By Dan Rattiner
Stories of the occasionally wealthy, occasionally well-known, yet constantly quirky citizens of 1 of America's best-known summer season colonies, as informed by way of the editor and writer of Dan's Papers, the area's loose weekly newspaper.
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Gilmartin ended. It involved just the most terrible tragedy imaginable. The Gilmartins lived in a small house in the Shepherd’s Neck section of Montauk where they had raised two children. One was Tommy Gilmartin, who at the time of the disaster was twentyﬁve. The other was Timmy Gilmartin, who was twenty. When it happened, the whole town knew about it within hours. On July 14, 1958, Tommy Gilmartin, alone in a brand new Austin-Healey sports car that his dad had bought for him, drove off the road halfway down the Montauk Parkway, the ﬁve–mile-long limited-access highway that Carl Fisher and Robert Moses, the Long Island State Park Commissioner, built as a joint venture in the 1920s.
One of the wooden railings, sixteen feet in length, came loose, got knocked into T 16 IN THE HAMPTONS TOO the air, and came over the hood to smash through the windshield and spear him. He died instantly. The insurance ofﬁce remained closed for a month after that. Also, it was announced that Mr. Gilmartin would not be running for re-election as he earlier had announced he would. The town mourned. And, as a matter of fact, within a month, the wooden railings were all torn down and replaced by continuous steel corrugated railings so that could never, ever happen again.
This really is a good thing,” I shouted after her. One week later, at four in the afternoon of a hot August day, I stood at the appointed place, which was on the southwest corner of School Street and the Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton and waited. It was a cloudy day. Four turned to ﬁve after four, then ten after. Was I being set up? Was there something else going on? I looked at my watch. A policeman I knew drove by. I waved. I was thinking it is really important to get this plaque back to the Montauk Manor.