In the Swim

Comparing the abundance of programming this summer with what was on offer during the Covid summer of 2020 makes At Quaquanantuck think of a race car accelerating from zero to 85 in about three seconds. It’s a little disorienting. 

Perhaps that’s why—with live programs returning and summer just getting really underway a couple of weeks ago—it seems impossible that the Quogue Fire Department Open House is coming up in one week, and the Quogue Historical Society Art Show & Sale the week after. 

Sunset sentinels. —A. Botsford Photo

As readers have undoubtedly noticed, the abundance of programming and all manner of events and activities, coupled with At Quaquanantuck’s now monthly (ish) schedule, have resulted in this column getting almost impossibly long. It now requires a real commitment of time to digest it all; anyone trying to read it on their phone in one sitting runs the risk of having their battery die. You have my apologies.

And yet, it is so gratifying to at long last have so much to share as the community comes back to life. So, please, get a calendar to mark up and settle in: there’s a lot going on that you won’t want to miss. 

Youngsters step up to examine a fire truck at a previous QFD Open House. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Fire Department

Fire Department Brings Back the Open House
As the volunteers made it clear on a postcard announcing the event, the Quogue Fire Department wants to do its part in the return to normalcy by “reinstating our annual open house on August 1” from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Firehouse. 

There will be a few changes “to reflect the times and the CDC protocols in effect on that date.” Plans call for emphasizing demonstrations of what the volunteer firefighters do as part of their responsibilities. All activities will be outside, with food and beverages provided “within the guidelines.” And, yes, there will be fire truck rides. 

Everyone wants a chance to try their hand at hitting a target with a fire hose. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Fire Department

Following the festivities at the Firehouse, there will be a live performance by the band UrbanAcoustic at 6 p.m. on the Quogue Village Green on Jessup Avenue. 

Come one, come all, and get your Open House on!

Get Ready to “Celebrate Art!” and Visit the QHS Art Show & Sale
While we’re on the topic of beloved summer traditions that we’re all happy to see coming back, make sure to mark the calendar for the Quogue Historical Society “Celebrate Art!” cocktails and art talk benefit on Friday, August 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Village Green, and the 55th annual Art Show & Sale to benefit the QHS the next day, August 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, also on the Quogue Village Green on Jessup Avenue.  

Speakers for the art talk portion of the “Celebrate Art!” benefit will be Frances Beatty and Stacy Goergen, discussing “Contemporary Art After Covid-19: How the pandemic has impacted the contemporary art market.” For more information about the Friday benefit and the Saturday Art Show & Sale, visit https://quoguehistory.org.

Photo of the first exhibition at the “Old Schoolhouse Museum” in 1949. —Photo courtesy of the Quogue Historical Society

A Historical Society celebration of a different kind is now going on at the Society’s 1822 Schoolhouse Museum on the grounds of the Quogue Library. The Schoolhouse Museum currently features an exhibit looking back at the very first exhibition in the building that Abram Post salvaged in the early 1900s and the Post family donated to the library in 1948 to be operated as a museum.  

On August 24, 1949, the Quogue Library’s newly formed Historical Committee, forerunner of the Quogue Historical Society, opened its first exhibition, which featured “furniture, implements, photographs, and documents, many of them dating back to the early settlers in Quogue.”

Self-guided tours of “Quogue’s ‘Old Schoolhouse Museum’: The First Exhibition, 1949” are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday (closed Wednesday).  

Historical Society members were reminded at the beginning of this month to renew memberships for the coming year to support the Society’s “ongoing work to collect, preserve, and interpret the rich history of our charming Village.” Annual memberships provide critical financial support and also serve as assurance of members’ interest in preserving Quogue’s past for future generations.

All those who are not already members, are asked to please consider joining, as membership contributions are the single largest source of income for the Society. Renewing or taking out a new membership can be done online at www.quoguehistory.org. All donations are fully tax-deductible. For more information, email info@quoguehistory.org or call 631-996-9490.

Quogue Association Is Feeling Just Ducky: Watch the Pond to See Why
Fresh from the success of the Association’s Beach Party on July 17, members of the Quogue Association have a surprise in store tomorrow, July 23, for Quogue Pond visitors and passersby.

As Stefanie Beck disclosed in a scoop for At Quaquanantuck this week: “On Friday, July 23, the coolest Duck yet will make its appearance in the Quogue Pond for three weeks only! The visiting duck will herald the return of the Duck Race on August 20, with sales of ducks on only three Saturdays: on July 31, August 7 and August 14 in front of the post office from 9 a.m. to noon.”

Resuming this summer without missing a beat, the annual Duck Race on Friday, August 20, and free attendant celebration at the Quogue Village Dock run from 5 to 7 p.m., with beer, wine and water provided, and music from the band Souled Out. Picnicking is encouraged, so be prepared to BYO munchies and chow down. This year’s winning duck will be awarded $500; second place prize is $250 and third place wins $150. 

Prices for the cleaned and recycled ducks this year are: one duck, $5; Quack Pack (5 ducks), $20; Ducky Dozen (13), $50; Quack Sack (30), $100; and a Quoggie (100), $300. 

Ms. Beck was also kind enough to share a report on last Saturday’s beach party, calling it “a huge success with over 250 people.” Beer was supplied by the local Westhampton Beach Brewing Company, earning “lots of compliments,” she said, noting that the same brewery will be supplying the beer for the Duck Race celebration. “The DJ played  great music and a good time was had by all.”  

A reminder to all 2020 members who have not already renewed their membership, and any community members who would like to join the Quogue Association, the process is simple: visit www.quogueassociation.org and click on the “Join/Donate” tab on the upper right of the home page.


Members of the older cast of the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe rehearsing some musical magic from “Pippen,” running August 3 through 6 at the Quogue Community Hall. The QJTT Summer Benefit is scheduled this year on Friday, July 30, with a performance at 7 p.m. at the theater followed by a cocktail reception at the Quogue Field Club at 8 p.m. Visit the qjttonline.org website for more information. —Jeff Prior Photo

More In-Person Programs at Wildlife Refuge;  “Moonglow” Graces Story Book Walk
Step by responsibly cautious step, the folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge are bringing back more socially distanced in-person programs. 

For one example, in collaboration with the Quogue Library, a new story has been placed in the Story Book Walk at the Refuge. The children’s book “Moonglow” by author Peggy Dickerson is about a magical moonlit night in a forest where animals are transformed by the moonbeams. Visitors can start at the beginning of the green trail to find the first page of the book, and follow the arrows around to 19 separate installments. 

According to Refuge Associate Director Marisa Nelson, “A Story Book Walk, for folks who aren’t familiar, is a fun, educational activity that places the pages from a children’s story along a trail. The walk is designed to help children at all reading levels to enjoy the outdoors and read a book with their family and friends.” This activity is available to be enjoyed daily from sunrise to sunset this summer; a new book will be installed in the fall. 

The Refuge is offering an opportunity to meet “Moonglow” author Peggy Dickerson and purchase the beautifully illustrated book at a Meet the Author social distance event on Friday, August 6, at 10 a.m. 

As pretty much everyone knows, “On a moonlit night in the forest, magical things can happen….” At the Meet the Author event, Ms. Dickerson will read from her book and sign purchased copies. The program will take place outdoors (under a tent if raining), and is offered in collaboration with the Quogue Library. For more information about the book, visit www.moonglowkids.com.

On Thursday, August 12, the Refuge is offering an opportunity to meet resident raptors in person at an outdoor Live Birds of Prey social distance program at the Refuge at 3 p.m. During a 45-minute presentation, visitors will learn about native Long Island raptor species—their diets, habitats, and physical adaptations that make them excellent hunters—as well as how to help protect them.

This magnificent great horned owl is one of the resident raptors at the QWR. —Kevin Ferris Photo

Visitors are requested to bring a blanket to sit on at designated socially distant locations, and to please arrive several minutes ahead to get situated. The fee for this program for adults and families with children age 6 and older is $10 per person, or $5 per child under 10.  Reservations and prepayment required; visit quoguewildliferefuge.org or call 631-653-4771. In case of rain, this will be changed to a virtual Zoom program. 

And mark the calendar now for the “Visions of Nature” art exhibition and social distance reception to benefit the Refuge on Saturday, August 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. 

“Pastel Seascape” by Susan Gilbert is one of the works that will be on view in the “Visions of Nature” exhibition at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.

Area artists will showcase works that represent their visions of nature and wildlife, with a portion of proceeds from sales going to benefit the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. On display will be paintings, photographs, and mixed media works from artists including: Steve Alpert, Jean Arena, Marissa Bridge, Kevin Ferris, Susan Gilbert, John Renner, and Rob Seifert, curated by Elizabeth Anne Hartman of HartmanOnHudson.com and the new Hartman On Hudson gallery in Westhampton Beach. 

In the meantime, all are urged to make a donation to the QWR Summer Appeal, a fundraiser established in lieu of the Wild Night for Wildlife benefit. Donations can be made directly on the QWR website, www.quoguewildliferefuge.org, or by clicking on this link, quoguewildliferefuge.org/summerappeal.

Black crowned night heron stalks a daytime meal . —Florrie Morrisey Photo

This Week’s Message from “Go Native”: Make a Correction
Way back at the beginning of the environmental movement in the ’60s and ’70s, the directive to “Think globally, act locally” arrived with a whiff of crunchy granola and Birkenstocks and was often sneered at and dismissed as out of touch. 

Today, though, with fires and floods and superstorms taking their deadly toll all over the planet, the phrase has taken on an inescapable urgency, and it’s more important than ever to take whatever steps we can locally as we wait and pray for governments to act globally. 

For this edition of At Quaquanantuck, Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis, self-described “co-motivators-in-chief” of the Go Native initiative in Quogue, are asking residents to consider what kind of actions they can take in their own backyards.  

As Ms. Morrisey wrote this week: “‘Save the birds’ … ‘Save the bees’ … these slogans can make one feel powerless in the face of the overwhelming forces arrayed against our natural planet. But the power of one—You!—should not be underestimated. You don’t have to feel helpless, or that you can’t make all the changes to your landscape that you’ve heard recommended: just make a correction.

“Make one or two changes and you’re off to a great start. No need to rip out hydrangeas, just add a few natives (especially pollinators). 

“One of the most important changes you can make is to eliminate the use of poisons on your property (otherwise known as pesticides and herbicides). 

“Often these chemicals work in the opposite way than intended. Rodenticides cause internal bleeding in voles. This makes them thirsty and they tend to crawl out of their holes and stagger around looking for water. This makes them easy prey for hawks and owls who, after eating a few, will also die from internal hemorrhaging. Yes, this is gruesome, but this is the full circle that we all need to be aware of when we make these choices.

“Similarly, using pesticides to get rid of bugs ends up starving both adult birds and their babies. Baby birds need protein and bugs are the main source of that: especially fat caterpillars! A few holes in your leaves is actually a sign of a healthy, functioning ecosystem. 

“We’ve lost an astounding one third of all the birds in North America in the last 40 years—3 billion in all. This is devastating for the health of our planet. Just keep thinking how your actions play out in the bigger picture. And make a correction.”

Instead of trying to croon his tune, this mockingbird, left, opted to mock/mimic the body language of this high wire willet.
—Florrie Morrisey Photo

New Art Exhibit, Author Conversations, and Plethora of Programs at Library
The Gallery at the Quogue Library will present “The Quogue Photography Exhibit” from July 31 through August 25, with an Artists’ Reception open to all on Saturday, July 31, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Featuring photography by Susie Gilbert, Veronique Louis, Lauren Lyons, Peter Moore, Reid + Factor, and Victoria Sartorius, this exhibition aims to highlight the innovative work of local artists. From the serene to the surreal, the work on view will bring “a new perspective on the extraordinary beauty in simple, ordinary things,” according to a description from the Art Gallery Committee, and will “challenge viewers to consider what we so often overlook.” 

“Fury,” a 24 x 36-inch print on metal by Veronique Louis, will be one of the works on view in “The Quogue Photography Exhibit” opening at the Quogue Library Art Gallery on Saturday, July 31. —Photo courtesy of the artist

The next installment of the summer Conversations with the Author series at the Quogue Library is scheduled on Sunday, July 25, at 5 p.m. with Karin Tanabe, author of “A Woman of Intelligence,” reading from her work and discussing it via Zoom with moderator Andrew Botsford.

David S. Reynolds, author of “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” will be the guest author on August 8, and poet John Barr, author of “Dante in China” on August 15.  The conversation with Alexandra Andrews, author of “Who Is Maud Dixon?” will be live and in-person at the library on August 22.

Patrons can opt to go to the library for the Zoom presentations or view them from the comfort of home; the August 22 program with Ms. Andrews will be in-person. To find out more about the series, visit the library website and click on any of the Author Series 2021 fliers on the home page. 

The Quogue Library continues to offer an incredibly wide array of programming for children, teens/tweens, families, and adults of all ages. Getting more information and registering is easy: simply click on the flier for any program that catches your interest and a registration link will pop up. 

Write America Brings Far-Flung Authors to Your Home
Speaking of conversations with authors, remember that Write America: A Reading for Our Country, the brainchild of Quogue author and playwright Roger Rosenblatt, continues to offer beautiful readings and stimulating discussions aimed at mending some of the rifts roiling our nation on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by Book Revue, the wonderful, community minded gem of an independent bookstore located in Huntington.

Roger Rosenblatt

Even as in-person programs resume, the virtual Write America series continues to put together writers in far-flung locations for engaging discussions that can be accessed by anyone around the world, live in real time or in a recorded version.   

Coming up on Monday, July 26, will be novelist and journalist Joyce Maynard and poet and essayist Adrienne Unger. On Thursday, August 5, at 7 p.m. the series will offer a special event, “Celebrating Rita Dove,” with the poet in conversation with series creator Roger Rosenblatt. The regular Monday evening schedule resumes on August 9 with memoirist and novelist Kaylie Jones and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri; on August 16 the guest authors will be award-winning novelist Ursula Hegi and author and editor Vanessa Cuti

Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

“Three Women: Three Visions” Opening July 31
“Three Women: Three Visions,” an art exhibit featuring the works of Claudia Baez, Ellen Ball and Leslie Singer, will be on view from July 31 to September 7 at the new Hartman On Hudson space at 8 Moniebogue Lane in Westhampton Beach, with an Artists Reception scheduled on Saturday, July 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

“Three Women: Three Visions” offers “the evocative visions of three talented artists who employ disparate media to create their moody and dramatic works,” according to a release from gallerist Elizabeth Anne Hartman. 

Santa Fe based painter Leslie Singer’s new series, “Gotham Gals,” takes its cues from the audacious Art Deco era painter Tamara de Lempicka, who painted the beau monde exuding elegance and attitude. 

Claudia Baez, “Last Year at Marienbad: Someone’s Coming,” 2018, oil, charcoal and oil stick on canvas, 21 x 27 inches, is one of the works that will be on view in “Three Women: Three Visions,” opening July 31 at Hartman On Hudson in Westhampton Beach. —Image courtesy of Hartman On Hudson

In 2017, Quogue and New York artist Claudia Doring Baez was overcome with teenage memories of going with her family to their neighborhood arts cinema in Mexico City, where she was raised. One film in particular eclipsed the others: French director Alain Resnais’s 1961 enigmatic film “Last Year at Marienbad,” a seminal work of the French New Wave. Using film stills as inspiration, Baez’s oil, charcoal and oil stick paintings on canvas invite the viewer into her private bold and stylized vision of this influential film.

Ellen Ball’s large scale works on Belgian linen feature iconic forms distilled to their abstract minimal shapes, lines and contours, or photographic simplicity. By combining elaborate patterns, she creates wholly original compositions and artworks. Working with found or appropriated imagery, Ball photoshops, cuts, collages, layers, or draws on metal leaf, creating new compositions that are then transferred onto canvas. This process leaves behind black ink and reveals a natural degradation. Provident imperfections occur and new shapes and textures present themselves.

Barbara Ernst Prey through August 4; Clementine Up Next at Quogue Gallery
“Barbara Ernst Prey: Vanishing Point” remains on view until August 4 at the Quogue Gallery at 44 Quogue Street. 

Barbara Ernst Prey, “Early Morning Beach Day,” 2021, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

The Barbara Ernst Prey exhibition features 20 works in various mediums—watercolor on paper, oil on panel and canvas and digital print—reflecting the widely acclaimed artist’s Long Island roots. Three paintings of Quogue scenes are included in the show. 

Coming up next at the Quogue Gallery will be “Clementine: Selfless in a Selfie World.” Featuring 15 works newly created by the artist, the exhibition will run from August 5 to August 25, with an artist reception scheduled on Saturday, August 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Speaking about her “art filter” body of work, the artist has said: “I am intrigued by how I can reflect our social media era in a fine art form. This series is comprised of interchangeable art filters that overlay paintings, instantly transforming them, just as with digital filters in platforms such as Instagram. Filter paintings represent social media symbols, such as the conspicuous selfie pucker.” 

Clementine, “#Retro,” 2021, acrylic on Plexiglass “Art Filter” over acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Clementine employs her “art filter” technique in her new “Selfless” series. The series reflects her journeys to remote villages in third world nations to give hidden stories and humanitarian challenges a voice through her art. Through photography, she captures encounters with disabled school children, orphans facing life threatening events, or those simply in need of basic human essentials such as access to clean water. Melding photography into paintings on canvas, Clementine overlays an art filter that is representative of our social media obsessed society. The resulting message, according to a release from the gallery, is: “Look beyond the self and at others in the world who truly need our attention.” 

“Selfless in a Selfie World” is a series created by the artist “to raise the consciousness of society, embracing what it means to move beyond narcissism and towards human connection.”

Clementine is an international artist with an exhibition history spanning Milan, Amsterdam, Brussels, Miami, and New York. She works across series painting primarily in acrylic on canvas and plexiglass. Her paintings range from purely abstract to figurative in style, all with an underlying freedom of expression depicted through bold color palettes and symbolic messages. Clementine received a B.A. from Boston College with additional art studies at Parsons and Harvard.

PAC Film Series Welcomes Billy Collins
Former two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins will join Andrew Botsford to offer film commentary on the Tuesday, July 27, screening of the French film “Mandibles,” directed by Quentin Dupieux, as part of the 2021 Rose and Don Ciampa World Cinema summer series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. 

A giant fly discovered in the trunk of a stolen car sparks the action in “Mandibles.”

Films in the summer series are screened on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30, with Andrew Botsford of Quogue introducing the films on Tuesday evenings and discussing them afterward, often with guest commentators, followed by an informal audience discussion. A complete list of this summer’s films, with trailers, is available on the PAC website. For more information about PAC protocols and to purchase tickets, visit whbpac.org and click on Films

Following “Mandibles” the lineup continues with “Summertime” on August 3 and 4; “Swan Song” on August 10 and 11; and “Ema” on August 17 and 18.

Foreign Policy Association Looks at “China and Africa”
The next installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program will examine some of the growing economic and political issues between China and Africa. Pending any changes based on new guidance, the program will be hosted virtually by the Quogue Library and presented by moderator David Rowe and facilitator Susan Perkins on Saturday, August 14, from 5 to 6 p.m.  

The Covid-19 crisis has put a massive strain on what was originally a positive economic and political relationship between China and the continent of Africa. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s centerpiece “Belt and Road initiative” continues to expand Chinese power, the response to the spread of Covid-19, as well as the African governments’ growing debt to China, has seen pushback. 

The Great Decisions discussion series, America’s largest program on world affairs, involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book and meeting in a Discussion Group to watch a DVD and discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. To sign up for the July 17 virtual program, click here or visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions “China and Africa” flier on the home page.

Summer Services at Church of the Atonement
The Reverend Dr. Robert Dannals, now in his 19th season at the Church of the Atonement, will continue to officiate at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday services through Sunday, August 8.

Following the traditional schedule, Communion is offered every week at the 8 a.m. service and Morning Prayer at 10 a.m.; on the first Sunday of the month, Communion is offered at both services. 

The Rev. Zachary Thompson

Rev. Dannals, who has been serving as a part-time Associate at St. John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville, Florida, was recently appointed as the Interim Rector for the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, for the coming year. 

He earned his Masters of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University and a Ph.D. from Graduate Theological. For more than 12 years he has been writing lectionary-based daily e-devotions. 

The Reverend Zachary Thompson will officiate at the Church of the Atonement for two Sundays, August 15 and 22. 

Rev. Thompson is the Vicar at St. James’ Church in Manhattan. Prior to St. James’, he served as Rector and Associate Priest at the Church of Our Saviour in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Chaplain at Emory University. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, he earned his Master of Divinity at Emory University and a Master of Sacred Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South. 

Rev. Thompson’s wife, Amy, is the Director of Admissions at the Church of the Epiphany Day School. They have seven and nine year-old sons, Ezra and Rowan.

Masks are required at services, according to a notification from the church, “until we are sure it is safe for everyone.” All children in the community, age 7 to 14, are invited to sing in the junior choir, which is led by Patricia Osborne Feiler, organist and choir director. Rehearsals are held at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at mtvogel@icloud.com

Sunday services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.; all are welcome. The Church of the Atonement is located at 17 Quogue Street. 

Remembering Two Stalwart Quogue Residents
Over the last two weeks, our village lost two larger than life characters who loved Quogue dearly. In this week’s column, At Quaquanantuck and those who knew them best remember Frances (Frankie) Ryan and Tom Lawson.

Frances (Frankie) Ryan
Survived by her son Robert Ryan of New York City and her longtime companion Richmond (Dick) Gardner of Quogue, Frances (Frankie) Mead Ryan died peacefully at home in Quogue on July 8 due to heart failure. She was 87.

Born in New York City, she graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1955 and went to work at Met Life Insurance, remaining there until 1963. After changing careers to early childhood education, she moved to Long Island in 1968 and taught at the East Quogue Elementary School, mostly in the first and second grades, until her retirement in 2000.

Frances (Frankie) Ryan

Mrs. Ryan was known as a patient and supportive teacher with a passion for books, gardening and history. 

“A 50-plus year resident of Quogue, the Village was always high in her thoughts,” Dick Gardner wrote in an email this week. “Among her civic interests were the Library, where she spent many Saturday mornings as a volunteer at the circulation desk; the Quogue Historical Society, where she succeeded Pat Shuttleworth as the expert on the histories of Quogue houses and will be remembered for her annual presentations; her service as Village Historian; the Church of the Atonement, where she was a member of the Altar Guild and a Eucharistic Minister; and the Westhampton Garden Club, as an enthusiastic participant in all the club’s activities.” 

Her friend Cecelia Lazarescu wrote this week that “in addition to her love of the history of Quogue, Frankie was so very proud of her garden. Years ago, when I first met her, she invited me over to see all of the beautiful things she had planted. At that time I knew nothing about gardening and she seemed to know everything and was willing to share with a novice.”

In addition to her membership at the Quogue Beach Club, the Surf Club, the Quogue Club, and the Daughters of the American Revolution; she was also a trustee of the Suffolk County Historical Society. 

A funeral was held on July 18 at the Church of the Atonement, and Mrs. Ryan will be interred at the Quogue Cemetery. Memorial donations in her name may be made to the Church of the Atonement.

Tom Lawson
Thomas Elsworth Lawson of Quogue, and formerly of Manhattan and Wellesley, Massachusetts, died on June 29. He was 84.

As detailed in an obituary in The Southampton Press, Tom’s Odyssean career began in the golden age of New York advertising and spanned 50 years, with leadership positions at Ogilvy & Mather, McCann-Erickson, and Arnold Worldwide. 

In 1971, he joined Ron Rosenfeld and Len Sirowitz to form Rosenfeld, Sirowitz & Lawson (RS&L), which  would become one of the most talked about and dynamic agencies in New York over the next 15 years, and was named the hottest medium-size shop of the year in 1979. 

A Harvard graduate, he played varsity football there and received the William Paine LaCroix Award for sportsmanship, loyalty, and team spirit. After college, he continued to play tennis, golf, softball, and volleyball as often as he could. He also served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant, earning his Parachutist Badge. In his later life, McDonald’s, a major client, presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Around our village, his dashing good looks combined with his sartorial choices made it appear that he had walked out of the pages of an elegant menswear catalog, and qualified him for best-dressed honors in any context, be it the boardroom or the backyard. Whether greeting a longtime friend or a new acquaintance, his ever-present ebullient bonhomie and love of laughter almost seemed a challenge to anyone he encountered to be in as good a mood as he was. 

As the Press obituary noted: “His hospitality was legend: if you showed up on his doorstep—whether you were from overseas or zip code 11959—you were welcomed with drinks, toasted at dinner, and offered a roof over your head for as long as you needed.”

His friend David Campagna wrote in an email this week: “Tom was a special guy. Some of his attributes that come to mind are: humorous; intelligent; ethical; unpretentious; respected boss and businessman; courageous; a loyal and valued friend; loving husband, father, and grandfather; and generous patriarch of his extended family. It was a privilege to know him; He will be sorely missed by many.”

Another longtime friend, Tom Elliott, wrote in an email: “Tom was a man who exuded optimism every day, had a keen sense of humor, left a huge footprint in the advertising world, had a love of all sports, both as a fan and as an avid competitor, and above all an endless love of his family. He will be missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.” 

He is survived by his wife, Nina, the love of his life for more than 40 years; his children, Patric (Sarah) of Norwell Massachusetts, James (Caroline Flynn) of Park Slope, and Samantha (Matthew Termine) of Park Slope; grandchildren, Maeve, Cordner, Matilda, Theo, and Oliver; siblings, Captain Peter (Rosine) of San Ramon, California, Judy Clarke of Rockland, Massachusetts, and Christopher (Dianne) of Hanover, Massachusetts; and many nieces and nephews. 

A celebration of Tom’s life is scheduled for autumn 2021, date to be determined. Donations may be made in Tom’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com

News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Proof of Life

Ah, summer. Although its progress can be measured with holidays—launches Memorial Day weekend; achieves orbit July 4; splashes down on Labor Day—it’s also a subjective thing. 

Some tie it to the progress of plant life—rhododendrons, peonies, iris, roses and dahlias—or crops for the table: asparagus, strawberries, corn and tomatoes. Some gauge it from activities: first and last day at the beach or swim in the ocean; launching the boat and pulling it out; first and last fishing trip; rounds of golf played in shorts. 

Summer calm. —A. Botsford Photo

Augmenting whatever hallmarks we might use to identify and embrace this wondrous season, there are events and traditions. Summer of 2020 was perhaps most notable for its lack of these. With no (or only a virtual facsimile of) Memorial Day services; graduation ceremonies; HTC play, Chamber Music concert, or Quogue Junior Theater Troupe shows at the Community Hall; gala fundraisers for important non-profits—including most especially the Wild Night for Wildlife to benefit the Wildlife Refuge or the Quogue Historical Society Art Show and Sale—and no Quogue Association Beach Party or Duck Race, to name only a few of the missing, it was open to question if we really had a summer at all. 

Well, of course we did, but it was certainly nothing like the kind of summer we have so happily become accustomed to sharing with family and friends. That’s why we should be even more appreciative this year of all the organizations that are doing whatever it takes to bring back, safely, the events and activities that give this season its beautiful texture. At the same time, we must be even more supportive of those, like the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, that are precluded for a second summer from hosting both a wonderful party and their most important fundraiser of the year. 

Quogue Association Checking All the Boxes
Perhaps the group most often associated with setting out the goal posts for this community’s celebration of summer, the Quogue Association is going full bore again this year, scheduling the big Beach Party on July 17 at the Village Beach; setting up for the Duck Race and free concert at the Village Dock on August 20, and awarding, as it does every year, the QA’s annual scholarship to a community service minded student from Quogue.

The QA blockbuster Village Beach Party on Saturday, July 17 (rain date July 24), from 6 to 9 p.m. is one of those rare events that can actually live up to the promise of “fun for the whole family.” The tasty menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders and assorted salads, with a beverage selection of wine, beer and lemonade. 

DJ Mike Variale of East End Entertainment will be set up down on the beach this year, closer to the action around the traditional bonfire, and free Quogue Association frisbees will be distributed to all the kids. The price is $30 for adults and young persons age 11 and up; $15 for kids 5 to 10; and free for children under 5. 

Residents may still be shaking the sand out of their pockets on July 31, the first of three Saturdays when the QA will be set up outside the Post Office to sell cleaned up, restored and recycled ducks for the annual Duck Race on Friday, August 20, to benefit the Quogue Association’s community projects. The race and free attendant celebration and concert at the Quogue Village Dock run from 5 to 7 p.m., with beer, wine and water provided, and music from the band Souled Out. Picnicking is encouraged, so be prepared to BYO comestibles and tuck in. More details on duck prices, sale dates, and prizes for winners in the next At Quaquanantuck. 

Quogue Association President Lynn Lomas has announced that Arielle Bolduc is this year’s recipient of the annual scholarship awarded annually by the QA to a graduating student of Westhampton Beach High School who currently lives in Quogue and has demonstrated a significant commitment to community service. 

Arielle’s accomplishments include volunteering at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge as a camp counselor, helping to prepare meals for needy families during the holidays, volunteering at Southampton Animal Shelter, and participating in beach cleanups along Dune Road. She is looking forward to attending Louisiana State University in the fall. Congratulations, Arielle!

Members of the Quogue Association board of directors (left to right) Mac Highet, Stefanie Beck, Lynn Lomas and Kevin Crowe with this year’s QA scholarship recipient Arielle Bolduc.

To paraphrase the important message passed on by Mayor Peter Sartorius in his most recent email to village residents, dated June 21: Any resident who is not already supporting the Quogue Association by being a member (for the modest sum of $40 per year plus any additional voluntary contribution), should consider becoming a member. And all members on the QA rolls for 2020 who have not already done so are urged to renew their membership as soon as possible. The process is simple: visit www.quogueassociation.org and click on the “Join/Donate” tab on the upper right of the home page. As Hizzoner pointed out, “If you are technologically challenged or just prefer the traditional means of making payments, send your name and email address with your check to the Quogue Association at PO Box 671 in Quogue.”

In addition to the Beach Party, the Duck Race and free concert, the annual scholarship, guest speaker series, monthly newsletter to members, and many other contributions to enhancing the quality of life in our village, the Quogue Association maintains the landscaping at the Village Dock, at the west entrance to Quogue from Montauk Highway, at the Post Lane circle, and at the intersection of Post Lane and Dune Road. Recent projects that the QA fully or partially funded include the restoration of the Nachum Chapin anchor at the Quogue Library, replacement of the Village Clock at the Village Pond, installation of the beautiful serpentine bench on the Village Green, and placement of a resting bench at the intersection of Old Depot and Scrub Oak Roads. 

It all boils down to this: there’s every reason to become a member or renew your membership in the Quogue Association, and not a single reason not to. 

Quogo Neck sunset. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

Incumbent Trustees Win Another Two-Year Term
In this year’s Quogue Village election on Friday, June 18, more than 100 voters turned out in support of the status quo, awarding incumbents Randy Cardo and Ted Necarsulmer (who were running unopposed) additional two-year terms as Trustees. 

Deborah Disston Wins Election to School Board
Quogue School Superintendent Jeffrey Ryvicker was kind enough to share the results of the run-off election for a member of the Quogue School Board of Education: “At a Special Run-Off Election held on June 22, Ms. Deborah Disston was elected to the Quogue UFSD Board of Education,” Mr. Ryvicker wrote in an email this week. “Ms. Disston ran unopposed, as Holly Degnan withdrew her candidacy prior to the election. Ms. Disston will serve as Trustee for a term of three years.”

The Quogue Historical Society’s 1822 One-Room Schoolhouse Museum is now open for self-guided tours six days a week. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

1822 One-Room Schoolhouse Is Now Open
The Quogue Historical Society has announced that the newly restored Schoolhouse Museum, which now sits in a place of prominence on the grounds of the Quogue Library, is open for self-guided tours Thursday through Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Wednesday. 

As the Historical Society pointed out in an email to At Quaquanantuck, “The Schoolhouse is indisputably the most important historic building in the Village. It is not only a rare example of its type and form, but it also survives remarkably intact, with its original 12-over-12 windows—many with original panes of glass—rough-hewn pine floor, and beaded wall boards, featuring 19th century graffiti: carvings of ships and students’ initials. Moreover, it has an entrance hall, which is atypical, as are the vaulted barrel ceilings in the hall and large classroom.

“In anticipation of our celebration of the Schoolhouse’s 200th anniversary, 1822-2022, the Historical Society undertook critical repairs and restoration work on the building, inside and out. The work began in 2019 and was completed in early 2021. The Schoolhouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a contributing resource in the Quogue Historic District (2016).” 

On Saturday, July 17, the QHS will open a new exhibition at the Pond House on Jessup Avenue, “Quogue’s ‘Old Schoolhouse Museum’: The First Exhibition, 1949.” 

In 1893, when the Village built a new and larger schoolhouse for its burgeoning population, Quogue’s one-room Schoolhouse was closed and abandoned. Abram Post rescued the 1822 building from demolition in the early 1900s and moved it to his property just east of the Quogue Library. He used it as a tool shed and workshop for almost 50 years. In 1948, the Post family donated the Schoolhouse to the Library to be operated as a museum. 

On August 24, 1949, the Library’s newly formed Historical Committee, forerunner of the Quogue Historical Society, opened its first exhibition, which featured “furniture, implements, photographs, and documents, many of them dating back to the early settlers in Quogue.”

“Celebrate Art!” Party and Art Show & Sale Return
The QHS is taking its place in restoring the natural order of things by bringing back the popular “Celebrate Art!” cocktails and art talk benefit on Friday, August 13, from 5 to 7 p.m., on the eve of the 55th annual Art Show & Sale to benefit the QHS from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, on the Quogue Village Green on Jessup Avenue.  

After a new school was built, the 1822 Schoolhouse was used by Abram Post as a tool shed and workshop on his propert for 50 years. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

Church of the Atonement Has Begun Summer Services
The Reverend Dr. Richard D. McCall returned this week for his 22nd season at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement on Quogue Street, officiating at services on Sunday, June 27. Rev. McCall will officiate for two more weeks at the church, on Sunday, July 4, and Sunday, July 11. 

Reverend Dr. Richard McCall

He and his wife, the Reverend Dr. Terry McCall, live in Bloomington, Indiana. Their daughter Anne and her husband Myles live in New Orleans, a son Ross and his wife Liz are in Atlanta, and a daughter Emily and her husband Trent live in Bloomington with their two boys, Parker and Charlie.

Masks will be required at services, according to a notification from the church, “until we are sure it is safe for everyone.” All children in the community, age 7 to 14, are invited to sing in the junior choir which is led by Patricia Osborne Feiler, organist and choir director. Rehearsals are held at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at mtvogel@icloud.com

Sunday services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.; all are welcome. The Church of the Atonement is located at 17 Quogue Street. 

Taking over on Sunday, July 18, for the first of four Sundays will be the Reverend Dr. Robert Dannals, who is now in his 19th season at the church. 

Reverend Dr. Robert Dannals

Rev. Dannals has been serving as a part-time Associate at St. John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville, Florida. He was for many years Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Church in Dallas, Texas, and served in interim ministry in New York City, Atlanta, and Beverly Hills. He was recently appointed as the Interim Rector for the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, for the coming year. 

He earned his Masters of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University and a Ph.D. from Graduate Theological. For more than 12 years he has been writing lectionary-based daily e-devotions. 

Rev. Dannals and his wife Valerie have their permanent residence in Jacksonville. They have three daughters: Danielle with two daughters in Jacksonville; Kaleigh, married with one son in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Mary Blair, married in Washington, DC.

Three brothers—Maximus, Marcus and Magnus Haynia—took care of the official flag raising at the Grand Re-Opening of the Quogue Library on Saturday, June 26. —A. Botsford Photo

On June 26 it was indeed a very Grand Re-Opening of the renovated, restored and expanded Quogue Library, with some 522 people touring the spectacular new facility. With a theme of “Honoring the Past; Reaching Out to the Future,” the opening ceremonies went off beautifully, with thoughtful remarks and expressions of gratitude by a number of speakers, raising of the Stars and Stripes by three Boy Scouts who are also brothers, and a moving rendition of the national anthem by the very gifted Grace Gramins before the formal ribbon cutting. 

In a perfect Quogue moment, when applause erupted after Ms. Gramins sang the concluding line of the Star-Spangled Banner, little Georgia Russell, age two and a half, who had been hopping around the flagpole, looked up at the enthusiastically clapping assembled multitude and graced the crowd with a sweeping, deep bow. Born ready for the limelight, it seems. 

During the tours and casual rambling through the library, patrons marveled at the beautiful restoration of the 1897 Library rooms; the wonders of the new Innovation Lab; the space specifically tailored for tweens; the Children’s Room, Children’s Activity Room, Children’s Porch and Garden; the new Art Gallery; the made-over Shinnecock Room and Shinnecock Terrace; and the welcoming Circulation Desk, to name only a few of the fabulous features of the new and yet comfortingly familiar library.

Front Row, left to right, Sally McGrath, Trustee; Catherine Donnelly, consultant, Trustees Philippe McCauliffe, Kathy Lomas and Sarah Adams; Frances Beatty Adler, Co-Chair Capital Campaign; Barbara Sartorius, President Board of Trustees; Trustee Kevin Crowe Sr;. Building Committee Chair Lynda Confessore; Trustee Paul Mejean; Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman; Trustee Pierre de Saint Phalle. Second row, left to right, Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss, Innovation Lab sponsors; Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius, Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr.Veronique Louis Photo
Kids wasted no time trying out the new Children’s Activity Room at the library on Saturday. —Veronique Louis Photo

With No “Wild Night” This Summer, Refuge Reaches Out for Support
The sad news is that Director Michael Nelson and the Quogue Wildlife Refuge board have once again had to reach the difficult decision not to host a Wild Night for Wildlife gala fundraiser this summer. The better news is that they are already asking supporters to save the date of July 9, 2022 for next summer’s Wild Night party. 

In the meantime, the mail invitation to the QWR Summer Appeal, a fundraiser established in lieu of the Wild Night for Wildlife benefit, will include a packet of milkweed seeds, to support wildlife in supporters’ own backyards. The summer fundraiser, in whatever form, is traditionally the most important one of the year for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, as it supports year-round environmental education programming, excellent quality care for resident animals, and maintains the trails and grounds for all to enjoy. No need to wait for the seed packet and invitation in the mail; donations can be made directly on the QWR website, www.quoguewildliferefuge.org, or by clicking on this link, quoguewildliferefuge.org/summerappeal

The lovely Butterfly Garden at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. —Photo courtesy of QWR

Coming up on Monday, July 12, from 2 to 2:45 p.m., the QWR will host a Kids Painting for Pollinators program for ages 6-12. Participants will take a stroll through the butterfly garden to learn about some plants and butterflies, and then paint a watering can to take home. This program is sponsored by the Leo S. Walsh Foundation. Children should wear a smock or an old tee-shirt as acrylic paints will be used. The fee of $20 per child includes materials. Pre-registration is available here: quoguewildliferefuge.org/events/kids-painting-for-pollinators.

Master pollinator at work. —Photo courtesy of QWR Summer Appeal

“Go Native” Urgent Message: the Bees Need Our Help
For this edition of At Quaquanantuck, Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis, self-described “co-motivators-in-chief” of the Go Native initiative in Quogue, have turned their attention to the critical decline in the bee population. 

As Ms. Morrisey wrote this week: “If you look around your garden, you will probably notice few or no bumblebees on your Nepeta (catmint). Likewise, the clover in your lawn should have many honeybees seeking nectar and pollen, and there seem to be very few in these environs. Bee populations have plummeted over the last decades, and without bees the pollinator cycle is broken. Plants do not get pollinated and the food supply—ours and the birds’—is affected. One in every three bites of food, including fruits, vegetables and nuts, depends on bees and other pollinators. 

“While habitat loss and climate change are contributing factors to the dearth of bees, the biggest culprits are the chemicals we are putting on our lawns. The two agrochemicals that are largely responsible for the devastating decline of bees and monarchs are a class of insecticides called neonics, and the weed killer glyphosate (“Roundup”). Neonics are used heavily in agriculture, but they are also included in many commercial sprays used by landscapers against mosquitoes, ticks, etc. (for example, look for Imidacloprid as an ingredient). 

“These products are not only toxic to beneficial insects, but can be harmful to your children and pets. There are ways to keep your lawn healthy without weed killer. And as for mosquitos and ticks, it’s a huge problem for sure, but the number one thing you can do is protect yourself with repellent containing DEET or Picaridin. If you must spray, use only a product containing botanical oils and do target spraying in the early morning when bees are less active, avoiding flowering plants. 

“The severe decline in bees (and monarchs) is cause for much alarm. Taking no action will lead to very dire environmental consequences for us and the natural world. Remember the message of Doug Tallamy: small steps by many individuals … can make a difference.”

Check Library Website for Programming
A quick glance at the Quogue Library website home page reveals that the staff hasn’t missed a step in offering a wide array of programming for young people and adults of all ages. And registering is easy: simply click on the flier for any program that catches your interest and a registration link will pop up. 

Author Sarah Penner

The first installment of the summer Conversations with the Author series is only a week away, with  Sarah Penner, author of “The Lost Apothecary,” the first guest on July 11. Paula McLain, author of “When the Stars Go Dark,” will speak with author Rene Denfeld on July 18; Karin Tanabe, author of “A Woman of Intelligence,” will be the guest author on July 25; David S. Reynolds, author of “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” on August 8; poet John Barr, author of “Dante in China” on August 15; and Alexandra Andrews, author of “Who Is Maud Dixon?” on August 22.

Patrons can opt to go to the library for the Zoom presentations or view them from the comfort of home; the August 22 program with Ms. Andrews will be in-person. To find out more about the series, visit the library website. 

Among the host of programs on offer, on Wednesday, July 7, the library is hosting a book discussion live via Zoom with Carl Safina at 4:30 p.m. The author will discuss three non-human cultures—what they do, why they do it, and how life is for them—in his most recent book, “Becoming Wild.”

The Quogue Library’s Anti-Racism Book Club will be discussing “Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington DC” by Ashante M. Reese live via Zoom on Tuesday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. 

All those interested in learning more about “Snapseed Photo Editing” can sign up for a virtual workshop on the subject led by Ian on Saturday, July 17, at 10 a.m.

And these are just a few of the programs to be found on the Quogue Library website. Dive in!

Morning glory. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

Foreign Policy Association Looks North to the Arctic
The next installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program will examine “The Coldest War: Toward a Return to Great Power Competition in the Arctic?” Pending any changes based on new guidance, the program will be hosted virtually by the Quogue Library and presented by moderator David Rowe and facilitator Susan Perkins on Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m., on Saturday, July 17.  

The Great Decisions discussion series, America’s largest program on world affairs, involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book and meeting in a Discussion Group to watch a DVD and discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. 

A limited number of discounted briefing books are available for sale through the library; email jbloom@quoguelibrary.org. To purchase a digital copy of the 2021 briefing book, click here. The E-book version of the briefing book is also available at Amazon/Kindle, Rakuten Kobo, Nook (Barnes and Noble), Apple Books , 24symbols.com, and Scribd. To sign up for the July 17 virtual program, click here or visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions “Coldest War” flier on the home page.

Barbara Ernst Prey Up Next at Quogue Gallery
This is the last weekend to see “Norman Carton: Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist Series” at the Quogue Gallery before the show closes on July 6. 

Next up at the gallery  at 44 Quogue Street will be “Barbara Ernst Prey: Vanishing Point,” running from July 8 to August 4, with an artist reception slated on Saturday, July 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Barbara Ernst Prey, “Vanishing Point,” 2006, watercolor on paper, 28 x 37.8. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

The exhibition will feature 20 works in various mediums—watercolor on paper, oil on panel and canvas and digital print—reflecting the artist’s Long Island roots. Three paintings of Quogue scenes are included in the show. According to the gallery, “Vanishing Point” offers “a comprehensive look at the work of an artist whom Charles A. Riley, Director of the Nassau County Museum of Art, describes in his exhibition catalogue essay as ‘quite simply put, the world’s pre-eminent woman watercolorist.’”  

In his essay, Riley, who has been writing about Prey for decades, notes that “Starting within the realist category, the clear descent from Mary Cassatt, Rosa Bonheur … Georgia O’Keeffe and others seems limiting … open the frame to include abstraction and a different matrilineal prospect follows—Mitchell, Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Jane Wilson, Mary Abbott and perhaps closest in terms of sheer aesthetics, Helen Frankenthaler. 

“The Ninth Street Women are enjoying a moment … offering Prey a group context one generation removed who accomplished by virtue of their own pluck and talent the forging of a style both painterly and powerful that locks down its claim to posterity. The only two women appointed to the National Council on the Arts are Prey and Frankenthaler. Both of them embody a cardinal principle of aesthetics: Originality married to technique earns this ranking.” 

One of America’s most renowned contemporary artists, Barbara  Ernst Prey was recently commissioned by MASS MoCA to create the largest known watercolor painting  (8 by 15 feet) for a new building. Prey’s work also resides in the National Gallery of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the New York Historical Society, Kennedy Space Center and the permanent collection of the White House, where she is one of just two living female artists represented. In addition, the artist’s work has been featured and discussed in numerous books and publications, and on radio and television programs.

Prey earned a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College, where she is an adjunct faculty member, and a Master’s degree from Harvard University. She has received numerous institutional accolades, including a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation enabling her to spend a year painting in Asia, a Fulbright Scholarship, and the New York State Senate’s “Women of Distinction” Award. She maintains studios in New York, Maine, and Massachusetts.

Barbara Ernst Prey, “Variations of Color,” 2021, watercolor on paper, 11 x 14. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Summer Film Series Heating Up at Performing Arts Center
Tickets are on sale now for the next films in the 2021 Rose and Don Ciampa World Cinema summer series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. 

Films are screened on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30, with Andrew Botsford of Quogue introducing the films on Tuesday evenings and discussing them afterward, often with guest commentators, followed by an informal audience discussion. 

“Les Notres” screens on July 6 and 7.

The lineup for July begins with “Les Notres” (“Our Own”) on July 6 and 7. According to the intriguing PAC description, “To the tight-knit community of Sainte-Adeline, Quebec, Magalie appears as a normal suburban high school sophomore surrounded by friends. But this popular teenage girl is harboring a shocking secret: she’s pregnant. When Magalie refuses to identify the father, suspicions among the townsfolk come to a boiling point and the layers of a carefully maintained social varnish eventually crack.”

On July 13 and 14, the film will be “Final Account,” described as “an urgent portrait of the last living generation of everyday people to participate in Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. Over a decade in the making, the film raises vital, timely questions about authority, conformity, complicity and perpetration, national identity, and responsibility, as men and women ranging from former SS members to civilians in never-before-seen interviews reckon with—in very different ways—their memories, perceptions and personal appraisals of their own roles in the greatest human crimes in history.”

And on July 20 and 21, the film will be “Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones and D-Man in the Waters.” This documentary “traces the remarkable history and legacy of one of the most important works of art to come out of the age of AIDS –choreographer Bill T. Jones’s tour de force ballet “D-Man in the Waters.” In 1989, D-Man in the Waters gave physical manifestation to the fear, anger, grief, and hope for salvation that the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company felt as they were embattled by the AIDS pandemic. As a group of young dancers reconstructs the dance, they learn about this oft forgotten history and deepen their understanding of the power of art in a time of plague.”

A complete list of this summer’s films, with trailers, is available on the PAC website. For more information about PAC protocols and to purchase tickets, visit whbpac.org and click on Films


Graduation Time
This is the time of year for graduations, one of the signals that summer is truly underway. At Quaquanantuck salutes all graduates, with special recognition for some of the ones that readers have let me know about. 

Maxwell Smith

Maxwell Smith, son of Joanie Mullen and Gabe Smith, graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Dance and Performing Arts in NYC last week. He studied in the Technical Theater Studio and has worked some summers with QJTT here in Quogue. 

Max will be attending John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, for his freshman year and then Tulane University. The graduation was in a great venue: at Central Park Summerstage. 

Maud Fitzpatrick

Maud Fitzpatrick, daughter of Tara Fitzpatrick, went to the Quogue School starting in fourth grade, graduated this year, and will now be attending Westhampton Beach Middle School in the fall. 

At Quaquanantuck also learned of three 2021 graduating seniors from Westminster School who reside at least part-time in Quogue: Miranda Douglass, daughter of Stephanie and Andrew Douglass; Hunter Hoogkamp, son of Carolyn and Greg Hoogkamp; and William Mazzaro, son of Laura and Gene Mazzaro.

Please send news (and photos!) of any other Quogue graduates to AtQuaq@gmail.com.


Haywire Bringing It All Back Home
Haywire owner Raenell Murray is continuing the practice she initiated last summer, inviting her faithful customers, as well as new friends, to come to her house to see all of the clothing items she is selling.

A sample of items available from Haywire.

Ms. Murray recently advised At Quaquanantuck that there will be regular priced items in the house and a barn full of sale items. All are invited to come see fabulous French capris and trousers, cashmere sweaters, shawls, colorful tops, jewelry and much more. Call Ms. Murray at 631-283-2809 to set up an appointment.   


Musicians of the Manhattan Chamber Players at the Quogue Chamber Music concert on July 12. —Mary Thames Louis Photo

Following the unqualified success of the June 12 concert, Quogue Chamber Music impresario Jane Deckoff offered this message to At Quaquanantuck: “Thank you to Jeff Ryvicker and the Quogue Elementary School for their generosity in providing their faculty and staff parking lot for the tent … We were also gratified by the decent weather and by the fact that the acoustics turned out to be excellent … the Quogue audience leapt to their feet and gave the musicians a standing ovation after the Chausson.  Everyone was just so excited to be up and about that any stress and the hard work were well worth it.”

The fully vaccinated audience enjoyed dropping their masks for the Quogue Chamber Music concert on June 12. —Mary Thames Louis Photo

Write America Keeps the Light Bright
At Quaquanantuck continues to be amazed by—and very grateful for—the seemingly endless roster of extraordinarily talented, sensitive, and insightful writers who have happily signed up to be on the ongoing weekly program Write America: A Reading for Our Country

The brainchild of the prodigiously gifted writer, teacher and Quogue boulevardier Roger Rosenblatt, Write America offers beautiful readings and stimulating discussions aimed at mending some of the rifts roiling our nation, airing on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by Book Revue, the wonderful, community minded gem of an independent bookstore located in Huntington.

Even as in-person programs resume, the virtual Write America series continues to put together writers in far-flung locations for engaging discussions that can be accessed by anyone around the world, live in real time or in a recorded version.   

To catch up on what the series is all about, At Quaquanantuck recommends a visit to the Book Revue website, bookrevue.com/write-america-series, where you can access recordings of all the readings and conversations of the series up to now. 

The June 21 program featured author, editor and professor Lou Ann Walker, Quogue’s own Whiting Award-winning author and professor Genevieve Sly Crane, and short story writer Jeordie Chou. Coming up on Monday, July 5, will be novelist and screenwriter Susan Isaacs, novelist and playwright Jean Hanff Korelitz, and Pulitzer Prize nominated author Ishmael Reed; on July 12, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo and sportswriter and novelist Robert Lipsyte; on July 19, Kate Lehrer, former New Yorker contributor Elizabeth Hawes Weinstock, and Pushcart Prize-winning poet David Tomas Martinez; and on July 26, novelist and journalist Joyce Maynard and poet and essayist Adrienne Unger

Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com

News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

And Away We Go

Now this is more like it. It’s beginning to feel like summer around here. 

The beginning of June in 2020 was a time of buttoning up, shutting down, settling in and keeping apart, putting on masks and gloves, crossing off one event or planned gathering after another on the calendar.

Village Dock, June 4, 2021. —A. Botsford Photo

Summer 2021 has a delightfully different feeling. Sure, there are still some restrictions and limitations, but this June is much more like the start of summers of yore: the Village election is back on schedule; the school and library budgets were approved but there’s a runoff vote for school board member on June 22; people are getting together for drinks and dinner parties; Quogue Chamber Music is offering its traditional June concert under a tent this Saturday; live theatre is back, with the Hampton Theatre Company production of “Sylvia” wrapping up on Sunday and the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe taking over the Community Hall on June 20 in preparation for productions of “Pippin” and “Frozen Jr.” in August; the newly renovated and expanded Quogue Library—which can only be described as amazing—will host a Grand Re-Opening on June 26 and open for business on June 27; the Wildlife Refuge has a pre-Father’s Day sale on Saturday, June 12, as well as Private Family Paddling sessions June 12 and 18, and an important Zoom talk by Doug Tallamy on June 15; the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is bringing back its summer film series starting June 15.  

Get the picture? Read on for the details on a summer that’s raring to go. The weather’s fair; track clear: let’s get started. 

From the number of photos submitted, it appears that many residents enjoyed the beautiful rainbow that followed the showers of June 4 in Quogue. —Judy Gruhn Photo

Village Election June 18
Knocked off kilter by the Covid pandemic and associated shutdowns and calendar shuffling, the Quogue Village election is back to its usual schedule this year and will be held on Friday, June 18, with voting from noon to 9 p.m. at the firehouse on Jessup Avenue. Incumbents Randy Cardo and Ted Necarsulmer are running unopposed for two-year terms as Trustees, which means they will only be opposed by any write-in candidates. Which means it’s still important to come out and cast your vote. 

School and Library Budgets Approved; Runoff Vote for School Board
While turnout was only a fraction of what one might hope for in our generally civic minded village, it was still gratifying to see that village voters showed overwhelming support on May 18 for the budgets of two institutions that provide the foundation and the backbone for education and enrichment for all ages in our community. The Quogue School budget was approved by a vote of 145 to 22; and the Quogue Library budget was approved by a vote of 135 to 23. 

The election of a school board member to fill the position held by Tim Carbone, meanwhile, was a dead heat, 75-75, which might seem to indicate that the two candidates, Holly Degnan and Deborah Disston, are essentially equally qualified. A special run-off election has been scheduled at the school on Tuesday, June 22, from 2 to 8 p.m. For complete details, visit the Quogue School website at www.quogueschool.com

Shining sea. —A. Botsford Photo

As has been noted in this column many times, both the school and the library have faced whatever challenges came their way over the years and still maintained the highest standards of excellence in their dedication to their respective missions and service to the community. Then came Covid. 

Beyond health care, probably no other sector was as hard hit by the pandemic as education. But in Quogue, thanks to the efforts of Quogue School Superintendent Jeffrey Ryvicker, the willing teachers, dedicated administrators and support staff, the 2020-2021 school year has been as close to “normal” as possible for the students and parents while still observing the necessary safety restrictions and protocols.

The Quogue Library, meanwhile, was already embarked on perhaps the most ambitious renovation and expansion in the facility’s history when the coronavirus pandemic effectively stalled forward motion on all building projects all across the country. Not only did the library make an almost seamless—and instantaneous—shift over to an astounding array of virtual programs, the tireless members of the Building Committee—chair Lynda Confessore, Sally McGrath, Paul Mejean, and Barbara Sartorius—with help from IT Director Russell Weisenbacher, the board of trustees, and, for the past year, new library Director Jenny Bloom, somehow managed the gargantuan task of keeping the multi-tiered project on track. And now the new library and all its many wonders will be unveiled at a grand re-opening party on June 26, and the new business as usual will begin on June 27. (See below.) 

All residents are urged to remember that voting to approve a budget is only one way to express your appreciation for what the women and men of these two institutions have accomplished—in both cases for no other reason than a desire to provide the best possible resources for our community. They should be thanked, applauded and saluted at every opportunity for their miraculous achievements, all on our behalf.    

Ready to re-open. —A. Botsford Photo

On June 26, the Big Reveal
So much to celebrate in this June of reawakening, with the Grand Re-Opening of the Quogue Library on Saturday, June 26, near the very top of the list. 

The official invitation went out this week, with the library trustees and staff urging patrons to “bike, hike or share a ride” to this come-one, come-all celebration from 1 to 5 p.m. 

On tap are an opening ceremony, with local Eagle Scouts helping to raise the flag and guest speakers Assemblyman Fred Thiele and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman offering remarks, and an official ribbon cutting at 1:15 p.m.  

Also on the schedule are tours of the renovated and expanded facility and lots of activities, with the Mambo Loco band providing musical accompaniment and the library offering refreshments under the tent. Kids (of all ages) are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite book character, and the library trustees are asking all patrons to “come masked” for activities inside the library “so we can protect each other.”  

Members of the community are also being invited to contribute a message to a time capsule that will be sealed at the conclusion of the re-opening celebration. Residents who are interested in submitting an item to the time capsule are asked to email a description of their proposed contribution to library staff at info@quoguelibrary.org and inquire about the particulars. 

From the northeast, across the new tent pavilion. —A. Botsford Photo

Before It Can Re-Open, the Library Has to Close
The Quogue Library will close its Midland Street location on Saturday, June 12, at 1 p.m. and will re-open in the spectacular new Quogue Street location the day after the big celebration, at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 27. Patrons are asked to stop in at the Midland office or call staff before 1 p.m. on June 12 for help reserving books or having holds sent to a neighboring library in the interim.

Starting June 27, the Quogue Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Tuesday, and closed on Wednesdays. 

Library Programming Is Virtually Continuous
While the Quogue Library will not have a physical, brick and mortar operation running for the two weeks between June 12 and June 27, the wide array of virtual programs for body, mind, spirit and palate will continue uninterrupted. Courtesy of library staffer and frequent At Quaquanantuck correspondent Elizabeth Caputo, a sampling of these offerings is listed below. 

In the fitness department, Leisa M. Taylor is leading a “Powerhouse Pilates” series on Mondays at 10 a.m. through July 5, dedicated to learning about and strengthening specific muscle groups. On Tuesdays at 10 a.m. through June 29, Ms. Taylor will be helping participants “Learn How to Balance Your Body and Mind.” 

In “Chakra Yoga” on Fridays at 10 a.m. through July 16, Jillian will guide participants through an hour-long energetic yoga class focusing on one chakra or thought/feeling/area of the body per class.

In programming for adults, this Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m. “The Lost Boys of Montauk” will feature author Amanda Fairbanks in conversation with Henry Osmers, the Montauk Lighthouse Historian;  and the Adult Fiction Book Club will meet on Zoom on Sunday, June 13, at noon to discuss “Interior Chinatown” by Charles Wu. 

The library sponsored monthly Cancer Talk on Wednesday, June 16, at 4:30 p.m. will feature scientist Sonam Bhatia of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory speaking about new techniques in the study of breast cancer, with a Q&A to follow.

Also on Wednesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. the library will play virtual host to a Facebook Live presentation by “Simply Creative” chef Rob Scott, “The Summer Is Bursting with Flavor.” Participants will learn how to make grilled shrimp with feta cheese, tomato, and orzo salad; grilled jerk chicken with a watermelon   Fire and Ice salsa; and a summertime red, white, and blueberry shortcake. Sounds tasty. 

Rhododendron red. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

Patrons who pick up the kit with all necessary supplies at Midland before Saturday, June 12, will be able to take part in a Virtual Paint Class focusing on seascapes with Marie Camenares on Friday, June 18, from 7 to 8 p.m. 

In these days of hacking, phishing and ransomware, it’s more important than ever to understand what kinds of security are available. On Wednesday, June 23, at 3:30 p.m. the library’s SeniorNet program will examine “Internet Security,” with the discussion centered on antivirus software, firewalls, malware, phishing, private browsing, and security settings for MS Edge, Firefox, and Google Chrome.

At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23, author and “Great Gatsby” scholar Richard Webb Jr. will present a Zoom discussion of his book, “Boats Against the Current: The Honeymoon of Scott and Zelda.”

Teen programs include a Virtual Paint Party on Friday, June 11, at 7 p.m.;  and Dungeons and Dragons for seventh grade and up on Saturdays at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Tweens (age 8 to 11) can turn an old t-shirt into a tote bag by tuning in to the Fabric and Fiber Inventions program on Wednesday, June 23, at 3 p.m. And there are a number of programs geared to younger children as well. 

For more details and to register for any of the programs sponsored by the library, visit the quoguelibrary.org website and click on the flier on the home page. 

And, in all the excitement swirling around the library these days, don’t forget to mark the calendar for this summer’s Conversations with the Author series, which will feature Sarah Penner, author of “The Lost Apothecary,” on July 11; Paula McLain, author of “When the Stars Go Dark,” on July 18; Karin Tanabe, author of “A Woman of Intelligence,” on July 25; David S. Reynolds, author of “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” on August 8; and Alexandra Andrews, author of “Who Is Maud Dixon?” on August 22.

Downy mallard ducklings. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Foreign Policy Association Taking Stock of Brexit
The next installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program will examine the possible end of globalization as we have come to understand the term. Hosted virtually by the Quogue Library and presented by moderator David Rowe and facilitator Susan Perkins on Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m., the topic for the June 12 discussion, following a brief video on the subject, will be Brexit: Taking Stock & Looking Ahead.” 

After years of contentious debate and awkward negotiations, the United Kingdom formally left the European Union at the start of 2021. Saturday’s program will consider what the future of Europe and the UK looks like. Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? Who will step up into a leadership role in the EU now that Angela Merkel is out of the spotlight? 

The Great Decisions discussion series, America’s largest program on world affairs, involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book and meeting in a Discussion Group to watch a DVD and discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. 

A limited number of discounted briefing books are available for sale through the library; email jbloom@quoguelibrary.org. To purchase a digital copy of the 2021 briefing book, click here. The E-book version of the briefing book is also available at Amazon/Kindle, Rakuten Kobo, Nook (Barnes and Noble), Apple Books , 24symbols.com, and Scribd. 

To sign up for Saturday’s virtual program, click here or visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions flier on the home page. As always, the library is hosting or sponsoring a wide array of virtual programming for all ages and interests. To find out more and to register for any of these programs, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the fliers posted on the home page. 

Refuge Makes Father’s Day Shopping Easy
Although 2021, sadly, will be another summer without a Wild Night for Wildlife, there are still plenty of ways to support the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Take this weekend, for example: An outdoor pre-Father’s Day t-shirt and hat sale with proceeds supporting the QWR will be held on Saturday, June 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Shoppers also have the option to place orders online and schedule porch pickup, or call 631-653-4771 to arrange a time to stop by for front porch shopping. 

Another way to support the Refuge and enjoy some quality family/friends time into the bargain would be to sign up for a Private Family Paddling slot this Saturday, June 12, or next Friday, June 18

Those who register for a private time slot with family and/or friends can enjoy exploring Old Ice Pond via kayak or canoe. Paddling will be partially guided by a naturalist, with some time set aside to free paddle as well. Paddlers will observe the various species of freshwater fish, turtles, and birds that live in and around this 100+ year old pond that was originally created for ice harvesting for the Quogue Ice Company. 

Each time slot is limited to six people. Options of single and double kayaks or canoes will be determined prior to arrival based on the individuals in the party.  The $250 fee must be prepaid, and refunds are possible only with seven-day cancellation notice. To check on available time slots for June 12 or June 18, click here or visit quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Private Family Paddle Days on the Events Calendar page. 

Ruddy turnstones. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Message of Hope for Planet Earth
You know the topic is important when the Leo S. Walsh Foundation, the Peconic Land Trust, and the Quogue Wildlife Refuge team up to offer a free Zoom program on “Nature’s Best Hope: A Conversation with Doug Tallamy,” on Tuesday, June 15, at 7 p.m.  

As the announcement on the QWR website reminds us: Recent headlines about global insect declines and the loss of three billion birds in North America alone paint a bleak picture about how ineffective current landscape designs have proved in sustaining the flora and fauna that sustain us. Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue anything like our current standard of living on Planet Earth.

The good news, according to the QWR, is that none of this is inevitable. Mr. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can—and must—take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we humans are nature’s best hope.  

To register in advance for this meeting, click on https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvcu-uqjorHdOUSFWypDyCbMeXN5Jbf657, or go to quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Nature’s Best Hope on June 15 on the Events Calendar page.  

After registering, a confirmation email will provide details on joining the meeting. 

While visiting the Events Calendar page, be sure to check out the Full Moon Night Hike on June 23, and a special Painting for Pollinators program for adults and teens on June 24.  

“Go Native” Update for Quogue Backyards
In line with Mr. Tallamy’s “Nature’s Best Hope” message, Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis, self-described “co-motivators-in-chief” of the Go Native initiative in Quogue, don’t want to slack off on their push to engage Quogue homeowners in efforts to protect pollinators, increase biodiversity and practice conservation. They continue to emphasize the following points: 

—“Two Thirds for the Birds”: plant two native plants for every three plants on your property, thus supporting the life cycles of birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife in our area.

Tasty treat.

—Cut back, or better yet eliminate, use of pesticides and herbicides.

—Listen to Doug Tallamy speak, either live in the QWR June 15 Zoom talk, or in a YouTube video of his standard talk on the importance of native plants in building “conservation corridors” throughout the country. The important thing to remember: every homeowner can make a very real difference with just a few changes to their backyard. 

In addition, village residents should be aware that—in line with information in an interesting article on honey bee swarms in last week’s Southampton Press—if you see a honey bee swarm, please do not call an exterminator. This kind of swarming is a natural phenomenon in which a colony decides to peel off some of its members to create a new colony for the queen. 

The bees are very vulnerable at this stage, but with no babies or food to protect, they have no incentive to sting. Sometimes, if they don’t find a home, such as a hollow tree, they might move into the wall of a house. In this case, call Long Island Beekeepers Club to relocate them (longislandbeekeepers.org/report-a-swarm). There is currently a bill pending in the Suffolk County Legislature which would ban the killing of swarms of honeybees. 

More on Terrapins
In case the photo of a tiny turtle in the last At Quaquanantuck got any readers interested in finding out more about diamondback terrapins, QWR Associate Director Marisa Nelson sent along this flash from the Seatuck Environmental Association: 

“One of Long Island’s more iconic coastal species is the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), the only turtle in the world that inhabits brackish water habitats such as salt marshes, tidal creeks, and shallow bays and harbors. Individual terrapins can be seen with their heads bobbing at the water surface, basking in the sun on mud banks, and, most excitedly, occasionally encountered when a female comes ashore seeking a nesting site to lay her eggs.”

Most excitedly indeed. 

Tiny diamondback terrapin on the move. —A. Botsford Photo

“Terrapins face myriad threats that jeopardize their long-term survival [on Long Island] such as motor vehicle and boat collisions in addition to increased habitat loss. To address these threats and other basic aspects of terrapin ecology, Seatuck and a coalition of governmental entities, other nonprofit organizations, and academic institutions have formed the Long Island Diamondback Terrapin Working Group, which first met in 2018. Seatuck and our partners are seeking volunteer community scientists to join “Terrapin Watch,” which seeks to identify important diamondback terrapin habitat across Long Island, as well as potentially dangerous road crossings.”

Readers can learn more about the Terrapin Watch project and how to get involved during the Community Science LI webinar series (https://seatuck.org/community-science-webinars) program on diamondback terrapins on Wednesday, June 16, from 2 to 3 p.m. 

The event is free and open to everyone but registration is required. At this event, you will learn all about diamondback terrapins ranging from their natural history, ecology, and how to submit sightings of them by using the free online submission form (coming soon).The webinar will be recorded and posted on Seatuck’s website shortly after. To learn more about diamondback terrapins and the work Seatuck is doing to protect them, visit the Seatuck website seatuck.org/diamondback-terrapins.

Alert box turtle. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

Quogue Chamber Music “Tenting Tonight” on June 12
Quogue Chamber Music will launch its 2021 season on Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. with members of the Manhattan Chamber Players—piano and strings—performing works by Brahms and Chausson under a tent at the Quogue Elementary School at 10 Edgewood Road. 

With an eye to patrons’ safety during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, masks will be required; there will be no reception following the concert; and no tickets will be sold at the box office on the night of the performance. 

Check the Quogue Chamber Music website (www.quoguechambermusic.org) about ticket availability, or email info@quoguechambermusic.org

HTC’s “Sylvia” Wraps Successful Run; QJTT Up Next
After a successful run, the long-delayed Hampton Theatre Company production of  “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney—a romantic comedy about the impact of adopting a stray dog on an empty-nest marriage—will offer its final performance on Sunday, June 13. 

The happy news is that essentially all available seats were filled for almost every one of the 15 performances. The not so happy news is that only some 60 seats were available for each performance under New York State guidelines for small theaters issued at the time when tickets first went on sale. 

Amanda Griemsmann as Sylvia in the Hampton Theatre Company production closing Sunday, June 13. —Tom Kochie Photo

Even so, the Hampton Theatre Company, cast, crew and audiences and supporters were thrilled to be the first to bring back live theatre joy to the East End after some 15 months of dormancy due to Covid. 

Next up in the return of live theatre at the Quogue Community Hall will be the two 2021 productions of the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe: “Pippin” for the older cast (14 – 19) with performances August 3 to 6; and “Frozen Jr.” for the younger cast (9 – 13; must be entering fourth grade) with performances August 24 to 27. 

Summer Film Series Returns to Performing Arts Center
After a 2020 summer of a dark theater, tickets are on sale now for the 2021 Rose and Don Ciampa World Cinema summer series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, starting almost a month earlier this year on Tuesday, June 15. 

As in the past, films will be screened on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30, with Andrew Botsford of Quogue introducing the films on Tuesday evenings and discussing them afterward, often with guest commentators, followed by an informal audience discussion. 

The lineup for June begins with “Undine” (German/English) on June 15 and 16. According to the intriguing PAC description, “Undine works as a historian lecturing on Berlin’s urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.”

Review blurbs are equally intriguing: “The film questions the fixed nature of human behavior in a world whose borders are constantly shifting.”—Slant Magazine. And “Christian Petzold’s optimistic romantic tragedy ‘Undine’ is a ciné-conundrum par excellence.”—The Arts Desk.

On June 22 and 23, the film will be “Summer of 85” (French) and on June 29 and 30, the film will be “Werewolves Within” (English).

In accordance with state guidance, the PAC is capping attendance at 250, and there will be no physical tickets. Moviegoers will check in using the last name of the original ticket order. For more information about PAC protocols and to purchase tickets, visit whbpac.org and click on Films

Quogue Gallery Opens Norman Carton Show This Week
“Norman Carton: Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist Series” is the title of the next exhibition coming up at the Quogue Gallery. On view from June 10 to July 6, with an opening reception scheduled on Saturday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m., the exhibition will feature 15 oil paintings on canvas from the late artist’s epochal Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist series of the 1970s. 

A release from the gallery describes Norman Carton (1908-1980) as “one of the most fascinating figures of the Abstract Expressionist movement.” Writing about a 2020 exhibition at the Quogue Gallery focused on Carton’s works on paper painted in the 1950s and ’60s, art historian and critic Charles Riley noted that “Norman Carton, with his academic training, his love of studio process and materials (he ground his own vivid pigments) and his mastery of art history, stuck to art as part of life. As these wonderfully painterly, quite often large and substantive works in gouache triumphantly show, there was plenty of room left to operate in the Abstract Expressionist style, especially when it came to color.” 

The 2021 exhibition of Carton’s paintings opening on June 10 builds on this important historical association. In his comments on the genesis of these paintings, the artist emphasized that they were “inspired by late 1960s and 1970s advances that see our natural world in new ways.” Referring to these works in oil, Mr. Riley, the director of the Nassau County Museum of Art, writes: “What you see in these chromatically rich paintings is an expansion of Carton’s gesture, an opening of space in sweeping curves that certainly conjures the Einsteinian vision of curved space-time, which Carton understood so well.” 

Norman Carton, “No. 3369” (1976), Oil on canvas, 24 x 30. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Norman Carton was an Abstract Expressionist painter who was critically regarded as possessing a painting style of superlative action and a unique talent as a colorist. He exhibited at the prestigious Stable Gallery, New York City, and founded one of the first artists’ cooperative galleries in lower Manhattan, a group of like-minded artists who laid emphasis on color, texture, and the materiality of paint. Carton was known as a “painter’s painter” who produced a large body of work while continuing to devote his life to education and lecturing in the arts. 

During a long artistic career, he showed in more than 135 group exhibitions and more than 20 one-man shows. Awarded numerous awards, prizes, and fellowships, he also founded a fabric design firm and production company that was featured in such magazines as Interior, Harper’s Bazaar, Women Wear Daily, and Vogue. His work is represented in more than 200 public collections throughout the world, including the Whitney Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Gallery; the Norfolk Museum of Art; the Chrysler Art Museum, the Jewish Museum in Paris; the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and the Museum of Art in St. Denis, France. 

As many readers know, the Quogue Gallery is dedicated to presenting a program of artistic excellence by showcasing the work of prominent, mid-career and emerging artists in the modernist tradition. Its core focus is on discovering and exhibiting figurative and abstract expressionist painters who are recognized historically as well as those of great promise whose reputations and achievements have fallen through the cracks of history. Since its founding in 2014, the Gallery’s growing presence in the modern and contemporary art world has been acknowledged by the press. The gallery has been featured in many publications, including the New York Times, Dan’s Paper, Beach Magazine, Hamptons Art Hub, Artnet News, Southampton Press, and others. The gallery also has been recognized for the quality of its exhibitions by Hamptons Art Hub, Artnet News and other outlets. Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. quoguegallery.com

Bridge Building Continues on Write America
At Quaquanantuck continues to be amazed by—and very grateful for—the seemingly endless roster of extraordinarily talented, sensitive, and insightful writers who have happily signed up to be on the ongoing weekly program Write America: A Reading for Our Country

Meg Wolitzer

The brainchild of the prodigiously gifted writer, teacher and Quogue boulevardier Roger Rosenblatt, Write America offers beautiful readings and stimulating discussions aimed at mending some of the rifts roiling our nation, airing on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by Book Revue, the wonderful, community minded gem of an independent bookstore located in Huntington.

Even as in-person programs resume, the virtual Write America series continues to put together writers in far-flung locations for engaging discussions that can be accessed by anyone around the world, live in real time or in a recorded version.   

Genevieve Sly Crane

To catch up on what the series is all about, At Quaquanantuck recommends a visit to the Book Revue website, bookrevue.com/write-america-series, where you can access recordings of all the readings and conversations of the series up to now. 

Coming up on Monday, June 14, will be New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer and novelist, social worker, poet and activist Lora Tucker. The June 21 program will feature author, editor and professor Lou Ann Walker, Quogue’s own Whiting Award-winning author and professor Genevieve Sly Crane, and short story writer Jeordie Chou. On Monday, June 28, emerging writer Suchita Nayar, short story writer Amy Cacciola, and writer, editor and photographer Cornelia Channing will read from their work and join the discussion. 

Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com

News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Memorial Day

High on the list of the many blessings of being able to gather again—while respecting responsible safety protocols—is the opportunity to come together once more on Monday, May 31, at 10 a.m. outside the firehouse on Jessup Avenue for the Quogue Fire Department sponsored observance of Memorial Day. 

According to Quogue Ordinance Inspector and volunteer firefighter Chris Osborne, the resident coordinator for Monday’s program is Steve Alpert. The guest speaker will be Bob Dunigan, local businessman and Vietnam veteran pilot. 

The annual commemoration of all the men and women who have died while serving in the military for the United States of America ranks, along with Veterans Day in the fall, as one of the most important holidays on our calendar. So many of the wonderful freedoms we enjoy, so much of our country’s identity and pride, and even our quality of life: all are thanks in large measure to the dedicated commitment, regardless of the consequences, of the men and women who have served in the military over the 245 years since our nation’s founding. On Veterans Day, we give special thanks to those who served in the military; on Memorial Day, we honor those who gave their lives in the service of their country. 

“These We Honor.” Memorial Day 2019. —A. Botsford Photo

Perhaps through overuse, classifying their deaths as “the ultimate sacrifice,” though apt, sometimes seems to lessen the significance of lives brutally cut short; hopes, dreams and relationships obliterated; the fabric of families ripped apart. As in years past, At Quaquanantuck urges all readers to attend the QFD service on Monday, and to explain the meaning of the holiday to children and grandchildren. It is so important for us today, and for generations to come, to recognize the tremendous debt of gratitude, and honor, that we owe. 

Speaking of service, our gratitude is owed as well to the hosts of Monday’s ceremonies, the men and women of the Quogue Fire Department, more than 60 volunteers who respond seven days a week, 24 hours a day to structure fires, gas leaks, automobile accidents, water/ice rescues, and any number of other emergencies. 

Perhaps because of the influx of off-season residents due to the pandemic, in 2020 the QFD volunteers responded to more emergency calls than in any other year. All of the certified volunteers undergo a minimum of 100 hours of training in fire fighting, rescue, and dealing with hazardous materials. The QFD also has an active Explorer program for community teenagers 15 and up, to prepare the next generation of volunteer firefighters. 

Bear in mind that Monday’s ceremony is an outdoor event and, for your own protection and consideration of others, the fire department is requesting that all who attend respect the Covid safety protocols put in place.  

Members of the Westhampton Garden Club and Quogue Fire Department traveled to the Battery Park Conservancy on May 19 to pick up plants for the 9/11 memorial at the Quogue Firehouse. Front row, left to right, Lynda Confessore of the WGC; Gabriela Marin, Battery Conservancy head horticulturist; Lucian Gomez, Battery Conservancy gardener: Joy Flynn of the WGC; Inger Mejean, WGC past president and project leader; and Michael McMahon of the QFD. Back row: Philip Condyles, Battery Conservancy gardener; Sean Kiely, Battery Conservancy park manager; Warrie Price, Battery Conservancy founder and president; Joan Reilly of the WGC; and Dave Schaffauer of the QFD. —Photo courtesy of the Westhampton Garden Club

Garden Club Helps Expand 9/11 Memorial at Firehouse
With thanks to correspondent Lynda Confessore, At Quaquanantuck is happy to report that, one week ago on Wednesday, May 19, two volunteer firefighters from the Quogue Fire Department joined members of the Westhampton Garden Club on a mission into New York in the second phase of an ambitious project to expand the 9/11 Memorial at the firehouse. 

The 9/11 memorial at the Quogue Firehouse on Jessup Avenue. —A. Botsford Photo

Originally given to the QFD in recognition of the volunteers’ unhesitating response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the memorial consists of a six-foot section of I-beam from one of the towers that fell. After bringing the beam back to Quogue, QFD volunteers mounted it atop a waist-high base and transformed it into a sculptural fountain as a permanent memorial. 

In 2019 the Westhampton Garden Club, under the leadership of then president Inger Mejean, proposed expanding the memorial as a Garden of Remembrance, a place of peaceful respite based on the model of the Battery Conservancy in Manhattan. 

After approval for the idea was obtained from the Quogue Fire Department, the Mayor and Trustees, a unique partnership developed between the Battery Conservancy, where many sought shelter or boarded boats at the water’s edge when the towers fell, and the Westhampton Garden Club—both fervent proponents of the restorative power of nature’s beauty. According to the WGC, both gardens, though very different in scale, are meant “to pay tribute to those who died on September 11, 2001, the thousands of survivors who fled to safety, the heroes who responded without hesitation to Ground Zero, and all who have searing memories of that day.” 

After 9/11, the board of the Battery Conservancy decided to redesign and rebuild a 10,000-square foot area on its promenade as the Gardens of Remembrance, designed by the renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, known for his use of perennials and native plants. The WGC goal was to create a smaller garden with similar goals, with Dragonfly Landscape Design Ltd. of Speonk agreeing to donate their services in preparation of the beds and the installation of the plants. 

Dragonfly Landscape Design crew at one of the Garden of Remembrance beds. —Photo courtesy of WGC

After the Westhampton Garden Club obtained a $1,000 grant from the Plant America program of the National Garden Club to cover costs, WGC members went to Battery Park in 2019 to help plant 5,000 bulbs in the Conservancy Garden, some of which would be brought back to be replanted in the Quogue Garden as a connection between the two.  

On Wednesday, May 19, “all the planning and cooperation came to fruition,” according to Ms. Confessore. Two Quogue firemen, Second Assistant Chief Dave Schaffauer and Company Captain Michael McMahon, and members of the Westhampton Garden Club traveled in a QFD vehicle to the Battery Conservancy to pick up the “exchange” plants, thank TBC president and founder Warrie Price and other staff members, and have “a time for remembrance in this beautiful garden with views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and other memorable sites—all part of the history and future of New York City.” 

Now that the plants have been brought back to Quogue and are under the tender care of Dragonfly Landscape Design, the square stone base for the I-beam will be refurbished and irrigation for the plants will be rerouted in time for an official opening of the garden in September 2021, the 20th anniversary year of the September 11 attacks. 

At Quaquanantuck joins the rest of the village in saluting all involved—the Westhampton Garden Club, the Quogue Fire Department, the Battery Conservancy, and Dragonfly Landscape Design—and giving thanks for their efforts on the 9/11 memorial and in all their good works. 

Spring surfcasting as spectator sport. —A. Botsford Photo

Library Grand Opening Scheduled June 26
With more books being shelved every day, carpet being laid, and finishing touches added all around, Quogue Library Director Jenny Bloom and the library’s Board of Trustees are “feeling confident” that June 26 will be the date of the Grand Opening event at the newly renovated and expanded library, with tours, official opening ceremonies, and special activities. 

In order to complete preparations for the Grand Opening and the start of regular service at the library, Ms. Bloom and the library staff are planning to close the Midland facility at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 12. While work will continue getting ready to open the new library, “we will need to be closed for the two weeks prior to the Grand Opening,” the library director said this week. 

Quogue Library staffers reluctantly took a break from their labors for a photo op in the front door of the newly renovated and expanded library. Left to right, Stephen Jordan, Eileen Schermeyer, Arie DePhillips, and Elizabeth Caputo. —A. Botsford Photo

“June 27 will be our first real day of service, and we are going to be open on a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Tuesday schedule,” she continued. “We are also beginning to feel out the waters for some in-person programs once we are open.” For the time being, the library will need to be closed on Wednesdays, as current staffing levels do not allow for a seven days a week schedule. 

Look for more details on the June 26 Grand Opening in the June 10 At Quaquanantuck. 

More information is also forthcoming on this summer’s Conversations with the Author series, which will feature Sarah Penner, author of “The Lost Apothecary,” on July 11; Paula McLain, author of “When the Stars Go Dark,” on July 18; Karin Tanabe, author of “A Woman of Intelligence,” on July 25; David S. Reynolds, author of “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” on August 8; and Alexandra Andrews, author of “Who Is Maud Dixon?”, on August 22.

The next installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, hosted virtually by the Quogue Library, is scheduled on Saturday, June 12, from 5 to 6 p.m. The topic for the June 12 discussion, following a brief video on the subject, will be Brexit: Taking Stock & Looking Ahead.” More details in the June 10 column. As always, the library is hosting or sponsoring a wide array of virtual programming for all ages and interests. To find out more and to register for any of these programs, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the fliers posted on the home page. 

Chris Rottmann, husband of Quogue Library staffer Elizabeth Caputo, recently made these birdhouses—the two at right modeled on the smokehouse and Schoolhouse Museum on the library grounds—and donated them to the library. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

The Mayor’s Corner
The most recent posting of “Quogue Updates” by Village Mayor Peter Sartorius is so chock full of important and interesting information—property taxes; school district tax rate and a runoff election for a seat on the Quogue School Board; village elections; open hours and parking rules at the Village Beach; new proposed laws (on smoking on village property, leaf blower use, and nuisance lighting); bids for sidewalk reconstruction on Jessup Avenue; changes at the Post Office; and more—that At Quaquanantuck can’t possibly do it justice in a distillation. 

Readers are encouraged to click on or visit www.villageofquogueny.gov/Files/96667.pdf to take advantage of this remarkable resource and bring themselves fully up to date on Village news.

“Okay: day at the beach in your kicky new outfit … big smile, big smile. C’mon; work with me!” —A. Botsford Photo

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Zoom Talk on Tick-Borne Diseases
With warmer weather upon us, and everyone spending more time in the out of doors, the folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge have scheduled a Zoom talk next week on a topic that can’t get enough attention: “Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases: What You Need to Know.” 

As the QWR description of the program pointed out, “Chances are that you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with Lyme or another tick-borne disease.” On Wednesday, June 2, at 5:15 p.m. Jerry Simons, PA-C, a member of the Medical Advisory Panel of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Regional Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center, will speak about the types of diseases that are carried by the different species of ticks found on Eastern Long Island, and the symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment options that are available. Tips on preventing tick bites will also be shared.

To register in advance for this meeting, click on the following link us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register or visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org and find the program under the Events Calendar tab on the home page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Yes, it’s one of the tiniest turtles you’ll ever see, but what kind of turtle is it? See below for the answer, courtesy of Marisa Nelson at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. —Jamie Whitall Photo

As always, At Quaquanantuck relies on Associate Director Marisa Nelson and staffers at the QWR for identification and information about wildlife in our area. This week, Ms. Nelson offered this response to a query related to the photo of the tiny turtle above: 

“It looks like it may be a diamondback terrapin, which lives in brackish water such as our bays and creeks. Found on land when they are tiny as ALL turtle nests are on land. Most important to know is not to move turtles, as you can mistakenly put a freshwater turtle in salt water or vice versa, or a terrestrial box turtle into any kind of water. The only time a turtle should be moved is if it is in the road or in direct harm’s way such as the path of a lawn mower, etc. Otherwise they live their very long lives in the same home territory, and relocating them can cause failure to thrive.”

Ms. Nelson also offered this note on the recent golf outing to benefit the Refuge: “Golfing with the Owls, honoring Mayor Peter Sartorius, was a successful event, and we are so very grateful to golfers, sponsors, supporters, and Golf Committee Co-Chairs Paul Insalaco and Andre Insalaco!”

Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius was the honoree at the recent Golfing with the Owls at Sebonack Golf Club benefit for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Above, left to right, Eric, Barbara, Peter and Scott Sartorius.

HTC’s “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney Selling Out at Limited Capacity
The long-delayed Hampton Theatre Company production of  “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney—a romantic comedy about the impact of adopting a stray dog on an empty-nest marriage—opens on Thursday, May 27, and runs through June 13. 

In “Sylvia,” a sassy stray dog (played by a human) is brought home from Central Park and becomes a major bone of contention for Greg and Kate. A street-smart mixture of (possibly) Lab and poodle, Sylvia offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. While Kate considers Sylvia a rival for Greg’s affection, Sylvia sees Kate as clueless about the bond between man and dog. After a series of hilarious and touching complications, all three learn lessons about the importance of compromise and the power of love. 

In accordance with the Governor’s guidance for small theaters, advance ticket sales are based on limited seating capacity of approximately 60 ticket holders for each performance. As a result, even though two additional Saturday matinees were added, many of the performances have already sold out. “Sylvia” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from May 27 to June 13, with performances on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 2:30 and 8, and Sundays at 2:30. To check for ticket availability, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, or call 631-653-8955. Patrons are required to wear appropriate face coverings while inside the theater. A complete list of HTC safety protocols may be found at www.hamptontheatre.org.

Amanda Griemsmann as Sylvia is scolded for getting on the couch by Catherine Maloney as Kate. —Tom Kochie Photo

Tickets Available for Quogue Chamber Music “Tenting Tonight”
Quogue Chamber Music will launch its 2021 season on Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. with members of the Manhattan Chamber Players—piano and strings—performing works by Brahms and Chausson under a tent at the Quogue Elementary School at 10 Edgewood Road. 

With an eye to patrons’ safety during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, masks will be required; there will be no reception following the concert; and no tickets will be sold at the box office on the night of the performance. 

Tickets are $50, for the concert only; or $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased by mail by sending a check to Quogue Chamber Music, POB 1984, Quogue, NY  11959 or by Paypal  on the QCM website (www.quoguechambermusic.org). There will be no social distancing, but proof of vaccinations will be required at the door and masks need to be worn.For further information about ticket sales or safety protocols, email info@quoguechambermusic.org.

Quogue Gallery Prepares to Change Out Shows
The Quogue Gallery at 44 Quogue Street at the intersection with Jessup Avenue got started early this year, with “Robert Remer: Biophilia” on view from March 13 until next Monday, May 31. 

Coming up next at the gallery will be “Norman Carton: Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist Series,” on view from June 10 to July 6, with an opening reception scheduled on Saturday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition will feature 15 oil paintings on canvas from the late artist’s epochal Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist series of the 1970s. More details on this exhibition will be posted in the June 10 At Quaquanantuck.

Norman Carton, “The Haunting Spectre,” Oil on canvas, 52 x 38.5. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Haywire Continues to Adapt
In a typical, pre-pandemic summer, Haywire owner Raenell Murray would display her wares in three different shows. However, even as more and more people are vaccinated, pandemic protocols still need to be observed. So, as she did last summer, Ms. Murray is inviting her faithful customers, as well as new friends, to come to her house to see all of the clothing items she is selling.

She advised At Quaquanantuck this week that there will be regular priced items in the house and a barn full of sale items. Starting June 10, all are invited to come see fabulous French capris and trousers, cashmere sweaters, shawls, colorful tops, jewelry and much more. Call Ms. Murray at 631-283-2809 to set up an appointment.  

Raenell Murray’s Haywire fashions will be confined to quarters for another summer.

Write America Keeps the Spark Burning
Anyone who hasn’t checked out the new Write America weekly program is encouraged to join the legions of fans who have already made a habit of tuning in. The brainchild of writer, teacher and Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt, the program offers beautiful readings and stimulating discussions between gifted writers on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by the Huntington independent bookstore Book Revue. 

To catch up on what the series is all about, At Quaquanantuck recommends a visit to the Book Revue website, bookrevue.com/write-america-series, where you can access recordings of all the readings and conversations of the series up to now. 

Coming up on Monday, May 31, in the “weekly readings and conversation about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation” will be New York Times bestselling author Bruce Weber and editor, novelist, poet and founder of Lit Pub Molly Gaudry. 

As noted, Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

Quogue angler Bob Murray not only managed to catch this beautiful squeteague (aka weakfish), he also seems to have mastered the art of the selfie for this handsome portrait. Congratulations!

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com

News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Hopeful Signs of Spring

In any ranking system for words that have historically been ascribed the greatest multiplicity of meanings and interpretations, “season” (the noun, not the verb) should surely be near the top. 

In season; out of season; high season; low season; the season; off season. Fishing season; baseball season; hunting season; football season; flu season. As might be expected, writers have their own ideas: “A little season of love and laughter/Of light and life, and pleasure and pain …” (Adam Lindsay Gordon). “A convenient season …” (The Bible: Acts; Romans). Youth is “an overpraised season …” (Samuel Butler). “To every thing there is a season …” (The Bible: Proverbs; Ecclesiastes). “‘Tis the season …” (Thomas Oliphant). “Season of the Witch …” (Donovan).

Looking for lunch. —A. Botsford Photo

Based on solar astronomy and the waxing and waning of hours of daylight, the calendar divides the year neatly into four seasons of equal length, but it’s safe to say they are never experienced with anything like that kind of precision. Winter is always too long; summer too short. We consult burrow-dwelling rodents in search of omens that spring will come early. In spite of snowdrops and daffodils giving way to forsythia and now lilacs, longtime local residents often share the complaint that “we just don’t get a real spring on the East End: one week it’s winter and the next week it’s summer.” 

And even though the calendar tells us that summer 2021 doesn’t begin until the solstice, at 11:32 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, everybody knows that, around here, the opening bell for the season actually rings just three weeks hence, on Memorial Day weekend. 

Today, the hundreds of signifiers assigned to help us mark the transition between seasons have all been scrambled. With traditional weather patterns seemingly out the window thanks to climate change, many of the signals from the natural world—first frost; leaves turning; January thaw; ice locking up and then releasing the bays; first buds opening—have become bewilderingly inconsistent.  

As if that weren’t enough, the seemingly interminable onslaught of Covid-19—and all the countermeasures and adaptations mustered to take it on—has now thoroughly scrambled the equation. While we continue to make progress in combating this scourge, each day that the pandemic maintains its grip makes it clear that we will likely never return to the way things were in the Before Times. And it’s sadly way too soon to try to anticipate what things will look like in the After Times, if indeed they ever come. 

With summer on the way, the birds won’t have the shoreline to themselves for much longer. —A. Botsford Photo

Any formula for combining different indicators we might have had to help us shape our expectations for different seasons has been undone by the ongoing lack of reliable or consistent data. Yet still, lost at sea in this strange and disorienting new world, we continue to look for familiar natural and social cues as aids to navigation as we try to make our way back to the pursuits and activities that have always added color and texture to the fabric of our lives. 

That’s why it’s beyond reassuring to see so many instances of local institutions doing whatever it takes, and following whatever protocols are required, to stick to—or return to—their traditional schedules: clear signs that lots of aspects of summer as we once knew it (or a close facsimile thereof) are coming back.  

The annual vote on the Quogue School budget and Quogue Library budget is coming up in two weeks, on May 18. The Hampton Theatre Company will at long last mount its production of A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia,” with limited, physically distanced seating, starting on May 27. Quogue Chamber Music will play host to members of the Manhattan Chamber Players under a tent at the Quogue School on June 12. The library is lining up writers for the Conversations with the Author series, with hopes the program can go live by August. 

With vaccine now available to all in this season of vernal rebirth, everyone is working to once again make summer what it’s supposed to be. All that’s needed for them to succeed is your respectful and safe support. ’Tis the season. 

And so it goes in the days of the novel coronavirus today. 

Penniman’s glass. —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

2021 Quogue Budget Vote
Most residents are aware of the herculean efforts that have been required to keep elementary school education up to the historically high standards of the Quogue School during the pandemic. Equally challenging, although in other ways, has been overcoming all the challenges posed to the Quogue Library’s ambitious—and magnificent—renovation and expansion project while staying on track for a grand opening in June. 

The best way to show appreciation for all the hard work and dedication of the Quogue School’s administrators, teachers and staff, and the library’s building committee, board of trustees and tireless staff would be to vote your approval for all their efforts, in person at the school on Tuesday, May 18, from 2 to 8 p.m., or by absentee ballot. 

Applications for absentee ballots can be picked up at the school during school hours, or downloaded from the Quogue School website, www.quogueschool.com, clicking on Budget Information on the home page. Once completed, absentee ballot applications must be returned to the District Clerk at the school by May 11 at the latest for in-person. If returning absentee ballot applications by mail (PO Box 957, Quogue, NY 11959), they should be received by the District Clerk by May 10 to allow enough time for the actual ballots to be mailed back and then, once filled out, received back at the school by May 18. 

It’s too late for residents who aren’t registered to vote in Quogue to register electronically, but voters can register in person at the polls on May 18 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Quogue School. 

This year’s budget hearing will be held at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11. Residents can attend the hearing via the Zoom link available at www.quogueschool.com

Quogue Library Director Jenny Bloom at the new main circulation desk at the library. —A. Botsford Photo

Library Project On Track for June Opening
Busy though she is, Quogue Library Director Jenny Bloom still manages to make time to update At Quaquanantuck on the progress of the library’s renovation and expansion project. 

“Actually, we have had a number of really good pieces come together,” Ms. Bloom wrote in an email this week, “and, while still jumping through some hoops in order to get our Certificate of Occupancy, the moment seems to be in our favor. 

“We are scheduling the return of our collection and the staff to shelve it in our beautiful new space in time for our June opening. And the timing is terrific, as we are feeling hopeful about our ability to imagine some in-person and hybrid outdoor and distanced programs for the summer and fall. 

The new Children’s Room leads out into the bright space of the Activity Room. —A. Botsford Photo

“Service at Midland continues, but we are looking forward to: our Grand Opening in June; our Author Series this summer; Horseshoe Crab fun in August, and a whole season of Summer Learning programs that will knock our kids’ socks off! Spoiler alert: Sammy-the-Seal will be back with friends for another pen-pal program.”

Although there are still too many variables in play to make a precise prediction of when it will be, At Quaquanantuck joins with all Quogue (and East Quogue) residents in offering positive thoughts and full support for a successful grand opening of the beautifully made-over facility in June. Watch this space for details. 

A favorite space for many longtime patrons, the 1897 section has been beautifully restored by Sea Level Construction. —A. Botsford Photo

Great Decisions Discussion Program Looks at Globalization
The second installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, hosted virtually by the Quogue Library, is scheduled this weekend on Saturday, May 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. The topic for Saturday’s discussion, following a brief video on the subject, will be “The End of Globalization?” 

In the wake of the final stages of Brexit and the America First doctrine of the previous U.S. presidential administration, the merits and drawbacks of globalization and the protectionist policies that threaten it continue to be the subject of  debate. 

Questions to be addressed in the virtual program moderated by David Rowe and facilitated by Susan Perkins will include: What is globalization, exactly, and how will it be affected by protectionist trade policies? How will the United States and the world be affected by such policies? Is globalization really at an end, or in need of a refresh? 

Also, in view of Brexit and the pandemic, are countries that were more inclined to pull away from globalization efforts going to continue to do so? Has there been enough of an emphasis on the economic benefits of globalization on the average person? What are the reasons for opposition to globalization and support for economic nationalism?

The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program provides background information and policy options for the eight most critical issues facing America each year, serving as the focal text for discussion groups across the country. For more information, visit www.fpa.org. To register for Saturday’s program, click here or click on the flyer on the library’s home page. 

The Hampton Bays Volunteer Fire Department has settled for once and for all the question of who has the best view of the ocean. —A. Botsford Photo

Quogue Chamber Music Returns June 12 with “Tenting Tonight”
Silenced by the coronavirus pandemic for all of 2020, Quogue Chamber Music will return to beautiful form for the 2021 season, opening on Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. with members of the Manhattan Chamber Players—piano and strings—performing works by Brahms and Chausson under a tent at the Quogue Elementary School at 10 Edgewood Road. 

Luke Fleming

With an eye to patrons’ safety during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, masks will be required; there will be no reception following the concert; and no tickets will be sold at the box office on the night of the performance. 

Elizabeth Fayette

Tickets are $50, for the concert only; or $5 for students. To purchase tickets, make checks payable to Quogue Chamber Music, Inc. and mail to PO Box 1984, Quogue, NY 11959, or visit the website, www.quoguechambermusic.org.  

After the Governor loosened restrictions on Monday this week, At Quaquanantuck received this notification from Quogue Chamber Music: “While we recognize that Covid-19 requirements are subject to changes, in order to maximize our seating capacity within our tent and remain in compliance with current NY State requirements, masks will be required, as will proof of vaccination, either with a CDC vaccination record or a NY State Excelsior Pass. 

“We’ve been encouraged by ticket sales to date, and hope to be able to fully accommodate demand. Should we reach capacity we will create a waiting list and notify those on the list if seats become available from ticket holders who let us know they can’t attend.” 

Andrea Casarrubios

For further information about ticket sales or safety protocols, email info@quoguechambermusic.org

The Manhattan Chamber Players are a chamber music collective of New York-based musicians who share the common aim of performing the greatest works in the chamber repertoire at the highest level.  Formed in 2015 by Artistic Director and violist Luke Fleming, MCP is comprised of an impressive roster of musicians who all come from the tradition of great music- making at the Marlboro Music Festival, Steans Institute at Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and Perlman Music Program, and are former students of the Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, Colburn School, and the New England Conservatory. 

MCP has been praised in Strings Magazine for the group’s “fascinating program concept … It felt refreshingly like an auditory version of a vertical wine tasting.” The writer’s praise continued in applause for “an intensely wrought and burnished performance … Overall, I wished I could put them on repeat.” 

Brendan Speltz

At the core of MCP’s inspiration is its members’ joy in playing this richly varied repertoire with longtime friends and colleagues, most of whom they have been performing with since they were students. Its roster allows for the programming of the entire core string, wind, and piano chamber music repertoire—from piano duos to clarinet quintets to string octets.  While all its members have independent careers as soloists and chamber musicians, they always strive to make room in their schedules for any opportunity to come together and again share in this special collaboration. 

The program being performed in Quogue will include the Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34 and the Chausson Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet in D Major, Op. 21.  Performers for the June 12 concert will be Adam Barnett-Hart, Elizabeth Fayette and Brendan Speltz, violins; Luke Fleming, viola; Andrea Casarrubios, cello; and Mika Sasaki, piano. 

A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” opens on May 27 at the Quogue Community Hall, more than a year after it was originally scheduled to run. —A. Botsford Photo

One Year Later, “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney Opens May 27 in Quogue
More than a year after it was first scheduled—and ready—to open, “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney will be the Hampton Theatre Company’s first production at the Quogue Community Hall since all theaters in the state were shuttered on March 12, 2020 by order of Governor Andrew Cuomo in response to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The romantic comedy about the impact of adopting a stray dog on an empty-nest marriage opens on Thursday, May 27, and runs through June 13. 

In accordance with the Governor’s guidance for small theaters, seating capacity will be limited for each performance to approximately 60 ticket holders, who will be required to wear appropriate face coverings while inside the theater. To ensure physical distancing, tickets will only be sold in advance through the company’s website, www.hamptontheatre.org, or by phoning the HTC box office at 1-631-653-8955. A complete list of HTC safety protocols may be found at www.hamptontheatre.org.

Amanda Griemsmann, left, plays Sylvia and Catherine Maloney is Kate in the HTC production of “Sylvia.” —Tom Kochie Photo

In “Sylvia,” a sassy stray dog (played by a human) is brought home from Central Park and becomes a major bone of contention for Greg and Kate. A street-smart mixture of (possibly) Lab and poodle, Sylvia offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. While Kate considers Sylvia a rival for Greg’s affection, Sylvia sees Kate as clueless about the bond between man and dog. After a series of hilarious and touching complications, all three learn lessons about the importance of compromise and the power of love. 

A reviewer for the New York Daily News wrote: “I can only call it one of the most involving, beautiful, funny, touching and profound plays I have ever seen.” Vincent Canby, in his New York Times review of the original 1995 production, wrote: “Dramatic literature is stuffed with memorable love scenes. But none is as immediately delicious and dizzy as the one that begins the redeeming affair in A. R. Gurney’s new comedy, ‘Sylvia’.” 

Originally produced Off-Broadway in 1995 with Sarah Jessica Parker as Sylvia and Blythe Danner and Charles Kimbrough as Kate and Greg, “Sylvia” has been widely produced in regional theatre, including by the Hampton Theatre Company in 1998. The play made its Broadway debut in 2015 with Annaleigh Ashford as Sylvia, Matthew Broderick as Greg, and Julie White as Kate. 

A.R. (Albert Ramsdell) Gurney Jr. (1930 – 2017) was an American playwright, novelist and academic. Occasionally credited as Pete Gurney, he is known for works including “The Dining Room” (1982), “Sweet Sue” (1986/7), and “The Cocktail Hour” (1988), and for his Pulitzer Prize nominated play “Love Letters.” His series of plays about white upper-class life in contemporary America have been called “penetratingly witty studies of the WASP ascendancy in retreat.” 

In addition to “The Dining Room” (in 1990 and 2000) and “Sylvia” (1998) other plays by A.R. Gurney produced by the Hampton Theatre Company include “Love Letters” (1994), “Later Life” (1996) and “Black Tie” (2012). 

Amanda Griemsmann as Sylvia. —Tom Kochie Photo

The cast of the Hampton Theatre Company revival of “Sylvia” features four HTC veterans: Amanda Griemsmann (“A Comedy of Tenors,” “Don’t Dress for Dinner”) as Sylvia; Catherine Maloney (“A Comedy of Tenors,” “The Boys Next Door”) as Kate; and George Loizides (“On Golden Pond,” “Alarms and Excursions”) in three different roles. Adding a touch of mystery, the HTC has so far offered only one clue as to the identity of the actor playing Greg, noting that the role will feature “a familiar HTC face.” 

Hampton Theatre Company Artistic Director Diana Marbury directs. Set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun. 

Because of limited seating capacity under the Governor’s guidelines, the HTC has added two additional Saturday matinees to the company’s regular production schedule. “Sylvia” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from May 27 to June 13, with performances on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 2:30 and 8, and Sundays at 2:30. Tickets have been on sale for a week so far, and the limited seating capacity for each performance has already translated into several “sold-out” performances. There are currently a good number of seats available at all three Saturday matinees, as well as some seats for Friday and Saturday night performances. 

Discount tickets for “Sylvia” are available for veterans, Native Americans, seniors, patrons under 35, and students. For reservations and information on all available discounts, visit www.hamptontheatre.org or email info@hamptontheatre.org

To reserve tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, or call the HTC box office at 1-631-653-8955. 

A discerning osprey family returned to their favored prime Quogue real estate this spring.

Go Native Movement Gaining Momentum
Since the announcement in the April 8 At Quaquanantuck of the establishment of the new Quogue “Go Native” group, a number of readers have expressed an interest in the initiative encouraging the use of native plants and the forswearing of pesticides, but many are unsure what steps to take next. Never fear: Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis stand ready to keep you informed and provide practical steps for restoring the biodiversity on properties in our area. 

Monarchs love milkweed.

As Ms. Morrisey writes: “For those who haven’t already seen a Doug Tallamy presentation, we urge you to make that your first step in order to really “get” how individual homeowners can make a difference in achieving the balance that nature requires to have a fully functioning ecosystem. Click on or visit the following link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY4aV5hqkxY

“Another important step in the process is to not choose plants solely for their decorative value; select instead those (typically native) plants that will contribute to a healthy ecosystem. 

“It’s also important to think in terms of combinations of native plants, as illustrated by the following helpful anecdote from Paula Prentis: 

“‘I was about to add four ‘butterfly bushes’ (Buddleia) to our yard,’ Paula said, ‘when a very kind friend explained that unless I had the corresponding plants to support the butterfly cycle, I wouldn’t be doing the butterflies a favor! Without both a host plant AND a nectar plant, I’d be bumming out the lepidoptera! Host plants include oak, blueberry, aster, milkweed (Monarchs’ favorite), and viola; nectar plants include clethra, echinacea, rudbeckia, liatris, joe-pye weed, goldenrod, hollyhock, monarda, physostegia and ironweed. Baptisia and helianthus are both host and nectar plants.’” 

“For those residents who rely on landscapers to take care of their properties,” Ms. Morrisey wrote, “it is time to speak to them about your concerns and begin to have a say on what happens in your individual environments. Find out what chemicals they use and discuss reducing or eliminating them entirely. Your property can be healthy without the use of any of these products. And the danger they pose for birds and beneficial insects is enormous (to say nothing of children or pets). 

“For reference, see the Perfect Earth Project website https://perfectearthproject.org/ and read about lawn care and chemical use. A balanced ecosystem will take care of many of the ‘problems’ you may have with your lawn or shrubs. (And while you’re at it, ask your landscaper to eliminate the use of noisy, polluting leaf blowers that just blow grass clippings around!)”

To summarize, Ms. Morrisey’s wrote: “Action Steps to take in May: 1) listen to Doug Tallamy’s presentation; 2) start to come up with a plan for your property using native plants; and 3) talk to your landscaper if you use one.” 

By the next At Quaquanantuck column, Ms. Prentis and Ms. Morrisey have promised to submit photos of the native areas they are starting to install on their own properties. For more information, email Ms. Morrisey at lulieinquogue@gmail.com

Tom turkey struts his stuff. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Refuge Announces New “Go Native for Wildlife”
Whether or not you’re Golfing with the Owls, all supporters of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge are urged to cash in any favors they might be owed by the weather gods in order to secure fair skies and good playing conditions for the QWR benefit golf outing at Sebonack Golf Club next Tuesday, May 11. 

The fine folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge are no strangers to promoting pollinator gardens and native plants in the local landscape. Now, building on the momentum of previous programs and this year’s Earth Day celebration, QWR Associate Director Marisa Nelson has announced a new initiative called “Go Native for Wildlife.” (quoguewildliferefuge.org/go-native-for-wildlife)

Under the new initiative, generously sponsored by the Leo S. Walsh Foundation, the Wildlife Refuge will be “working with local Garden Centers and Nurseries in the community so that together we can support our local wildlife with the sale of native plants,” according to the QWR website. “Throughout the 2021 season, participating businesses will offer at least five native plants at a time that support native butterfly, bee, and bird species. We hope YOU join us by shopping at their centers and purchasing native plants for your garden! It’s a fun way to support birds, bees and butterflies!” 

The special native plant offer will be available at the following participating, wildlife friendly businesses, which will all be displaying the new Go Native for Wildlife logo: Aspatuck Gardens in Westhampton Beach; Decorative Gardens Nursery in Calverton; Enchanted Gardens in Speonk; Forge River Nursery in Mastic; The Gardens at Beds & Borders in Laurel; Holly’s Garden Center in East Moriches; Talmage Farm Agway in Riverhead; Trimble’s Nursery in Cutchogue; and Verderber’s Garden Center in Aquebogue. 

Endorsers/partners for the new initiative include: The Barefoot Gardener; Dragonfly Landscape Design; Dropseed Native Landscaping; Glover Perennials; LINPI (Long Island Native Plant Initiative); New Suffolk Waterfront Fund; Remsenburg Garden Club; SandyGardenGirl; Two Thirds for the Birds; and the Westhampton Garden Club

Upcoming in-person programs at the Refuge include: Painting in the Pollinator Garden, Celebrate World Turtle Day; a Full Moon Night Hike on May 27 at  p.m.; and Earth Yoga Outdoors with Amy Hess. 

Offered on two Wednesdays, May 12 and 19, from 3 to 5 p.m., Painting in the Pollinator Garden (for adults and teens 13 and up) will offer instruction in watercolor techniques so that participants can create their own paintings to take home. Beginners are welcome; dress to be outside. Cost is $35 per person; includes all supplies. Payment due at time of registration as space is limited. Register by clicking here or on the QWR website, quoguewildliferefuge.org

Adults and families are invited to come to the Refuge to Celebrate World Turtle Day on Saturday, May 22, from 11 a.m. to noon. Visitors will learn all about Long Island’s turtles through a short presentation, then meet some turtles find out more about ways to help local species. Bring a blanket to sit on; cost is $5 per person and reservations are required as there is limited space.  

Earth Yoga Outdoors with Amy Hess on Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. is going strong at the Refuge.The one-hour class is held in a large outdoor space on woodchips near the pond, weather permitting. Participants are asked to bring a sheet or blanket and a yoga mat, and dress to be outdoors and consider sunscreen and insect repellant. The cost is $15 per class; early registration is advised (click on Earth Yoga on the Events page at www.quoguewildliferefuge.org) as space is limited.  

This month’s Full Moon Night Hike at the Refuge steps off at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 27. Adults and families with children age 9 and up will enjoy an evening hike through the forest up to North Pond while looking and listening for nocturnal creatures, and enjoying some night vision activities under the light of the moon.  Cost is $10 for QWR members or $20 for non-members; reservations required 24 hours prior, as space is limited. 

Clockwise from left, Meghan Lemos Dos Santos of Bartlett Tree Experts gave away hundreds of native flowering dogwood trees as part of the Earth Day festivities at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on April 17; QWR Program Coordinator Cara Fernandes teaching visitors all about screech owls; Claire Beaver, left, helped out Theresa Belkin of Hampton Coffee at Earth Day; a percentage of all sales that day was donated to the QWR.

Full Slate of Virtual Programs Sponsored by Quogue Library
The Quogue Library continues to offer a wide array of virtual programs for all ages and interests.  

The current schedule of popular exercise classes continues in May with Pilates on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Sculpting and Cardio Dance for all ages on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., both with instructor Leisa DeCarlo; and Yoga with Jillian for adults and youngsters 8 and up on Fridays at 10 a.m. 

Other virtual programs coming up include: the Paint Program with Marie: Poppies on Friday, May 7, at 7 p.m., for artists who already picked up their kits last week; the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions Discussion on “The End of Globalization?” on Saturday, May 8, at 5 p.m.;  the Adult Book Club discussing “Shuggie Bain” by Douglas Stuart on Sunday, May 16, at noon; and a Prowler NYC Presents: Walking Tour of Manhattan (via Google Street View) exploring the backdrop of the glorious Twenties, “an era that forever transformed the New York skyline,” led by Deborah Zecler. 

Highlights of programs for younger patrons and families include: a Star Wars Trivia Night on Friday, May 7, at 7 p.m.; a Mothers’ Day Story Crafternoon on Saturday, May 8, at 4 p.m.; a BOTS: Walking Robot Dog program for ages 8 to 11 on Saturday, May 15, at 3 p.m.; a Birds of a Feather program for ages 5 and up on Sunday, May 16, at 2 p.m., with participants (each registered individually) creating unique pieces of art as they learn all about local birds; and a Dinosaurs Rock program for ages 5 and up on Thursday, May 27, at 5 p.m. (with fossil pickup on Monday, May 17).  

For more information and registration instructions for any of these programs and a host of additional offerings for children, visit the Quogue Library website at quoguelibrary.org and click on the program flier on the home page. Remember that new programs are added regularly, so check the website often to make sure you don’t miss out. 

“Germaine Krull – Der Akt: Zwanziq, 1920 #4,” (2020) by Claudia Doring Baez, Oil on canvas, 11 x 14 inches.

New Show for Claudia Baez in Chelsea
Denise Bibro Fine Art has announced a second solo exhibition for Quogue and New York artist Claudia Doring Baez, “Germaine,” opening May 20 and running through June 5 at the gallery on the fourth floor at 529 West 20th Street in New York

Ms. Doring Baez’s “Germaine” series is inspired by the work and life of European photographer Germaine Krull, who spent years in Brazil, Thailand, and India. According to the gallery, “Krull’s life and work illustrated, denounced, and dialogued archaic patriarchal structures that still prevail even today. Doring Baez’s ‘Der Akt: Zwanziq’ and ‘Les Amies’ series channel the transgressive potential of Krull’s work and translate it to the present. Her work reaffirms the social change ignited in Krull’s work and keeps the fire burning.”

Ms. Doring Baez has been painting since childhood, after she accompanied her mother, also a painter, to noted artist Robin Bond’s studio in Tacubaya, Mexico. She has lived and painted in New York for the past 30 years. She received her B.A from Columbia University NYC, and her M.A from The New York Studio School, NYC, where she did her thesis work, inspired by Cindy Sherman. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in New York City and Mexico.

Denise Bibro Fine Art is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Masks are mandatory when entering the building and gallery. Hand sanitizer is available. For more information, visit denisebibrofineart.com; email info@denisebibrofineart.com; or call 212-647-7030.

An oystercatcher looks for a meal in the marsh alongside Dune Road. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Write America Continues to Amaze
The new Write America weekly program—the brainchild of writer, teacher and Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt—is maintaining its perfect record of providing wonderful readings and stimulating discussions between gifted writers on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by the Huntington independent bookstore Book Revue. 

Patricia McCormick

Those readers who have been tuning in already know how great this series is. For those who have yet checked it out, At Quaquanantuck recommends a visit to the Book Revue website, bookrevue.com/write-america-series, where you can access recordings of all the readings and conversations of the series up to now. I wish last Monday’s writers, Carlos Fonseca and Rose Styron, could have been allowed another hour; Mr. Fonseca’s insights and Ms. Styron’s tales of impromptu dinner parties for legendary writers and U.S. Presidents—and dinner invitations (commands) from such notables as Fidel Castro—were absolutely mesmerizing illuminations of cultural and political history. 

Lloyd Schwartz

Coming up next in the “weekly readings and conversation about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation” are: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Lloyd Schwartz and journalist and author Priya Jain on May 10; two-time National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick, award-winning poet and poetry editor Michelle Whittaker, and four-time Tony Award-winning actor Frank Langella on May 17;  and prize-winning poet Grace Schulman, award-winning essayist Lance Morrow, and historian and author Nell Painter on May 24. 

As noted, Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com

News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Building Momentum

With what has traditionally been called “the season” almost upon us, the concomitant increase in population, and the loosening of some restrictions as more and more Americans are vaccinated, there is a lot going on in and around our village these days. 

Spring rising. —A. Botsford Photo

There is news about government plans to tackle the erosion problem on the beach in Quogue; an update from the Quogue Library about the renovation and expansion project; another update from the Quogue Wildlife Refuge about plans for Earth Day and the final two playing spaces available in the Golfing with the Owls outing at Sebonack Golf Club on May 11; and details on a new “Go Native” initiative to support our area’s “food web” and the birds and pollinators that are sustained by it, to name only a few highlights.  

There are also virtual programs galore, including new installments of the wonderful Write America readings and discussions, and now some in-person opportunities as well, along with myriad sources of additional information on a wide array of topics. Since the online column sadly doesn’t lend itself to posting on the refrigerator, and the next column won’t be published until May 6, At Quaquanantuck would like to suggest to readers that they keep a calendar (print or computer) handy to save dates as they go through, and make use of the links provided to get more information and register for programs, or to make a deeper dive into areas of interest. 

Now, let’s get to it. 

New grass has been planted on the shored-up dunes and new stairs built at the Quogue Village Beach. —A. Botsford Photo

The Mayor’s Corner: On the Waterfront
In a village facing no shortage of important issues—before, during, and (fingers crossed) after Covid—nothing can match the significance of the existential question of how to respond to, and contend with, erosion of the barrier beach. 

Gone are the days when people were naive enough to suggest that it was only a problem for those who chose to live in homes perched on the dunes and “let them deal with it.” Accelerated by climate change, the shrinking shoreline and the threat of breaching represent a clear and present danger not only to our way of life but to the very survival of all the communities arrayed across the south shore of Long Island. 

So it was even more rewarding than usual to receive the April 5 edition of the regular missives from Mayor Peter Sartorius, which is devoted to the topic. 

The email, which can be found in full by clicking here, or visiting the Announcements page at www.villageofquogueny.gov, starts with this: “With beach stickers now for sale and the 2021 version of the stairs at the Village Beach now in place, I thought that people might be interested in the status of the long-running Fire Island to Montauk Point Project as it pertains to Quogue, and so here is my current understanding:” 

What follows the Mayor’s introduction in the email can seem a bit complicated, especially for those who might be unfamiliar with the Fire Island to Montauk Point Project. But the gist appears to be that the New York State DEC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have worked out a deal—which has yet to be implemented—to start working on a number of “coastal management features” from Fire Island Inlet east to Montauk Point.

Before the DEC signs any deal with the Army Corps, though, NY State needs approval of draft Local Project Partnership agreements with Suffolk County and each of the townships involved: Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, Southampton and East Hampton. If the county and town agreements are not approved by the end of April, the project will be delayed. 

In the battle against erosion, some days are better than others. —A. Botsford Photo

The Mayor pointed out that Southampton Town may seek approval of intermunicipal agreements with each of the three villages (Quogue is one) that are involved, but it is not clear if these agreements would need to be approved before Southampton signs off on the draft Local Project Partnership agreement with the state.  

Major features of the DEC and Army Corps plan include: a contract for dredging Fire Island Inlet and depositing the sand on Gilgo Beach and Robert Moses Park, slated to start in September 2021; and contracts for sand bypassing around Shinnecock and Moriches Inlets, with a projected start date of September 2022.

The contract that most directly affects our village deals with restoring those sections of the shore that qualify to a project specification of 9.5-foot beach height and a dune height of 13 feet. The Army Corps and DEC have already determined that erosion in East Quogue and Quogue, including at the Quogue Village Beach, has placed a significant portion of that area “below project specification.” And while the projected start date for work on this contract is currently September of 2023, the only obstacle to overcome in order to move construction up to 2022 is obtaining required real estate easements from the owner of each property where the Army Corps and local contractors will be doing work. 

Initial construction of this project would be funded 100 percent by the Federal government. Annual maintenance and operating costs (monitoring, beach cleanup, repairs, etc.) would be funded by local governments. “For all of Southampton Town (including Quogue),” the Mayor wrote, “this is estimated by the DEC at $171,000 annually.” While there is no contract at this time for anticipated future “nourishments” every four years or so, the cost is expected to be split 50-50 between the Federal government and state and local entities, with the state/local share split 35/15 and prorated by shoreline length.

The weather is getting warmer, but surfers will still need wetsuits for a bit longer. —A. Botsford Photo

Public access to the restored beach is one of the conditions for moving ahead with the contract, because Federal law requires that public funds only be spent on beaches that are usable by the public. It’s important to note, however, that the required easements for repair work will not grant access to the beach across private property. In exchange for government funding, general public access (for non-residents of Quogue) will have to be provided at the Quogue Village Beach. 

To that end, “specifics remain to be finalized,” Hizzoner wrote, “but it appears that there will be some general access, daily rate parking at the parcel adjacent to the Village Beach parking lot that is jointly owned by the Town of Southampton and the Village of Quogue.” Once on the beach, meanwhile, the Mayor noted that in Southampton Town there is already “an easement in favor of the public between the high-water mark of the Atlantic Ocean and the southerly top of the sand dunes …,” as per Dolphin Lane Assocs. v. Town of Southampton, 37 N.Y.2d 292, 297 (1975). 

The takeaway from all this appears to be that real, long-term help—the kind that would be out of reach without Federal assistance—is on the way. As the Mayor noted: “While the details of exactly how much of Quogue’s beachfront will be included in the FIMP plan are not clear, we are confident that the Village Beach will be covered and that sand will be placed westward of that as well.”

At Quaquanantuck speaks for many in the community in expressing gratitude to the Mayor, not only for all the many hours he has put in advocating for the village and its beachfront with the DEC and the Army Corps as well as Southampton Town and Suffolk County, but also for keeping residents posted on the terms and conditions for obtaining this much needed replenishment and restoration along our shoreline. This columnist also dares to thank, in advance, the owners of the approximately 100 beachfront parcels in Quogue, who, by immediately granting the required easements, it is hoped can pave the way for work to begin a year earlier than originally projected. Help can’t come soon enough.

Mayor Peter Sartorius, left, presented a proclamation issued by the Village Board of Trustees to Ed Shea in honor of his 30 years of service to the Quogue Fire Department. —Kevin Lonnie Photo

Firefighter Ed Shea Honored on His Retirement
On the occasion of his retirement from the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department after 30 years of distinguished service, Ed Shea was honored with a special proclamation of “deep appreciation” issued on April 5 by Mayor Peter Sartorius and the Village Board of Trustees. 

The proclamation recognizes Mr. Shea, who is moving to North Carolina, as “a skilled firefighter, a talented organizer and an exceptional leader” who “naturally gravitated to positions of responsibility in the Fire Department, serving as an officer for many years and as Chief of the Department from 2005-2006.” 

The document goes on to note, among other contributions, that Mr. Shea “initiated or led many projects and activities of the Department, including the formation of the Quogue Firefighters Benevolent Association, the grooming of new firefighters through the Department’s Explorers Program and the managing of the annual Pancake Breakfast.” 

Saluting the retiring volunteer for his “strong work ethic, loyalty, cooperation, and good spirit,” the Trustees aptly concluded that “he will be sorely missed by his colleagues in the Department.” 

At Quaquanantuck joins the Trustees, and all the residents of the village, in thanking Ed Shea for his dedicated service and wishing him well in his new life in North Carolina.  

Correction and Apology
In the announcement of the new slate of officers in the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department in the March 11 column, At Quaquanantuck inadvertently omitted the name of Lieutenant Company 2 Tom Otis

Along with apologizing for the error, At Quaquanantuck would like to thank Mr. Otis for the good grace with which he accepted the mistake and, unasked, offered forgiveness.

An egret gang gathers by the Ponquogue Bridge. —A. Botsford Photo

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Gearing Up for Earth Day
First off, Quogue Wildlife Refuge Associate Director Marisa Nelson reports that the last two playing spots for the Golfing With The Owls outing at Sebonack Golf Club are only available as part of the Owl Event Sponsorship package, which goes for $10,000. 

The rolling fairways of Sebonack Golf Club overlook Peconic Bay.

As Ms. Nelson wrote in an email this week: “I know that is a high price to play golf, however it also supports a wonderful cause, is tax deductible, a great advertisement for the sponsor, and Sebonack is an exclusive [and magnificent] course to play on. We are keeping our fingers crossed that a generous sponsor will come forward and join in the fun.” 

Other sponsor opportunities include: Eagle “Lunch” Sponsor, $7,500, company name in all event publicity, signage and promotional materials at lunch, special mention at lunch, and opportunity to place promotional materials in golfer gift bags; Birdie “Breakfast” Sponsor, $3,000, signage in dining room during breakfast, company brochure in golfer gift bags, publicity in pre-tourney advertisement, and special mention at awards reception; Purchase a Hole Sign, $750, one prominently displayed hole sign on the course, or Purchase a Tee Sign: one for $200, two for $350, three for $500. For more information, visit https://quoguewildliferefuge.org/news/sebonack/

Earth Yoga outdoors with Amy Hess on Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. has already gotten underway at the Refuge.The one-hour class is held in a large outdoor space on woodchips near the pond, weather permitting. Participants are asked to bring a sheet or blanket and a yoga mat, and dress to be outdoors and consider sunscreen and insect repellant. The cost is $15 per class; early registration is advised (click on Earth Yoga on the Events page at www.quoguewildliferefuge.org) as space is limited.  

As for Earth Day, the ever more important mission-embracing special day in April, Ms. Nelson writes that “our plans are still coming together,” with details being posted on the QWR website soon. “As of now we are planning for the self-guided Conservation Walk: 19 installations of great information on how folks can make some simple changes in their lives to make the planet a healthier place. The stations start at the beginning of the green trail and will be up throughout April. 

A sample of the information posted at stations along the Conservation Walk at the Wildlife Refuge.

“We are thrilled that Bartlett Tree Experts will be donating hundreds of native flowering dogwood trees (Cornus florida) for our free tree giveaway (drive through or walk up) held on Saturday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until they’re all gone!). Supporting native wildlife by planting native trees is crucial and an easy way to attract and nurture our pollinators and birds. 

“Also on April 17, knowledgeable birders from ELIAS (Eastern Long Island Audubon Society) will be here for birding questions and to share info about their field trips and bird walks. 

“QWR will have a fun raffle table set up on Saturdays throughout April to help raise money for the Refuge. Earth Day is every day for the staff at QWR, and we look forward to seeing folks during their visit. Please check our website for details, and follow us on Facebook.” 

At left, a rare smoke morph turkey. (More information at https://www.audubon.org/news/wild-fact-about-wild-turkeys) —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Keep Your Distance … from Seals, Too
A reminder for beach walkers who encounter seals: Atlantic Marine Conservation Society Chief Scientist Rob DiGiovanni notes that “Social distancing benefits us all. While practicing social distancing on the beach or on a nature walk, please remember if you encounter a marine mammal, step back and give the animal its space, both for the animal’s safety and yours. If a seal can see you, you are too close. Refraining from interacting with wildlife can help save the lives of these animals and reduces harm. Together, we can continue to protect these amazing animals that utilize our waters year-round.”

Quogo Neck sunset. —Roger Moley Photo

New Push to Help Pollinators
At Quaquanantuck notes with great pleasure that a new “Go Native” initiative has recently been launched in Quogue. Inspired by Doug Tallamy, a renowned entomologist and ecologist, village residents Paula Prentis and Lulie Morrisey have been circulating an email asking Quogue homeowners to commit to introducing native plants on their properties, refrain from the use of pesticides and herbicides, and reduce outdoor lighting. 

There are compelling reasons powering this new movement, which is spreading across the country.  Native plants feed native insects which in turn feed native birds and much other wildlife. Native trees provide nesting places for native birds. In effect, wild creatures need wild plants to survive, but a typical landscaped yard is full of non-native plants that feed no creatures at all, rendering it to all intents and purposes a “parking lot,” according to Mr. Tallamy. The alarming loss of habitat combined with the use of pesticides has contributed to the die-off of three billion birds in North America since the 1970s, or one third of the entire bird population.

Most insects can develop and reproduce only on the plants with which they share an evolutionary history. Just 5 percent of our native plants make 75 percent of the caterpillar food that drives food webs. Caterpillars are the primary food source for migrating and breeding birds and are essential food for baby birds. A chickadee must catch and consume six to nine thousand caterpillars to rear one clutch of babies.

Native plants are needed to support pollinators and other insects.

As one example of the benefit of native plants, Mr. Tallamy describes oak trees as a “keystone species” that supports at least 30 percent of our moth species and is also a favorite refuge for many species of birds. The case for planting oaks is made eloquently in a New York Times article at this link: www.nytimes.com/2021/03/31/realestate/oak-trees-why-you-should-plant.html 

Mr. Tallamy’s central idea is “small efforts by many people.” It is up to individual property owners to do their part in restoring an ecosystem that benefits all of us. Making an impact can be as simple as planting one oak tree or reducing the size of your lawn by planting an area with native shrubs such as meadowsweet, ironweed, trumpetweed, Joe Pye weed, clethra, field thistle, Virginia rose and flowers such as bee balm, helianthus, goldenrod, echinacea, asters and blue flag iris. Don’t be put off by the “weed” in many of these names; the seeds and pollen in these plants will attract butterflies and bees

Oak trees are considered a “keystone species.”

The idea is to get enough Quogue residents on board with this effort in order to create a “conservation corridor” or “pollinator pathway” from individual backyards throughout Long Island and the rest of the country. Anyone interested in finding out more is asked to contact Lulie Morrisey at lulieinquogue@gmail.com. Also, the Westhampton Garden Club has been promoting this education effort for several years and readers might consider getting involved with their organization: www.westhamptongardenclub.org/. The club planted the Lily Pond Garden of native plants in our village several years ago and is establishing a Pollinator Garden at the newly renovated Quogue Library this spring. 

Some resources for the curious include “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard” and “Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants,” both by Douglas W. Tallamy; and the following websites: www.234birds.org; www.perfectearthproject.org; www.audubon.org/native-plants; www.homegrownnationalpark.org; www.longislandnatives.com (nursery in Eastport); www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/AttractingPollinatorsV5.pdf; and extension.psu.edu/planting-pollinator-friendly-gardens.  

Parents who would like to see their children get in on the act can register little ones age 5 and up for the virtual “Flowers and Pollinators: Best of Friends” program sponsored by the Quogue Library on Sunday, April 11, at 2 p.m. Local artist and wildlife educator Tonito Valderrama will teach participants all about flowers and the role of pollinators as he guides them in creating unique pieces of art. Each child must be registered individually. Click here to register or visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the “Flowers and Pollinators” flier on the home page.

All pansies are violas, but not all violas are pansies. —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

Quogue Library Ever Closer to Completion
Almost as much as village residents are keeping an eye on the beach, everyone is watching and waiting to find out when the renovated and expanded Quogue Library will open and patrons will have a chance to investigate and enjoy the many wonders of this time-honored and yet brand new facility.

At Quaquanantuck reached out to Library Director Jenny Bloom this week for an update and she graciously responded with the following: 

“Renovation continues. We are working through the last big to-dos that are necessary to get our Certificate of Occupancy and be able to open. A couple of critical missing parts and pieces are needed to be able to do the final work, which will allow us to bring back our collection and have staff in the building. We are expecting to be able to be open in June. 

“Now if the delivery trucks show up with our parts, we’ll be good as gold. And I hope everyone will agree it will have been worth the wait. This beautiful library is full of improvements and and we can’t wait to share it with the community.

The newly renovated library is a beautiful gift package, and patrons can’t wait to see what’s inside. —A. Botsford Photo

“In the meantime, curbside service continues at our Midland location, with homework and tech help available by calling (631-653-4224), emailing (info@quoguelibrary.org), or just dropping in.

“Virtual programs continue. We are all looking forward to when programs can be in-person again, but are making those decisions based on the transmission rate statistics and Health Department recommendations. It will be much easier to swing back to in-person and hybrid programs than it was to go virtual.

“Our Great Decisions Foreign Policy Association discussions kick off April 10 at 5 p.m.; we have  great poetry programs to celebrate National Poetry Month; fun and fresh storytimes happening each week; grab and go craft projects; our very popular fitness classes continue; and—it’s not just an advertising line—so much more. I hope people will visit our website for a full list and easy registration. And I’d love to have people join me on Saturday, April 10, at 10 a.m. for a conversation about our collection: how we select books and what books and resources they’d like more of, or what  different ones they’d like to see. Our goal is to have a selection that is responsive to what the community wants, so input is crucial.[click here for Zoom registration, or see details below.]

“Our summer Conversations with the Author series is in the planning and we are excited about the potential lineup. Our Summer Learning pen pal program will be bigger and better with activities, programs for tweens and teens, and lots of great postcards from Sammy the Seal and his friends.

“Staff are hanging in there, although the anticipation is difficult. We are ready to spring into a new expanded schedule of Sunday hours (we’ll be open six days, closing Wednesdays) in the new building.

“I deeply appreciate the grace and support the community has shown staff and the Board of Trustees. The pandemic’s effect on construction and global supply chains—and on our budget with an unforeseen investment in PPE, cleaning, staffing and equipment—has been a lot for a small library. We are hoping for strong support of our proposed budget, so please take a look at it (info available at the library and on our website) and we hope people will vote YES.

“With the vaccine and the construction wrapping up, this summer looks really good!”

As always, the library budget will be voted on at the same time as the Quogue School budget, this year on Tuesday, May 18, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room at the Quogue School. While safety protocols will be in place for in-person voting, some voters may wish to apply for absentee ballots due to the risk of Covid-19. To obtain an absentee ballot electronically, visit quogueschool.com and find a link to the application form on the Budget Information page. 

Completed ballots should be mailed to the Quogue School by May 5: Attention District Clerk, QUFSD, PO Box 957, Quogue, NY 11959. Absentee ballots may be delivered in person to the Quogue School during regular school hours until May 17. 

While we’re on the topic of budget votes, it should be noted that the traditional public hearing on the proposed 2021-2022 Quogue School budget will be held at the school on Tuesday, May 11, at 7:15 p.m., by which time details of the budget should be posted on the Budget Information page of the school’s website.  

A most welcome sign of spring: the return of the ospreys. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Another Cornucopia of Virtual Programs
As noted by Ms. Bloom above, the Quogue Library continues to offer a wide array of virtual programs for all ages and interests.  

First up this weekend is the “Community Conversation: Your Quogue Library Collection” program on Saturday, April 10, at 10 a.m., offered as part of the American Libraries Association (ALA) Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant program. The program will offer opportunities to learn about what gets selected for the collection and why, and how the library makes purchases and de-selects items. 

Questions and suggestions welcome. Register here or click on the flyer on the library home page.

Sign off on the Community Conversation on Saturday and sign on to the “Celebrate Poetry Month with Grace Dilger” at 11 a.m. Ms. Dilger—a former colleague of At Quaquanantuck at Stony Brook Southampton Creative Writing MFA program—will discuss what makes an image stick in this workshop and will offer tips and tricks for nurturing deep-rooted symbolism in your poetry. All writing levels are welcome. 

Next up on Saturday, April 10, at 5 p.m. will be the return of the Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, focused this time on “The World Health Organization’s Response to Covid-19.” 

The FPA description of Saturday’s topic points out that “the Covid-19 pandemic has thrust the World Health Organization (WHO) into the limelight, for better and for worse. While some of the Trump administration’s criticism of the organization was unfair, the response to the early stages of the pandemic left many experts wanting more from the WHO.”

Questions to be addressed in the virtual program moderated by David Rowe and facilitator Susan Perkins will include: What is the WHO’s role in responding to international pandemics? And what can be done to improve the WHO’s response to future global health crises?

The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program provides background information and policy options for the eight most critical issues facing America each year, serving as the focal text for discussion groups across the country. For more information, visit www.fpa.org. To register for Saturday’s program, click here or click on the flyer on the library’s home page. 

Meanwhile, the current schedule of exercise classes continues in April with Pilates on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Sculpting and Cardio Dance for all ages on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., both with instructor Leisa DeCarlo; and Yoga with Jillian for adults and youngsters 8 and up on Fridays at 10 a.m. 

Other virtual programs coming up include: the Adult Book Club discussing “Writers and Lovers” by Lily King on Sunday, April 11, at noon; a tour of “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” exhibit in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 18, at 8 p.m.; a College Funding Workshop on Thursday, April 22, at 7 p.m.; and “How Sustainable Eating Can Be Fun and Healthy” on Wednesday, April 28, at 1 p.m. For more information and registration instructions for any of these programs and a host of offerings for children, visit the Quogue Library website at quoguelibrary.org and click on the program flier on the home page. Remember that new programs are added regularly, so check the website often to make sure you don’t miss out.

Write America Maintains Momentum
The new Write America weekly program dreamed up by writer, teacher and Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt continues to offer wonderful readings and stimulating discussions between gifted writers on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by the Huntington independent bookstore Book Revue. 

Julie Sheehan

At a time when spirit-sustaining live readings are not possible, At Quaquanantuck has truly enjoyed all of these very different virtual programs, and salutes and gives thanks to the writers and the series creator. Those readers who have not logged on for one of these very special evenings is encouraged to do so: the rewards are many. 

Coming up in the “weekly readings and conversation about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation” are: award-winning poet Julie Sheehan and award-winning poet and short story writer Claudia Acevedo-Quinones on April 12; National Book Award finalist Natalie Diaz and award-winning poet and founder of Ecco Books Daniel Halpern on April 19; bestselling author Paul Auster, Man Booker Prize nominee Siri Hustvedt, and Pulitzer Prize winner and New Yorker editor David Remnick on April 26; and award-winning novelist Carlos Fonseca and poet and human rights activist Rose Styron on May 3. 

David Remnick

The Write America mission is beautifully encapsulated in this excerpt from “Paul Robeson” by Gwendolyn Brooks: 

We are each other’s
harvest:
We are each other’s
business:
We are each other’s
magnitude and bond. 

Rose Styron

As series creator Roger Rosenblatt wrote in an email: “Every week is different, every one a splendid surprise. The most gratifying moment in the venture as a whole has been reaching a total of 80 writers with half that number being writers of.color. It’s a  richly talented group. And they never lose sight of the core mission of healing divisions in the country.”

As noted, Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com

News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Spring Forward, With Care

It’s an intoxicating mix. As we set the clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 14—extending the benefits of glorious daylight that smiles on snowdrops already in bloom and charms daffodils to rise through the warming soil—there’s no denying the gathering energy of renewal that is the perennial gift of the vernal equinox.  

At the same time, after more than a year of the immeasurable horror, tragedy, and economic and social disruption of a pandemic affecting every nation on the planet—a plague that served to compound the hellish effects of natural disasters on an unprecedented scale in wildfires and seasonal storms—there are signs that the darkest days may be behind us. Every day, thousands more Americans are being vaccinated and this week the CDC issued an easing of a limited number of social distancing and mask wearing restrictions for small groups of vaccinated adults. Signs of rebirth are everywhere. 

Here they come … —A. Botsford Photo

It can be difficult to remember, especially after a year spent in the unfamiliar fetters of these strange days, that intoxication can lead to missteps and poor choices. The giddy impulse to rejoice and celebrate newfound freedom can too easily blind a person to the pitfalls and dangerous road conditions that still lie ahead. And, really, who wants to think of those now? But as individuals, families and communities thankfully make the most of the beautiful positive energy that this spring is bringing, it’s more important than ever to remember the difficult lessons of the last year. 

The only way to secure a workable way forward to a future that is brighter for everyone is for each of us to continue to pay attention, find ways to work together and help each other, and make responsible choices for the good of others as well as ourselves. These are heady days in still uncertain times. And while it’s important to draw on the spirit of spring as we move ahead, we should never forget the immortal caution that some readers will remember from “NYPD Blue”: Let’s be careful out there.

First tracks. —A. Botsford Photo

The Mayor’s Corner: On Covid Front, Caution Is Key
After a warning about the return to our fair village of car thieves (with a particular fondness for Audis), and a reminder to dog owners to responsibly complete the process of canine sanitation by properly disposing of feces capture bags rather than leaving them on the street, in his March 2 email blast Mayor Peter Sartorius offered his usual clear-eyed assessment of CIQ (Covid in Quogue):

“Many Quogue residents have advised me that they have been successfully vaccinated,” the Mayor wrote. “The locations have varied greatly, but many people went through Barth’s Pharmacy in Westhampton Beach. Thank you, Barth’s.” Hizzoner’s gratitude to Barth’s was echoed in praise for pharmacy proprietor Lou Cassara from village residents this week, and in an article in The Southampton Press last week: “Westhampton Beach Pharmacist Leads Charge to Get Locals Vaccinated Against COVID-19.”(Click here to read the article.)

“That’s all good news,” the Mayor continued, sounding a note of caution, “but this is still no time to let our guard down even among the vaccinated—you can still possibly spread the virus even if you do not get sick. We have all read or heard about the variants that are present on Long Island. Also, the cumulative reported case count in Quogue is up to 60 vs. 48 a few weeks ago. If you are still looking to get an appointment for a vaccination, the Suffolk County website contains a variety of links. Try https://suffolkcountyny.gov/vaccine.”

As indicated at the top of this post, At Quaquanantuck concurs completely with the Mayor’s call for maintaining all defenses against Covid-19. Expanding on Hizzoner’s shoutout to Barth’s, it should be noted that Mr. Cassara’s heroic drive to vaccinate more than 1,000 people in one day would not have been possible without the gracious hospitality and coordination provided by the members of the Westhampton Beach Volunteer Fire Department. 

A Hero’s Welcome and Birthday Celebration for Lee Fadem
Residents in the vicinity of Ice Pond Estates might have been alarmed by the blaring sirens and steady stream of fire trucks and police vehicles in the area on Sunday, February 28, had not neighbor Steve Fadem alerted them in advance that it was all part of a birthday salute to his father, Leroy “Lee” Fadem, a bona fide World War II hero who just happened to be celebrating his 100th birthday that day. 

Steve Fadem and his father, Lee, who celebrated his 100th birthday in Quogue on February 28. —A. Botsford Photo

A lot of attention has rightfully been paid to the senior Mr. Fadem this year, in many cases through the efforts of his son Steve, a second home owner in Quogue for the past 22 years who now lives principally in Chicago during the winter months. It was at Steve’s request that Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois wrote a congratulatory letter to Lee offering thanks for his service, and it was through Senator Durbin’s intercession that President Joe Biden wrote his own letter to Lee. Newsletter writer Robert Hubbell offered a special tribute to Lee in one of his Daily Briefs. 

It was Steve who got the mayor of Lee’s hometown of New Rochelle, Noam Bramson, to declare February 28 “Lee Fadem Day” to honor both his heroism and his 100th birthday. But Lee wasn’t in New Rochelle on his special day, having been brought to Quogue to spend his birthday with Steve and his wife and two daughters. And that’s where the people of our village and the surrounding community, the Quogue Village office staff, the volunteer fire departments and police officers showed their true colors in ways that should make all residents both grateful and proud.

It only took one call to get things started. When Steve reached Assistant to the Mayor Stephanie Wagner in the Village Office and told her a little about his dad and asked if Mayor Peter Sartorius might offer some recognition, she immediately “got very excited,” according to Steve. She shared the story with the Mayor, who immediately wrote the requested letter, and with Ordinance Inspector Chris Osborne, who went into instant overdrive and contacted QFD Chief Ben Hubbard in order to have the Quogue Fire Department buy a brick commemorating Lee’s service in the Pacific during World War II that could be made up in time for a ceremony at the village memorial monument on February 28. That led Steve and his family to buy another brick to honor his dad’s centenary birthday. 

Lee Fadem, center, at the ceremony to mark the installation of two bricks in his honor at the Memorial monument in front of the firehouse.

Then now ex-Fire Chief Osborne reached out to Quogue Village Police Chief Chris Isola and neighboring departments to help him organize a surprise drive-by salute to Lee on his birthday, shortly after the brick ceremony. In the event, some 20 vehicles were involved representing the Quogue Fire Department, Quogue Village Police, East Quogue Fire Department, Westhampton Beach Fire Department, Westhampton Beach Police Department and Southampton Town Police. 

Why all the fuss? It wasn’t just about a 100th birthday; it was to honor the very special man who was celebrating it. A quick read of a brief bio that Steve prepared gives an idea of how special he is: 

“Leroy (“Lee”) Fadem (pronounced FAY- dem) was born on February 28, 1921 in Brooklyn, NY.

“Of all his accomplishments in life he is most proud of his service to our country during WWII.

Lt. Senior Grade Lee Fadem, circa 1945.

“Dad enlisted in the Navy at the outbreak of the war. He was a Plankowner (part of the initial crew) on a Fletcher Class Destroyer, the USS Stevens, DD 479; he served as its Torpedo Officer, Assistant Gunnery Officer and Catapult Officer. As for the latter, the Stevens was outfitted with an experimental airplane catapult to launch scout planes that could get far behind enemy lines and Dad was the only active Catapult Officer on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II. 

“One of my favorite stories he has told is that as part of the training he gave to the crew on the catapult, he once decided to demonstrate its power and sat in a bucket and had the catapult shoot him high into the air and into the sea. For this he earned the moniker “Fearless Fadem” from the awestruck crew! 

“One night in 1944, deep in Japanese territory,  manning the con (the bridge) as the officer in charge, he heard the dramatic ping of an approaching torpedo and after yelling “General Quarters” to the crew immediately steered the ship to avoid being hit and saved the ship and crew. He tells how the protocol is to turn the ship toward the incoming torpedo to make the ship’s profile a smaller target, and as the Captain arrived on the bridge the two men watched as the torpedo passed by the ship with only feet to spare.

“While on the Stevens he earned five Battle Stars on his Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon, and the Combat Action Ribbon, among his eight decorations.

“He went on to become a Plankowner of LST 871 [in a conversation, Lee quipped that LSTs were  nicknamed by Navy sailors Large Slow Targets] and started as its Executive Officer and Navigator, later becoming its Commanding Officer. In that capacity he accepted the surrender of the Japanese garrison of some 900 soldiers at HaHa Jima in December 1945, very possibly the last official surrender of Japanese troops after the end of the War. As part of the surrender Dad accepted the Japanese Commanding Officer’s sword, which he recently donated to the National Museum of the Pacific War.”

Lee Fadem gets a fist bump from QVPD Sergeant Jason McMunn.

In an interview at Steve’s house on March 2, Lee downplayed his heroism, shushing Steve as he tried to tell different stories. But he had many other stories of his own to tell, both from the time of his service from 1942 to 1946, and from a trip he made with Steve back to the Pacific theater of battle where he served, organized for veterans by the National World War II Museum based in New Orleans. 

A lot of his present day stories have to do with the kindness he has been shown in Quogue over the years he has been visiting here for a few weeks each summer. Like the way the lifeguards at the Village Beach will help him over the dunes in their special buggy on those few occasions when he has needed some assistance. Or the time Village Police Sergeant Jason McMunn helped him fulfill a lifelong dream of flying at age 99 by letting him take the controls of his plane during a ride that included a series of touch-and-goes at Gabreski Airport (with Jason taking over for the “touches,” Lee noted with a smile).   

Although he’s not a full-time or even a full seasonal resident, it’s clear that Lee loves the village that clearly loves him back. Which makes for happiness on both sides. As he concluded with a signature smile and sparkle in his eyes, “Fortunately, I know someone who lives here.” 

New Fire Department Officers Instated
A new slate of officers for the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department was instated on January 15. Now serving the department are: Chief Engineer Ben Hubbard (in his second year); 1st Assistant Chief Mike Nelson; 2nd Assistant Chief Dave Schaffauer; 3rd Assistant Chief Paul Insalaco; Captain Company 1 Mike McMahon; Captain Company 2 Todd Bandrowski; Lieutenant Company 1 Tom Mullen; Lieutenant Company 2 Gerry Volz; Company 1 Wardens Chuck Karpovek and Cliff McKennett; Company 2 Wardens Dave Turinski and John Sipala.

At Quaquanantuck congratulates the new officers, and all the members of the QFD and joins all in the village in thanking them all for their service.

Westhampton Garden Club members Catharine (Ki) Nobiletti, Alicia Whitaker, Melissa Morgan Nelson (President), Peggy Veziris, and Nancy Lombardi got together for a photo and discussion of the WGC Orchid Sale fundraiser at the Quogue Library, site of the future Pollinator Garden being donated to the library by the WGC.

Westhampton Garden Club Orchid Sale
Ever on the lookout for projects that will enhance the quality of life and bring a greater appreciation and understanding of the world of flora in Quogue and Westhampton and the greater environs, the Westhampton Garden Club is planning to install a Pollinator Garden at the newly renovated and expanded Quogue Library. And, happily, just in time for Passover (March 27) and Easter (April 4), the WGC has organized an Orchid Sale as a fundraiser for this appealing project. 

Available for purchase will be lovely Phalaenopsis Orchid plants, each with two stems of blossoms in a terracotta pot, from what the Garden Club is calling “Long Island’s premiere orchid grower.” Fresh from the greenhouse and loaded with buds and open flowers, the orchids are available in two colors: white (in large 6-inch pots or small 3 1⁄2-inch pots) and the somewhat startling “Surprise Me!” in varying pinks and purple (in 6-inch pots only). 

The deadline for ordering is March 15; orchids can be picked up on Saturday, March 20, at the Quogue Firehouse (with some limited deliveries available). To order, click on or go to the Westhampton Garden Club website: www.westhamptongardenclub.org, or call 914-646-2367.

If, like At Quaquanantuck, you are wondering what a “pollinator garden” might be, here’s a quote from an Ecological Landscape Alliance discussion of the subject: “Pollinator Gardens are a recent concept. Reminiscent of the Victory Gardens promoted by the government during World War I and II, the Pollinator Garden effort is intended to help cover food shortages, only this time, for insects. The goal of the effort is to provide sufficient food (nectar and pollen) to reverse the decline of pollinators, bees in particular, and to provide habitat (milkweed) for monarch butterflies.”

Want to know more about what your purchase of orchids will support? Here are two more links to peruse: www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/AttractingPollinatorsV5.pdf and https://extension.psu.edu/planting-pollinator-friendly-gardens.

A Reader Remembers: Nando’s Caesar Salad
As long as we’re on the subject of flora, how about a brief trip down memory lane to the flower of East End restaurants back in the day, Nando’s Miramar, which readers of a certain age will fondly remember as the oasis of fine dining and genial hospitality in the omphalos of Quogue at the address that is now the site of the Quogue Club. 

Under the title of “That’s Not a salad. Now That is a salad… (Nando’s Miramar, Quogue, L.I. 1968)” reader Carol Meeds sent this “comment” to At Quaquanantuck last week: 

“Recently I went to a new and popular restaurant here in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. It is called “Grow” and features organic and locally grown vegetables. The menu is only two items: salad or bowl. The clientele is young and slender. The view is spectacular. One would think that with only two items on the menu the salad would be something special. Well, it wasn’t and I was reminded of the most spectacular salad I ever experienced. 

“We were newly married and visiting the Hamptons. I don’t know why we went to Nando’s Miramar in Quogue, Long Island, New York. It may have been a wedding present, or a late honeymoon treat. I remember looking at the menu and exclaiming to my new husband, “Look at this! There is a salad here for three dollars and fifty cents!” Up until then the most expensive salads we had seen anywhere were 75 cents. We ordered it. What an experience. 

“The waiter/chef came out with a table on wheels and everything to make the CAESAR SALAD at our table. The garlic clove was cut and rubbed on the inside of the enormous wooden salad bowl. An anchovy was mushed into the bowl, good olive oil, shredded Romaine lettuce and pepper ground at the table with one of those huge grinders, salt too! Lemon squeezed, parmesan cheese shredded in the coddled egg yolk, too. A quick mix and served on a chilled plate. Was it worth it? It is over 50 years later; it is the salad that other salads can only hope to be as rewarding!”

At Quaquanantuck, being ancient, can still recall, mouth watering, at least two other dishes prepared tableside with dramatic flair in Quogue and at the southern Nando’s outpost in Palm Beach: the delectable Steak Diane and, of course, the heavenly Crêpes Suzette. 

Taking a cue from the thoughtful Ms. Meeds, readers are invited at any time to share reminiscences of Quogue in earlier days by sending them to AtQuaq@gmail.com

Quogue Shop Hosting Children’s Party April 3
While the Quogue Fire Department, citing safety protocols, has cancelled this year’s Easter Egg Hunt (or perhaps more properly “scramble”) traditionally held on the Saturday before Easter, there is some good news for the little ones: The Quogue Shop at 144 Jessup Avenue is extending some pre-Easter hospitality to all children ages 2 to 12 with a “Bunnies and Baskets” party on Saturday, April 3, at 2 p.m.

The fun and festivities will include prizes for all and proprietress Theresa Fontana has alerted At Quaquanantuck that “of course, we will feature our socially distant candy chute.” Of course. 

Some of the best sellers at the shop, she added, are Quogue Hoodies, Beach Cruisers and “our newest addition: custom Quogue Stationery.”

Theresa also offered a reminder that the Quogue Shop is open seven days a week from noon to 4; Saturdays until 5.

Two young wildlife enthusiasts and their friendly dog Dash wish a grey seal a happy return to the sea. —Alan Meckler Photo

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Kickin’ It for Spring
First things first: The Quogue Wildlife Refuge was the very happy recipient on March 3 of a $50,000 grant from the Marilyn Lichtman Foundation. 

This general support grant is wonderful news not only for the Refuge, but also for all in Quogue and the wider East End community who benefit from the blessing of having this natural and historic jewel in our midst as well as all the enriching and educational programs offered there. The $50,000 will go directly towards the Refuge’s $784,000 annual operating budget.

Left to right, QWR Executive Director Michael Nelson; Robert Brull, president of the Marilyn Lichtman Foundation; QWR Associate Director Marisa Nelson; and Tim Norton, the Refuge supporter who introduced QWR to the grant opportunity.

Meanwhile, as part of the QWR staff’s ongoing quest “to bring peace and enjoyment to guests,” they have recently created a Winter Inspiration Walk in the forest. Visitors can now follow numbered and arrowed posts to enjoy inspirational nature quotes along the way. The first of the 19 quotes will be found at the start of the green trail. Visitors are reminded to please only visit the trails between sunrise and sunset. 

Virtual programs coming up at the QWR include a talk on the Spring Equinox & Night Sky next week on Tuesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. Hamptons Observatory Senior Educator William Francis Taylor will explore the way the sun returns to the northern hemisphere and the ceremonies in different cultures held to celebrate the March equinox. 

Mr. Taylor, a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador since 2014,  will also point out the constellations of the spring sky, from a pair of bright galaxies in the head of the Great Bear to a whole cluster of them in the arms of Virgo. He’ll also provide a sneak preview of an April shower of shooting stars. To register on Zoom, click here, or visit the QWR website at www.quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on the March 16 Spring Equinox program on the Events page calendar.

Moving to the great outdoors, the Refuge will offer an Almost Full Moon Night Hike on Friday, March 26, at 7 p.m. This celebration of the beginning of Spring for adults and families with children over 9 will consist of a guided hike through the forest up to North Pond with opportunities to look and listen for nocturnal creatures and enjoy some night vision activities under the light of the moon.

The cost is $10 for members or $20 for non-members; reservations and payment are required at least 24 hours in advance, or as soon as possible as space is limited. Masks and social distancing are required and flashlights are not permitted during the hike. Visit the QWR website at www.quoguewildliferefuge.org or call the Refuge at 631-653-4771 to register. 

For the younger set in grades K through 5, happily there’s still time to sign up for the Spring Wildlife Camp at the Refuge, being offered this year Tuesday through Friday, March 29 through April 2 from 9 a.m. to noon each day.  

As always, campers are promised “a great experience of wildlife, education, and fun!” with each day including a hike, a craft, and meeting animals. Children should be dressed for the weather, masks are required, and campers should arrive with their own individual snack and drink each day. 

The cost is $60 per session or $220 for all four sessions; registration and payment are required in advance. Parents and guardians are asked to note that the program will be completely outdoors and will be held in light rain. If extreme inclement weather (heavy rain, high winds) cancels the program, refunds will be provided as applicable. For more information and to register, visit the QWR website or call 631-653-4771. 

Coming up at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 8—the date for the next installment of At Quaquanantuck—the QWR will offer another virtual program, this time on the subject of “Tracking Coyotes on Long Island.” Check the Events page of the QWR website for details and to register. 

While At Quaquanantuck may not have the stature of Good Housekeeping, still this column will make bold to award the highest seal of approval to the tasty partnership between the QWR and nearby  Homeslice Pizza. Readers who visit order.homeslicepizza.co and use the code WILD at checkout receive a 10-percent discount on truly delicious fully-cooked, frozen wood-fired pizzas that reheat in just 5-8 minutes at home. Homeslice in turn donates 10 percent of each code WILD sale to support Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Readers can enter their address at checkout for Saturday delivery, or pick up their pies right here in Quogue. The offer is valid through March 31, so make some space in the freezer and load up now. @homeslicepizza.co

Another wonderful intersection of interests in support of the Refuge is coming up on Tuesday, May 11, in “Golfing with the Owls at Sebonack Golf Club,” honoring longtime supporter and champion of the Refuge Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius. 

In the invitation to friends and supporters to take part (which appears at the top of the Events drop-down on the QWR homepage) Refuge Executive Director Michael Nelson points out that the charity golf outing will allow golfers to support the Refuge while taking advantage of the very rare opportunity to enjoy the exceptional Sebonack golf course and its “breathtaking, panoramic views of Great Peconic Bay and Cold Spring Pond.” As many avid golfers already know, Sebonack is ranked No. 39 on Golf Digest’s list of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses of 2019-20, and was host to the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open. 

“Golfing with the Owls” will begin at 10:30 a.m. with registration and continental breakfast in the clubhouse, followed by a shotgun start at noon, BBQ lunch at the turn, and a 4:30 p.m. Awards Reception with cocktails and sandwiches. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet and greet some of the non-releasable wildlife cared for at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.

As Mr. Nelson notes on the invitation: “This event provides crucial funds that will allow the Refuge to carry out its mission of responsible stewardship of the 305 acres of protected preserve, as well as to provide quality care for the resident injured wildlife, and teach year-round environmental education programs. We appreciate your support of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge in this exciting event!”

Complete details on Golfing with the Owls sponsorship opportunities and golfer registration (with discounts for Early Birds) are available on the QWR website. Fore!

As always, readers should be sure to check the Events page of the QWR website (quoguewildliferefuge.org) regularly for all the details on programs coming up between now and the April 8 posting of At Quaquanantuck. 

As the sun sets, the moon rises over the Quogue beach. —Doug Peters Photo

Quogue Market Keeps Gourmet to Go Going
To the delight of take-out enthusiasts, the fine folks at the Quogue Country Market are continuing to expand and switch up their daily take-out menu offerings. Considering the likelihood that they might come up with some specials around Easter time, it would be a good idea for any readers who are not already on the Market’s email list to sign up by emailing quoguemarketllc@gmail.com to receive the menu. 

If you miss the email or don’t have access to the menu, call the Market at 631-653-4191 and they’ll let you know what’s available.

Quogue Library Builds on the Pillars of Modern Life
Count on the Quogue Library to keep things fresh, with programming devoted to all the pillars of contemporary life: food, fitness, best practices with technology, literature and the creative arts for the adults, and a host of fun and educational activities and programs for the younger generations, right down to the toddlers. 

For fitness this month, the current schedule offers a continuation of Pilates on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Sculpting and Cardio Dance for all ages on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., both with instructor Leisa DeCarlo; and Yoga with Jillian for adults and youngsters 8 and up on Fridays at 10 a.m. 

On the food front, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Chef Rob Scott will host a March Food Fest on Saturday, March 13, at 3 p.m. on Facebook Live. Chef Scott will be sharing his secrets for preparing: Irish Soda Bread Muffins, Slow -Cooked Corned Beef and Cabbage, Peppermint Milkshakes, and Mint Chocolate Brownies. 

The Sunday, March 14, virtual meeting of the library’s Adult Book Club at noon will feature a discussion of “Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyas. The book is described as “a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief—a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut novel, “Homecoming.” 

The focus shifts back to food again on Monday, March 15, at 7 p.m. when the library offers a virtual program on “Plant Yourself: Understanding Plant-Based Nutrition.” The aim of the program is to demystify whole foods, plant-based diets and teach participants how to make a positive impact on their health. 

“Plant Yourself” will also dispel the common misperception that a plant-based diet consists only of leafy greens and raw vegetables while helping participants learn about eating tasty and satisfying foods in a way that people have thrived on for thousands of years. Some of the foods under discussion will include ingredients commonly used to make familiar dishes such as pizza, mashed potatoes, lasagna, and burritos.

Everything you want to know about modern tech and personal computing will become clear in “Technology Devices Explained with Russ” on Saturday, March 20 at 10 a.m. With so many tech choices available, how can people tell whether they need a laptop computer, a desktop, or just a tablet or a smartphone? And no matter what device is chosen, what’s the best way to keep it safe and protected? 

As ever, the library’s tech guru stands ready to answer all of these questions, and more in this one-hour plus Q&A program.

On April 9 at 7 p.m., the library will offer a Virtual Painting Class led by artist Marie Camenares. Participants will create a bird scene on an 8- by 12-inch canvas. All supplies will be provided to those who register in a kit to be picked up at the Quogue Library the week of April 1.

For more information and registration instructions for any of these programs and a host of offerings for children, visit the Quogue Library website at quoguelibrary.org and click on the program flier on the home page. Remember that new programs are added regularly, so check the website often to make sure you don’t miss out. 

Last lines of defense at the Quogue Village Beach. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

Authors Continue to Write America
The new Write America weekly program dreamed up by writer, teacher and Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt is consistently offering engaging readings and insightful conversations between talented writers on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by the Huntington independent bookstore Book Revue. 

Paul Harding will read with Linda Pastan and Juan Felipe Herrera on March 15.

At a time when spirit-sustaining live readings are not possible, At Quaquanantuck has enjoyed all of these very different virtual programs, and salutes and gives thanks to the writers and the series creator.

Coming up in the “weekly readings and conversation about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation”are: Linda Pastan, Paul Harding and Juan Felipe Herrera on March 15; George Howe Colt, Anne Fadiman and Carl Phillips on March 22; Kirsten Valdez Quade and Nick Flynn on March 29; and Kurt Andersen and Amy Hempel on April 5. 

Amy Hempel will read with Kurt Andersen on April 15. —Vicki Topaz Photo

“Write America is an organization of writers concerned about the divisions in our country that have evidenced themselves and deepened over the past few years,” Mr. Rosenblatt wrote in describing the mission of the series. “In this project, then, we have come together to read our work in the interests of life’s nobler values … The nation is injured. We hope to contribute to its healing.” 

As noted, Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

In response to a request from photographer Paula Prentis to identify this vertebra found on the Quogue beach, Quogue Wildlife Refuge Associate Director Marisa Nelson referred At Quaquanantuck to QWR member and supporter (and possessor of “great skeletal knowledge”) Joe Napolitano. Here’s his response: “I’d say that whale vertebra is a very safe guess. Although I can’t tell its exact size from the photo, there simply isn’t anything else around here that would have vertebrae that large. As for what type of whale, I couldn’t say for certain; I’ve seen humpback and fin whale carcasses on the south shore, both of which would likely have some vertebrae that size. It probably wouldn’t be too hard to get a DNA analysis done, if you’d really like an ID. I don’t know if anyone had plans for this particular specimen, but it’s worth mentioning that all marine mammals are federally protected, so their parts can only be legally possessed by those with the proper permits (even if those parts came from an animal that was found dead).” Thanks, Joe, for sharing this helpful and well informed speculation.

Whaling Tales of Marital Adventures on the High Seas
At Quaquanantuck was beyond gratified to receive three responses to a request in the February column for fictional scenes depicting Capt. Henry Gardiner and his wife Polly aboard a whaling ship in 1827. Then there was even greater joy when a direct descendant of the real life Capt. Henry submitted some non-fiction material detailing the couple’s relationship dressed up for the stage, as you shall see. 

The first response, and the only one to honor the word limit (but who’s counting?), was a tasty metaphor from At Quaquanantuck reader and frequent Quogue visitor Frank Campion: 

SCENE: DUSK ON THE OCEAN. THE CAPTAIN’S CHAMBER ON THE WHALING SHIP PANDEMIC. CAPTAIN HENRY GARDINER ENTERS. HIS WIFE, POLLY, LOOKS UP FROM HER SCRIMSHAW. 

POLLY: Henry … I’m going out of my mind … I haven’t been out in weeks …

HENRY: We talked about this … 

POLLY: I miss my friends … I miss being with people … I miss going out to dinner … 

HENRY: There isn’t much I can do … 

POLLY: And every day it’s the same … Another wreaking carcass on deck … More blubber … More oil … I can’t smell anything but that … I weary of the stench … 

HENRY: Have you been wearing your mask? 

POLLY: I can’t breath with that thing on … 

HENRY: Well at least we haven’t been eternally stove and sunk … 

POLLY: Day after day … The relentless motion of the ocean … The same awful grub … The nasty grog … That gnarly crew … 

HENRY: Well, have you checked the Hulu? The Netflix? What about the Zoom? How about that Amazon Prime? Surely there must be something … 

POLLY: The damn satellite is down again … No Ebay … No Zoom … No Facebook … 

HENRY: Well, dinner’s almost ready at least … You’ll feel better after you’ve eaten … 

POLLY: What’s on the menu? 

HENRY: Well, we have a choice … Blubber burgers, blubber stew, blubber cakes, blubber blinis, blubber salad, blubber steaks, stir-fried blubber, blubber with bacon, baked blubber … blubber omelets … 

POLLY: Oh, my God …

Hand-colored lithograph, Baleen & Toothed Whales, 1870, published in Stuttgart, Germany. —Image courtesy of Pi Gardiner

The second response came from Quogue writer, director, musician and man about town Roger Moley:

FADE IN 

CHYRON: Winter 1826.
A ship, buffeted by gale-force winds, navigates the whitecapped waters off Cape Horn. Manning the helm stands CAPTAIN HENRY GARDINER, eyeing the dark horizon with grave concern. A SEAMAN is precariously perched in the crow’s nest, searching for signs of whales. 

CAPTAIN GARDINER: [to himself] ’Tis weather fit for neither man nor beast! Would we were free of this turbulent hornets’ nest. [Louder, up to the SEAMAN] Keep on the lookout for spouts, man! 

A HATCH opens and his wife, POLLY GARDINER, stumbles on deck, grasping at railings for support. Her floral petticoats are frayed and coated with oil, and her hair, so beautifully coiffed at the start of the voyage, hangs raggedly down her shoulders and back. With considerable effort she makes her way up the narrow steps to join her husband at the helm. 

CAPTAIN GARDINER: Polly! Get thee below deck this instant! 

POLLY: I cannot, Henry! Me stomach’s in knots and me breakfast’s in me throat! The lurching and leaning has made me ill, most grievous! I fear I need to heave. 

CAPTAIN GARDINER: Then heave and be done with it, woman! Ye can’t be up here! 

POLLY: Oh husband, dear husband – what are we doing in this God-forsaken place? I long for Long Island … the serenity of Quogue! A short voyage to Block Island – was that not enough for ye? This be madness! And for what? A few barrels of oil? 

CAPTAIN GARDINER: The spoils we’ll reap from the sea will one day fill all of Quogue’s lamps – and buy us a handsome home on Quogue Street that generations of Gardiners will be proud of! Now go!

POLLY: Hear me out, Henry! This quest of yours is doomed. You did well enough as a Shinnecock fisherman, blues and fluke galore! We should have turned for home when we reached the shores of Santa Catarina. A whaling voyage is no place for a gentlewoman. 

CAPTAIN GARDINER: (eyes glazing over, envisioning a distant prize) We’ll return to Quogue, my love … once I’ve harpooned the beast!! 

POLLY: (exasperated) Leave Moby-Dick to the Pequod, and to younger and hardier whalers! And don’t forget how close you came to meeting the Lord when last you set out on that whaleboat. 

CAPTAIN GARDINER: Nonsense! I spent but a moment in the drink, and was soon back aboard! I was ne’er in real danger; the whale only knocked the wind out of me. 

POLLY: I was sure I’d be widowed, and the scurvy savages that serve as crew would have their lascivious ways with me! I entreat you, dear husband, turn this ship around! Return us to our beloved Quogue! There are no adventures out here I wish to be part of! (wringing her hands) If only I’d married the blacksmith!!!

[Overcome by nausea, POLLY retches violently, throwing up on her husband’s boots. Aloft, the SEAMAN cups his hands excitedly

SEAMAN: Thar she blows!!!

The third response was submitted by a shy writer who requested to remain anonymous:

Hand-colored lithograph, 19th century. —Image courtesy of Pi Gardiner

Polly and Henry Gardiner at Sea: 

Dinner time. She kept her focus on the pleasant sounds and sensations of the rocking ship: the helmsman and first mate laughing and talking beyond the closed cabin door; the ocean sloshing along the waterline. A timid knock and the cook entered and set down pewter plates. 

Henry smiled at her across the table—the swinging lantern cast a rhythmic light on his face. She smiled, picked up the cup with her measure of grog, and took the first sip. 

The grinding inside her skull began. Oh God, oh God, oh God—it began with his first mouthful. She hated the way he chewed; hated the sound of his chewing. His curled lips circled the outstretched tongue reaching under the laden fork. He cocked his head sideways as he shoveled in another bite. Some invariably did not cross the threshold of his moustache. How could she not have noticed this when they were ashore at home in Quogue? She controlled the urge to down her whole cup. 

The mouth was never empty; the eyes never lifted. When the plate was clean he leaned back with a grunt and used his fingers to wring the gravy from his moustache. The NAPKIN, you fool; she raged within. He caught her eye, locked on the food in his teeth—never fear: here came the tongue and finger to dig out each bit and deliver it to join the rest. She took another sip and smiled. 

“Happy Valentine’s Day, my beautiful, sweet and so lovely wife. I am forever grateful to you for accompanying me on this voyage—you cannot know the solace I derive from your company. Happy Valentine’s day; you are my angel.” 

He lurched around the table, catching his belly on the corner. He looked at her, embarrassed, then bent down to kiss her on the mouth. She maintained an uplifted face, certain that she could differentiate the stink of dinner’s boiled cod from the ever-present stench of whale oil. 

“And happy Valentine’s Day to you, Henry.” Her thin smile faded as he walked out on deck. That night, like every other night, she dreamed of her children tucked up in bed back home in Quogue.

Steel engraved print with original hand colouring, 1833, unsigned. Dictionnaire Pittoresque d’Histoire Naturelle et Des Phenomenes de la Nature, Guerin, Félix-Edouard, editor, Paris. —Image courtesy of Pi Gardiner

So, three different takes on what it might have been like for Polly to accompany her husband on a whaling voyage. And now, the real story of the couple’s truly loving relationship, shared in actual letters from Captain Henry to his wife by none other than Captain Henry’s great great granddaughter and Quogue Historical Society board member Pi (Margaret Halsey) Gardiner: 

THE FIVE LETTERS
Cast: Polly Hallock Gardiner; Capt. Henry Gardiner
Set (channeling “Our Town”)
No curtain. No scenery. The audience, arriving, sees an empty stage in half-light. 

Polly (center stage): For those of you still enduring the sufferings of temporal concerns, the year is 1829. Surely, it should be no surprise that I chose to accompany my devoted husband, Henry, on this voyage. His last expedition to the South Seas kept us apart for three long and joyless years. 

My beloved was steadfast in writing to me at every opportunity – when he chanced upon a home-bound ship at sea, or in a port along the way. I kept and cherished these five letters, which told of his devotion and abiding love for me, as well as ship-board news, naturally – a storm he named a “masterpiece” – and off Cape Horn the ship’s cook died! Through the blessings of Divine providence, the cook on our voyage remained in good condition. But I hear my Henry now. Let him speak of his eternal love for me. 

Henry (walks on stage, Polly moves to the back, stands to the side):
June 1, 1821, “Off Sandy Hook.” 

My Dear Wife, Little did I expect this morning when I left
that it was my last parting with you
but in the midst of a squall we got under way & the Pilot said go to sea
I therefore with a heavy heart said so be it
May God almighty prosper us
& send me as soon as possible to the arms of my love
Polly I feel now what I never felt before
my heart bleeds to think we must so long be departed
and I shall write every possible chance
Excuse my bad writing & blots
it is tears which is the Cause. 

July 21, 1821, “Off the Island of Terceira Port of Angra” 

God knows I never knew what it was before
to have a wife
you are scarce ever out of my mind when I am awake
& when I lie down it is nothing but Polly, Polly runs through my brain 

I am sometimes led to think my attachment is too great toward you to be durable
but God forbid it seems to grow more & more strong
it has all my thoughts & heart

May the all wise providence grant me a speedy voyage
& short return to the arms of my love
Had I felt before what I now feel
I think I should hardly have undertaken so long a voyage
but I shall try to pluck up courage
& live in hopes I shall if my life is preserved
never again so long have to leave you 

February 6, 1822, “Port of Callas, 10 Miles from the City of Lima” 

Polly I never had any idea before this voyage of the effect
& attachment a man could have for a wife he loves
Never do I lay down nor rise but you are constantly before me
& it appears to grow more & more so
you are always uppermost in my mind

I seem to forget there is any body else I have any regard for
Oh good god how I long to see you
The captains here that have wives as well as myself laugh at me
& say I am a fool
they stay on shore night after night with other women
but I cannot do it

I shall never be willing to leave you again 

November 19, 1822, “Woahoo one of the Sandwich Islands”

My Dear Wife I am in hopes
that I shall be amply paid for the long absence from her I love
by the comfort & satisfaction I shall receive
when we shall once more meet 

I am in hopes never to part more this side of Eternity
God only knows the tedious months I spend
I never lay me down nor rise but my wife is the first thing that occupies my thoughts
perhaps you don’t realize it but it is so 

September 25, 1823, “James’s Island one of the Gallapagos” 

My Dear the probability is you will receive this in 4 months
& I shall at the farthest be home in six
so that I shall soon follow

I now hope we shall soon after this be enabled to meet
& see one another face to face
& oh God it appears to me the sensation will be in the superlative degree

(Polly walks from the back of the stage, stands next to Henry, takes his arm

Polly: You mortals have the five letters. Our love has been preserved. It is deathless. 

Voice from off stage: Polly died in 1841, ten years after their return home to Quogue. She was just 44. We can only imagine the depth of Henry’s loss.

Finis

__________________________________________ 

Postscript: When the couple went to sea together, theirs was an ill-fated voyage. It seems the ship owner’s insurance company disputed the claim, all the way to the Supreme Court. From the case: 

“It appeared in evidence that the vessel sailed on 29 December, 1827, and on her outward passage struck upon a rock at the Cape de Verd Islands, and knocked off a portion of her false keel, but proceeded on her voyage, and continued cruising, and encountered some heavy weather, until she was finally compelled to return to the Sandwich Islands, where she arrived in December, 1829, in a very leaky condition, and upon an examination by competent surveyors, she was found to be so entirely perforated by worms in her keel, stem, and stern post, and some of her planks, as to be wholly unnavigable, and being incapable of repair at that place, she was condemned and sold.” 

“Presumably,” Pi concluded her tale, “Henry and Polly caught a ride on an Uber ship heading home.”

Many thanks for all the submissions, which suggest that this is an exercise that bears repeating in the future. Stay tuned. 

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.comNews Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Turn to the Light

Maybe it’s the fact that the light is now holding back the shadows by lingering just a little bit longer every day. Or maybe it’s that these noticeably longer days point to the time one month from now when we’ll be setting the clocks ahead and getting a whole, blessed extra hour. And the knowledge that that day, March 14, is just one week away from the vernal equinox and the official beginning of spring, no matter what the groundhogs saw or didn’t see on February 2. 

Setting later every day now. —A. Botsford Photo

Maybe it’s the weird but wonderful historic occasion of a poet who inspired thousands at the recent Presidential inauguration being invited to read an original poem honoring honorary captains for their service before Super Bowl LV. Perhaps it’s because, however haltingly, the Covid vaccines are starting to roll out and new cases are finally declining after the horrifying recent spike. 

Or maybe it’s the fact that the holiday next Monday, February 15, reminds us that the office of President of these United States is the highest honor and privilege for a public servant that should be revered and never reviled. 

Whatever the reason, At Quaquanantuck is feeling, with no small amount of trepidation, the first tingling sensation of hope, dormant and numb for so long, starting to come back to life. Battered into unconsciousness by all the calamitous events of the past year, it is a fragile sensation. And, things being what they still are, it will be a long while before hope can really flourish and grow. So, to help it along, this month’s column is dedicated to the powerful Maori proverb: “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” 

The road ahead is far from being paved with sunshine and filled with unicorns and rainbows. But At Quaquanantuck, at least for this month’s column anyway, will be focusing on the good news and positive efforts of those in our community. Because that’s where the light is. 

Peace in the gloaming. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo
First freeze, illuminated by the setting sun. —A. Botsford Photo
All quiet on the Quogue Canal. —Geoff Judge Photo

QHS Illustrated Zoom Talk on LI Whaling History
One of the great bits of good news in Quogue this week is that there’s still time to register for a fascinating illustrated Zoom talk tonight on “The History of Whaling on Long Island” sponsored by the fabulous folks at the Quogue Historical Society. The talk begins this evening, Thursday, February 11, at 7 p.m.; register in advance by emailing info@quoguehistory.org requesting a confirmation email and Zoom link. The QHS will send a reminder email one hour before the presentation. 

As island dwellers around the world have always known, their identity is defined as much by the waters surrounding them as anything that happens on land. Locally, for hundreds of years both before and after the arrival of European settlers, the hunting of whales played a monumental role in shaping Long Island’s history. 

“South Sea Whale Fishery,” from a wood engraving by English-born American artist William James Linton (1812-1898) after an 1834 painting by William John Huggins (1788-1845). Huggins’s painting was engraved by his son-in-law, Edward Duncan, and published as a print in London in 1834. It was re-engraved for the Illustrated London News in 1847. 
Herman Melville judged Huggins to be one of very few artists able to portray a whale convincingly. Melville advised that “the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of his living contour, is by going a-whaling yourself; but by so doing, you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him.” The sperm whale pictured is “in his flurry” (dying). 
—Image and research courtesy of Pi Gardiner

In this evening’s presentation, Bill Bleyer, author of “Long Island and the Sea: A Maritime History,” will explore whaling in the 18th and 19th century, from offshore whaling by Native Americans to the first American whaling companies in Southampton. The discussion will also cover the rise of industrial-scale whaling in Sag Harbor, Greenport, and Cold Spring Harbor, and whaling captain Mercator Cooper’s remarkable voyage in 1853 to the then-closed society of Japan. 

Mr. Bleyer will also explain how the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania led to the demise of the whaling industry, which at its height was the fifth largest sector of the American economy.

A Pulitzer-prize winning former staff writer for Newsday, Mr. Bleyer is also the author of “Sagamore Hill: Theodore Roosevelt’s Summer White House”; “Fire Island Lighthouse: Long-Island’s Welcoming Beacon”; and co-author, with Harrison Hunt, of “Long Island and the Civil War.”

To register for tonight’s Zoom talk, click here or email info@quoguehistory.org.

But wait; there’s more! The Quogue Historical Society and QHS Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie Greene have provided some wonderful local context for tonight’s Zoom talk, outlining “The Golden Age of Whaling in Quogue.” 

Henry “Hank” Gardiner, the great grandson of Capt. Henry Gardiner, charted Capt. Henry’s three-year whaling voyage from June 2, 1821 to April 1824. —Image courtesy of the Quogue Historical Society and the Gardiner family.

As Ms. Greene wrote: “Beginning in 1790 as the population of whales close to home declined, the chase for whale oil broadened to the Pacific and Arctic. A number of Quogue families bought shares in these deep sea voyages. Some men joined as crew and quite a few became captains, including Henry Gardiner, Frederick M. Hallock, Edward Stephens, and members of the Cooper family. These men made long trips—years at a time—sailing down the Atlantic, around Cape Horn, and into the waters of the Pacific. Many were extremely successful, amassing fortunes and building grand homes in Quogue.”

“Capt. Henry Gardiner sailed the Ship ‘Dawn’ out of New York City on several voyages, including one in 1826 with his wife Polly, considered to be the first woman to accompany her husband on a whaling voyage.” More on this revelation later. 

Ms. Greene also included this startling entry from Capt. Henry Gardiner’s Whaling Log from the Ship “Dawn,” 1821-1824: “I for the first time in my course of whaling got knocked out of the boat, I got a good thump from a whale under water, however getting no further damage, thank God.”

Hard to say which is more unnerving: the truly terrifying and life-threatening incident being reported, or the matter-of-fact, ho hum tone of Captain Henry’s entry. 

Capt. Henry Gardiner’s home on Quogue Street, purchased in 1825 following his successful
three-year whaling voyage to the South Seas, 1821-1824. —Image courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

Providing further context, in a late addition to the announcement/reminder of tonight’s Zoom talk Ms. Greene gave this account of “The Art of Scrimshaw,” starting with this description from The Encyclopedia of American Folk Art. London: Routledge, 2003:

“Scrimshaw is the whalers’ art of making decorative and practical objects out of sperm whale teeth, skeletal bone, walrus tusks, and baleen. This genre of maritime folk art arose during the 1820s and was only one of many diversions to alleviate boredom at sea, but it typifies both the genesis of sailor diversions in occupational circumstances, and the characteristically practical aspect of nautical arts. 

“Long voyages, infrequent landfalls, and chronic over-manning in the whale fishery, and the fact that hazardous hunting and butchering operations could be accomplished effectively only in daylight, created an overabundance of leisure time. Many captains were grateful for any harmless amusements that kept idle crews out of trouble and occupied.”

Scrimshaw knife sheath in the Quogue Historical Society collection. —Image courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

Ms. Greene added: “The Quogue Historical Society’s collection of scrimshaw, donated over the years by the whaling families of Quogue—Gardiner, Post, Cooper, Stevens, and Hallock—attests to our Village’s strong whaling heritage. The collection includes whale teeth and tusks, as well as more than 20 utilitarian pieces, from sewing and embroidery needles, fids, jagging wheels and swifts, to fanciful carved pieces, a silk embroidered fan, ladies’ parasols, and men’s walking sticks. The scrimshaw craft reached its peak during the years 1830-1850.”

Scrimshaw pie crimper in the Quogue Historical Society collection. —Image courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

Now, let’s get back to that voyage in 1826 when Capt. Henry Gardiner took his wife Polly a-whaling. At Quaquanantuck doesn’t know much more about whaling in the 1800s than could be learned from reading “Moby Dick.” Still, it seems clear that a long voyage on any sailing ship in 1826 would be a trial and a challenge for any wife, let alone months at sea with zero comforts in all weathers, spent in the company of men hunting and butchering whales and “trying” the oil out of their blubber over fires on the deck. Not to mention the “no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk” by an understandably pissed off whale.

Because such a voyage, and indeed such a marriage, is, in fact, almost impossible to conceive of from our present-day vantage point, At Quaquanantuck, in honor of Valentine’s Day, is inviting readers to engage their imaginations, go a-whaling in their minds, and submit a short scene (no more than 250 words) between Capt. Henry and his wife Polly, say midway through their historic whaling voyage together. They can be anywhere on the ship at any time of day; you decide. Please send scenes (as a Word document) to AtQuaq@gmail.com by the first week of March for consideration to be published in the March 11 edition of the column. 

Whether or not readers opt to create and submit a short scene, with Valentine’s Day coming up on Sunday, the timing might be right for a bit of role play. Readers with partners can take turns playing Capt. Henry and his brave and adventurous bride Polly and try to determine who is really in charge … of the ship, that is. Ahem. 

The February 1 winter storm stripped away the stairs at the Quogue Village Beach. —Paula Prentis Photo

First February Storm Stole Stairs from Village Beach
Shortly after the first major winter storm of the season cut across the country and pounded Long Island on February 1, Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius acknowledged in an email to village residents what many had feared: the stairs at the Village Beach had been swept away. 

As a result, “the beach is not accessible at the Village Beach and will not be until well into spring,” the Mayor wrote, further asking residents to “Please use common sense and do not go out on the walkway or climb out on the dunes or on the sandbags. You will only make a bad situation worse and could get seriously hurt. You can still go to the Village Beach and enjoy the view from the deck.”

The good news from Hizzoner is that residents can still access the sandy shoreline of the beach on foot via the cut at the southern end of Beach Lane adjacent to the Surf Club. As last year, the “No Parking” status will be suspended on that public road for beachgoers, but all are asked to “please take care not to block the overpass, which is used by vehicles having the necessary beach driving permit and equipment.”

The complete text of the Mayor’s February 4 email is on the Announcements page of the Quogue Village website,  www.villageofquogueny.gov.

Quogue Village Police Award Recipients
Right in line with the February theme of increased light and positive energy, At Quaquanantuck was delighted to receive from Police Chief Chris Isola the announcement of this year’s Quogue Village Police Department award recipients. 

Quogue Village Chief of Police Chris Isola, right, presents the Officer of the Year award to Officer Ronan Seltenreich. —Image courtesy of Quogue Village Police

The Officer of the Year for 2020 is a five-year veteran of the force, Ronan Seltenreich, who also received two Life Save awards and one Exceptional Police Service Award 2nd Degree in 2020. “All of our officers are outstanding and do terrific work every day,” Chief Isola said. “Officer Seltenreich was our standout this year and was very deserving of this year’s award.” 

Additional award recipients for 2020 included: Sergeant John Galvin, two Life Save awards; Sergeant Daniel Bennett, one Life Save award and one Headquarters Commendation; Officer Robert Hammel, one Life Save award and two Exceptional Police Service award 2nd Degree; Detective William Gladding, three Exceptional Police Service Awards 2nd Degree and one Exceptional Police Service Award 3rd degree; Lieutenant Daniel Hartmann, Headquarters Commendation; and Administrative Assistant Jennifer Vargas, Headquarters Commendation.

At Quaquanantuck joins with the entire village in saluting the award winners, Chief Isola, and all who serve in the department, with gratitude for their exceptional service during an extraordinarily challenging year. 

The Quogue Wildlife Refuge shows a gentle January face. —Marilyn Di Carlo Photo

Fun-Filled February at Quogue Wildlife Refuge
The shortness of the month and winter weather (not to mention that pestilence that shall not be named) are no deterrents to creative thinking, fun for kids, and engaging programs for all ages over at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. 

Halfway through the month already and still ahead are: a webinar today at 4 p.m. on Creating a Wildlife Refuge at Home; the perennial outdoor Winter Wildlife Camp timed to coincide with the Presidents Week school recess; cool virtual programs about turtles, bats, and animal tracking open to all; two premium programs (on February 17 and 24) for QWR members; and two live outdoor programs: a Full Moon Night Hike on February 26 and Winter Birding with Group for the East End on February 27.   

The good news is that this year’s Winter Wildlife Camp for children in grades K through five is going forward on Tuesday through Friday, February 16-19. The not-so-good news for aspirational campers who have not already signed up is that the camp is already completely full

Box turtle. —Image courtesy QWR

There’s better news, though, in that there’s plenty of availability for the impressive lineup of virtual programs coming up, beginning with All About Turtles on Tuesday, February 16, from 3 to 3:30. This program for children and adults is all about turtles, yes, but also about terrapins and tortoises. Attendees will get to meet a variety of live turtles and tortoises that are cared for at the Refuge. 

Chelonian anatomy and physical adaptations will be discussed, as well as what types of native turtles can be found on Long Island. The lesson will include a PowerPoint presentation, as well as the presentation of artifacts such as shells and eggs. Cost is $5; register here or go to quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Events. 

The All About Bats virtual program on Wednesday, February 17, also from 3 to 3:30 p.m., will teach children and adults all about the anatomy and amazing physical adaptations of these too often maligned creatures, the various lifestyles of bats from all over the world, including on Long Island, and their ecological importance to the planet. 

The presentation will include a PowerPoint presentation, as well as various artifacts such as taxidermy bats, a bat skeleton, posters, and a bat fossil replica. Cost is $5; register here or go to quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Events. 

The Animal Tracking and Signs of Wildlife virtual program follows on Thursday, February 18, also from 3 to 3:30 p.m., showing children and adults how to track and identify different animals from their footprints and other evidence of their presence or their passage. Cost is $5; register here or go to quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Events. 

The good news for QWR members is that there are two more premium programs just for them, both virtual, coming up as part of Members Appreciation Month. The first is a 15-minute American Kestrel Encounter on Wednesday, February 17, at 4 p.m. Members will be introduced to Moxie the American kestrel and the presentation examine in depth this smallest of all falcons and explain why Moxie resides at QWR and why she is non-releasable. 

Female American kestrel. —Kevin Ferris photo courtesy of QWR

The next premium program will be a Virtual History Tour of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, February 24, from 4 to 5 p.m. Members who register for the program will learn why and how the QWR was created as a waterfowl sanctuary 87 years ago; the early history of the Refuge and why it was awarded first prize in a National Waterfowl Contest in 1938; how ice was harvested at the Refuge and distributed around the world in the days before refrigeration; and much more, all accompanied by enthralling historical photos. 

While both these programs are for 2021 Members only, readers are reminded that it’s never too late to join. Click here to become a member or to renew a membership. To find out more about becoming a 2021 Member of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, or to check the status of your membership, call the QWR office at 631-653-4771. 

The Full Moon Night Hike on February 26 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. will be a celebration of the second full moon of the New Year for adults and families with children over 9. The evening guided hike through the forest up to North Pond will provide opportunities to look and listen for nocturnal creatures, and to enjoy some night vision activities under the light of the moon. The cost is $10 for members or $20 for non-members; reservations and payment are required at least 24 hours in advance. Masks and social distancing are required and flashlights are not permitted during the hike. 

Capping off the month will be Winter Birding with Group for the East End, a free program for adults and families with children age 7 and older. Steve Biasetti, Director of Environmental Education at Group for the East End, will lead a hike through Refuge trails looking and listening for local birds of the forest. Masks and social distancing protocols will be in effect. To make the required reservations, call 631-653-4771. 

In these days of taking advantage of any and all take-out dinner options, the QWR is teaming up with new neighbor and community partner Homeslice Pizza for a great deal. Readers who visit order.homeslicepizza.co and use the code WILD at checkout will receive a 10 percent discount on fully-cooked, frozen wood-fired pizzas that reheat in just 5-8 minutes at home. Then Homeslice will donate 10 percent of each code WILD sale to support Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Readers can enter their address at checkout for delivery, or pick up their pies right here in Quogue. This dandy offer is valid through March 31.

Timing is everything: a cross-country skier’s view of the Refuge on February 8. —Judith McDermott Photo

As always, readers should be sure to check the Events page of the QWR website (quoguewildliferefuge.org) regularly for all the details on programs coming up between now and the March 11 posting of At Quaquanantuck. 

And, finally, while our village may not be teeming with individuals with the very specific skill set and educational background required for the Animal Caretaker/Environmental Educator job opening at the QWR, readers are invited to email info@quoguewildliferefuge.org to obtain the complete job posting in case they know someone, or someone who knows someone, who might be qualified and interested in applying for the position. 

Love is in the air: Captured in Quogue just in time for their appointment with Valentine’s Day. —Paula Prentis Photo

Quogue Market Ready with Gourmet to Go and Valentine’s Special
While continuing to expand and switch up their daily take-out menu offerings, the folks at the Quogue Country Market have come up with a very special four-course prix fixe Valentine’s Dinner for Two. 

Priced at $99.88 plus tax, the dinner features a first course of soup for two, Lobster Bisque with Sherry, and a second course of salad for two: Mesclun, Romaine and Arugula lettuces, tossed with dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and assorted fresh vegetables, served with mixed berry vinaigrette house dressing. 

Diners can select one of three entrée selections, all of which are prepared for two: Seafood and Chicken Paella for two; ChateauBriand with Red Wine Demi-Glace for two served with scalloped potatoes and roasted seasonal vegetables; or Roasted Rack of Lamb for two, served with asparagus and julienned carrots and parsnip mashed potatoes. 

The dessert, also for two, naturally, is a chocolate lava cake. 

Diners wishing to take advantage of the offer are requested to make reservations today, Thursday, February 11, by calling Peter or Angela at 631-653-4191 or stopping in at the Market. 

Any readers who are not already on the Market’s email list can sign up to receive the menu by emailing quoguemarketllc@gmail.com. If you miss the email or don’t have access to the menu, call the Market at 631-653-4191 and they’ll let you know what’s available. 

Love is in the air: a man and his gull. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Quogue Library Keeps the Virtual Fires Burning
While awaiting the finishing touches on the extensive renovation and expansion project at the Quogue Street headquarters, the folks at the Quogue Library are busy as ever serving the community with a wide array of interesting, educational, and quality of life enhancing virtual programs for all ages. 

First off, in terms of real, physical world considerations, the library is collecting for the Long Island Cares Inc. Harry Chapin Food Bank for the month of February. Thanks to the generosity of a number of patrons, several boxes of non-perishable food items have already been collected. Donations may be dropped off at the Midland Street office, where a list of items needed is posted.  

In the virtual programming department, the current schedule continues to have plenty of options. Popular ongoing exercise classes include Pilates on Mondays at 10 a.m. (except on the February 15 holiday) and Sculpting and Cardio Dance for all ages on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., both with instructor Leisa DeCarlo; and Yoga with Jillian for adults and youngsters 8 and up on Fridays at 10 a.m. 

Coming up on Saturday, February 13, at 11 a.m. there will be a virtual Poetry Workshop hosted by a former colleague of At Quaquanantuck’s at Stony Brook Southampton, Grace Dilger.  Ms. Dilger will examine the difference between a lyric and narrative poem and this exploratory writing workshop will determine how the abstract and concrete become allies in making meaning. The class will review basic techniques of poetry writing followed by prompted writing time and a guided group discussion.

A follow-up class with Ms. Dilger originally scheduled for March 13 has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date. 

Roger Rosenblatt

There are two library sponsored Author Talks coming up in the next few weeks. The first, scheduled on Friday, February 19, at 6:30 p.m., will be Roger Rosenblatt reading from and discussing his most recent book, “Cold Moon:  On Life, Love and Responsibility,” and the lessons that life teaches over time. Mr. Rosenblatt, Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook Southampton, is  the author of six off-Broadway plays and 15 books published in 13 languages. He is also the recipient of the 2015 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, among many other honors.  

The second Author Talk, scheduled on Saturday, March 6, at noon, will feature local author Janet Lee Berg discussing her most recent book, “Restitution,” as well as a previous book, “Rembrandt’s Shadow.” Both books are loosely based on the experiences of her family during the Holocaust. 

With the class already completely full, registration has closed for the February 12 virtual Paint Night with artist Marie Camenares. There is still space available, though, in chef Rob Scott’s Chinese New Year Cooking Class on Saturday, February 13, at 6 p.m. The class will zero in on the preparation of Dragon Noodles with Vegetables and (optional) Chicken. Ingredients needed are listed on the Zoom registration link here

On Sunday, February 14, the library’s Adult Book Club will be discussing the latest work by Elena Ferrante, “The Lying Life of Adults” in a Zoom meeting slated at noon. Also on Sunday, all are invited to enjoy “Universal Love Songs” performed by Sheri Miller in a Facebook Live presentation at 2 p.m. 

And kids in kindergarten on up can enjoy some special surprises from Ms. Pat during a session of Valentine’s Day Bingo on Sunday, February 14, at 6:30 p.m. 

For more information and registration instructions for any of these and other children’s programs, visit the Quogue Library website at quoguelibrary.org and click on the program flier on the home page. Remember that new programs are added regularly, so check the website often to make sure you don’t miss out. 

Ice floe adds a new wrinkle on the Quogue Canal. —Peter Prentis Photo

Write America Starts Strong
This week, as the world watches the replay of hundreds of jarring images being screened as evidence in the second impeachment trial of now former President Donald Trump, Write America, the new weekly program dreamed up by writer, teacher and Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt, had the second of its first two installments. 

Courtesy of Book Revue, the independent brick and mortar bookstore in Huntington with a sizeable cyber reach, the series of “weekly readings and conversation about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation” (offered via Crowdcast every Monday at 7 p.m.) opened on February 1 with two former Poet Laureates, Rita Dove and Billy Collins. This week the featured writers were novelist, short story writer, essayist and critic Francine Prose and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon

Alice McDermott
Russell Banks

For the Book Revue web page dedicated to Write America, Mr. Rosenblatt wrote this about the mission of the new series: 

“Write America is an organization of writers concerned about the divisions in our country that have evidenced themselves and deepened over the past few years. We see a torn America these days, jeopardizing basic principles of justice, freedom, fair play, and equality. 

“These principles are important to writers, felt passionately if shown indirectly. They undergird our poems, novels, essays, memoirs, every form in which we attempt to reach out to our human family through the quiet power of art. A writer’s words are a tacit call for people to gather round and discover or rediscover their connections to one another. Writing makes justice desirable, evil intelligible, grief endurable and love possible. 

Major Jackson

“In this project, then, we have come together to read our work in the interests of life’s nobler values … The nation is injured. We hope to contribute to its healing.” 

Asked this week about his reaction to the first two installments, Mr. Rosenblatt wrote in an email: 

“Of our first two episodes, so far, so very  good, and very different. We could not have hoped for  a warmer welcome than Rita Dove and Billy Collins gave everyone. Their poems were characteristically strong and beautiful, and their conversation made one feel good about the hopes and ideas we have in common. This, of course, is the aim of Write America.

Garry Trudeau will be featured with Patricia Marx on February 22.

“Francine Prose and Paul Muldoon, both gorgeous writers as their readings showed, got more down to  the nitty-gritty of the nation’s threats and needs. And the discussion of their respective writing processes was a mini master class in the art. So, two different approaches hovering over the same feeling that we need to look to one another for beauty, usefulness, help, and peace.

“Write America evolves. I have no idea what Alice McDermott, Major Jackson and Russell Banks  will give us next Monday, but I’m sure it will be a doozy. And my job is easy. Like any good basketball coach, I put All-Stars on the court, sit back, and look like a genius.” 

Alan Alda and Arlene Alda will be featured on March 8.

While At Quaquanantuck will reserve judgment on what exactly Mr. Rosenblatt looks like, this columnist is in complete agreement with his appraisal of the first two installments and is looking forward to all the many insights, colors and textures that future writers will bring to the discussion. 

As noted, Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. 

The schedule through the beginning of March includes: February 15, acclaimed novelist Russell Banks, award-winning poet Major Jackson, and National Book Award-winner Alice McDermott; February 22, New Yorker writer Patricia Marx and Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of Doonesbury Garry Trudeau; March 1, Academy Award-winning songwriter Alan Bergman and New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik; and March 8, Emmy Award winner and author Alan Alda and award-winning writer Arlene Alda

For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

The eternal search for the next meal. —A. Botsford Photo

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.comNews Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Coming of Age

As I pulled up the December edition of At Quaquanantuck in preparation for putting together the first post of 2021, I read the first line and realized, sadly, that I might just as well start the January column with the exact same sentence: 

If there is one thing that everyone can agree on these days, it might be this: These are dark days. 

The only qualifier might be that, in the wake of the events of January 6 and as the pandemic continues to surge, these first days of the new year are ostensibly even darker. 

And yet. And yet. 

Playing rough. —A. Botsford Photo

As the northern hemisphere tilts inexorably back towards the sun, there is a tiny bit more daylight every day. Despite the many obstacles to production, delivery and mass inoculations that must be overcome, the promise of vaccinations for all allows a shaft of light to penetrate the Stygian darkness of a coronavirus pandemic still raging out of control; a scourge that continues to cripple not only the economy but also our cultural and social lives as well as our confidence in the abilities of so many different communities to fully recover. 

Although it might be a bit harder to make out in the fog of despair surrounding the breaching of the Capitol by a violent mob last Wednesday, there is some glimmer of light to be seen in the belated acknowledgement in at least some quarters that the presidential election was legitimate and that the fomenting of lies and disinformation for political gain almost inevitably and invariably leads to dire consequences. 

It is devoutly to be hoped that there is now sufficient light to allow for a peaceful transition of power next Wednesday and an end to the political gamesmanship and internecine warfare that for too long have kept us from applying all our energy to surmounting the growing, monumental challenges facing our nation and the world. Certainly there should be enough light now to clearly reveal the damage done and to show us, finally, that we cannot hope to prevail until we allow our opinions to yield to facts and agree to act not in the service of our own particular point of view but in the best interests of our country as a whole, and all its people.  

Southeastern glow at sunset. —A. Botsford Photo

Following the global Y2K anxiety on the eve of its birth, this century suffered a traumatic infancy with the terrorist attacks of September 11 in 2001 and their aftermath in seemingly interminable warfare. Around the world, its childhood was marred by ethnic cleansings, civil wars, unprecedented refugee crises, and the economic collapse of 2008. 

As climate change continued to accelerate, the century’s early teenage years were marked by the rise of celebrity culture empowered by the internet, smart phones, and mainstream and social media, turning politics into a mirror of some of the worst elements of high school: power based on popularity; the tribalism and branding of the jocks versus the nerds and raucous fan mentality; the identity crises; the fearful struggle to “fit in” and the bullying and isolating of the “other.”

Adolescence is always a minefield, and so it was perhaps predictable that 16 to 20 would be tumultuous years for this young century. Seen from this viewpoint, painfully, it’s not surprising that warnings about the danger of a global pandemic went unheeded. And now the multitudes of horrors and tragedies of the pandemic—and the fragmented, disjointed and conflicted response to it—are shining their own peculiar light on so much of what is broken in the world today, precipitated or exacerbated in large measure by all the dysfunction of the century’s early years. 

This month, the century turned 21. As with young people reaching their majority, it is beyond unrealistic to expect an overnight shift into responsible adulthood. Still, for democracy and yes, humanity to prevail, we can—we must—all work together to provide the kind of illumination and example that will provide the clear view we need to find a more mature path forward.  

And so it goes in the days of the novel coronavirus today.

Sun breaking through. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

QHS Sponsors Illustrated Talk on History of Refuge
Going with the most timely near the top, At Quaquanantuck is delighted to report that two of the village’s most beloved institutions are teaming up for an illustrated Zoom talk on the “History of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge” today, Thursday, January 14, at 5 p.m. EST. 

Established in 1934, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge has a fascinating history, beginning with ice harvesting for the international refrigeration market and a nationwide waterfowl conservation movement.  

Banding a duck. —Image courtesy of Quogue Wildlife Refuge

In this virtual program, Wildlife Refuge Environmental Educator Cara Fernandes will tell the story of the sanctuary’s wild past and the changes that have taken place over the past 86 years. 

Readers can register in advance for this program by clicking here or clicking on or visiting https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrfuGvrT0rHtzT_zcFYffzrXhMMJ-kFf-P. After registration, a confirmation email will be sent with information about joining the meeting.

Coming up on Saturday, January 16, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. will be the sixth annual installment of the “Light the Night Winter Trail Walks” at the Refuge. The rain date for this social distance program with masks required will be Saturday, January 30. 

A “Light the Night” trail at QWR.

Adults and families can call the Refuge at 631-653-4771 to schedule an arrival time between 6 and 8:30 p.m. for a self-guided, peaceful stroll through the gently illuminated forest trails. Masks and social distancing are required; flashlights are not permitted during the walk. 

The fee is $15 per person, or $10 for kids 12 and under; payment is required at the time of reservation.

Current (2021) members of the QWR can enjoy the same social distance program on a night set aside exclusively for them on Saturday, January 23, also scheduling arrival between 6 and 8:30 p.m. Call the Refuge at 631-653-4771 to set up arrival time and make payment. And all should be sure to check the Events page of the QWR website (quoguewildliferefuge.org) regularly for all the details on such programs as: a Full Moon Night Hike (social distance program) at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27; Winter Birding with Group for the East End (social distance program) at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 30; and the All About Groundhogs (Zoom) program on Tuesday, February 2, at 4 p.m. 

The Quogue Wildlife Refuge will present an “All About Groundhogs” Zoom program on Tuesday, February 2, at 4 p.m. —Image courtesy of Quogue Wildlife Refuge

Quogue Market Still Rocking Gourmet to Go
Following up on their successful catering service for holiday dinners and the introduction of Gourmet to Go prepared meals to carry out, the fine folks at the Quogue Country Market are continuing to expand and switch up the menu offerings. 

General Manager Pete Gragnano and Chef Mike Nicholson are now sending out regular “what’s in the case” emails with details on what Gourmet to Go specialties are available. The January 11 eblast, for example, listed two Soups of the Day, cabbage and chicken and vegetables, and a range of Gourmet Meals to Go with all the trimmings, including chicken pot pie, beef stew with a buttermilk  biscuit, miso glazed Chilean sea bass, brisket and gravy, rotisserie chicken, and Italian meatballs, to name only a few.  

Also on the menu were a Pasta of the Day (penne alla vodka with prosciutto); two Healthy Options (grilled marinated chicken breast and a Vegetarian’s Delight); a Hot Pressed Panini (Philly cheesesteak); a Double Star Sandwich (smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel with red onion and capers); two Quiches in two sizes; and separate soups and sides. You get the idea. 

Those readers who are not already on the Market’s email list can sign up to receive the menu by emailing quoguemarketllc@gmail.com. Missed the email or don’t have access to the menu? Call the Market at 631-653-4191 and they’ll let you know what’s available. 

If ever there was a season—or a year—for treating yourself to delicious meals and comfort food that you don’t have to prepare yourself, this is probably it. Enjoy!

Holding the line. —Jim Wilentz Photo
Two storms later, the line can’t hold. —Lulie Morrisey Photo

Though Theater Is Dark, HTC Is Still Celebrating
The Hampton Theatre Company made the happy announcement last week that the accomplished musician, writer, filmmaker, longtime producer of the Quogue Quips at the Quogue Field Club, and man about town Roger Moley has graciously accepted an invitation to join the company’s board of directors. 

New board member Roger Moley pitches in on the HTC’s adopted stretch of highway in Westhampton Beach.

A longtime supporter of the HTC, Roger has joined members of the company for a number of staged readings, including December’s “Miracle on 34th Street,” and worked with director Diana Marbury on the selection of projection images used to set different scenes in the 2019 production of “Ken Ludwig’s ‘Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Adventure.’” 

Expressing deep and heartfelt gratitude, the HTC board also announced the tremendous success of the company’s end-of-year appeal, noting that by their donations large and small patrons have now ensured that the HTC will have a future when restrictions are finally lifted and actors and audiences can safely return to the theater. 

 Meanwhile, in this time when the theater is dark, the members of the company are keeping busy and exploring any and all avenues for continuing to make theatre. Patrons, theatre lovers and the merely curious are urged to check out (and “like”) the company’s posts on Facebook (@hamptontheatre; facebook.com/hamptontheatre); Instagram (hamptontheatre; instagram.com/hamptontheatre) and YouTube (youtube.com/channel). 

Almost ready. —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

Quogue Library Seeks Input on Winter Programming
Ever on the lookout for ways to tailor services and programs to the changing schedules and priorities of the community they serve, the Quogue Library board and Director Jenny Bloom are seeking input from patrons in order to make sure that programming aligns with their needs. 

Patrons who have not already filled out the survey, which takes about 10 minutes, can access it by clicking here, or by visiting the Quogue Library website, www.quoguelibrary.org, and clicking on “Complete Survey” near the top of the home page. 

In the virtual programming department, the current schedule continues to have plenty of options. Popular ongoing exercise classes include Pilates on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Sculpting and Cardio Dance for all ages on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., both with instructor Leisa DeCarlo; and Yoga with Jillian for adults and youngsters 8 and up on Fridays at 10 a.m. 

Adult programs coming up include: “Tips and Tools to Handle Stressful Times” on Thursday, January 14, at 4:30 p.m.; “3D Snowflake Painting” pre-recorded story and craft video on Friday, January 15; an Author Talk with Krisin Joy Lavin, author of “The Butterfly Promise” on Sunday, January 17, at 4 p.m.; “From ‘The Jazz Singer’ to ‘A Star Is Born’: A History of the Movie Musical” on Friday, January 22, at 7 p.m.; a “Grad and Go Craft: 3D Polar Bear” with kit pickup on Monday, January 25; an Author Talk with Christie Leigh Babirad on Tuesday, January 26, at 4 p.m.; and “Rocking Hollywood: Rock & Roll and the Movies, from Bill Haley to the Beatles” on Friday, January 29, at 7 p.m. 

For more information and registration instructions for any of these programs and other children’s programs, visit the Quogue Library website at quoguelibrary.org and click on the program flier on the home page. Remember that new programs are added regularly, so check the website often to make sure you don’t miss out. 

Twilight flood tide. —A. Botsford Photo

Roger Rosenblatt Enlists Writers in a Healing Campaign
About a week after this year’s presidential election, celebrated author and Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt was growing more worried than usual, which, despite his typical devil-may-care demeanor, is saying something. Two months later, the assault on the Capitol would prove his worry well founded. 

A writer and teacher who has always been fascinated by the timeless motivation for setting down words and the uses of writing, he wanted to figure out a way that he and other practitioners of his craft could help build bridges over the ever-deepening fault lines breaking the country apart. The current political, philosophical, economic and spiritual climate—and the American experiment itself—seemed to beg for putting into practice the principles he outlined in his book, “Unless It Moves the Human Heart.” 

In that book, which came out of the “Writing Everything” course he was teaching in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing program, Rosenblatt suggested that the purpose of writing is “to make suffering endurable, evil intelligible, justice desirable and love possible.” 

And so on November 11, he sent out an email to several groups of his writer friends and associates; the elisions are mine:  

“Dear friends,” he wrote, “What would you think of creating an organization of writers (allowing for that contradiction in terms), the aim of which would be to work for national stability, unity, and inspiration … from what one saw in the demonstrations on the very day of Biden’s election, the country seems to be in for a rough time of noise and clashes. So I was wondering if we writers might consider making  a little noise of our own, more like a joyful noise celebrating the best aspects of American life, and shooting down the worst.

“Writers can’t do much that is observable in the world, but we can put feelings into words. And the country may need to be reminded of its best feelings right now, along with the generous and fair-play principles that have allowed the unwieldy republic to survive … and attempt to realize itself again.

Roger Rosenblatt

“And I don’t mean that we should only preach to the choir (or preach at all). It is equally astonishing and chastening that 70 million people preferred Donald Trump to Joe Biden as President … they belong to the same country as we do, wish it well as we do, and believe in similar standards of decency. They, too, would be our audience, and we should seek out ways to reach them.

“In terms of structure, I was thinking of nothing more original or complicated than an interactive  Zoom meeting where we might do readings and hold conversations from our homes. If there is enough interest,  we could do this once a week … 

“Does such a venture interest you? We’d need a name for our group. Given that  it’s writers who will be wrangling about this, coming up with an agreed-upon name shouldn’t take us more than a year or two. But assuming we can get a name and set up the apparatus, would you care to  contribute to such an effort? Add your name to the list? That’s all you  need to tell me now. No further commitment until we see that we really have something. 

“I know it sounds corny, but at this tense moment of our history, I think ‘Uncle Sam Needs You’ and me and all of us who try to move the human heart with words. I think we might do some good. What do you think?”

Scores of his writer friends signed on almost immediately, and after working out the logistics and technical considerations, establishing a format and teaming up with a host, Write America was born

Book Revue, the independent bookstore that staged and live-streamed an all-star virtual roast of Rosenblatt on the occasion of his turning 80 in 2020, will host the new series, as outlined in a release going out this week:  

“Book Revue, Long Island’s largest independent bookstore located in Huntington Village, announces Write America, a new literary series spearheaded by award-winning Long Island writer Roger Rosenblatt featuring award-winning, nationally-renowned authors, alongside new and emerging writers, in weekly readings and conversation about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation. The series, which is scheduled to run online on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel through September 2021, kicks off on Monday, February 1, at 7 p.m. with former United States Poet Laureates Rita Dove and Billy Collins.” 

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove will read with Billy Collins on February 1.

Writers who will be taking part include: Alan Alda, Natalie Diaz, Paul Auster, Amy Hempel, Carlos Fonseca, Grace Schulman, Major Jackson, Garry Trudeau, Vijay Seshadri, Paul Muldoon, Russell Banks, Molly Gaudry, Alice McDermott, Juan Felipe Herrera, Tyehimba Jess, and many more. 

“Write America is an organization of writers concerned about the divisions in our country that have evidenced themselves and deepened over the past few years,” Rosenblatt wrote for the Book Revue release. “We see a torn America these days, jeopardizing basic principles of justice, freedom, fair play, and equality. 

“These principles are important to writers, felt passionately if shown indirectly. They undergird our poems, novels, essays, memoirs, every form in which we attempt to reach out to our human family through the quiet power of art. A writer’s words are a tacit call for people to gather round and discover or rediscover their connections to one another. Writing makes justice desirable, evil intelligible, grief endurable and love possible. 

“In this project, then, we have come together to read our work in the interests of life’s nobler values. Normally, in the course of our profession, we keep our distance. We create, publish, and say with Chaucer, ‘go little book,’ to a remote receiving world. With our readings for Write America we will try to bridge that distance in a gesture of bonding. The nation is injured. We hope to contribute to its healing.” 

The Book Revue release also includes quotes from two of the featured authors about the new series. 

“A writer’s voice in silent communication with a reader, both seeking to discover what it is we all share,” wrote National Book Award winner Alice McDermott, who will be featured on February 15 with Russell Banks and Major Jackson. “What better way to right a skewed and scattered nation?” 

Alice McDermott will be featured with Russell Banks and Major Jackson on February 15.

“There are at least two ways to think about language,” wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, who will read on February 8 with Francine Prose. “One involves the use of language as a tool, the other involves being used by language. The first allows a politician to instruct the people towards his ends, the second allows the language to instruct the poet—and, by extension, the people—towards its ends.” 

Write America will launch on February 1 and run weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. 

The Write America schedule through February includes: February 1, Rita Dove and Billy Collins; February 8, Francine Prose and Paul Muldoon; February 15, Russell Banks, Major Jackson, and Alice McDermott; February 22, Patricia Marx and Garry Trudeau. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

Pavilion sunset. —Jennifer Beccia Photo

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com.  

News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

Return of the Light

If there is one thing that everyone can agree on these days, it might be this: These are dark days. 

The timing smacks of something poetic, if not downright cosmic: Just as the changing angle of the Earth’s axis subjects us in the northern hemisphere to more and more hours of darkness, the entire planet is still under siege by a coronavirus pandemic that continues to tighten its grip and has already claimed more than 300,000 lives in the U.S. alone. 

Winter on the way. —A. Botsford Photo

While the approval and rollout of vaccines is providing a tiny bit of illumination to help us make our way forward, that little bit of light is almost being extinguished by the politicization of the response to Covid-19—driven by self interest and with zero compassion for the sick, the health care workers, the grieving families, the teachers and students, and the millions of Americans struggling and going under because of the stricken economy.

Meanwhile, a populace already horribly divided—the depth of the division determined in large measure by which source of “information” they trust—is being needlessly and heedlessly exhorted to reject the outcome of the presidential election while still accepting the fairness of voting on every other office on all the ballots across the country. 

And, as if that were not distressing enough in itself, the sprouting of these dark seeds of doubt in our democracy can’t help but make it that much harder for the next administration to make inroads in conquering the pandemic and move on to tackle the other major challenges our nation, and the world, are facing. 

Golden hour. —A. Botsford Photo

But At Quaquanantuck refuses to yield to the darkness. The darkest hour is just before the dawn, they say, and this is the reason why so many cultures down through the years have organized celebrations to welcome the return of the light around the time of the winter solstice. So let it be with us this year as we mark the solstice and all the holidays that dot the calendar in this period.  

It certainly helped to restore this writer’s faith in brighter days to come when I learned this week that I will no longer need to ask for voluntary subscriptions to the column because I will be receiving almost $58,000 in Covid-19 relief funds from a United Nations commission. While I might ordinarily question why the United Nations would offer this kind of relief to a struggling columnist in Quogue, I have to believe it’s true because it’s right there in the email I received last week: 

“Re: Covid-19 Benefits
Flores, Monica<[Monica.Flores@dubiousemailaddress (.gov)]>
You are selected to receive $57,800 as United Nations Compensation Commission Covid-19 Relief fund. Write to with [sic] the below agent to file your claim.

Grace J. Prisco
to office@[dubiousandlikelydangerous_emailaddress (.org)]
Stay Safe! 

Monica Flores  UNCC Covid-19 Response Team” 

Now, since it’s the United Nations, I’m guessing I’m not the only Quogue resident who will be receiving this generous relief package. And while I’m not about to speculate on what any readers might wish to do with their money, At Quaquanantuck intends to embrace the spirit of the season and get the jump on bringing back the light by giving back to the local community that sustains this column and makes this village such a special place to be a part of.  

Wreaths and fresh colors of the season at Flowers by Rori. —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

Shop Local for Gifts, Goods and Good Food
First of all, I’m heading downtown. The Jessup Avenue business district is as vibrant as ever at this time of year. For starters, with Christmas just a few shopping days away, Homespun is open seven days a week; Double Rainbow is open six days a week; Quogue Liquors is open seven days a week; and Flowers by Rori is open six days a week. 

Theresa Fontana let At Quaquanantuck know that the Little Q-Quogue Shop is open seven days a week right through Christmas Eve. “We arrive early and stay late,” Theresa wrote in an email. “Many beautiful holiday gifts for all. As always, local delivery and festive wrapping is our pleasure.” 

Just down the street, Theresa’s other enterprise, Beautiful Beach House, will also be open seven days a week through Christmas Eve. This shop has “fun gifts for all, specializing in unusual ornaments and housewares with a splash of men’s accessories,” Theresa says. “Our best sellers are bicycles: the Quogue Cruisers! 

“Our bikes come with our guarantee, free air and lite repairs for life! Women’s bikes available  in baby pink, powder blue, nautical navy and ocean green. Men’s bikes available in chocolate brown.”

After the holidays, both stores will be open year round and by appointment, the proprietor noted. 

Dressed in its holiday finery. —A. Botsford Photo

Meanwhile, the fine folks at the Quogue Country Market are wishing everyone in the village a Merry Christmas and suggesting that residents “spend your time with your family and friends and leave the cooking to us.” 

The Market and Chef Mike Nicholson have put together a mouth-watering menu for a “market-made to home served” Christmas Eve dinner menu. Featured are a wide array of hot and cold appetizers, entrées, potato and pasta sides, hot vegetables and salad. 

All items will be picked up cold and oven-ready. Deadline for ordering is Monday, December 21, and the catering pickup window will be on Thursday, December 24, from 7 to 11 a.m. If you are not already on the QCM email list, contact the market at quoguemarketllc@gmail.com and ask for a Christmas Eve dinner menu. You can also stop by the market and pick up a hard copy; then call or come in to reserve your order with Peter or Angela, 631-653-4191. 

Speaking of victuals, word has reached At Quaquanantuck that a recent Facebook post indicates that Cor J’s Seafood store down by the Ponquogue Bridge will be closing for renovations on December 31 and reopening on or about February 10. The post also has this, my FB informant tells me: “In keeping with the Cor J Seafood tradition, Jimmy Coronesi will continue to select and buy the freshest fish for Lighthouse Seafood, which is the new name as of February.”  

Kathy Lomas, left, and Sally McGrath at the Westhampton Garden Club Tailgate Topiary on December 7. —Joy Flynn Photo

Westhampton Garden Club Stages Tailgate Topiary
The Westhampton Garden Club is an organization that is dedicated to bringing light and life to the community at all times of the year. As dedicated correspondent Lynda Confessore writes: 

“Unable to hold their annual topiary decorating workshop for East End Hospice patients indoors at the Quogue Firehouse, determined members of the Westhampton Garden Club created an alternative on Monday, December 7. Club president Melissa Morgan Nelson and Topiary Chair Barbara Sartorius organized an outdoor tailgate workshop in the parking lot. 

“Two lines of cars with hatches raised served as supply stations supervised by member elves Kathy Lomas and Sally McGrath, or as spaces for masked members to bedeck the topiaries with ribbons and holiday ornaments. The finished topiaries are distributed to patients throughout the East End and at the Kanas Center for Hospice Care.”

Dreams of Summer Bring Light to Winter Days
Lynda was also kind enough to share with At Quaquanantuck another lovely project of the WGC. 

“Nature offers beauty in every season, but now that winter is closing in, visions of summer can be an antidote to grey days. With that in mind, the Westhampton Garden Club has produced a video celebrating the private gardens of its members that can inspire at any time, simply by visiting www.westhamptongardenclub.org/tour.html

Kathy Lomas brightened up this wheelbarrow that belonged to her husband Lynn’s grandfather. —Joy Flynn Photo

Featured in the video are three different gardens. While Ine Wiijtliet’s historic home was built in the late 19th century, over the years she has added new character to an old garden. Her plantings and design embrace her attention to composition and color, a daily practice for her as an artist in her painting studio.

Kathy Lomas’s garden tells the story of generations of gardeners going back to her husband Lynn’s grandfather. Amid beautiful plantings that create several private spaces, a veggie “Victory Garden” benefits from the couple’s devotion to composting practices, which Kathy demonstrates in the video.

Dorothy Hom and Michael Straus are the club’s “Rose Whisperers” serving as a resource on all things roses. Their garden is a visual textbook of the results of proper soil, feeding cycles, stimulants and the aesthetic mix of scale and fragrance.

Ine Wiijtliet with her faithful garden elephant. —Joy Flynn Photo

Historical Society Seeks Funding for Schoolhouse Restoration
At Quaquanantuck is hoping to share a substantial portion of its United Nations windfall with the Quogue Historical Society, in support of the QHS initiative to restore Quogue’s 1822 one-room Schoolhouse, said to be the oldest surviving schoolhouse building on the East End of Long Island. 

As pointed out in a recent mailing from the Historical Society, this charming structure is “indisputably the most important historic public building in the Village. The 198-year-old Schoolhouse is not only a rare example of its type and form, it preserves a remarkably high degree of architectural integrity, including original pine floors, plaster walls and ceiling, wainscoting, and 12 over 12 windows. As such, it is a remarkable historic document for learning about education in early America.” 

The Schoolhouse, listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource in the Quogue Historic District, was in use for 71 years, from 1822 to 1893. During those years, it was the only public building in Quogue; when school was not in session, it was used for Sunday school and mid-week prayer meetings. From 1822-1876, the Schoolhouse stood at the edge of Quogue Street where Old Depot Road begins. In 1876, when Old Depot Road (then called Post’s Road) was opened, leading to the new train station, the Schoolhouse was moved about 400 yards north. 

The Quogue Schoolhouse is at left in this George B. Brainerd photograph, ca. 1875, courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

In 1893, after a larger, two-room school was built on ]essup Avenue (the site of today’s Quogue Fire Department), the 1822 one-room Schoolhouse was closed and abandoned. It was rescued in the early 1900s by Abram Post, who moved it to his property just east of the Quogue Library and used it as a workshop. 

In 1947, the Post family donated the Schoolhouse to the Quogue Library to be used as a museum operated by the library’s newly formed Historical Committee. In 1948, it was moved (for a third time) to the grounds of the Quogue Library and, in 1949, opened as a museum. In 1977, the Quogue Historical Society was organized as a separate nonprofit entity, successor to the Library’s Historical Committee, and in the 40-plus years since, the Historical Society has maintained and operated the Schoolhouse as a museum open to the public offering changing exhibitions, as well as tours for school-age children and adults. 

Since opening as a museum in 1949, repairs and restoration of the one-room schoolhouse have been ongoing, including installation of electricity in 1962; new cedar posts in 1969; a new foundation in 1975; and a new roof in 1979. The exterior was re-shingled in 1987, and the roof in 1997. 

The Schoolhouse Museum in 1947. —Photo courtesy of the Quogue Historical Society

It has now been more than 20 years since the last major restoration project, but in 2019, as part of the Quogue Library renovation and expansion, the Schoolhouse was relocated on the Library grounds, offering the Historical Society an opportunity to undertake critical repairs and restoration work on the exterior and interior of the building. A full history of the 1822 Schoolhouse, with historic images, is on the QHS website: quoguehistory.org/at-home-post/1822-schoolhouse-history/. 

The total cost of the major Schoolhouse restoration project is estimated to be $240,000. So far, the QHS has received donations and pledges of approximately $90,000 from the members of the Society’s board and close friends of the Historical Society. To fund the remaining cost of approximately $150,000, donations are being solicited from members of the Quogue community. And to acknowledge the generosity of those who give $2,500 or more, the Society will list the names of those donors on a bronze plaque outside the Schoolhouse. 

As village resident Cephas Foster wrote in January 1822: “We have had a busy job, a few individuals, to build a SCHOOL HOUSE. We got it completed and I do not hesitate to say that it is the best now in the County.” 

In 1947, the original “Appeal for Restoration Funds” letter to Quogue residents had this: “This worthy community enterprise … should appeal to all interested in the traditions, standards, and historic values that have made Quogue notable.”

Schoolhouse Museum mid-restoration in 2019. —Photo courtesy of the Quogue Historical Society

To find out more about the current restoration project, visit quoguehistory.org/at-home-post/1822-room-schoolhouse-2019-2021-restoration. To find out more about making a dedicated donation to the Schoolhouse project, contact info@quoguehistory.org

And readers should remember to renew their memberships in the QHS, or join now, by clicking on the Support tab on the QHS website at www.quoguehistory.org

Support Quogue Wildlife Refuge Annual Appeal
Whilst we are in the giving mode at this time of year—and reaping some useful write offs at the same time—another great organization to support is the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, which is currently raising funds via its annual appeal. 

As Executive Director Mike Nelson wrote in a recent mailing: “We couldn’t have imagined a year like this one— but through your continued support we’ve been able to continue our mission, providing a sanctuary not only for our resident animals and wildlife but for the community and visitors seeking the great benefits of the outdoors. 

Ice Pond in winter light. —Marisa Nelson Photo

“In the spirit of gratitude this season, we are indebted to the wilderness of the Refuge itself. Beneath tall pitch pines, on a carpet of earth, we were still able to host summer camp and educational programs throughout the fall. Old Ice Pond provided a place to paddle and explore while safely distanced, and the trails have given many of us a place to roam freely. As we head into cooler weather, our inspired staff has come up with ways to keep folks outdoors, and when we’re not able to connect in person, we are thankful to be able to ‘see’ you in virtual online programs. 

“Most of all we are grateful for you. Your generosity makes all of this possible as we creatively navigate this new terrain together. Please consider making a contribution to our 2020 Annual Appeal today.”

As At Quaquanantuck has noted before, support for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is always a win-win, whether you are becoming a member or donating to the annual appeal (quoguewildliferefuge.org/get-involved/become-a-member-today), adopting a bench (quoguewildliferefuge.org/bricks-benches-bee-hives), or buying some QWR gear or an ornament for a gift (quoguewildliferefuge.org/gift-ideas).

And always check the QWR website, quoguewildliferefuge.org, for upcoming programs. 

Hampton Theatre Company Readies Virtual Performance
At Quaquanantuck also considers the Hampton Theatre Company another organization that deserves some portion of my $57,800 relief funds. Members of the HTC have wrapped filming of their socially distanced performance of the “Lux Radio Theater Miracle on 34th Street.” Filmmaker Sydney Sheren is now editing the footage shot on December 16 with an eye to getting the production posted on the HTC website, HamptonTheatre.org on December 19 in conjunction with the company’s end-of-year appeal. 

Left to right, Rebecca Edana, George Loizides, Andrew Botsford, Rosemary Cline, Roger Moley, and Terrance Fiore after completing filming of the “Lux Radio Theater ‘Miracle on 34th Street’.” —Sydney Sheren Photo

This show within a play features seven (socially distanced) actors, including Maureen O’Hara (Rosemary Cline), John Payne (Andrew Botsford) and Edmund Gwenn (George Loizides), reprising their film roles for a “broadcast” in 1948 of an adaptation of 1947’s newly minted Christmas classic, “Miracle on 34th Street.” Also in the cast are company regulars Rebecca Edana, and Terrance Fiore,  and a newcomer, Roger Moley. 

With no ticket and concession sales or program advertising over the past nine months, the future of the HTC is now entirely dependent on patrons’ support. This year though, for those who are planning to include the Hampton Theatre Company in their end-of-year giving, the donation could be thought of as buying a ticket: 

For all donations of $25 or more, donors will be emailed a link for exclusive one-week access to the show as soon as the edited film version is posted on December 19. On December 24, the show will be made available to all on our website.

There’s no telling when live performances indoors will be coming back, but in the meantime the members of the Hampton Theatre Company are determined, with patrons’ support, “to keep making theatre on whatever platforms and in whatever venues we can.” To make a donation/buy tickets to the filmed performance of “Miracle on 34th Street,” visit www.hamptontheatre.org. And remember, patrons, theatre lovers and the merely curious are urged to check out (and “like”) the company’s posts on Facebook (@hamptontheatre; facebook.com/hamptontheatre); Instagram (hamptontheatre; instagram.com/hamptontheatre) and YouTube (youtube.com/channel).

Visitors appreciate works in the “Lauren Lyons: A Bender of Fiction” exhibition at the Quogue Gallery. —A. Botsford Photo

Lauren Lyons Exhibition at Quogue Gallery through December 31.
“Lauren Lyons: A Bender of Fiction,” featuring 12 large scale provocative photographs from highly stylized shoots that the artist conceived and styled over the course of the past 20 years, will remain on view at the Quogue Gallery at 44 Quogue Street through December 31.  

Ms. Lyons is a self-taught photographer who got her start decades ago photographing musicians in Philadelphia and New York City. Over the years, she has made photographs for album covers, promotions, concerts, and festivals and worked with record labels, magazines, concert promoters, A&R scouts, and advertising agencies. 

Her photographs represent a vision that is uniquely her own, from the original conceptualizing to scouting and choosing unusual locations, deciding on wardrobe or coming up with physical modifications for nudes, scene and model styling, and adding props. 

Doug Lewis, left, and Lauren Lyons, who have been quarantining together, at the opening of “Lauren Lyons: A Bender of Fiction” at the Quogue Gallery. —A. Botsford Photo

Sabrina De Turk, an Associate Professor with the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University in Dubai and a friend of Ms. Lyons, wrote this about the artist’s work:

“The power of observation is overwhelmingly present in the work of Lauren Lyons. Her intense photographic portraits capture emotions both fleeting and timeless. Context and scene are important components of the image, yet, in the end, it is the haunting and evocative characters in her work who are the most compelling…”

Born in Southern Delaware in 1969, Ms. Lyons moved to Philadelphia about 30 years ago. As a result of her love of music and her involvement with the music industry as a photographer for many years, she was selected to be a voting member of the Grammys and held that distinction for 18 years. The artist lives and works in Philadelphia and Quogue. 

For more information, visit quoguegallery.com.

Quogue Library Offers Array of Virtual Programs
Quogue Library Director Jenny Bloom is keeping the faith, on completion of the library’s renovation and expansion and on what she hopes the future holds. As she wrote this week in an email:

“I am really hopeful that the new year will bring new opportunities to connect with each other. The library construction continues to move forward, but there are many pieces yet to fall into place. We are estimating a March opening time frame now. I am not sure what service will look like at that time, but we are moving through what we all hope is the worst of Covid, and that the end of winter will be the start of so much reconnection. It will be entirely true at the Library, too.” 

“Staff and board are looking ahead,” she wrote, “but in the meantime, the library is here for you in whatever way we can help. And we miss our community. Please call if there is anything we can help with.” (631-653-4224. 

Morning bay. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

In the virtual programming department, the library is keeping things busy. Popular ongoing exercise classes include Pilates on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Sculpting and Cardio Dance for all ages on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., both with instructor Leisa DeCarlo; and Yoga with Jillian for adults and youngsters 8 and up on Fridays at 10 a.m. 

Adult programs coming up include: a presentation by Chris Paparo, of Fish Guy Photos, as he takes participants into the World of Falconry; “Feng Shui with Laura Cerrano” to harmonize and balance your home at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 7;  another Virtual Paint Night program to create a “winter wonderland” scene on an 8- by 10-inch canvas with artist Marie Camenares on Friday, January 8, at 7 p.m. All supplies will be provided in a kit to be picked up at the Quogue Library on Midland on January 2 during library hours. The next meeting of the Anti Racism Book Club will be on Tuesday, January 5, at 7:30 p.m.; discussion will focus on the “The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander. 

For more information or to register for any of these programs, visit the Quogue Library website at quoguelibrary.org and click on the program flier on the home page. Remember that new programs are added regularly, so check the website often to make sure you don’t miss out. 

Gift Ideas for Literature Lovers
For the readers on At Quaquanantuck’s gift list, high on the list would be “Cold Moon—On Life, Love, and Responsibility” (Turtle Point; November 3, 2020; 104pp) by Quogue literary light Roger Rosenblatt. 

The simple fact is this: gift givers can never go wrong with anything that Roger has written, and the reviews so far for “Cold Moon”—characterized in one as “memories and musings from the winter solstice of a life”—are consistently excellent.   

A key quote from the book reveals the theme: “Better to know where to go than how to get there. I wander from thought to thought, having learned but three things from my long night’s moon. I believe in life. I believe in love. I believe we are responsible for each other.” 

Next on the list would be a book of poetry, a new collection by a sometime visitor to Quogue, former two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. “Whale Day: And Other Poems” is the title of the new collection, and for those who may be unfamiliar with the author, these are poems for poetry lovers, poetry agnostics, and people who have always thought they might like poetry but have been intimidated by its opacity. 

Penguin Random House describes the new collection this way: “Billy Collins’s new collection brings together more than fifty poems and showcases his deft mixing of the playful and the serious that has made him one of our country’s most celebrated and widely read poets. 

“Here are poems that leap with whimsy and imagination, yet stay grounded in the familiar, common things of everyday experience. Collins takes us for a walk with an impossibly ancient dog, discovers the original way to eat a banana, meets an Irish spider, and even invites us to his own funeral.”

Both these books do what writing does best: they help readers integrate the mundane and the mystical in the human condition and meander gracefully along the perplexing pathways of the human experience. 

Police departments from all over eastern Long Island were represented at the funeral procession down Jessup Avenue for Detective Michael Fruin on Tuesday. —A. Botsford Photo

Remembering Village Police Detective Michael Fruin
Along with other readers of Mayor Peter Sartorius’s regular emails, At Quaquanantuck learned this week of the passing of Quogue Village Police Detective Michael Fruin, a tragic loss for his family, for the Police Department, and for all of us who call Quogue our home.  

As the Mayor wrote: “On Sunday, Detective Michael D. Fruin of the Quogue Village Police Department suffered an apparent heart attack while at home and passed away.  He was 50 years old. 

“Mike joined the Quogue Village Police Department in 1992 as a part-time officer, and he became a full-time police officer the following year.  In 2005 he was promoted to become the Department’s Detective, and he continued in that capacity for 15 years until his untimely death.  

“Many [village residents] no doubt ran into him while he was investigating a matter, on one of his occasional patrol tours as a substitute for another officer, or while he was supervising the parking at a local party.  Unfailingly, Mike was an affable spirit while at the same time being highly professional and competent in his job. We will miss him a great deal.

“Mike is survived by his wife, Susanne; a son, Robert; a daughter, Jennie; and a granddaughter, Violet, to whom we send our deepest condolences. We are anticipating that a memorial service will be held at a later time.”

At Quaquanantuck joins the Mayor and so many others in the village and surrounding area in sending condolences to the family, and in expressing gratitude for Detective Fruin’s truly magnificent record of service to our community. His loss represents a real tear in the fabric of our community. 

Officers of the Quogue Village Police created this image for the department’s annual holiday card this year.

At Year’s End, Grateful for Your Support
This is the last column of 2020, a year beyond any imagining in which village residents and institutions came together to try to sort out the day-to-day and maintain some semblance of some of the touchstones of life in Quogue as we have known it. 

Thanks to readers’ support, encouragement, and generosity, I have been able to keep the column going and two months ago, successfully shift to a (primarily) once a month schedule. 

Unfortunately—since on reflection I doubt that I will be endangering my identity or exposing my computer to all manner of spyware and toxic viruses by trying to collect my $57,800—I am making one last appeal for voluntary subscriptions to help me defray some of the costs of time and expenses. So, if you have the wherewithal, the column continues to have value for you in the monthly format, and you’d like to support keeping it a free resource for the community, please consider taking out or renewing a voluntary subscription (i.e. contribution) of $60 … or more … or less. 

Contributions may be made using PayPal by clicking here; with Venmo to user name Andrew-Botsford-1; or by check made out to Andrew Botsford and mailed to PO Box 1524, Quogue, NY 11959. 

Regardless of whether or not you have made or make a donation, I’d like to express my gratitude for all the kind words and support that have come my way over the past twelve months. I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to try to reflect some of what makes this community so special back to readers who appreciate the attempt. I’d also like to thank all those readers who sent beautiful photographs, not all of which were published, and news items and comments: All of these help to keep the column vital and connected. 

I hope that all readers and all in the extended family that is our community can keep safe, stay healthy, find joy in your connections to family and friends, make new connections and be open to different points of view, and maintain faith in brighter days to come. Happy solstice, one and all. 

Village Dock sunset. —Geoff Judge Photo

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share observations, ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com.  News Items and Photos
At Quaquanantuck encourages readers to send in news and notes and photos of interest to Quogue residents, even if the items are being sent from winter addresses or other parts of the country—or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.