship and landed it off the coast there. A thousand ancient stories are tied to an old lighthouse. People call Montauk Point THE END but to me it sounds like a beginning. This is an awesomely interesting and historic place!

There is something completely romantic about the winding metal staircase in a 300 year-old lighthouse, (if you can get your imagination past the 10 people climbing next to you as you avoid falling down the stairs by sliding up each step with your body pressed to the brick walls). Turn your fantasy into a nightmare by climbing over 100 winding narrow steps with three little children who have to go to the potty when they hit step 121.

Next to the lighthouse is the original dwelling of the first lighthouse keeper and beside it, there is a garden.

I like to read novels involving lighthouses and I just finished The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Lenore Skomal. It is the true story of Ida Lewis, and her life as the keeper of the Lime Rock Lighthouse in Rhode Island from 1879 until her death in 1911. She heroically rescued many people and was as tough as nails. Nobody messed with her and she did whatever she wanted to do.

I think I could almost be a 19th century lighthouse keeper, except I'm not that confident of a swimmer. I mean, I know I couldn't rescue anyone, so I just would stay up in my lighthouse. With the little house below, the garden, plus a few chickens and a cow, I'd be totally self-sufficient out at Montauk Point. I'd lock myself up in the tower writing all day and night as ships collided or were wrecked on the shore. Sure, I'd make certain the light was lit, so I could see the paper and my fountain pen. Whatever happened out on the water would totally not be my problem. After all, "daringly rescue people" is not officially part of the 19th century lighthouse keeper's job description. As long as the light was kept on, then my job would be done. I couldn't grow a beard, but up in the lighthouse I could try and I bet nobody would stop me.

I'm not sure I'd notice all of the commotion on the beach, but after a year or two I bet I'd have a few novels written as long as I could bring an iPad with Internet access from the 21st century, because I prefer typing over using pen and paper. I'd also need a space heater up there so I wouldn't freeze and bottled water because who knows what's in that well. One last request would be a large supply of Chocolatey Delight Special K cereal. Unfortunately, I would have no patience for the sea captains I might have to deal with and their crazy 19th century chauvinistic mentality. They and various murderous pirates better not come near me or my lighthouse, because I'd have my iPad up in the tower and would sell them and the contents of their ship on eBay. I bet I'd make a killing. If they seemed too threatening to wrap in bubble plastic and mail off, I'd tell them my dumb jokes until they all voluntarily drowned themselves. Of course I'd be acting in self-defense. When the coast was clear, I could blog about my lighthouse adventures. I bet I could amuse myself for years as a 19th century lighthouse keeper. Oh, wait- the bathroom would be outside ... forget it.

-Pictures from a recent day at Montauk Point, Long Island, NY.


Putz said...

why, why couldn't you grow a beard?????/you could try

rhymeswithplague said...

Hi, Loren! I haven't been to your blog for a while, but I thought of you after putting together my latest post and thought you might be interested.

I am not Roman Catholic, you know, but that may be a little difficult to determine from my post! What can I say?

I like the new look of your blog, by the way.

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


Loren Christie

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