Page 34 June 22, 2012
1942 (Continued from previous page) After Garnhamâ€™s introduction the group moved to the beach where the encounter took place. Kent Miller, the chairman of the committee, was in character as John Cullen and East Hampton Town Councilman, Dominick Stanzione, played the role of the conniving GeorgeÂ Dasch, the lead saboteur who was a naturalized U.S. resident and once worked as a waiter in Southampton. Hugh King, another committee member, who is also an actor, read from a script he wrote for the occasion. In his quirky, animated, exciting manner he set the stage for Cullen and Daschâ€™s unforgettable encounter on the shores of Amagansett. Peter Garnham
Bridge, and Penn Station, as well as other locations in different states. Hitler approved these plans and on May 28, 1942, the submarine U-202 left a port in France headed for Long Island. On June 12, just before 9 p.m., Crowd on the beach U.S. Navy monitoring stations detected the submarine 28 miles south of Amagansett. However, no action was taken. The submarine became grounded on a sand bar and from there the saboteurs landed on the Amagansett beach in a rubber raft just before midnight, where they buried their supplies. Then their leader saw Cullen approaching in the darkness.
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â€œWhat are those people doing over there? You are not supposed to be on the beach if you donâ€™t have a uniform on. Who are you?â€? exclaims Miller in his John Cullen persona. â€œCoastguard?â€? remarks Stanzione in Daschâ€™s voice. â€œWho are you!â€? shouts Miller again. â€œFisherman from East Hampton. On our way to Montauk. Boat ran ashore,â€? responds Daschâ€™s character. King continued, in his charismatic tone, to narrate the events that ensued on the beach that night 70 years ago. The re-enactment was educational, enlightening, informal and whimsically humorous in some moments, like when one of the saboteurs started speaking German, which turned into gibberish before he ended speaking. The performance had a light atmosphere, which added to the easiness and candor of this first experience and it will be distinctly remembered for years to come. This re-enactment had an improvised feel, as if at any given moment something exciting or witty could occur. The scene concluded after Dasch (Stanzione) bribed Cullen (Miller) with 300 bucks. Cullen took the money before yelling into the wind, â€œTheyâ€™re never going to believe this,â€? to the laughter and applause of all 130 spectators who made it onto the beach. â€œIt was real casual. I got a little nervous waiting on my cues from my fellow actors,â€? Miller admitted after the performance. Stanzione had similar views after the recital. â€œWe rehearsed and it went well. Some of the parts were hilarious, like to have been clamming that hour at night in the ocean or hearing one of us trying to speak in German.â€? â€œIt went fabulously, real informal but commemorative,â€? said Miller afterwards. â€œWe would love to make this an annual thing.â€? Isabel Carmichael, from The East Hampton Star, was in attendance last Wednesday and not just for work purposes. Carmichaelâ€™s father, Joel Carmichael, bought the old life-saving station from the government for a dollar in 1966 under the condition he move it to some property he bought up on Bluff Road, where he and the family lived for the next 40 years. If he had not purchased the old life-saving station, it would have been torn down. When Joel died in 2006, the family gave the building to East Hampton Town for nothing. In 2007 moved the Town moved it to its present location. â€œThat was an exciting day,â€? laughed Garnham, who was in attendance when the station was moved back to its current location. â€œWatching them move that house down that hill thereÂâ€” it doesnâ€™t look like much of a hill, but it was unforgettable watching it come down.â€? TheÂ Amagansett Life-Saving Station isnâ€™t just a local landmark but a symbol of Americanâ€™s defense system. It served as a watchtower that protected the United States from the only known Nazi invasion in our history. â€œWe want to preserve this building very badly,â€? Miller remarks. â€œWe wanted to raise awareness for it without burdening people with an old fundraiser.â€? The group is currently in the process of receiving its 501(c)(3) (Continued on page 58)
Dan's Papers June 22, 2012 Issue