A toast to the ebbing days of summer!
Color photograph of Alan and Christopher Yudt with their wives Jacqueline and Lisa, on the beach near the Surf Club, 1995
Beth Biondo, Photographer, Beth Biondo Collection, Montauk Library Archives.
August, with its oppressive heat and humidity, has stepped aside for Indian summer. Mornings are chilly, but afternoons offer hot sand to hunker down on. A berth on the beach still requires an umbrella, blanket, and sunblock, but August air that was stuck and sultry now moves briskly. Coolers stay colder longer.
This week’s image is a delightful glance back to a less complicated time, i.e., the summer of 1995. These happy beachgoers were photographed in August at the annual celebration of several birthdays in the Yudt family, an event that continues to bring this group back to Ditch Plains every year. Montauker Beth Biondo took this photograph 26 years ago of her two brothers, Alan and Christopher Yudt, and their spouses. That’s Lisa, Christopher’s wife, sitting closest to the picture frame, and Jacqueline, married to Alan, toasting the photographer, her sister-in-law Beth. Beth, Alan and Christopher spent summers in Montauk as children. Beth, Alan and Christopher spent summers in Montauk as children. Eventually, Beth and her mother, Florence (the August birthday girl), became permanent Montauk residents.
In 1963 Robin Ward scored a hit on the music charts with “Wonderful Summer.” Her wistful soprano lilted over the radio waves, describing a summer love that ended with autumn’s beginning: “I want to thank you for giving me the most wonderful summer of my life…” Summer in Montauk 2021 was wonderful, too, a traveler’s oasis of beauty and relaxation. It was also gnarly and congested, with some holiday-makers determined to make up for the lost summer of 2020. In 100 years, Throwback Thursdays will address the photographs of 2020 and 2021 and ask, why are they wearing those masks?
In the meantime, the yearly festivities continue for the Yudts and Biondos. This is a fun, lively group, who jokingly offered to sign autographs when they learned of their inclusion in this week’s Throwback Thursday. In this picture they’re situated close to South Edison Street; the Surf Club serves as backdrop in the distance.
Robin Ward’s nostalgic melody, included on most summertime playlists, can be heard wafting from car radios throughout July and August. 1963 or 2021, mask or no mask, most of us end up singing along because we, too, remember the most wonderful summer of our lives.