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Sixty-Something: The Pure Magic Of July In The Hamptons

T.J. Clemente

You never know when you might turn left instead of right and drive to a beach for a couple of moments of Hamptons July beach bliss. (Photo: Nicole Barylski)

There are many ways to enjoy the pleasures of a July summer's day. For some it is the magic of a day/week/month at the beach somewhere in the Hamptons. There is a serenity for some to be laying on a towel or sitting in a deluxe beach chair just yards from the breaking ocean waves with that nice special cool summer breeze tantalizing the senses while sipping a cold glass of wine, beer or juice. Those July Hamptons moments are slices of heaven. Slices that are earned by hard work and by sacrifices of responsibilities, but when those moments of a perfect summer's day at the beach are at hand, all is very good in your world.

The flip side to the bliss is the hassle of sharing this moment with a multitude of other folks. For many locals this is not enjoyable. They see their paradise become inundated by people they consider another species of man. Even so, everyone has their "go to" spot to experience a beach day.

The East End, even on a most crowded day, has spaces and places to find solitude along the ocean and bays. I have mine. I sail to it. Many times I am swimming with my wife, or friends with only pristine beach in sight. That is the magic of the Hamptons, there is actually 60 miles of ocean beach front and perhaps another 100 miles of bay beaches. The sweetener being the cleanest pristine seawater on the East Coast of the U.S.A.

Being able to sample the wonderment and magic of such spots is living life. That dip into the brisk ocean on a hot day is a ritual that goes back to the days when we first learned to walk and were brought to the sea by our parents and grandparents to experience what they experienced when they were as young.

I remember being at the beach with my dad and him telling me of swimming in the East River in NYC as a very young boy during the depression. He then looked at the Montauk beach and said, "It wasn't as beautiful as this." I remember the night in Monte Carlo when my aunt Kate, then in her seventies, told me about my grandfather taking the train every summer to Montauk to fish off the ocean well before World War II. "He brought back fresh fish for the whole neighborhood," she recalled ever so fondly.

My aunt Kate's son settled in Montauk in the 1970's and she loved visiting her grandchildren and going to their Montauk beaches with them. I too vacationed with my own children in the 1980's and 1990's in Montauk, utilizing Gin Beach on the Block Island Sound for its tameness for the children. Then I lived full-time for four years at Ditch Plains, just a counted 435 steps from the breaking ocean waves. I must confess July and August felt like an invasion, but it was always great people watching.

It's now July 2019. I have my East Hampton Town Beach Sticker on my car with my beach chairs in the trunk. I have extra clean towels on the back seat along with a spare bathing suit because you never know when you might turn left instead of right and drive to a beach for a couple of moments of Hamptons July beach bliss. Most days I take a short sail to my beach, other times I drive because in the Hamptons a sweet beach is always only minutes away.

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