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Sixty-Something: Beach And Room Service

T.J. Clemente

The author in Mexico. (Courtesy Photo)

It is said that there is no cure for the common cold, and being in the middle of a bad one I wish there was. Taking all the various remedies helps until they don't, and you are back to square one. Clogged sinuses, ears so stuffed you cannot actually hear and coughs that hurt your ribs. Let's face it, having a bad cold is a bad time.

Now one thing I have learned over the last decade and a half is nobody works harder than the folks on the East End. Almost everyone has two if not three jobs. It's not even a topic for conversation, it is a given folks on the East End just work hard. However, eventually almost everyone goes on vacation. Many East Enders choose beach locations of favorite islands or Central American countries.

Last week I was in Cancun, Mexico. My wife and I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton. We usually go to St. Thomas but due to the recent hurricanes our favorite hotel on St. Thomas is closed until 2019. So we chose to visit Mexico. With the security issues, we actually stayed on the hotel grounds for a week of what we lovingly called, "Beach and Room Service." It wasn't our plan to eat in the room, but the meals were good and the service was amazing. So we kept ordering breakfast and dinners. We did have small lunches at a snack bar right off the beach, and loved every one of those too.

On such trips you meet folks and we met a nice couple from New Jersey and two couples from the State of Washington. The folks from Washington knew of Montauk only from the Showtime show, The Affair. They were thrilled I once lived off of Ditch Plains Beach. So what does all this mean?

When you are in your sixties and you know who you are and who you are not going to be, you look at things differently. You appreciate beautiful sunny days more, and feel time slipping away. You pause to appreciate and you see the big picture. A decade ago I did a story on the Iacono Chicken Farm in East Hampton. East End legend Sal Iacono lovingly told me the whole story of his family farm. He was excited because he was going to get a hip replacement in two weeks. Three weeks later I wrote his obituary after he died due to a blood clot post-surgery. He was 79. Don't count the days, make the days count.

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