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Stranded Sailor

by Donald Graeff
(Spring Hill, Florida)

Huntington Bay - Where this story takes place

Huntington Bay - Where this story takes place

Huntington Bay - Where this story takes place Einstein's Summer Cottage in Southold (orange pin)

About 1933 I was cruising Huntington Bay in my Dad's Chris-Craft and noticed an old gray-haired man on the shore tugging on a rope which was attached to an old wooden sail boat.

Obviously in trouble, I tossed him a tow rope and pulled him into the rapidly flowing inlet into Huntington Harbor toward my Dad's boathouse. As we approached the shore it became more evident who this person emerged to be...

Long gray, straggling, dirty appearing long trails of curly hair running down his back and a very heavy German accent when he spoke. Who was this stranger? None other than the internationally renown scientist, Albert Einstein.

I knew he was renting a bungalow near my dad, but I never expected to meet him. He gladly gave me his autograph on a piece of scrap paper I found in the bottom of his boat. I brought it home and donated the autographed paper to Chaminade High School, which I was attending at the time.

I never saw him again, but it will always be a memory I will never forget.

Editor's Note: Albert Einstein spent several summers on Long Island. He was not a good sailor and and there are many stories of people rescuing him and his little 15' sailboat Tinef (Yiddish for Junk) from the waters of the Little Peconic Bay.

The cottage he stayed in stills exists, is privately owned, and not open to the public.

Read more about Albert Einstein's summers on Long Island.


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Nov 14, 2007
I wish I met Einstein
by: Bill Drago

Great story, Donald. I would have loved to meet Einstein. I'm a sailor myself and helping him with his boat would have truly been an unforgettable memory.

Nov 12, 2007
Great story
by: Gene

A most enjoyable [and TRUE] story. Who says there were only depressing tales coming from the Great Depression?

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