Throwback Tuesday – A Pair of Paintings

Painting by Philip Deutsch, 1988 | Montauk Library Collection

This painting has turned the head of many a visitor since the newly expanded Montauk Library opened on February 18. It’s of the original Lazybones owned by Mike and Kathy Vegessi, with Captain Mike at the wheel and the U.S. Coast Guard station in the background.

Mike and Kathy Vegessi have the same painting at their home in Montauk. Philip Deutsch, who was a regular customer as well as a friend of theirs, painted the party boat as a gift.

A 50-foot wooden Chesapeake, the Lazybones had previously been called the Captain Willie — its owner was William Butler, also an English teacher at East Hampton High School. Mike bought the boat from Captain Willie in 1985 and renamed it the Lazybones, reflecting a laid-back, family-friendly approach to fishing. “This was the original half-day open party boat,” Karen Rade recalled.

The Lazybones had a World War II landing craft engine, Mike said. Some parts came from toy companies that had retooled to bolster the war effort. About 28 years after he purchased the Lazybones, Captain Mike upgraded to a faster, 55-foot version and sold the old one. The senior Lazybones fished for a number of years as the Orient Star, then sank at the dock in Orient during Hurricane Sandy.

Philip Deutsch did a lot of painting in Montauk: of landscapes, the stone gateways at East Lake Drive, Tudor-style houses, fishing boats other than the Lazybones. Much of his work in Montauk, before he moved to Maine, was on commission, Mike said.

This painting, dated “88,” rose to the surface again during last month’s move from the library’s two-year temporary quarters and other storage sites. If anyone has more information about its provenance, please give us a call at 631-668-3377.


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