The Gilgo Beach Story

This is my personal favorite memory! The year was 1970 and the place was Gilgo Beach. I was young and foolish, and I wanted him to like me!!!

Dino, and his friend Mickey, were picking me up at 7 a.m.

We were heading to Gilgo Beach, Long Island! Never having been there, I was very excited about going! I did not know that Dino and Mikey were surfers. I thought the only thing that Brooklyn boys knew, how to do, was fish off the Emmons Avenue bridge. However, when the invite came, I was not shocked; my boyfriend, afterall, was a huge Beach Boys fan. ("Help Me, Rhonda!")

My mom prepared sandwiches, and snacks, while I prepared myself. I parted my hair and clipped the top half with 10 "bobby pins". (My daughters refer to bobby pins as little, archaic hair devices.) I then attached to this, my beautiful "FALL," which I had purchased with my hard earned money. Having secured the FALL in place, I then gingerly put on my fake eyelashes (one strip to each eye).

I finished off the look with my black mascara and liner. Twiggy and London's Mod Invasion had captured the states...at least NYC. I may have not had Twiggy's body (my mom insisted I eat!) but, I did have her eyes!! I used my blush to give myself a sunswept look. I put on my two piece bathing suit, looked in the mirror, and smiled. Annette Funicello would be proud of me! I took a deep breath. I was ready.

Fast forward: So after about an hour, of watching Dino and Mickey ATTEMPT to ride a wave, I decided to go in the water and cool off. The temperature, according to the WMCA Good Guys, was at 95 degrees; clear skies and sunny! I did realize that the ONLY people IN the water were surfers, and that no one was just standing by the shoreline, but it was very hot, and I knew no better. I walked in. The water was not very deep.

I walked in some more. I was standing "knee deep". Looking out to the horizon, I spotted Dino and Mickey paddling on their boards. I walked towards them.. another foot or so. I bent at the waist and cupping water with my right hand, I splashed my left shoulder and chest. It felt wonderfully cold and refreshing!

As I bent forward, to repeat this, I noticed that the water had suddenly been drawn away from me. I looked up and, dear Mary, Mother of God!!! It was the BIGGEST wave I had ever seen in my short life. I was sure to drown in it! I turned my back to it, thinking it would pass me..but instead... I felt the strongest push on my back!

In an instant, I was pushed downward and dragged by the waves to the pebbly shoreline. Gasping for air, ( I must have swallowed a gallon of ocean water), I spat out what I could...a "saltwater/saliva mix". Feeling razor burn pain, I looked down at my bloody knees and thighs which must have scraped EVERY tiny, (expletive) pebble and broken seashell that lined the Gilgo beachfront! I was in PAIN. I started to cry.

As I limped out of the water, half dead, it occured to me that a heavy piece of sea weed was draping my shoulder! Eeeww! Touching it, I realized, "holy mackeral!" It's my FALL!!! It's come undone! My boyfriend would now realize that my hair was merely a fake piece!! I started to run towards our blanket. Sitting quickly, and praying that Dino and Mickey would continue their meager Jan & Dean impersonations, I yanked off my fall, and wrung it out, like a wet dish towel!!! I wrapped it in my towel and tucked it away at the bottom of my beachbag.

As I sat there, trying to knot up my shoulder length real hair, I felt something in my ear!! Uuugghhh! I quickly swatted it!! I looked down. OMG!! It was not a sandfly, but one of my fake eyelashes!! If one is off, where is the other?!!! I felt my sand covered face..and found the other lone eyelash pasted on my left cheek. I removed it, joined it up with its mate, and buried them both deep in the sand, using my thumb! I was not happy.

I probably looked like crap; where is a mirror when you NEED one?! As I sat there, nursing my wounds and pulling tiny pebbles out from my bathing suit top, I watched the 2 wannabe surfers attempting to ride a wave. I was not very different than my boyfriend. I ..pretending to be a Beach Blanket babe, and he, from Sheepshead Bay, pretending to be a Hawaiian native....each of us trying to impress the other.

**addendum**   42 years later, he still sings "Help Me Rhonda"..as I shout back.."What's her number? I'll dial for you."                        


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

paul July 23, 2012 at 10:54 PM
By the way I did not know what I had found, but you just gave me a hint, I think I found your eye lashes in the sand......... I thought it was a centipede. By the way that Twiggy eye thing, I thought it was just my imagination.... Thanks for confirming that..... ;o)
A Pietro July 25, 2012 at 08:37 PM
What a great story, yet again! Eventhough times have changed... I can still see fake hair extensions, earrings,and makeup at the beach. All they need is a little wave to knock them back into reality. Lol
karen August 01, 2012 at 10:05 PM
too funny. try extensions next time!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »