Did that gentle little boy grow up to be a veterinarian? Did that earnest little girl go on to become a broadcast journalist?
We don’t know, but in all likelihood some of the children in these photos – taken by Peggy Joyce in, we believe, the early 1960s, today are the grandparents of Montauk School students. Those current kids are boarding the school bus again as of Thursday, September 7, although it’s unlikely that they’ll be carrying a lunchbox resembling the one clutched by the child in the photo below, or that the bus driver will be lounging on the hood like the one in the photo below that.
That photograph seems to be of a field trip somewhere in Montauk — a common event during Mrs. Joyce’s days teaching at the Montauk School. She took the children out to pick beachplums and cranberries, to the Lighthouse to share Thanksgiving feasts, even to grassy knolls where they could lie on their backs and contemplate the clouds.
The late Janis Hewitt once asked Peggy Joyce for an Irish recipe for a St. Patrick’s day story for the East Hampton Star. Janis received one for colcannon, she said, “given to me by … the longtime kindergarten teacher … who taught me more about nature on my children’s field trips than I learned from all my years of schooling in the Bronx.”
The Montauk Library has an extensive collection of photographs and slides donated by the family of Peggy Joyce, who died in 2002 after a teaching career of some 50 years. A number of those black-and-white photos, along with many others, can be seen in a new slideshow in the Local History Exhibit Center.
The slideshow is dedicated to the history of the Montauk School from 1928 to 1996. Class photos and yearbook photos are also featured. Stop on by … you might find a familiar face or two!