The Sheltered Islander: Rock On!

The big story on the Island last week was about a Wall Street couple who purchased a 60-ton rock from Wainscott Sand & Gravel in Bridgehampton and had it transported to their home on the Island where it will sit at the end of a concrete bridge. An employee of the quarry said the couple had shopped for a big rock for nearly three years. It’s now in our Official Shelter Island Book of Island Records as the single heaviest item ever transported by ferry to the Island.

The rock, which I am naming the Wall Street Walnut, was transported to the ferry using big-time heavy equipment and had it’s very own police escort from the ferry to it’s new spot on the Island. I guess they were worried somebody would try to steal it on the way to the house. But I suppose I can’t blame them because no doubt this is one expensive rock. They paid a great deal to have this rock dug up, lifted by crane onto a flatbed truck, hauled slowly to the ferry, I have no idea what the ferry charge is for boulders this year, and then a big truck and crane to transport and deliver it, the total for this rock purchase had to between $100,000 and $300,000, I bet.

I began thinking (never a good sign), I’m sure that the couple that bought the rock are lovely people, from good homes, worked hard all their lives, give to Greenpeace, support local causes, and probably are humble about their wealth because people with money here never seem to flaunt it. I’ve eaten hot dogs next to millionaires and but for their L.L. Bean uniforms, you’d never guess their wealth.

But seriously, how shopped-out are you when you begin to shop for rocks—and not the kind measured in karats? I am very worried about the lady in this couple because somehow this guy misled her when he said, “Baby, I love ya. I’m gonna buy you the biggest rock on this Island!” I’m thinking she wasn’t thinking one that needed a crane… Maybe he plans to spray paint it gold, or have a stone worker carve their names in a heart on the rock. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to the Wall Street Walnut next.

But there’s another matter to be concerned about. Has anyone stopped to consider the feelings of the Painted Rock by the camp? Is the new rock bigger than our old one? The big rock that was here first, even before “Mr. Sylvester Manor” got here. The painted rock that has proclaimed the love of so many couples, and ruined so many reputations. Layers of secret messages painted there over the years would tell the entire story of our Island nation. The Indians believed that all of nature had spirit and feelings. I’m a little worried about our Painted Rock’s feelings. It’s awfully close to the water, what if it overhears people comparing it to the new big rock, thinks it’s been abandoned, and rolls into the water and drowns itself?

Then again, maybe there’s a silver lining here. Painted Rock has been alone all these years. I don’t know if Painted Rock is a he-rock or a she-rock because it’s never been turned over and just from the face, it’s too hard to tell with boulders. Perhaps Painted Rock and the Wall Street Walnut could be friends—or more. Paint could give Wally the scoop about Island life and Wally would have a friend to talk to, because really, I think only a rock can understand where another rock comes from. They could dish the dirt together. In this era of superior technology, I think we could find a couple of old cellphones to tape to the rocks and let them chat. If it turns out that they are boy-girl, who knows but we may see pebbles by summer?

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