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It’s taken years of research and work to patch, paint and restore the Montauk Lighthouse. (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Truth: I hadn’t been to the Montauk Lighthouse since a fifth grade field trip a million years ago. When I arrived there last spring on a particularly gusty day to talk with lighthouse keeper Joe Gaviola and in-house erosion speciality Greg Donohue (both thoroughly fascinating humans in their own right), I was — literally and figuratively — blown away.

Lighthouse keeper Joe Gaviola. (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Donohue was my first interview, and before we went inside to chat he had me stand, or try to, in the face of the gales that were blowing that day. It’s a physical experience that makes you understand the raw, humbling effects of Mother Nature on The End, and why the $30 million project was nothing less than vital.

Greg Donohue, Montauk Historical Society erosion specialist. (Photo credit: David Benthal)

I loved writing this story because I got to see the incredible heart and passion that the Montauk Historical Society uses to fuel their work as the keepers of the George Washington commissioned beacon, and the land and other buildings that surround it, at what can feel like the end of the world.

Read the story here.