Monday, September 5, 2011

Fire Island 2011: End of an Era

Hurricane Irene certainly made her presence known on Fire Island last weekend, but she could not spoil the unofficial last days of season for those who are fortunate enough to summer on the beach.

This past weekend also marked the end of an era for this reporter. After six seasons with the Fire Island News, it is highly unlikely that I will return to the beach for a seventh. I am not a person who particularly enjoys long and drawn out goodbyes, but it was certainly emotional to leave Ocean Beach earlier this morning. Memories, anecdotes and people from the past six years who come to mind are simply too numerous to list. That said, however, the beach and those who define it will remain with me forever.

Here is my last official correspondence that ran in this season's last edition of the Fire Island News that hit the beach last Thursday, Sept. 1.

I have never been one for long, drawn-out goodbyes, so I hope that our loyal readers will understand my desire to keep this final official correspondence of sorts short and to the point.

This issue could very well prove my last as managing editor of the Fire Island News. I am moving to Washington, D.C, at the end of this month. While I am certainly looking forward to living in the nation’s capital with my beloved partner AndrĂ©s, it is profoundly bittersweet to think that I may very well not return to the beach in the spring.

It is impossible to list all of the anecdotes, memories and mishaps that come to mind when I think back on the six seasons I have worked on Fire Island, but a handful deserve some sort of honorable mention. These include watching the sun rise while dancing among thousands of revelers at the Pines Party, climbing to the top of the Lighthouse, covering the Invasion in something that resembles full drag while wearing six-inch heels, knocking on the door of an Atlantique hostel on a rainy early May afternoon wearing a shredded trash bag looking for Ocean Beach after I had just walked through the village on Midway, dancing the night away at Cherry’s or simply enjoying a leisurely hour on the beach in Robbins Rest.

Fire Island can certainly prove a difficult and treacherous place to live, work and play as Hurricane just proved to us all. This truly unique place and those who define it, however, have allowed this humble journalist from New Hampshire to come of age amid the backdrop of one of the world’s most spectacular natural settings.

In closing, I think back to a phrase that repeatedly popped into my mind a couple of weeks ago ahead of Ascension weekend in the Pines: You belong on Fire Island if you feel you belong on Fire Island. The beach and those who continue to define it will remain with me forever.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insightful articles over the years. Your reporting on the S.AG.E. benefit this past summer was sensitive as well as informative as we honored Harold Seeley.
Good fortune to you.
Jack Dowling

Bugs said...

All the best in DC, Michael.

Richard (Bugs)
in Montreal