Island profile: Adam Bundy, a well-framed life

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Adam Bundy works for IBM as a cloud computing specialist in the house on Cobbetts Lane, which he shares with his husband, James Marshall, a lighting designer.

But while working outside the home, the real Adam Bundy is revealed. As a gifted nature photographer, his pictures of Shelter Island surprise even seasoned sunsets on the island, and his talent for gardening has turned his garden into an arbor.

Like Adam in the Garden of Eden, he moves through the plantings and names every plant he touches: “These are paws. Here are the flowers – very orchid-like. This is ginger, not the edible variety. This is the cobra lily, and here is the fruit. Here are the figs. ”

This garden is not a wild, overgrown jungle. James and Adam designed it as a series of “rooms” in which to watch plants bloom and shape fruit; Places to admire the structure of branches and twigs among the profusion of greenery.

In this way, the garden reflects Adam’s personality, his urge to organize, build, and quantify. He organized a tour of her garden last fall to help the Shelter Island Historical Society and is now the newest member of the board.

Looking for direction

Born and raised in Kane, Pennsylvania, a town of 3,500 people about 100 miles from a major city in a beautiful part of the Allegheny Mountains, his parents worked hard and, as the youngest of three children, “I got away with a lot,” said he.

By the time he graduated from high school in 1989, he was 17 and not ready for college. He asked his mother to sign a form for him without telling her that it was permission to go to the military.

“I needed a direction,” said Adam. “She thought it was the wrong decision, but a year later she saw that it was the right decision for me.”

Adam enlisted in the Marine Corps and became a combat engineer. His five-year tenure took him to Okinawa, the Middle East and South Korea, where he worked on the controlled demolition of bridges and the defusing of landmines.

Trained as a sniper, he was a natural. “I think the Marine Corps liked me for being a good orientation and distance coach,” he said. I see things and frame things all the time. Really looking at something half a mile away to find your destination helps frame things. “

Missions

His experience with the Marines has led him to believe that service is of value to both individuals and communities. “I think every child who comes out of school should do something good. Maybe not in the military, but a mission. I wanted a mission and got one. “

After the Marine Corps, Adam received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Kentucky and lived and worked in Lexington for the next 18 years. He met a man with two children from a marriage to a woman, and when they became partners, Adam helped raise the two boys while their mother, who had moved to South Carolina, remained an active part of their lives.

“I never got out,” he said. “It’s only part of me.”

Adam is still close to the children, who were four and six years old when he came into their lives and are now 28 and 30 years old. His relationship with her father ended years ago just before he accepted a dinner invitation from James Marshall, a newcomer, a lighting designer from York on a business trip to Lexington. They fell in love quickly.

Return home

In 2019, Adam and James, who have lived on Shelter Island for over a decade, got married in a waterfront ceremony in Hay Beach. James had got Adam to his beloved island as effectively as possible – by ferry. “I liked the fact that when you cross the ferry you lose all worry and this is paradise,” said Adam.

He was also pleasantly surprised by the ease with which second home owners and year-round residents worked together. “I expected community, but not continuity. There are problems, but the people are really safe and secure here. You don’t have to lock your doors or your car. The dry cleaner comes and puts the clothes right in your closet, ”he said. “Neighbors are looking for you. People work together here. “

The COVID pandemic hit Adam very close. First his mother, who lived in rural Pennsylvania, got it, and a few days later his stepfather got sick and eventually died. Adam worked on the phones day and night managing their medical crises from Shelter Island when they were both disabled.

“There was no closure,” he said. “My mother drove him to the hospital, he came in and that was the last time she saw him. She had COVID and they didn’t let her visit him. “

Adam’s mother, who was also hospitalized, is still struggling for her own health.

Although Adams and James shared enthusiasm for marathons and triathlons has taken them to Europe, Asia, and across the United States, they have endured their own health problems. Recently, while competing in Iceland, James and Adam learned that they had both developed a previously undiagnosed meat allergy caused by a tick bite when Marshall ate a hot dog and ended up in the emergency room after the race.

“Now we both have EpiPens,” said Adam.

He is best known on Shelter Island for his wildlife photography – which appears regularly in Reporter – and his posts on the Shelter Island Local / Neighborhood Facebook group. His photos of the light, shape and texture of nature are the visual highlight of many islanders’ day and part of his current mission; to make the world more beautiful and harmonious.

“I like to bring groups of people together,” said Adam. “I can talk to anyone in New York and anyone in Kentucky, and I can cross borders. It doesn’t matter as long as you are a good person. ”

lightning Round

Favorite place on Shelter Island? Watch the sun rise at Majors Landing overlooking Cedar Point.

Favorite place not on Shelter Island? Iceland.

When was the last time you got excited? The last full harvest moon.

What annoys you The townspeople come out on bicycles for the first time.

When was the last time you were scared? When we were out of the country, James was allergic and we didn’t know where to find an emergency room.

What’s the nicest day of the year on Shelter Island? Halloween.

Favorite movie or book? “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.

Favorite Food? Adam’s burrito bowl at Maria’s Kitchen.

Favorite person, living or dead, who does not belong to the family? Rich Surozenski Sr., for his little oversized delights like the Christmas tree in Chase Creek every year.


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