by Ken Giustino
The Montauk Sun has been an adventure. The first issue was July 2000 and my first story was covering the Concours d’Elegance, a combination of a vintage car show & fashion show with Jerry Seinfeld as MC. Press wasn’t allowed into the award dinner and had to stand outside the tent during that part of the event. Somehow, I talked my way in and was even given a seat at one of the dining tables. Jerry was in form and when a yellow Packard rolled up to receive a trophy he yelled out “Taxi Taxi”. Then he made a comment that his name was spelled wrong on the trophy. At that point, I was hooked on my new career. Cars, Models and Seinfeld!
Some of my first advertisers that are still with me 20 years later are: Rick’s Crabby Cowboy Café, Uihlein’s Marina, Viking Cruise Lines, Deep Hollow Ranch, Gosman’s Dock, Montauk Marine Basin, Liar’s Saloon, Kenny’s Tipperary Inn, and the Point Bar & Grill who is also celebrating their 20th season this year. Needless to say, the many friends that grew from the business relationships from the Sun has changed my life.
I came to Montauk in the early 90s booking bands at the Tipperary, spent the summers enjoying all of Montauk’s unique culture, fell in love with the not so sleepy fishing town, and when the opportunity arose to start the Sun I went for it. The Montauk Sun grew and I eventually liquidated my printing company in Westchester so I could devote my full attention to the publication. What I did take with me was our Editor, Stefan Lonce – he’s our creative and quality control guy and a vital part of our success. I lived at the condominiums in Ditch and eventually ended up on Kettle Hole Rd. I also met my wife here, so you have to realize that Montauk Sun has made my life what it is.
I’ve enjoyed working with many local concerns; I even joined the Friends of Erin. In May we celebrated the 10th Montauk Music Festival, which has become the kickoff for the season. Last year we did the first fundraising concert at the Mtk Lighthouse and for the Montauk Historical Society where Paul Simon came out and did a surprise set for us. We’re doing the next concert this August.
Now looking back on the 20 years, I feel blessed to have The Montauk Sun. I’m proud to say that I have always done my best to help local interests and businesses in a short & challenging season. Always working for my advertisers interests, over the years we’ve extended distribution to the internet, down Island, and throughout NYC. My Wife Sue and I are thrilled to call Montauk our home and to be a part of such a great community. We look forward to our future here and thank all our friends and neighbors for being part of the Sun.