September 20, 2006
From the Frontlines: A Summer Tale
Tomorrow marks the official end of summer. Already locals have emerged from summer sequester, reveling in the return of peace and ease of movement on the streets of Bonac. They bring with them tales of predation perpetrated by tourists and wealthy summer "citiots," as some have dubbed them.
This one story was too bizarre to keep to ourselves.
It was a sweltering Saturday in Amagansett, and the line for parking spaces at the public beach stretched far. Would-be beachgoers waited, none too patiently for one car to leave the parking lot, making room for another, when out of nowhere a sporty convertible pulled out and sped to the front of the line, passing those who had been waiting.
All hell broke loose, with drivers hollering and beeping their horns. The attendant asked the woman in the ragtop what she thought she was doing, passing everyone.
"I'm handicapped," the woman replied. But, she continued, her sticker was in her other car. "Yeah, you're handicapped," drivers shouted. "Mentally handicapped." With a cacophony of irate motorists providing the soundtrack, the attendant explained that he couldn't allow the woman to use a handicapped parking space unless she had the proper sticker.
Back and forth they argued, under the blistering sun. Finally, the woman decided to prove her disability and reached down, fiddled with something out of sight of the screaming drivers. With a flourish she placed a prosthetic leg in the hands of the attendant. Agape, he handed the appliance back to the woman, stepping aside to let her enter the parking lot.
And a silence crashed down over the line of waiting cars, like an ocean wave.