You ever wish you could go back in time and walk in the footsteps of your ancestors way before you were even a thought? How long does it take for a falling leaf to become one with the forest of family?This past Sunday, October 24th, I found myself 45 minutes north of Saugerties, NY where my great-grandfather Edward Pastorini was the last lighthouse-keeper at the Saugerties Lighthouse from 1950-1954. I arrived just after sunrise and was thankful that my Aunt Anna instilled the thought of me visiting her birth town. My mother Lisa and Anna lived there for a few seasons when they were two and one years old, only children with memories of their time here passed down through the stories Granny (Florence Pastorini) would speak of passionately.
I parked the Jeep and prepared myself for the 1/2 mile walk hoping it was low tide like my grandmother Agnes (Oma) advised me. I walked anxiously along the trail, the tide low and I was not alone, for many people visit there on a daily basis. The once upon a time lighthouse is now a B&B with a waiting list already into 2012. I was so hoping for a cancellation that never happened. As the high tide receded, the next family eagerly awaited their chance to check-in after 3pm to walk the trail and enjoy their night on the Hudson River. I spent most of the day there as well as others picnicking along the rocks just in front between the lighthouse and cargo ships that still pass by delivering goods up river.
As people came and went about their Sunday festivities I decided to put the kayak in and paddle out for a panoramic view of this majestic structure I only saw in pictures growing up. The stories seem distant like a light breaking through an early morning fog. I couldn't help but brag to every visitor I met of my heritage, and how proud I was that I made this a part of my glorious journey.
I can still feel the quiet sun upon my face and see the smiles of my many new friends as they too took it all in. A day I'll never forget, a day I hope to share with the rest of my family that have only heard through stories of the past, and can now see through my eyes.
A special thanks to Ruth Reynolds Glunt and Family for recapturing the spirit of the past from the Coast Guard and conserving and renovating this place of beauty, now listed with the National Registry of Historic Landmarks back to it's original state, for which none of this would be possible, and to Sarah whose smile continues to light the place up.