Throwback Thursday – Memorial Day Weekend

The Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means the unofficial start of the summer season has begun. This picture radiates positive energy, and seems a good omen for Summer 2021.  Will the era of social distancing finally come to an end?

This week’s Throwback Thursday photograph was donated to the archives by Herb Herbert when Joan Lycke conducted his oral history interview at the Montauk Library in 2005. He had run Herb’s Market since 1963, and had recently retired.  Herb’s Market is still going strong, in exactly the same location, in a building completed by Carl Fisher and the Pearson Construction Company in 1927.

George Sears was the first tenant and the original owner of that market, a “satellite” of his successful Fort Pond Bay butcher shop and grocery.

Herb lived with his family in the apartment above the grocery for 20 years.  “We all loved it,” Herb said.  “We could look out the window and always see something going on in the street.” He and his wife Chrissie worked long hours, especially during tourist season, preparing deli salads, brewing coffee, and making fried chicken.  Every day began at 5 a.m.  Closing was always more than 12 hours later.  “If we’d lived anywhere else, I never would have seen my kids.  But this way, they were always running through the store with their friends.  Hey, we had ice cream!”

Two of the men standing with Herb in this photo were Budweiser representatives (Herb is wearing the white apron).  The fourth gentleman, at the right in the brown shirt, may have known more about Budweiser than the representatives themselves:  Jimmy Hewitt.  Hewitt owned the Shagwong Tavern, and became synonymous with the iconic watering hole and restaurant during his tenure.  The Shagwong Tavern and Herb’s Market occupy the same building, so this is a photograph of two neighbors who were also fellow businessmen.

Montauk’s Friends of Erin chose Herb Herbert as their Grand Marshal in 1992.  Jimmy Hewitt, “the Mayor of Montauk,” became a Grand Marshal in 1998.  We know that a Budweiser truck with Clydesdales and Dalmatians “marched” in more than one St. Patrick’s Day parade, so we can’t accurately date this photograph, however, it was probably taken in the 1990s.

We wish everyone a fun-filled holiday weekend. Happy Memorial Day!

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