Independence

Here’s an idea: Instead of celebrating Independence Day with parades and fireworks and parties laid on merely for the sake of celebration, why not take a moment to consider where we are as a nation some 250 years after the original idea to form a new republic took shape in the text of the Declaration of Independence?

For anyone who has been paying attention—generally for the past decade and specifically during the time from Election Day in 2020 up to this week’s hearings in Washington, D.C.—it’s not looking good. 

Big driftwood. —A. Botsford Photo

What happened to the idea that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”? Politicians on both sides of our sadly and severely riven democracy are seemingly deriving their questionable powers only from themselves, and basing their decision making solely on self preservation and ensuring their reelection. Incited and misinformed by algorithm-driven media, both social and mainstream, the equally divided electorate rallies behind slogans and ideas that are divorced from facts and a basic understanding of how our government is supposed to work, was designed to work by the founding fathers.

Isn’t it time to declare our independence from the kind of lockstep party politics that has veered so far from our republic’s foundational principles as to almost guarantee that government cannot possibly be by, for and of the people? Can we possibly go back to a dependence on the moral, ethical and humanitarian imperatives that the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution believed should guide all the branches of our government and all our representatives holding office in those branches? That would be a happy Independence Day.

A sizeable crowd gathered on the Village Green last Friday to honor and give thanks to Mayor Peter Sartorius for his 13 years of service. —A. Botsford Photo

Transfer of Power, Quogue Style
There has been a lot of focus lately at the national level on the peaceful transfer of power. In our village though, the recent passing of the mayoral baton from Peter Sartorius to Robert Treuhold seems more like a love fest in the passing along of civic responsibility. 

Outgoing Mayor Peter Sartorius.

Witness the Quogue Association celebration honoring Mayor Sartorius on the Village Green last Friday, prior to the Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks concert. All the speakers thanked Hizzoner for his 13 years of diligent service and the Village Trustees served up a proclamation lauding his accomplishments and naming him the Person of the Year for 2022, even though it’s only the end of June. 

Then Mayor Sartorius thanked everyone for thanking him, thanked everyone in village government and all the village workers and the Quogue Village Police and Quogue Volunteer Fire Department ro making his job so much easier, and offered special thanks to newly elected Mayor Treuhold and Village Trustee Sally Beatty for stepping up: he from Trustee to Mayor; she to fill his space on the Village Board.

In his final missive to village residents this week, Mayor Sartorius repeated his thanks to all, happily turning his job over to his successor. How refreshing. 

No, that’s not now former Mayor Peter Sartorius; it’s newly elected Mayor Robert Treuhold.—A. Botsford Photos


Members of the Quogue Field Club went all in back in the day on special decorations for this automobile for a July 4th celebration. —Image courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

Historical Society and Library Join Forces for Big Celebration
This Sunday, July 3, the Quogue Historical Society and the Quogue Library will co-host a bigtime celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1822 One-Room Schoolhouse and the 125th anniversary of the Quogue Library

At 2:30 p.m. Quogue Historical Society Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie Greene will offer a talk on “Quogue’s One-Room Schoolhouse: History.” 

Then, at 3:30 p.m., visitors will have a chance to “step back in time to 1868 with Schoolmistress Lizbeth Griffing.” 

Also on offer as part of the celebration will be games, ice cream, face painting, live music and more, all on the grounds of the Quogue Library. The one-room schoolhouse and 1868 School Day exhibition will be open all summer during library hours. The QHS Pond House headquarters on Jessup Avenue will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, through September 3, and by appointment. www.quoguehistory.org

Bob Murray, center, served as conductor and tour guide for the Quogue Historical Society trolley tours of the Village Historic District on June 24. —Scott Moger Photo

Summer Film Series Resumes at Performing Arts Center
Formerly only screening foreign films, independent cinema, and documentaries from July 4th through Labor Day, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center got an early jump on its “Tuesday Night at the Movies with Andrew” summer film series this year. 

Starting with the riveting, if brutally disheartening, “Donbass” on June 7 and 8, series curator Allison Frost has lined up exceptional films for this summer, including “Benediction” on June 14 and 15; “Lost Illusions” on June 21 and 22; and, this week, the Greek Weird Wave film “Apples.” To see the complete schedule of what’s coming up and to buy tickets, go to www.whbpac.org and click on Films

The movies screen on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. each week, with commentary by Andrew Botsford and occasional guests following the Tuesday evening screenings. Next week, Andrew and moviegoers will have a rare treat when the director of next week’s film, “The Art of Making It,” Quogue’s own Kelcey Edwards, will be on hand to discuss the documentary after the screening on Tuesday, July 5. 

Artist Gisela McDaniel in “The Art of Making It.”—Image courtesy of Wischful Thinking Productions

Focusing on a diverse group of compelling young artists at pivotal moments in their careers, “The Art of Making It”—which is having its theatrical premiere screenings at IFC in New York City this week—explores the forces that thrust some into the stratosphere while leaving others struggling to survive. Who gets seen, who gets left behind, and why does it matter who is anointed to tell the stories of our time? 

Interweaving the voices of creative luminaries and disruptors, the film is both a cautionary tale about what America stands to lose if we don’t rethink what we value and why, and a love letter to those who persevere in their artistic practice in spite of the extraordinary odds of ever achieving commercial success. 

In a director’s statement included in press materials about the film, Ms. Edwards wrote that “Upon meeting producer Debi Wisch, I realized we shared a vision of a documentary that explored the cultural value of art through the world of today’s emerging artists and what their challenges could reveal about our society at large. 

“The Art of Making It” director Kelcey Edwards.—Kelli Hull Photo

“Working across a variety of media, the talented young artists in our film struggle to balance making art with making ends meet. They reflect on the challenges of navigating an art world ecosystem in which they are almost entirely dependent on a combination of their own fortitude, the whims of an unregulated market, and support from institutions with a history of barriers to entry based on race, gender and socio-economic class.” 

“When we began filming in 2019,” Ms. Edwards continues, “little did we know our film would literally capture the final months of the art world as we knew it. Now seen as an accelerant, COVID-19 brought the inequities of the status quo into even sharper focus. Facing mounting debt, and with little infrastructure in place to support the arts other than private philanthropy, galleries, artfairs, art schools, and even museums around the country, were forced to shut their doors. Yet amidst the fallout, our artists continue to make work, reminding us that every act of creation is an act of hope.Completing our final interview in early 2021, our film captures the rethinking of many of the art world’s most entrenched systems in real time.” 

On July 12 and 13, the PAC film series will offer another—decidedly more quirky—documentary, “The Pez Outlaw.” The film flips the lid on the story of Steve Glew, a Midwestern machinist who smuggles rare Pez dispensers from Europe and sells them for thousands, drawing the ire of both the  U.S. Pez corporation and rival collectors.

Up from Florida for the Southampton Writers Conference, former U.S. Poet Laureate and authority on quirk Billy Collins will be Andrew’s guest to talk about the film following the July 12 screening. 

“Queen of Glory” comes to the PAC July 19 and 20.

The following week brings the feature film “Queen of Glory” to the PAC on July 19 and 20. Ghanaian-American Sarah is all set to abandon her Ivy League doctoral program to follow her married lover across the country. But her plans are derailed when her mother’s sudden death leaves her the owner of a neighborhood bookshop in the Bronx.

While Andrew does not as yet have a guest for this film, he is hoping that enough readers will plead with screenwriter, script doctor, screenwriting textbook author, and strikingly handsome Dan Gurskis to step up so that he has no choice but to accede to their wishes.

Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas share the screen to hilarious effect in “Official Competition” on July 26 and 27; and Mark Rylance stars in “The Phantom of the Open,” coming to the PAC August 2 and 3. More on these films and the rest of the schedule in the next At Quaquanantuck.  

House and Garden Tour July 8
The Westhampton Garden Club Biennial House and Garden Tour will be held on Friday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The self-guided tour will feature premier homes and gardens in the Westhampton, Quogue and Remsenburg areas. 

The 2022 tour will showcase seven outstanding homes and gardens, each with its own unique style. One is a beautiful waterfront property recently featured in Hamptons Cottages and Gardens. Another is a historic home flawlessly renovated for modern times. All the homes feature award-winning gardens by prestigious landscape architects. The tour includes entry into a private garden open only for participants of the WGC tour. Complimentary refreshments will be offered poolside in one of the gardens.

There will also be a luncheon held at the Westhampton Country Club, offered at an additional price. Guests at the luncheon will be able to shop at pop-up boutiques featuring gifts, clothing and jewelry.  For more information and to purchase tickets for both the house and garden tour and the luncheon, visit:  www.westhamptongardenclub.org.

David Michael Slonim, “Chicken on the Run,” 2021, oil on canvas, 36″ by 36″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

David Michael Slonim Up Next at Quogue Gallery
Speaking of making art, and the role of galleries in the art of making it, from July 7 to July 25 the Quogue Gallery will present “David Michael Slonim: Color Song,” an exhibition featuring 11 recent works on canvas by the artist. An opening artist reception will be held at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street on Saturday, July 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

A press release from the gallery offers this quote from art historian John Seed: “Painter David Michael Slonim, who considers art-making a journey of discovery, hopes that visitors to his exhibition, ‘Color Song,’ will make discoveries of their own. By offering a suite of works that create emotional spaces for calm contemplation, he offers the opportunity to connect with the varied moods of his abstractions. Slonim is a formalist who distills as much beauty as he can out of each composition and thinks of each work as ‘an attempt to love a tiny corner of the universe into existence.’ 

“His art is intended as a way of showing love for others and the world that they share: each work carries the potential to serve as a unifying force. At this point in his life, Slonim has given intuition free rein. Although he is aware that the occasional viewer may wonder why his work is so spare or so abstract, Slonim is not interested in changing course. What motivates him is discovery, which he wills himself to each time he enters the studio. His commitment to discovery—which takes courage—is one of the pillars of Slonim’s artistic practice. This commitment itself is a kind of structure, endowing each of his paintings with a precious and highly personal from of artistic integrity.”

David Michael Slonim, “Blue Bang,” 2022, oil on canvas, 72″ by 60″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Remaining on view at the gallery through the holiday weekend will be “Eugene Healy: Ultramarine,” the second solo exhibition of the summer season. The exhibition features 12 recent works on canvas by the artist. 

The title of the exhibition refers to the deepest and richest of blue pigments, which is frequently used by the artist as part of his examination of “the often dramatic and beautiful interplay between shore, ocean, and sky,” according to a release from the gallery. 

Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. Quoguegallery.com.

Quogue Library Author Series Starts July 17
Beyond this Sunday’s big double anniversary celebration co-hosted by the Quogue Historical Society (see above), as always, the Quogue Library has an array of programs and activities to choose from in the month ahead. 

One of the most helpful of these might be two in-person sessions of “How to Use the New Quogue Library Website,” led by Tech Assistant Amber on Thursday, July 7, at 11 a.m. and Saturday, July 9, at 10 a.m.. Familiarity with all the features of the new website will make it easier than ever to check out all the virtual and in-person programs being offered at and through the Quogue Library. To find out more and try out your existing skills, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the Calendar. 

Alexandra Andrews

While you are on the site, be sure to look into this summer’s Author Series at the library, which kicks off on Sunday, July 17, at 5 p.m. with the long-awaited reading by—and conversation with—Alexandra Andrews, author of the highly praised debut novel “Who Is Maud Dixon?” 

Offered on Sundays at 5 p.m., this summer’s in-person series under the tent will feature a reading by the guest author followed by a conversation with writer and editor Andrew Botsford before the author fields questions from the audience. Tickets are $25 and registration is online at quoguelibrary.org, by calling 631-653-4224, or in-person at the library at 90 Quogue Street. 

All books are available for purchase at the library or from www.bookhampton.com

Other authors in this summer’s lineup are: Amanda Fairbanks, author of “The Lost Boys of Montauk” on July 24; Anna Pitoniak, author of “Our American Friend” on July 31; Vikram Malhotra, author of “CEO Excellence” on August 14; Elena Gorokhova, author of “A Train to Moscow” on August 21; and Adele Myers, author of “The Tobacco Wives” on August 28.     More information on all library events and programs at quoguelibrary.org.

Green heron on the hunt at Sebonac Creek. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Wild Night On the Horizon
One question for any readers who have not yet purchased tickets for the QWR Wild Night for Wildlife on July 16: Why not? 

The biggest fundraiser of the year for the Refuge, the Wild Night is an event not to be missed. Tate’s Bake Shop and North Fork Chocolate Company are the dessert sponsors, and Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka will be the official liquor sponsor, complementing the substantial hors d’oeuvres by East End Events Catering, copious cocktails, wine from Pellegrini Vineyards, and beer from Long Island Farm Brewery

The band Noiz will provide lively live music; auctioneers Bill Ritter of ABC “Eyewitness News” and Jim Cramer of CNBC “Mad Money” are returning to ramp up the bidding in the live auction; the silent auction will be brimming with treasures and experiences of a lifetime to bid on; and guests will have a chance to meet QWR resident animals up close. The party starts at 7 p.m.; a private VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. for those contributing $750 or more per person. 

Contributions are tax deductible. Tickets will be held at the door. For further information, call 631-653-4771 or e-mail: info@QuogueWildlifeRefuge.org. For more information about other programs and activities at the Refuge, visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org.

Haywire Returns to Hamptons Home Base
Raenell Murray, owner of the heavenly fashion haven known as Haywire, is inviting her extended family of established customers as well as new friends to come to her house in Quogue to see all of the clothing items and jewelry she has collected and curated for their perusal and perhaps purchase. 

For the last two years, in the summer and early fall, Raenell has opened her house, by appointment, for prospective customers to see her items. As before, she tells At Quaquanantuck, there will be her “regular, fun items” in the house and a barnful of sale items at 50 to 75 percent off.

All are invited to come see fabulous French capris and trousers, cashmere sweaters, shawls, colorful tops, tailored shirts, jewelry and much more. To set up an appointment, call Raenell at 631-283-2809. 

A sample of some of the wares available this summer at Raenell Murray’s Haywire.

July Lineup at Church of the Atonement
The Reverend Dr. Richard D. McCall will officiate at the Church of the Atonement on July 3, 10 and 17. He and his wife, the Reverend Dr. Terry McCall, live in Bloomington, IN, and have three children: a daughter Anne and her husband Myles in New Orleans, a son Ross and his wife Liz in Atlanta, and a daughter Emily and her husband Trent in Bloomington with their two boys, Parker and Charlie.

Rev. Anne Marie Witchger

The Rev. Anne Marie Witchger will officiate at the Church of the Atonement on Sunday, July 24. 

Rev. Witchger is Associate Rector and Chief of Staff at Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City, where she directs programs and outreach ministries and supports the rector with strategic and long-term planning. She and her husband, Joshua, have two daughters, Magdalena and Simeon, who love to sing, draw, help in the kitchen, and ride through Central Park on their matching orange scooters.

Services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and all are welcome. As per diocesan guidelines, masks are optional at church services. 

All children in the community age 7 to 14 are invited to sing in the junior choir, which is led by Organist and Choir Director Patricia Osborne Feiler. Rehearsals are at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings.For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at mtvogel@icloud.com.

Write America Readings Schedule
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, the “Write America” program originally conceived by Roger Rosenblatt continues to offer readings and discussions aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Coming up in two weeks, on Monday, July 11, at 7 p.m., will be Vanessa Cuti, Elizabeth Nunez and Imani Perry. Check the schedule for future readings;  register for the Monday evening programs; and check out past episodes on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.

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.

Time of Transition

It is a time of transition in Quogue. Just a few days before the solstice on June 21 makes the arrival of summer official, voters in Quogue will, presumably, give their stamp of approval on June 17 to Robert Treuhold as successor to Mayor Peter Sartorius, who is stepping down after 13 years in office. 

Slate tide. —A. Botsford Photo

So steady has been Hizzoner’s hand on the tiller, so surely has he navigated a fair course through competing interests that it has sometimes seemed in the Covid induced elasticity of time that he has been serving as mayor for 30 years, and not 13, and tempting to reassure ourselves, if only in our imagination, that he might go on serving as mayor forever. 

But that would not be fair to a man who, without fanfare, has worked as hard as, or harder than, any other public official on the East End at any level of government. And while it is not possible to govern or lead effectively without occasionally disappointing this or that constituency, there is no question that Mayor Sartorius did his best to put the best interests of the village as a whole above all other considerations.  

Whether dealing with mandates from New York State, Suffolk County, or the Town of Southampton or the concerns of village residents and local businesses, he showed patience and respect as he worked with the other members of the Village Board of Trustees to find a through line that was as fair as possible for all sides. 

And so At Quaquanantuck salutes the decision of the Quogue Association to present the Quogue Bowl to Mayor Sartorius just prior to his final State of the Village address on the Village Green on Saturday, May 28. The Quogue Bowl “honors those who have contributed extraordinarily to the civic life of the Village through their volunteerism.” And while the mayor’s job is an elected post, Hizzoner’s commitment to the position was so far above and beyond that it represents the best spirit of volunteerism. 

Left to right, Quogue Association Vice President Mac Highet, QA Secretary Paul Mejean, Mayor Peter Sartorius, QA board member Stefanie Beck, and QA President Lynn Lomas at a photo op after the presentation of the Quogue Bowl. —Aimee Buhl Photo

At Quaquanantuck joins many other civic minded residents in thanking Mayor Sartorius for his service and wishing him godspeed as he moves on to the next chapter.  

THIS JUST IN FROM THE QUOGUE ASSOCIATION:
“Our community is gathering to toast Mayor Peter Sartorius on Friday, June 24, at 4:30 p.m. on the Village Green as he winds down after more than 12 years in office. Join Us!”

Scheduled to immediately precede the Concert on the Green set for the same evening, in case of rain the gathering will be under the tent at the Quogue Library.

Village Elections June 17 at Firehouse
As noted on the village website and above, the General Village Election of the Village of Quogue will be held on Friday, June 17, 2022, with the polling place at the Quogue Firehouse on Jessup Avenue.  The polls will open at noon and close at 9 p.m. 

Voting will be on three candidates for village office, all of whom are running unopposed. Running for a two-year term as mayor will be Robert Treuhold; running for two-year terms as village trustees will be one incumbent, Kimberley Payne, and Sally Beatty. 

Even though the candidates are running unopposed, At Quaquanantuck urges all registered voters in the district to get over to the firehouse and vote on June 17. It’s important to let all those in public service know that we appreciate their commitment and their willingness, and to show that we take an interest in our elected representatives and the issues they will be dealing with. 

Our democracy is at its best when it is participatory; please get out and vote. 

Tight curl. —A. Botsford Photo

“A Doll’s House, Part 2” Wraps Up This Weekend
The Hampton Theatre Company will present the final five performances this week—starting tonight, Thursday, June 9, at 7 p.m.—of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” by Lucas Hnath at the Quogue Community Hall. 

The rest of the schedule for this weekend will be Friday, June 10, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and the final performance on Sunday, June 12, at 2:30 p.m. Ticket information and reservations at www.hamptontheatre.org

Molly Brennan and Rosemary Cline in “A Doll’s House, Part 2” at the Quogue Community Hall. —Tom Kochie Photo

Called “smart, funny, and utterly engrossing” by Ben Brantley in the New York Times, this play revisits and reimagines the central characters of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 groundbreaking drama, speculating in contemporary language on what might have happened if Nora, who walked out the door at the end of the Ibsen original, returned after 15 years to ask her husband a favor. 

No knowledge of the first “A Doll’s House” is required to enjoy the Hampton Theatre Company production of the sequel’s roller coaster ride through the consequences of one woman’s quest for independence. 

Featured in the cast are Hampton Theatre Company regulars Rosemary Cline as Nora and Andrew Botsford as her husband, Torvald. Peter Marbury scholarship winner Molly Brennan plays Nora’s daughter Emmy and newcomer Marianne Schmidt plays the family’s housekeeper and nanny Anne Marie. George Loizides directs. 

PLEASE NOTE: Although many theaters have dropped proof of vaccination requirements and have made masks optional, for the safety of audiences, cast, crew and volunteers, the HTC is requesting that patrons please show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the performance when entering the theater. Also, because of the recent surge and to ensure the highest degree of safety for the audience, masks are still required inside the theater. These protocols are subject to change. For more information and updates on safety protocols, visit hampton theatre.org

Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors, and $20 for students 25 and under. To purchase tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org. For information on Veteran or Native American discounts or to order tickets over the phone, call 631-653-8955. 

Andrew Botsford and Rosemary Cline. —Tom Kochie Photo

Great Decisions Looks at Changing World Demographics
The next Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program on Saturday, June 11, at 5 p.m. will focus on the topic of “Changing World Demographics.” In an effort to provide the broadest possible access, Saturday’s program will be hybrid and can be joined virtually by Zoom or attended in person at the Quogue Library. 

Refreshments will be served. Participants will view a video presentation on the topic before joining or listening to a live, 40-minute participant discussion moderated by David Rowe and facilitated by Susan Perkins. 

Changing world demographics are already having a major impact and causing disruptions in different areas, ranging from development to sustainability. Demographic changes in the 20th century that continue today have resulted in far-reaching restructuring of the social, economic, and political order around the globe, yielding daunting challenges to development efforts, international and domestic security, the environment, and, in the end, the sustainability of human populations. 

To register for Saturday’s program, in-person or Zoom, click here

The 2022 Great Decisions Briefing Book may be purchased ($22) at the Quogue Library or digitally from fpa.org. Visit the FPA website here to join and receive notices of events and information about Great Decisions and other programs.

Twins. —Justin Shui Photo

Quogue Library Filling Summer Calendar
As always, the Quogue Library has an array of programs and activities to choose from, starting tonight, Thursday, June 9, when the library will present the American BBQ Presentation and Dinner under the outdoor tent from 6 to 8 p.m. Call the library at 631-653-4224 to see if there’s still space. 

To check out all the virtual and in-person programs being offered at and through the Quogue Library, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the Calendar. 

And be sure to save the date, Sunday, July 3, from 2 to 6 p.m. when the library will celebrate two anniversaries under the outdoor tent: the 125th anniversary of the Quogue Library, and the 200th anniversary of the 1822 Quogue Schoolhouse. More information on all library events and programs at quoguelibrary.org

Quogue Historical Society Opens Pond House
This Saturday, June 11, the Quogue Historical Society will open its Pond House headquarters on Jessup Avenue for the summer. www.quoguehistory.org 

Be sure to save the afternoon of Friday, June 24, when the Historical Society will offer Trolley Tours of Quogue’s Historic Homes at noon and 2 p.m. with Bob Murray serving as conductor. 

The Merz Trio. —Dario Acosta Photo

Quogue Chamber Music Concert June 18
On Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. Quogue Chamber Music will present the Merz Trio at the Quogue Community Hall in the first concert of the QCM 2022 season. 

The June 18 program, “New Paths”, will include music by Beethoven, Brahms, Alban Berg and Alma Mahler. This combination of 19th and 20th century masterworks is quintessentially Austro-German in style and teeming with boundary-breaking energy. Beethoven’s middle period masterwork, Op. 70, #2, is paired with four later Viennese songs that draw attention to its lyrical and virtuosic elements, while Brahms’s glorious B Major Trio, composed when he was only 21 but revised in later years, showcases him as both a pioneering romantic and as a consummate master at the height of his powers. 

Tickets are $50 for adults; $110 includes a post-concert celebration; and $5 for students (concert only). Make checks payable to Quogue Chamber Music and mail to POB 1984, Quogue, NY 11959, or purchase on the Quogue Chamber Music website (www.quoguechambermusic.org). 

Tickets will also be sold at the door on the night of the concert. Due to Covid restrictions, all ticket holders must show proof of vaccination at the entrance and will be required to wear a mask throughout the concert.

The musicians of the Merz Trio—Julia Yang, cello; Lee Dionne, piano; and Brigid Coleridge, violin—recently swept a number of U.S. chamber music awards, taking top prizes at the 2021 Naumburg, the 2019 Concert Artists Guild, the 2019 Fischoff, and the 2018 Chesapeake competitions.

Praised for their “fresh and surprising interpretations,” the award-winning trio is known for passionate playing and uniquely artistic programming style, interspersing classic trio works with interdisciplinary elements and their own arrangements. Upcoming debut appearances include performances at NYC’s Merkin Hall, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Gene Casey (center with guitar) and the Lone Sharks will play in a free concert presented by the Quogue Association on Friday, June 24, on the Quogue Village Green.

Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks in Free Concert June 24
On Friday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m., the Quogue Association will present a free concert on the Village Green by one of the most popular bands on the East End, Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets to spread out on, and to pack a picnic and beverages. Mr. Softee will be on hand for kids of all ages; the Quogue Country Market will be offering a special picnic meal; and Theresa at the Quogue Shop will be providing lemonade and water. 

As author Josh Alan Friedman wrote: “Let it be said at first, the man has a great voice. And the guy knows how to make a record … tracks have a dramatic Spector-like drama that cries out for inclusion in movie soundtracks. This may be esoteric praise, but to the masses, Casey is the premier barroom troubadour of eastern Long Island. That includes Montauk, the Hamptons, on up to Riverhead and any town with an Indian name. But there’s no doubt he would sweep the Sons of Herman Hall crowd in Dallas off their feet, not to mention the Broken Spoke in Austin.” 

“From a professional level, he and his band are just some of the best musicians around, not just the East End and all Long Island but beyond,” said Bonnie Grice, former WPPB broadcaster and host of “Bonnie in the Morning.” 

And Jim Faith, the producer of the annual Great South Bay Music Festival and co-founder of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame proclaimed that Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks are “definitely one of those bands that’s created the musical fabric of Long Island.” 

Eugene Healy Up Next at Quogue Gallery
An opening reception is scheduled on Saturday, June 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Quogue Gallery for “Eugene Healy: Ultramarine,” the second solo exhibition of the summer season at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street. Opening on Thursday, June 16, and on view until July 5, the exhibition features 12 recent works on canvas by the artist. 

Eugene Healy, “Oak Bluffs” (2021), mixed media on canvas, 40″ x 30″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

The title of the exhibition refers to the deepest and richest of blue pigments, which is frequently used by the artist as part of his examination of “the often dramatic and beautiful interplay between shore, ocean, and sky,” according to a release from the gallery. The word ultramarine is derived from the Latin for “beyond the sea,” as this pigment was originally ground from the lapis lazuli gemstone found in Asia and imported into Europe from mines in Afghanistan. 

Buddhist and Hindu cultures assigned to it a heightened spiritual consciousness. During the Renaissance, ultramarine became more valuable than gold, so painters often reserved it for sacred subject matter. Healy uses ultramarine in many of his paintings to evoke the deep blue skies of twilight turning to nightfall, as seen in such works as “Shelter Island,” “Montauk Light,” and “Middle Beach Road.”

The artist also strives “to create drama,” according to the release, by carefully assigning the leading role in each painting to either shore, ocean, or sky. For example, soaring big skies may dominate in order to emphasize the atmosphere of warm summer weather—as in “Point Lookout,” “Mystic,” “Oak Bluffs,” and “Fenwick”—or even an approaching storm, as in “Summer Squall.” Beneath each of these big skies a strip of ocean merges with the beach, anchoring the composition. 

In other paintings, the shore may play the lead role, with the sky reduced to a strip of horizon capping the dominant shore, as in “Watch Hill” and “Newport.” The artist also occasionally “orchestrates a flipping of space, as found in ‘The Tide’ and ‘Bar Beach,’ with their dramatic wedge shapes. Even these fully non-objective abstractions retain the vocabulary of shore, ocean, and sky. 

Eugene Healy is “one of the few abstract painters today who have clearly grasped what the British art critic Clive Bell called ‘significant form’,” according to the release. Bell, an early defender of abstraction as a compelling new mode of visual expression at the beginning of the 20th century, suggested that this kind of formal understanding allows some abstract paintings to reveal such brilliant orchestration of lines, shapes, and colors that they can evoke what Bell called “aesthetic ecstasy.” 

Eugene Healy, “Middle Beach Road” (2022), mixed media on canvas, 40″ x 32″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Healy’s paintings are abstractions, but he considers them musical arrangements of shore scenes that have evoked in him particular moods and feelings.  The artist works to express those feelings in mediums ranging from oil, watercolor, encaustic, oil crayon, lacquers, and colored pencil applied to fragments of canvas, boards, and paper. He also incorporates beach sand, fragments of printed fabrics, and even pieces of window screens, returning to each work “over and over, almost obsessively making changes until he is certain his expressions sing,” according to the release.  

Melinda Zox: Color Walk” remains on view at the gallery through June 13. The exhibition features recent work including four large works on canvas and 13 works on paper. 

Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. Quoguegallery.com

Flipped over by a wave while burying eggs, this horseshoe crab managed to right itself and get back out to sea. —Denise Michalowski Photo

Busy Calendar at Refuge; Wild Night Getting Wilder
Plenty going on over at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. In addition to the weekly Earth Yoga sessions with Amy Hess on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. (space is limited), there will be a fascinating Botany Walk at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11 (heavy rain cancels); and three 90-minute private Family Paddle on Ice Pond time slots available for booking, also on Saturday, June 11.

QWR staffers will be leading another Full Moon Night Hike on Tuesday, June 14, at 8 p.m.; a Summer Solstice Paint & Sip session is planned to celebrate National Pollinator Week at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21; and the Quogue Wildlife Refuge annual Family Barbecue for 2022 QWR members will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 24.  

To find out more about these programs and to register, visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org. And the time is right for any readers who have not already renewed their QWR membership for 2022, or who would like to become a member, to visit quoguewildliferefuge.org and sign up.  

Goldfinch. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

With just over a month to go, more details are emerging about the 14th annual Wild Night for Wildlife benefit on Saturday, July 16, and all signs point to an evening that’s not to be missed.

As reported in the May 26 At Quaquanantuck, honorees Charles and Anne Mott are being recognized for their many years of dedicated support of Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s work and mission, and this year’s Conservator Award will be presented to Ine Wijtvliet for her sponsorship of the beautification of the entrance to Refuge. 

What At Quaquanantuck didn’t know until this week is that Tate’s Bake Shop and North Fork Chocolate Company have signed on as dessert sponsors, and Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka will be the official liquor sponsor. These sponsors’ offerings will complement the substantial hors d’oeuvres by East End Events Catering, copious cocktails, wine from Pellegrini Vineyards, and beer from Long Island Farm Brewery

The band Noiz will provide lively live music; Bill Ritter of ABC “Eyewitness News” and Jim Kramer of CNBC “Mad Money” are returning to handle the razzle dazzle auctioneer duties for the live auction; the silent auction will be brimming with treasures and experiences of a lifetime to bid on; and guests will have a chance to meet QWR resident animals up close. The party starts at 7 p.m.; a private VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. for those contributing $750 or more per person. 

Contributions are tax deductible. Tickets will be held at the door. For further information, call 631-653-4771 or e-mail: info@QuogueWildlifeRefuge.org

This box turtle found a hospitable lawn where, thankfully, no pesticides are used.Elizabeth Caputo Photo

Write America Readings and Discussions
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut (with registration also available on the Quogue Library website, quoguelibrary.org) the “Write America” program originally conceived by Roger Rosenblatt continues to offer readings and discussions aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Coming up in the next few weeks, all at 7 p.m., will be Major Jackson and Joyce Maynard on Monday, June 13;  Gail Mazur, Lloyd Schwartz and Nicole Terez Dutton on Monday, June 20; and Rachel Pastan,Alison Fairbrother, and Tyehimba Jess on Monday, June 27. There will be no reading on Monday, July 4. 

Register for the Monday evening readings and check out past episodes on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.

Sunday Services Return to Church of the Atonement
The Reverend Dr. Richard D. McCall will return to Quogue for his 23rd season at the Church of the Atonement at 17 Quogue Street, officiating at Sunday services on June 26, and July 3, 10 and 17. 

Rev. Dr. Richard McCall

Rev. McCall and his wife, the Reverend Dr. Terry McCall, live in Bloomington, IN. They have three children: a 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.

Services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and all are welcome. As per diocesan guidelines, masks are optional at church services. 

All children in the community age 7 to 14 are invited to sing in the junior choir, which is led by Organist and Choir Director Patricia Osborne Feiler. Rehearsals are at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings.

For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at mtvogel@icloud.com.

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.

Here We Go

The long wait is over: Memorial Day is upon us. The calendar and the weather are finally in alignment (at least for the time being) and everywhere you look there are signs of people gearing up for the summer season. 

Beckoning swimmers. —A. Botsford Photo

And—as we stumble along trying to figure out where we stand in relation to Covid and how seriously we intend to take the recent surge on the East End and effective measures to deal with it—the season is so far shaping up to be just about as busy and studded with highlights as the summers of the Before Times. 

Memorial Day weekend is a great example, packed with more events, activities, and things to check out than a lot of two- or three-week stretches in the winter. Of all of these, At Quaquanantuck considers the Quogue Fire Department’s Memorial Day Service in front of the Quogue Fire House on Monday, May 30, at 10 a.m. to be the most important. 

These we honor. —A. Botsford Photo

Included in the program will be remarks by Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius, program coordinator Steve Alpert, and special guest speaker Annette Fobbed, former United States Marine Corps sergeant. 

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. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Quogue School students presented a spring concert on May 17, the same day voters approved the school budget for 2022-2023. Just after this photo was taken, a gust of wind blew over the two speaker stands, causing considerable alarm, but fortunately no injuries. —A. Botsford Photo

State of the Village
Mayor Sartorius will also be speaking at another event this weekend: the annual State of the Village address sponsored by the Quogue Association, scheduled this year on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m. in the relatively Covid-safe outdoors on the lawn in front of the Fire House. Rain date is Saturday, June 4, also at 10 a.m. Residents are advised to bring a lawn chair, as seating may be limited. 

For his talk on Saturday, Hizzoner has notified At Quaquanantuck that he will have a few questions for the audience to test their knowledge of Quogue.  He will also touch on road projects, budget and tax matters, Gabreski Airport,  Suffolk County Water Quality initiatives, the Fire Island to Montauk Point coastal storm risk management project, and other local matters before fielding questions from the audience.

“A Doll’s House, Part 2” Opens Tonight
Keeping the focus on Jessup Avenue for a bit, it should be noted that there will be four performances this week—starting tonight, Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m.—of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” by Lucas Hnath at the Quogue Community Hall. 

Molly Brennan, left, and Rosemary Cline in a scene from “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” on stage at the Quogue Community Hall through June 12. —Tom Kochie Photo

Called “smart, funny, and utterly engrossing” by Ben Brantley in the New York Times, this play revisits and reimagines the central characters of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 groundbreaking drama, speculating in contemporary language on what might have happened if Nora, who walked out the door at the end of the Ibsen original, returned after 15 years to ask her husband a favor. 

No knowledge of the first “A Doll’s House” is required to enjoy the Hampton Theatre Company production of the sequel’s roller coaster ride through the consequences of one woman’s quest for independence. 

Featured in the cast are Hampton Theatre Company regulars Rosemary Cline as Nora and Andrew Botsford as her husband, Torvald. Peter Marbury scholarship winner Molly Brennan plays Nora’s daughter Emmy and newcomer Marianne Schmidt plays the family’s housekeeper and nanny Anne Marie. George Loizides directs. 

“A Doll’s House, Part 2″ will be performed from May 26 through June 12 on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, June 11, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening. Two bonus “talkbacks” with the cast will be offered, the first immediately following the June 3 Friday evening performance, and the second following the June 5 Sunday matinee. 

Andrew Botsford and Rosemary Cline in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” —Tom Kochie Photo

PLEASE NOTE: Although many theaters have dropped proof of vaccination requirements and have made masks optional, for the safety of audiences, cast, crew and volunteers, the HTC is requesting that patrons please show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours of the performance when entering the theater. Also, because of the recent surge and to ensure the highest degree of safety for the audience, masks are still required inside the theater. These protocols are subject to change. For more information and updates on safety protocols, visit hampton theatre.org

Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors, and $20 for students 25 and under. To purchase tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org. For information on Veteran or Native American discounts or to order tickets over the phone, please call 631-653-8955. 

Reception for Melinda Zox at Quogue Gallery
Lots more happening on Jessup Avenue this weekend. Down at the southwest corner, the Quogue Gallery will be hosting an artist’s reception for Melinda Zox on Saturday, May 28, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Melinda Zox: Color Walk” is the opening exhibition of the season at the gallery, on view through June 13, featuring recent work including four large works on canvas and 13 works on paper. 

Melinda Zox, “Color Walk II” (2022), mixed media on paper, 30″ x 40.”Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Ms. Zox studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City under Frank Roth. The daughter of Larry Zox, who played an essential role in the Color Field movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and his artist wife Jean Glover Zox, Ms. Zox was raised in the heart of the downtown New York City art scene. 

Her childhood, she recalls, was “a continual lesson in the experience of art and creativity. Art, color and expression were part of our daily life and almost every conversation.” 

Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. Quoguegallery.com

Quogue Shop Teaming Up with Quogue School PTA
Along with Double Rainbow, Homespun, Quogue Liquors, and the Quogue Country Market, Theresa Fontana’s Quogue Shop is one of the linchpins of our village’s lovely Jessup Avenue business district. All set for the busy summer season, the shop is now open seven days a week, right through Labor Day.

Hoping to sweeten the pot for ticket sales to the Quogue PTA’s annual Chicken Dinner on Friday, June 3—one of the great village get-togethers of the Before Times—Theresa donated one of the Quogue Shop’s beach cruiser bicycles (a $300 value) to the Chicken Dinner raffle. 

On Saturday and Sunday this weekend, the PTA will be set up outside the Quogue Shop selling dinner tickets and raffle tickets, so when you are perusing all the many fine offerings of our village shops this weekend, be sure to stop by and get set for next Friday’s PTA party at the Quogue School. 

QA Tumblers at Quogue Market
Speaking of the Quogue Country Market, At Quaquanantuck learned from Quogue Association President Lynn Lomas this week that the Market will once again have some handsome 16 oz. Quogue Association coffee (or other beverage) tumblers to give away to shoppers making purchases of $25 or more. 

One of the best parts of this collaboration is that all those who bring in their tumblers for refills at the Market will be entitled to a nice discount on the price of their beverage, while at the same time cutting down on waste. So be sure to stop in at the Market, pick up some delectable provisions, and get your QA tumbler while supplies last. 

And if you haven’t renewed your membership (or joined) the Quogue Association yet this year, be sure to go to the QA website and sign up. www.quogueassociation.org.

Early Bird Bonus for Garden Club Tour
Shoppers on Jessup Avenue can also take advantage of a special Early Bird ticket offer from the Westhampton Garden Club, which is holding its biennial House and Garden Tour on Friday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for the self-guided tour that will feature premier homes and gardens in the Westhampton, Quogue and Remsenburg areas.

There will also be a luncheon held at the Westhampton Country Club, offered at an additional price. Guests at the luncheon will be able to shop at pop-up boutiques featuring gifts, clothing and jewelry.

In conjunction with the tour, there will also be a luncheon held at the Westhampton Country Club on July 8, offered at an additional price. Guests at the luncheon will be able to shop at pop-up boutiques featuring gifts, clothing and jewelry.

The Early Bird bonus, for all those who buy tickets for the July 8 event by June 1, will be a special separate tour of an award-winning rose garden on Friday, June 10. The garden is one of three member gardens featured on the Westhampton Garden Club website, www.westhamptongardenclub.org

Order forms are available at the Quogue Library, the Quogue Shop and the Quogue Market in Quogue and Lynne’s Cards & Gifts in Westhampton Beach. Tickets may also be purchased at the Quogue Library on the day of the tour, July 8. 

For more information and to purchase tickets for both the House and Garden Tour and the luncheon, visit:  www.westhamptongardenclub.org. For help with ordering, email fiberfox2004@yahoo.com.

Sanderling on a break. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Seat Belts Save Lives: Click It or Ticket
Of course, even though you can ride a bike or walk to Jessup Avenue, you will likely be doing some driving this weekend. And the Quogue Village Police Department would like to remind all drivers that between 2015 and 2019, seat belts saved more than 69,000 lives. And yet, nearly 10 percent of drivers and passengers still do not wear seat belts. 

According to a recent release from the QVPD, it is the “greatest wish” of law enforcement officers to “spread the message about the importance of seat belt use, and remind people that seat belt use isn’t just a suggestion, it’s the law.” 

As part of spreading this message, from now through June 5, officers of the Quogue Police are joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the 2022 Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization. The officers will be out in full force, issuing citations to anyone caught traveling without a buckled seat belt or transporting unrestrained children.

As the release points out: “Due to the Memorial Day holiday, May is a critical period for law enforcement agencies to target unbuckled drivers. This is not a campaign to write tickets or train law enforcement. This is a campaign to help keep people safe and alive. We see the casualties of not wearing a seat belt, and we do not wish that devastation on anyone.” 

Readers are urged not only to buckle up, but to urge all in their families, particularly young drivers, to keep safe by keeping their seat belts buckled. It shouldn’t take a ticket to make drivers make the smart choice. 

For more information about seat belt statistics and the Click It or Ticket mobilization, visit  www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

Sculpture park. —A. Botsford Photo

Wildlife Refuge Seeks Education Intern; Tickets On Sale for Wild Night
The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is looking for an intern educator starting June 27 for the QWR Summer Ecology program. This is an unpaid internship for a college student studying environmental, educational or animal related sciences. 

For more information, click here, or email Marisa Nelson at marisa@quoguewildliferefuge.org

Meanwhile, the fine folks at the Refuge are getting ready for the 14th annual Wild Night for Wildlife benefit on Saturday, July 16, honoring Charles and Anne Mott, who are being recognized for their many years of dedicated support of Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s work and mission. 

This year’s Conservator Award will be presented to Ine Wijtvliet for her sponsorship of the beautification of the entrance to Refuge. 

The Gala will feature substantial hors d’oeuvres by East End Events Catering, cocktails, wine from Pellegrini Vineyards, beer from Long Island Farm Brewery, live music by Noiz, live and silent auctions, and a chance to meet QWR resident animals up close. The party starts at 7 p.m.; a private VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. for those contributing $750 or more per person. 

Contributions are tax deductible. Tickets will be held at the door. For further information, call 631-653-4771 or e-mail: info@QuogueWildlifeRefuge.org

Any readers who have not already renewed their QWR membership for 2022, or who would like to become a member, are urged to visit quoguewildliferefuge.org 

Follow the leader. —A. Botsford Photo

Mark the Calendar
It’s not easy to keep up with everything that’s going on this summer, so start penciling just a few key dates. 

On Thursday, June 9, the Quogue Library will present the American BBQ Presentation and Dinner under the outdoor tent from 6 to 8 p.m. 

On Saturday, June 11, at 5 p.m., the Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions program at the Quogue Library will consider “Changing World Demographics.” 

And on Sunday, July 3, from 2 to 6 p.m. the outdoor tent at the library will celebrate two anniversaries: the 125th anniversary of the Quogue Library, and the 200th anniversary of the 1822 Quogue Schoolhouse. More information on all library events and programs at quoguelibrary.org.   

On June 11, the Quogue Historical Society will open its Pond House headquarters on Jessup Avenue for the summer. And on June 24, the Historical Society will offer Trolley Tours of Quogue’s Historic Homes at noon and 2 p.m. with Bob Murray serving as conductor. 

Quogue Chamber Music will present the Merz Trio in concert in the Quogue Community Hall on Saturday, June 18. —Dario Acosta Photo

On Saturday, June 18, Quogue Chamber Music will present the Merz Trio playing music by Beethoven, Brahms, Alban Berg and Alma Mahler at 7:30 p.m. in the Quogue Community Hall. For ticket information, visit www.quoguechambermusic.org

On Friday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m., the Quogue Association will present a free concert on the Village Green by one of the most popular bands on the East End, Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks

That’s it for now; more as we roll into June. Smart choices, keep safe, and have a happy summer.  

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.

Straight On to Summer

Much is being written and discussed these days about threats to our democracy. For concerned citizens, the best way to fend off any such threats, it would seem, would be for more people to take an active part in the democratic process: stay abreast of the issues, always check the facts, stake out clear positions, and communicate those positions to those elected to represent us.

Sometimes the surf is gnarly. —A. Botsford Photo

With so many crises on a global scale—the unspeakable horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its ripple effects; alarm bells sounding on the pressing need for action on climate change; ongoing and seemingly endless Covid related disruptions; soaring inflation and stock market volatility, to name only a few—reaching their tentacles into our daily lives, urging more participation in the democratic process could seem like a mighty big ask.  

And yet, what could be more important? 

Sometimes not so much. —A. Botsford Photo

Next week, Quogue residents are fortunate to have before them an opportunity to engage in the one essential act that is the underpinning of all democracies, which is to cast a vote. On Tuesday, May 17, the polls will be open at the Quogue School for voting on the proposed Quogue Union Free School District budget for 2022-’23 and, in a separate proposition, on the proposed operating budget for the Quogue Library. Residents may also cast ballots for the three candidates seeking election for three-year terms on the Quogue USFD Board of Education: Gabriel Kochmer, Paul Bass, and Steve Failla. 

Staying within the tax levy cap for Quogue residents, the proposed $9,739,180 school budget for next year represents a 2.99 percent increase over the 2021-’22 budget, which translates to a 3.33 percent tax levy increase. According to estimates on the budget flier published by the School Board, the proposed budget, if approved, would result in a tax increase on a home assessed at $1 million of $62.60 per year, or $5.18 per month, or $0.17 per day. 

Birds of a feather … —A. Botsford Photo

The flier also points out that, in addition to remaining within the tax cap, the proposed budget: maintains all existing academic programs; provides for the diverse needs of students while being mindful of the impact on taxpayers; protects the community’s investment by maintaining infrastructure, facilities and grounds; improves the district’s financial condition by funding reserves and maintaining a low fiscal stress rating; provides funding for unanticipated expenditures and mandates related to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis; and provides funding to address a portion of the capital improvements required to maintain existing infrastructure. 

At Quaquanantuck urges all qualified voters to get over to the school next Tuesday and vote to approve the school and library budget propositions and show your support in the ballot box for the three candidates for the school board. These two institutions and the stewards who look after them and guide them play an outsize role in making our village the very special place that it is, and they deserve our support in every way we can manage to provide it. 

With Quogue Village elections right around the corner and the midterms coming up in the fall, conscientious attention to opportunities to cast a vote is a very healthy habit to develop.

Is Mother’s Day for geese Mother Goose Day? —A. Botsford Photo

Here Comes Summer
Speaking of institutions and people who help to give Quogue its very special character, At Quaquanantuck is all about identifying and celebrating all of these and all their many contributions to our community. 

Consider the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department, for one. Just two weeks from now, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, at 10 a.m., the Quogue Fire Department will once again be hosting a Memorial Service by the monument in front of the Quogue fire house. All are invited to attend and honor the men and women who gave up their lives in the service of our country. 

Edward “Tom” Otis III was acknowledged for 50 years of Dedicated Service in the Quogue Fire Department.
Left to right, Third Assistant Chief Gerry Volz, Chief Engineer Mike Nelson, 50-year member Tom Otis,  Southampton Town Councilperson Tommy John Schiavoni, Southampton Town Councilperson Cyndi McNamara
.—John Neeley Photo

At the Quogue Fire Department installation dinner at the Riverhead Hyatt on April 22, the Quogue Fire Department honored Edward “Tom” Otis III for his 50 years of dedicated service in the Quogue Fire Department. Mr. Otis shares the distinction of 50 years of service with another volunteer, Kimberly Payne

Firefighter Charles Karpovek hit the 55-year mark in 2019. Other milestones achieved by volunteers include: 45 years, Thomas Mullen; 40 years, Joseph Jahelka and David Warner; 35 years, Ed McGrath; 30 years, David Turinsky; 25 years, Bruce Davidson and Richard Schermeyer; 20 years, Ted Necarsulmer, Christopher Osborne, Timothy Shea, John Sipala, and Thomas Snodgrass; 15 years, Michael McMahon, Bruce Moore, and Matthew Morgan; and 10 years, Todd Bandrowski, Steven Failla, Derek Herzing, Ben Hubbard, Phil Irving, Timothy Norton, and Bradley Warner. 

At the QFD dinner, the department also honored former chief Chris Osborne (known to some At Quaquanantuck readers as the Big Chill) as the Firefighter of the Year for 2021. 

Former chief Chris Osborne, left, was named Firefighter of the Year for 2021 at the QFD dinner. Left to right, First Assistant Chief Dave Schaffauer, Third Assistant Chief Gerry Volz, and Chief Engineer Mike Nelson. —John Neely Photo

“To Catch a Thief” at Film Feast Saturday
The next in-person Film Feast coming up at the Quogue Library on Saturday, May 14, at 6 p.m. will be “To Catch a Thief,” Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 glamour crime caper starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

The plot is simple: A retired jewel thief sets out to prove his innocence after being suspected of returning to his former occupation. Critical acclaim for the film was practically universal. 

Writing for The Observer, Phillip French called the film “An engaging comedy thriller, one of the Master’s rare straightforward whodunnits, producing real cinematic chemistry between Grace Kelly (her third and last Hitchcock film) and Cary Grant (his third and penultimate Hitchcock picture).”

A staff writer for TV Guide Magazine wrote that “Cary Grant is at his most suave and Grace Kelly is stunningly beautiful in ‘To Catch a Thief,’ a bubbly and effervescent Alfred Hitchcock romantic-suspenser that finds the Master in a relaxed and purely entertaining mood.”

The “price” of admission for the May 14 Film Feast will be a potluck dish to serve at least six people and a beverage to share. Masks required. Email info@quoguelibrary.org or call 631-653-4224, ext. 101, to register or for more information.

Historical Society Offers Exhibition Talk at Library
The Quogue Historical Society is coming to the Quogue Library on Wednesday, May 18, when QHS Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie B. Greene will lead an exhibition tour and offer a talk from 6 to 7 p.m. on “‘Queen of the Hamptons’: Quogue on the Cusp, ca. 1875—Photographs by George Bradford Brainerd from the Brooklyn Museum,” on view at the library Art Gallery through May 29. 

To register for this program, email info@quoguelibrary.org or call the library at 631-653-4224, ext. 101.

George Bradford Brainerd photo of Jessup Avenue, circa 1875. —Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

On Saturday, May 21, the Historical Society’s 1822 One-Room Schoolhouse on the library grounds will open for the season. Open this summer during library hours, the Schoolhouse is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. Other dates to keep in mind include June 11, when the QHS Pond House on Jessup Avenue will open for the summer; and June 24, when the Historical Society will offer Trolley Tours of Quogue’s Historic Homes at noon and 2 p.m. with your conductor, Bob Murray. More details in the next At Quaquanantuck.

A prothonotary warbler, one of the many species of warblers seen at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge during the spring migration. —Darlene Massey Photo

Wildlife Refuge Seeking Sponsors for 2022 “Wild Night”
Gearing up for the 14th annual Wild Night for Wildlife benefit on Saturday, July 16, the fine folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge have announced that this year’s honorees are Charles and Anne Mott, who are being recognized for their many years of dedicated support of Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s work and mission. 

This year’s Conservator Award will be presented to Ine Wijtvliet for her sponsorship of the beautification of the entrance to the Refuge. 

Fiddlehead ferns in the Pollinator Garden at the Refuge. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Wildlife Refuge

The Gala will feature substantial hors d’oeuvres by East End Events Catering, cocktails, wine from Pellegrini Vineyards, beer from Long Island Farm Brewery, live music by Noiz, live and silent auctions, and a chance to meet QWR resident animals up close. The party starts at 7 p.m.; a private VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. for those contributing $750 or more per person. 

Individuals and businesses are invited to become sponsors for this event, which is the most important fundraiser of the year for the Refuge and provides a major portion of the operating budget. 

All those interested in becoming sponsors who contact the Refuge by Saturday, May 14, at 5 p.m. will have their names featured on the Benefit Invitation, which will be mailed in May and will include ticket options starting at $200. All sponsors—including those who sign up after May 14— will be officially recognized at the Gala and on the event website. To find out more and to sign up as a sponsor, visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/wild-night-for-wildlife-2022.  

Business Sponsorship opportunities start at the $1,000 Guardian level. Auction prizes are also being accepted; contact the QWR office at 631-653-4771. 

Contributions are tax deductible. Tickets will be held at the door. For further information, please call: (631) 653-4771 or e-mail: info@QuogueWildlifeRefuge.org.

Rosemary Cline and Andrew Botsford in rehearsal for “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” opening May 26 at the Quogue Community Hall and running through June 12. —Roger Moley Photo

“A Doll’s House, Part 2” Opens May 26 at Community Hall
“A Doll’s House, Part 2,” Lucas Hnath’s “smart, funny and utterly engrossing” (New York Times) play revisiting the central characters of Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 original, will be the final production of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2021-2022 season, opening on May 26 at the Quogue Community Hall and running through June 12. 

When the door slammed in 1879 Norway in Henrik Ibsen’s revolutionary play, a young wife and mother left behind her family, freeing herself from the shackles of traditional societal constraints. Now, 15 years later, that same door opens to reveal Nora, a changed woman with an incredibly awkward favor to ask the people she abandoned. Lucas Hnath’s bitingly funny sequel unfolds in a series of bristling standoffs revealing that behind every opinion there is a person, and a slamming door isn’t just an end, but also the chance for a new beginning. 

A Newcity.com review of the Steppenwolf Theater production in Chicago answered a common question on many theatergoers’ minds: “First things first: No, you do not have to have seen or read Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ to understand or appreciate the theatrical mastery of ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2.’” 

In a review for DCTheatreScene.com, Jayne Blanchard wrote: “The exuberant imagination of ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ is smart on two levels. It is perceptive, funny and intelligent, but smarts like a slap in its portrayal of gender roles and the expectations of what it is to be a woman.” 

The review also noted that “Hnath’s crisp, often laugh-out-loud dialogue contains modern language” that makes “deft, devastating connections between the past and present and how little has changed in the arena of women’s rights. And even, in light of recent events, how we seem to be going backwards in our thinking of women’s identities, ownership of their bodies, and narrowing definitions of motherhood and wifely roles.” 

Rosemary Cline and Marianne Schmidt in rehearsal. —A. Botsford Photo

In his review for The New York Times, Ben Brantley wrote: “This unexpectedly rich sequel reminds us that houses tremble and sometimes fall when doors slam, and that there are living people within, who may be wounded or lost.” 

In a cast of four, the HTC production of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” features two HTC veterans, Rosemary Cline as Nora and Andrew Botsford as Torvald. Making her debut on the HTC stage in the role of Nora’s daughter Emmy is Molly Brennan, who was directed by Ms. Cline in productions at Westhampton Beach High School and was awarded one of the HTC’s Peter Marbury scholarships in 2020. Newcomer Marianne Schmidt has the role of housekeeper and nanny Anne Marie. 

George Loizides (“Private Lives,” “Native Gardens,” “Lost in Yonkers”) directs. Set design is by Mr. Loizides; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun. 

“A Doll’s House, Part 2″ will be performed from May 26 through June 12 on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. An additional matinee performance will be offered during the final weekend of the production, on Saturday, June 11, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening. Two bonus “talkbacks” with the cast will be offered, the first immediately following the June 3 Friday evening performance, and the second following the June 5 Sunday matinee. 

PLEASE NOTE: For the safety of all, patrons are asked as a courtesy to please show proof of vaccination; masks are encouraged inside the theater. These protocols are subject to change. For more information and updates on safety protocols, visit hampton theatre.org. Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors, and $20 for students 25 and under. To purchase tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org. For information on Veteran or Native American discounts or to order tickets over the phone, please call 631-653-8955.


Osprey at its home base near Ponquogue Bridge. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Go Native Promoting Perfect Earth Pamphlet
The Go Native gang headed up by Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis is working to disseminate the latest pamphlet from The Perfect Earth Project, the brainchild of the “2/3 for the Birds” folks in East Hampton. The feeling is that although the pamphlet is addressed to landscapers, it is also a perfect handbook for clients and landscapers alike that summarizes the basics of “nature-based land care.” 

Ms. Morrisey addressed homeowners directly in an email this week: “Please read this yourself—most of the points will be familiar to readers of our Go Native newsletter—and, very importantly, share with your landscapers so that they might be educated in the practices necessary to ‘do no harm’ to the environment, reduce chemical dependency, encourage biodiversity and become good land stewards.” 

To download the pamphlet, click here. For more information, visit the 2/3 for the Birds website, www.234birds.org

Quogue Chamber Music Concert June 18
The first concert of the 2022 season for Quogue Chamber Music will be the Merz Trio, playing at the Quogue Community Hall on Saturday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. 

The musicians of the Merz Trio—Julia Yang, cello; Lee Dionne, piano; and Brigid Coleridge, violin—recently swept a number of U.S. chamber awards, taking top prizes at the 2021 Naumburg, the 2019 Concert Artists Guild, the 2019 Fischoff, and the 2018 Chesapeake competitions.

Praised for their “fresh and surprising interpretations,” the award-winning Merz Trio is known for passionate playing and uniquely artistic programming style, interspersing classic trio works with interdisciplinary elements and their own arrangements. Upcoming debut appearances include performances at NYC’s Merkin Hall, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Lee Dionne, Brigid Coleridge, and Julia Yang of the Merz Trio will perform at the Quogue Community Hall on Saturday, June 18, in a Quogue Chamber Music concert. —Daria Acosta Photo

Tickets are $50 adults; $110 includes post concert celebration; and $5 for students (concert only). Make checks payable to Quogue Chamber Music and mail to POB 1984, Quogue, NY 11959, or purchase on the Quogue Chamber Music website (www.quoguechambermusic.org). 

Tickets will also be sold at the door on the night of the concert.

The June 18 program, “New Paths”, will include music by Beethoven, Brahms, Alban Berg and Alma Mahler. This combination of 19th and 20th century masterworks is quintessentially Austro-German in style and teeming with boundary-breaking energy. Beethoven’s middle period masterwork, Op. 70, #2, is paired with four later Viennese songs that draw attention to its lyrical and virtuosic elements, while Brahms’ glorious B Major Trio, composed when he was only 21, but revised in later years, showcases him as both a pioneering romantic and as a consummate master at the height of his powers. 

Due to Covid restrictions, all ticket holders must show proof of vaccinations at the entrance and will be required to wear a mask throughout the concert.

Circle June 24 on the Calendar
By the time we get there, there may be more, but at this writing At Quaquanantuck is aware of two big events on June 24 this summer. 

First up will be the Quogue Historical Society Trolley Tours of Quogue’s Historic Homes (noted above) at noon and 2 p.m. 

Then, starting at 5:30 p.m., the Quogue Association will present a free concert on the Village Green by one of the most popular bands on the East End, Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks

Look for more details on both programs in the next At Quaquanantuck. 

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.

Got Spring?

Seems it’s the same thing every year: The calendar slips past the vernal equinox, the daffodils that were just poking through to daylight start to flower, the birds all try to outdo each other with trilling pyrotechnics, and on teasing sunny days when the wind is calm the temperature can climb over 70.

Late winter? Or early spring? —A. Botsford Photo

By all rights (and rites) it should be spring, full of promise for the summer to come.  

But then a cold front drops in from the north, the east wind starts to wring icy rain out of a monochromatic gray sky that wipes the colors out of everything, and once again chilled East End residents feel more as though they’ve been banished to purgatory than blessed to be basking in a season of rebirth. 

Winter hanging on. —Patricia Prentis Photo

And local sages, for perhaps the thousandth time, offer the well worn admonition that “there is no spring on the East End; every year we just go directly from winter into summer.”

Still, the benchmarks are there—the St. Patrick’s Day parades, the first day of striped bass season (or the IRS deadline, take your pick), Easter Sunday—and should be celebrated, even if only as mile markers counting down to beach season, no matter what the fickle weather might prompt us to believe. 

Sign of spring. —A. Botsford Photo

Egg Hunting Season Is Upon Us
Easter weekend in Quogue means egg “hunts,” and the tradition continues with one on Saturday, April 16, and another on Sunday. The Saturday “hunt”—which leans to the “gatherer” side of hunter/gatherer—is sponsored by the Quogue Fire Department on the lawn in front of the firehouse and around the pond and begins at precisely 10 a.m. 

The volunteers are once again urging all hunters (up to age 12) to line up early, as the event is typically over by about 10:07.  

Children age 2 to 4 accompanied by an adult have a choice of egg hunting sessions at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Sunday: session I goes from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. and session II runs from 11 to 11:45, provided there’s still space in either session of this very popular program. 

Participants will create a bunny craft and then hop down Peter Cottontail’s Trail to a special spot at the Refuge for an egg hunt. Each child will receive a special gift. The cost is $15 per child; reservations are required and payment is due at time of reservation. Call 631-653-4771 to make reservations.

Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshall Preston Jankowski (in the passenger seat of his regal carriage) is flanked by members of the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department on parade day. —Kevin Lonnie Photo

Spring Wildlife Camp at Refuge
There may still be some spaces left for kids in grades K through 5 in the Spring Wildlife Camp at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, being offered this year Tuesday through Friday, April 19 through 22 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 and campers should arrive with their own individual snack and drink each day. 

The cost is $300 for all four sessions; registration and payment are required in advance. For more information, call 631-653-4771; to register online, visit the QWR website (quoguewildliferefuge.org) or click here.  

Quogue Library a Conduit for Aid to Ukraine
The library is accepting donations of a few specific items to aid victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, noting that due to restrictions by aid organizations and shippers the library can only accept items on the following approved donation list

Compression bandages; tourniquets; tactical first aid kits; hemostatic agents (Celox or similar); bandages and gauzes; antiseptics; anti-burn gels (Neosporin); and painkillers (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil).  

For those interested in making online donations, the clergy and the congregation at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Riverhead, along with the bishops of the Metropolia of Philadelphia, have created a special online fund, “War Victims and Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine.” 

The fund can be accessed through the website of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, ukrarcheparchy.us, or donations can be made by clicking here

On Wednesday, April 27, at 6 p.m., the Quogue Library will be hosting a virtual program, “Borderlands: A History of Ukraine.” Historian Martin H. Levinson will discuss the compelling history of the former Soviet nation and its diverse populations craving independence. To register, click on the flier under Adult programs on the library’s home page, or click here.  

Sgt. Daniel Bennett of the Quogue Village Police with members of Girl Scout Troop who visited the police station on April 4 and learned hands-only CPR as part of earning a first-aid badge. —Photo courtesy Quogue Village PD

Foreign Policy Association Considers “Biden’s Agenda”
The next installment of the 2022 Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, offered live at the Quogue Library and via Zoom on Saturday, April 16, at 5 p.m., will focus on “Biden’s Agenda,” or, more specifically, “How is the Biden administration treating foreign policy, among other policies, differently from the last administration?” 

According to briefing materials from the FPA, the new administration in Washington promised to reverse many of the policies of the past administration, especially in foreign policy. How are issues such as climate, the pandemic, and alliances being treated under the Biden administration?

President Joe Biden

Saturday’s discussion will likely consider some of the challenges facing the Biden administration in effecting changes in policy, notably an intractably divided Congress, the continuing toll of the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and divisiveness and disinformation rendering consensus on most policy considerations almost impossible. 

Prospective participants are reminded that the Great Decisions program is not a lecture followed by a Q&A, but a live audience discussion facilitated by Susan Perkins and moderated by David Rowe after a 25-minute documentary on the particular topic being considered. 

To register for the April 16 program via Zoom, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions “Biden’s Agenda” flier on the home page, or click here.  For more information or to sign up for the live program, email info@quoguelibrary.org.  

The 2021 Great Decisions Briefing Book may be purchased ($22) from the Quogue Library or digitally from fpa.org

Piping plover in the dunes. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Earth Day Celebration at Refuge
All are invited to come and celebrate nature and the beautiful planet we call home at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, April 23, from noon to 3 p.m. The Earth Day activities—co-hosted by the Refuge, the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, and Westhampton Beach Earth Day—will include birding walks, live animal presentations, crafts, environmental exhibitors, and kayaking and canoeing on Old Ice Pond. No fees and no reservations necessary for this rain-or shine celebration.  

As every year, it will be a big day at the Refuge: the Bartlett Tree Experts firm will once again be giving away free native trees; self-guided kayaking and canoeing on Old Ice Pond; a prescription drug take-back program sponsored by the Quogue Village Police Department and the Human Understanding and Growth Seminars (HUGS) program based in Westhampton Beach; electronics recycling by EcoTech; birding walks led by members of ELI Audubon Society; encounters with live animals; handmade and Fair Trade goods for sale; a variety of crafts; and victuals from the Mattitaco Food Truck

Visitors can also stop by booths staffed by (alphabetically): Bartlett Tree Experts; Di Bernardo Carvings; East End Food Institute; HUGS; the Long Island Invasive Species Management Area; Moonglow Children’s Books; New York Marine Rescue Center; Ozark Images; Peconic Baykeeper; Peconic Land Trust; the Quogue Library; Seatuck Cove Creations; Stepping Stones Soaps; Surfrider Foundation, LI Chapter; Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons; the Whistlin’ Whittler; and the World Village Fair Trade mobile unit. 

A reminder: Given all the fabulous programs either sponsored or hosted, or both, by the QWR, residents who have not already renewed their Refuge membership for 2022, and residents who somehow have not joined in previous years, should go to the QWR website, quoguewildliferefuge.org, and make a donation to sign up. 

Backyard beauty. —Sandy Walsh Photo

April Native News: “No Mow May” to Help the Bees
This month’s update from Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis of Quogue’s Go Native initiative includes a dire warning along with some ideas on how homeowners can help stave off disaster for bees. Herewith their report: 

“Bees are facing catastrophic declines. In North America, nearly one in four native bee species is imperiled, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, partly because of habitat loss, pesticide use, climate change and urbanization. 

“Lawns typically provide poor habitat for bees. But if allowed to flower, lawn weeds—plants other than grass—can provide rare spring food for bees emerging from hibernation … in fact, dandelions are the honey bees’ first food in the spring, and only source of food until the middle of June when other flowering plants and trees are available for their diet of pollen and nectar. 

Clover makes a nice meal for bees.

“Many communities all over the country have adopted “No Mow May”: a call to delay lawn mowing in the spring and allow the clover, dandelions, violets, etc. to flower. nytimes.com/2022/03/28/travel/no-mow-may-wisconsin 

“New York State has more than 400 native bee species and many of them are endangered. Their decline imperils food production, as one third of the food consumed in this country comes from crops pollinated by honeybees. 

“Please don’t spray your lawn for weeds … and consider the “No Mow May” concept. Remember, your lawn is part of the greater ecosystem, and what you do or don’t do has a significance that goes beyond your own property.” 

Native Hedges 

“We have been researching native shrubs that can serve as hedges or be used elsewhere on your property.  Two that stand out are: Inkberry (Ilex Glabra).  This shrub, in the holly family, is evergreen and shade tolerant. “Shamrock” variety can reach 6’.  A great replacement for boxwood and birds love the winter berries.  Deer resistant. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/ilex-glabra/ 

“Northern Bayberry (Myrica Pensylvanica).  A fragrant shrub that will reach 8’.  Very beneficial to wildlife: flowers provide nectar for moths and butterflies; berries remain all winter, which migrating birds will feast on.  While deciduous, the tan leaves stay on the bush most of the winter.  https://www.monrovia.com/northern-bayberry.html 

“Other shrubs native to North America are Spice Bush, Button Bush, Carolina Allspice and Buckeye (deciduous); and American Holly, Rhododendron Maximum, Kalmia Latifolia (laurel) in the evergreen category. 

“Think about integrating some of these native shrubs into your landscape plan!” 

Doug Tallamy 

“The author of ‘Nature’s Best Hope’ and ‘Bringing Nature Home’ gives fascinating talks on conservation and biodiversity in our own backyards.” [One of these talks got Paula and Lulie hooked last year.] 

“The Quogue Wildlife Refuge has a link on its website (quoguewildliferefuge.org/news/natures-best-hope-a-conversation-with-doug-tallamy) which connects to one of his YouTube talks. We urge you to listen and learn … and see how the choices we make on our individual properties have a profound impact on life on our planet. 

“Warning! You will not be the same person after you watch this!  We weren’t!”

Joy and Dan Flynn brought home medals (four for her; two for him) from the USATF Masters track meet at the Armory in New York City.

Quogue Association Springing Ahead
Veering to the sunny side of the street, the Quogue Association’s latest eblast newsletter begins with an array of exclamations: “Spring is in the air! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the Quogue Village Office is accepting applications for 2022 Village Beach Stickers!” 

Along with releasing the calendar for this summer’s major QA events (more on that below) the newsletter details some of the Association’s other initiatives, including: providing coffee tumblers to the Quogue Market; working on a Wetlands Preserve Project; supplying rocking chairs to the Village Beach; and awarding a scholarship to a graduating high school student. 

All of the Quogue Association’s undertakings, large and small, are funded by memberships and donations, so this is another organization hoping that all residents will either renew their membership for 2022 or sign up to join for the first time. Quogueassociation.org

An At Quaquanantuck Calendar: Mark Yours at Home
Taking the lead from the Quogue Association, and in consideration of the fact that the column currently comes out only once a month (typically), At Quaquanantuck is publishing a first attempt at a village calendar, listing events and programs in the near future and on into the summer. The hope is that such a listing might help readers to plan more judiciously. Time will tell, as it always does. 

Quogue Association

Friday, June 24: Concert on the Village Green sponsored by the Quogue Association. 

Saturday, July 23: Quogue Association Duck Race and Reception at the Village Dock on Quogo Neck. 

Saturday, August 20: Quogue Association Beach Party at the Village Beach.

Spring swans. —A. Botsford Photo

Quogue Library

Saturday, April 16, 1 p.m.: Create a Digital Calendar in 5 Steps; in-person program. 

Saturday, April 16, 1 to 4 p.m.: Stony Brook University Hospital interns will provide blood pressure screenings and offer evidence-based health information on any topic. 

Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: New York State Jet Ski (Personal Watercraft) and Boating Certification Class. 

Wednesday, April 27, 6 p.m.: in-person program on Creating a Presentation in Google Slides

Friday, April 29, 4 p.m.: “And Now a Word from Our Sponsor”—A look back at the early days of television; in-person program. 

Saturday, April 30, 1 p.m.: virtual Spring Brunch with Chef Rob Scott via Zoom; recipes and ingredient lists will be available at the library service desk. 

Saturday, April 30, 4 p.m.: in-person opening reception for library art gallery exhibition, “The Road Show,” featuring work by Grant Haffner and Kate Rasche, on view from April 30 to May 31. 

Saturday, May 14, 6 p.m.: Film Feast featuring “To Catch a Thief” (1955; Alfred Hitchcock) starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. 

For more information on all programs, visit the Quogue Library website, quoguelibrary.org

Getting into the spirit of the thing: Melissa Cook and Roger Moley at the library Film Feast screening of “This Is Spinal Tap.” —Mark Stevens Photo

General

April 30: Last day of Quogue Village spring leaf pickup program. 

May 10, 7:15 p.m.: Public Hearing on proposed 2022-2023 Quogue School budget and Quogue Library budget at the Quogue School on Edgewood Road. 

May 15: New leaf-blower noise ordinance goes into effect. (More on this in the May 12 At Quaquanantuck.)

May 17, 2 to 8 p.m.: Vote on Quogue School budget and Quogue Library budget, at the Quogue School or by absentee ballot.  

May 26, 7 p.m.: Hampton Theatre Company opens “A Doll’s House, Part 2” by Lucas Hnath at the Quogue Community Hall, running through June 12. hamptontheatre.org

June 18, 7:30 p.m.: Quogue Chamber Music presents the Merz Trio in concert. Quoguechambermusic.org

Sunday, July 3, 2 to 6 p.m.: Celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Quogue Library and 200th Anniversary of the One-Room Schoolhouse, at the library. 

Saturday, July 16, 7 p.m.: 14th annual Wild Night for Wildlife to benefit the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. quoguewildliferefuge.org

Tribute to Art Cooley in Production
Two former students are putting together a virtual tribute to Quogue native son Art Cooley, who died on January 30.

Scoutmaster Harvey Cooley with his sons Art (middle) and Jimmy in 1942. —Photo from “Voices of Quogue” by Meredith Murray

In addition to being a beloved biology teacher at Bellport High School, Art was a former director of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge and was known nationally as a founder of the Environmental Defense Fund. One of Art’s former students, Gail Tooker, created the Summer Ecology program at the Refuge in 1970. 

Art was the oldest son of a somewhat legendary figure in the village, Harvey Cooley, who served as the Mayor of the village from 1956 to 1966, was the headmaster of the Quogue School and an eighth grade teacher there, and was the Scoutmaster for the local Boy Scout troop. 

The tribute currently in production is scheduled to air on May 1 and will be freely available thereafter. Details on how to view it will be listed here as they become available. More information about the Cooley family can be found in “Voices of Quogue” by Meredith Murray, available from the Quogue Historical Society. Quoguehistory.org

“Write America” Maintains Star-Studded Schedule
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut (with registration also available on the Quogue Library website, quoguelibrary.org) “Write America” continues to offer programs aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Coming up in the next few weeks, all at 7 p.m., will be Meg Wolitzer and Delia Ephron on Monday, April 18;  Jim and Deb Fallows on Monday, April 25; Rose Styron, Philip Schultz, and Marilyn Nelson on May 2; and Susan Minot, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and David Remnick on May 9. 

A special event is scheduled on Wednesday, May 11, when series creator Roger Rosenblatt will be in conversation with Derek and Sissela Bok. 

Past episodes can be found by scrolling down on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.

Check the Byrd’s Books website for details on April and May programs. All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, visit the Byrd’s Books website at byrdsbooks.com/write-america-reading-our-country, or click on the Write America fliers on the Quogue Library home page.  

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.

Thankful Thinking

At Quaquanantuck admits to being exceedingly thankful that we have arrived at that time of the year when clocks are moved ahead (before retiring on Saturday, March 12, this year, for those whose devices don’t automatically adjust) and we are granted a very welcome extra hour of daylight. 

Sunset grass. —A. Botsford Photo

At its core, every At Quaquanantuck column is essentially an expression of gratitude. While some posts lean in to this positive emotion a little more heavily, all of them spring in one way or another from a sense of appreciation for the blessing of being able to live or just spend time in this very special place, as a part of this very special community. 

Going from the global to the granular, we can be existentially grateful for the security that is all too often taken for granted, until events like the Syrian civil war, the evacuation of Afghanistan, or the unspeakably horrifying Russian invasion of Ukraine—for just a few glaring examples—bring our good fortune into stark relief. This is the kind of gratitude that fuels compassion, and begets more gratitude for our community as we join with neighbors in whatever relief efforts we can support. 

Stirred up. —A. Botsford Photo

In our own backyard, there are events that unite us in gratitude as well. Consider for one example the fire on Ocean Avenue on February 18. Courtesy of QFD Chief Mike Nelson, At Quaquanantuck can share some of the details that can inform and reinforce our appreciation. 

Since no one from the residence was home at the time, we can be thankful that a contractor who was doing work in the area called 911 when he happened to pass by the house (near the end of a dead-end street) and saw flames.

We have to be grateful yet again to the members of the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department, 20 of whom responded to the alarm, and all the volunteers from the East Quogue, Westhampton, and Hampton Bays fire departments who rushed to the scene to offer mutual aid. Thankful, too, that the Westhampton, East Quogue, and Flanders Ambulance companies arrived to provide medical support should a firefighter need it. Happily, no one was injured during the call, with firefighters and support teams—including the Suffolk County Fire Marshal and a PSEG representative—clearing the scene approximately two hours after responding.

Firefighters from four departments remained on the scene for two hours after controlling the blaze. —A. Botsford Photo

As Chief Nelson wrote this week: “Although the cause of the fire is to be determined by the Fire Marshal,  it appeared to be electrical, and spread from a utility room on the southeast side of the house into the attic, engulfing a bedroom on the southeast corner of the house.  Through hard work, persistence—and with a little assistance from the wind—firefighters were able to contain the fire to the SE corner of the house.”

It is an unfortunate fact of life that it often takes a disaster or an emergency for us to appreciate the round-the-clock readiness and day-in and day-out dedication of the first responders in our community. A case in point would be a motor vehicle accident on Montauk Highway near the eastern terminus of Quogue Street on Friday, March 4, with details provided in a press release issued by Sergeant John P. Galvin of the Quogue Village Police. 

At 2:41 p.m. on Friday, Quogue Police Officers arriving at the scene determined that an eastbound pickup truck had crossed over the double yellow lines into the westbound lane and collided head-on with another pickup truck. 

The driver of the westbound truck suffered serious injuries and was taken by the Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance Corps to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for treatment. The driver of the eastbound truck that caused the collision was subsequently arrested for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree.

As is customary in these cases, both vehicles involved were impounded for safety checks and the incident remains under investigation by the Quogue Village Police Detective Division. Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any pertinent information is asked to contact the QVP Detectives at 631-653-4791. 

Just as the Quogue Village Police offered thanks in the release to all assisting agencies—including Southampton Town Police, Westhampton Beach Village Police, the Quogue Fire Department and the Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance—so, too, should all residents give thanks all the time, and not just in the case of emergencies, for the professionalism of the Village Police and the entire mutually supportive first responder community.

In addition, although the accident is still under investigation, the injuries and the arrest in this case show the importance of the QVPD’s vigilance and legendary strict enforcement of drunk driving and driving while ability impaired laws, which, taken together, have without question prevented many accidents and injuries and saved many lives.

Thank you can never really say enough. 

Crusher. —A. Botsford Photo

Foreign Policy Association Considers Chaos in Myanmar
The first installment of the 2022 Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, offered live at the Quogue Library and via Zoom on Saturday, March 12, at 5 p.m., will focus on “Myanmar’s Never Ending Crisis.” 

According to briefing materials from the FPA, the situation in Myanmar, which has been unstable for years, continues to spiral into chaos. Chief contributors are the coup by the military in February 2021,  the ongoing human rights crises, and civil resistance by those opposed to the regime. 

Compounding the seemingly intractable problems—especially in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine—is Russian support for the military junta in power. 

Resistance to the military junta is only one of the problems facing Myanmar.

Questions to be addressed on March 12 include: How are neighboring countries reacting to the deteriorating situation in Myanmar? And, what role will—or can—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) play?

Prospective participants are reminded that the Great Decisions program is not a lecture followed by a Q&A, but a live audience discussion moderated by David Rowe after a 25-minute documentary on the particular topic being considered. 

To register for the March 12 program via Zoom, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions “Myanmar’s Never Ending Crisis” flier on the home page, or click here.  For more information or to sign up for the live program, email info@quoguelibrary.org.  

The 2021 Great Decisions Briefing Book may be purchased ($22) from the Quogue Library or digitally from fpa.org

Carol Crane, Sarah Adams, Susie Moley, and Victoria Sartorius bundled up for a beach visit to see the sunset (below) and the rise of the full snow moon on February 16. —Roger Moley Photos

New Hours, Irish Food Festival, Array of Programs at Library
Beginning this month, the Quogue Library has announced new hours that include being open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. 

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Quogue Library is hosting an “Irish Food Festival” during the month of March, with exclusive recipes and on-demand videos from Chef Rob Scott available on the Quogue Library website, www.QuogueLibrary.org.  

Recipes include: Irish Stew with Vegetables and Herbs; Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage   Soup with Carrots; Irish Soda Bread Muffins; and Irish Soda Bread. Recipe copies are also available for pickup at the Service Desk in the Library.

Coming up in virtual programming, there’s the Adult Fiction Book Club discussion of “The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict on Sunday, March 13, at noon; “Android Phone: Getting Started” on Thursday, March 17, at 2 p.m.; “Science Thursdays with Brookhaven Lab” on Thursday, March 17, at 4 p.m.; and “Dr. Katie Takayasu: Plants First!” discussion of wellness through a plant-forward diet on Wednesday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m., to name only a few. 

The library is also now providing convenient links to Roger Rosenblatt’s “Write America” series of virtual author readings and discussions, Crowdcast from Byrd’s Books (see below). Check the library home page and click on the flier to sign up and receive the link to each virtual program.  

 There are also in-person programs coming up, such as “Intro to Google Apps” on Saturday, March 12, at 10 a.m., with tech assistant Amber introducing participants to all the apps Google has to offer. Participants are asked to bring a device and follow along. 

Coralling the dunes. —A. Botsford Photo

HTC Opens “Ripcord” March 17 at Community Hall
“Ripcord,” David Lindsay-Abaire’s comedy centered on two strong-willed seniors, will be the second play of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2021-2022 season, opening on March 17 at the Quogue Community Hall and running through April 3. 

Revolving around a comedic clash over prime real estate in the fictional Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, “Ripcord” begins when the cantankerous Abby is forced to share her quarters with Marilyn, a new arrival with an aggressively sunny disposition. A seemingly harmless bet between the women results in a riotous game of one-upmanship that yields lots of laughter—while also revealing deeper truths that each would rather remain hidden. 

Giovanni Sandoval and Laurie Atlas rehearse a scene in “Ripcord,” opening March 17. —A. Botsford Photo

Writing for The New York Times about the 2015 Manhattan Theater Club production, Ben Brantley noted that “there’s polish to spare” in a script he called “admirable in its precision and symmetry,” concluding that all the elements of “Ripcord” add up to “a perfectly enjoyable evening.” 

In a review for The Arts Fuse, Robert Israel wrote that “given the dour, sour, and maniacal farce that is American reality, ‘Ripcord’ offers some refreshing respite. In a world that has left odd in the rearview mirror, a comedy about mismatched roomies facing mortality comes off as inspirational.” 

The cast of the HTC production of “Ripcord” features one HTC veteran: Vincent Cinque (“Six Degrees of Separation”) in multiple roles, including Benjamin, Abby’s estranged son. The five newcomers to the HTC stage are: Laurie Atlas as Abby; Claire Parrella-Curran as Marilyn; Matthew Schiavoni as the attendant, Scotty; Lindsey Sanchez as Marilyn’s daughter, Colleen; and Giovanni Sandoval as Colleen’s husband, Derek. 

Vincent Cinque and Claire Parrella-Curran working on a scene in “Ripcord.” —A. Botsford Photo

Andrew Botsford (“Admissions,” “On Golden Pond,” “Clever Little Lies,” “Dead Accounts”) directs. Set design is by Andrew Botsford, Ricky Bottenus and Meg Sexton; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun. 

“Ripcord” will be performed from March 17 through April 3 on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. A bonus “talkback” with the cast will be offered immediately following the March 25 Friday evening show. 

For the safety of all and following the lead of New York City theaters, ticket holders will be required to show a photo ID and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the day of the performance they are attending. Face-coverings will be required at all times while inside the theater. For more information and updates on safety protocols, visit www.hamptontheatre.org

Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors, and $20 for students 25 and under. To purchase tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org. For information on Veteran or Native American discounts or to order tickets over the phone, call 631-653-8955.

March Native News: Our Plant-Dependent Biosphere
Just in time for the official arrival of spring, Paula Prentis and Lulie Morrisey of Go Native have served up some recommendations for all those interested in improving the quality of life for all the life forms on the East End—including humans. The following is their spring advisory: 

“All life depends on plants.Think about it. What we do on our own properties has an impact on the entire East End ecosystem—and our own backyard is a microcosm of our planet’s biosphere. So by making some changes at the backyard level, we are helping stay the decline in birds, bees and other critical organisms that keep all life (including our own) functioning the way it is supposed to. These kinds of positive changes also send a message to your neighbors that you care. 

“March and April are the months that landscapers get back into action, so it is a crucial time to speak to them about what you’d like them to do – and not do. 

“Remember 2/3 for the birds? The Perfect Earth Project (www.perfectearthproject.org) would like all property owners to plant two native plants for every three new plants installed on your property. Native plants give birds and native butterflies the food that is most beneficial to them. Many of the ornamental plants sold at nurseries (including most hydrangea) are sterile: they offer nothing to our feathered friends or insects. 

“Go Native discussed both pesticides and fertilizers last summer. Synthetic chemicals interfere with the natural systems that provide the food and protection from diseases and predators that evolved with the plants themselves. And, of course, pesticides are toxic and don’t go away, entering our food, our water and, yes, our bodies.

“A healthy lawn can be achieved by certain cutting and watering practices. Order “The PRFCT Yard Handbook” from the site above (or just look under Resources/Lawn Basics on the website) and there you will find the tools to have healthy grass while discontinuing all chemical use on your property. 

“We know this can be a difficult sell with a landscaper (who, frankly, profits from the continuous applications of toxins to your lawn and shrubs) but if more people are asking the same questions, then lawn/plant/tree service professionals may eventually see the light! 

“A few (of many) things to know: 

—Overwatering and early season fertilizing can promote fungus diseases. 

—Fungicides on your lawn kill nematodes, which are the natural predators of grubs. 

—Pre-emergents and broadleaf killers used to control weeds are highly toxic and do not provide permanent solutions. 

—Embrace clover. It nurtures your turf and is not a weed! 

“We have agency! And by using native plants and dispensing with toxic chemicals, we protect and enhance the integrity, resilience, diversity and beauty of our planet.”

Great blue heron on the marsh in East Quogue. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Wildlife Refuge Gearing Up for Spring
With spring just around the corner, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge has issued an invitation for all to join members of the Shinnecock Nation “for a blessing of our earth” on Saturday, March 19, at 10 a.m. along with a guided traditional dance open to all honoring the upcoming Spring Equinox.

The next Full Moon Night Hike at the Refuge steps off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16. Adults and families with children age 11 and up can 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 at least 24 hours prior, as space is limited.

A virtual program on certifying a yard or garden as a habitat with the National Wildlife Federation will be offered on Tuesday, March 22, at 5 p.m. Sign up or get more information at www.quoguewildliferefuge.org

Families with children and grandchildren are reminded that registration is now open for QWR members for all Summer Camp programs: Little Naturalists, ages 4 to 6; Summer Ecology, entering grades 2 to 6; Young Explorers, grades 7 to 9; and Explorers, grades 10 to 12. 

Complete registration instructions are available on the QWR website, but readers should be aware that QWR members at the Family level or above receive priority registration through May 11, 2022. This is a real benefit of membership, since these programs tend to fill up fast. 

Memberships are only valid through the calendar year; so all those who were members last summer who haven’t renewed will need to renew before registering. And bear in mind that Family memberships are only valid for immediate family (parents and children) and not for grandchildren. 

So, get all the info; confirm membership status, gather the required documents; and get the young ones signed up now for the age-appropriate programs at the Refuge this summer. www.quoguewildliferefuge.org 

The “Who’s Hoo” exhibition of works by Quogue School students will remain on view at the library through April 26. —Kristy Verity Photo

Two Exhibitions at Library Art Gallery
On view through April 26, the Quogue Library is presenting “Who’s Hoo at the Quogue School,” an exhibition of owl artworks created by the children of the Quogue School. All are welcome to an in-person artists reception for this show slated at the Library Art Gallery on Friday, April 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. 

Meanwhile, the exhibition of photographs by George Bradford Brainerd from the Brooklyn Museum, “QUEEN OF THE HAMPTONS: Quogue on the Cusp, circa 1875” will remain on view through Memorial Day weekend, closing May 31.

Next Film Feast Feature Will Be “This Is Spinal Tap”
The next in-person Film Feast at the library is coming up on Saturday, March 26, at 6 p.m. when the featured film will be “This Is Spinal Tap,” the 1984 comedy classic “rockumentary”  directed by Rob Reiner and featuring all of the film’s writers: Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Rob Reiner.  

This mock documentary about the fictional heavy metal rock band Spinal Tap served as the model for such subsequent satires as Christopher Guest’s “Waiting for Guffman” and “Best in Show.”  

James Berardinelli waxed almost rhapsodic in a review for RV Reel Views: “‘This Is Spinal Tap’ is virtually guaranteed to appeal to nearly everyone. The film contains everything from laugh aloud moments to scenes that will have even the most dry, humorless viewers smiling with unrestrained mirth. Since 1984, there have been plenty of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ imitators, but none have come close to what Reiner and his talented troupe achieved in this mockumentary classic.”

 Writing for The Boston Globe, Jay Carr concluded that the film is “a heady flow of brilliant stupidity.” 

The “price” of admission for the March 26 Film Feast will be a potluck dish to serve at least six people and a beverage to share. Masks required. Email info@quoguelibrary.org or call 631-653-4224, ext. 101, to register or for more information.

Safe harbor. —A. Botsford Photo

“Write America” Staying the Course
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, “Write America” continues to offer programs aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Coming up in the next few weeks, all at 7 p.m., will be Jamaal May, Michelle Whittaker and Lindsay Adkins on Monday, March 14;  Ken Auletta, George Colt and Susan Isaacs on March 21; Jillian LaRussa and Roger Rosenblatt on March 28; Carmen Giménez and Dan Halpern on April 4; and Anne Fadiman and Lou Ann Walker on April 11. 

Past episodes, including the lovely tribute to the late Frank McCourt by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Stony Brook Southampton Provost Robert Reeves and the conversation about the art of cartooning between Gary Trudeau and Jules Feiffer, can be found by scrolling down on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.

Check the Byrd’s Books website for details on March and April programs. All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, visit the Byrd’s Books website at byrdsbooks.com/write-america-reading-our-country

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.

The Unseen Shadow

One might think—with all the advances in science and technology and artificial intelligence capable of modeling millions of meteorological scenarios and statistical probabilities in seconds—that forecasting the weather should have become a reasonably exact discipline by now. 

Quantuck thaw. —A. Botsford Photo

And in many cases, it has. Witness the recent dumping of 20-plus inches of snow on the East End, which was almost precisely what the forecasters predicted, right down to the time when the falling flakes would begin tapering off. 

But, in many other instances—where hurricanes will make landfall, for instance—predictions can range all over the map, without one of them getting it right. And if, because of climate change or insufficient data or the vagaries of the jet stream, accurate weather forecasting is still so difficult for learned humans, how fair is it to expect more reliable predictions from a woodchuck?

Time was, of course, when there was only one whistle-pig that people across the nation turned to for prognostication about the early or on-time arrival of spring: Punxsutawney Phil. But now it seems that plenty of towns in America have their own groundhog forecasters, from Pierre C. Shadeaux of New Iberia, Louisiana, to Unadilla Bill of Unadilla, Nebraska, to Sir Walter Wally of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Phil’s rivals in Lancaster County, PA: Mount Joy Minnie and Octorara Orphie. 

Snow shadow dance. —A. Botsford Photo

The more groundhogs there are forecasting the arrival of spring in different parts of the country, the higher the odds that there will be disagreement about whether a particular groundpig’s sighting of its shadow, or not, is consistent with the experience of all the other marmots. 

Add to that the issue of hibernation, from which the typical groundhog could reasonably be expected to emerge in late March or April. This means that rousting them out of their burrows to check for their shadow on February 2 involves waking them more than one month early from their long winter’s nap, so how likely is it that they’ll be in any kind of shape to offer up a reliable prediction?  

And then we come to our own village, and the efforts of Chris Osborne, aka the Big Chill, and Bill Nowak, aka Thunder Stache, to establish a tradition of ceremoniously consulting a land beaver for an indication of when spring will arrive. This year, Big Chill and Thunder Stache brought their top hat road show to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge in hopes of conferring with the genial woodchuck who lives there, QWR Quincy. 

Bill Nowak and Chris Osborne (aka Thunder Stache and Big Chill) stood their posts at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Groundhog Day, despite the absence of Quincy the Quogue groundhog.—QWR Photo

For the safety of all in these days of Omicron, the two men planned to interview the Refuge’s resident rodent with no spectators present, little suspecting that he was suffering from an ear infection that had been spotted by his caretakers and was, for want of a better description, under the weather. Having recently returned from a trip to the vet, he was tucked up securely in his burrow and unlikely to emerge for a few days while his medications did their work. 

Undeterred, Big Chill and Thunder Stache consulted with some of the other fauna residing at the Refuge and went on to deliver the verdict in a pronouncement that nibbled at the edges of rhetorical rhapsody. His address was captured in a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1uIdQ26i18.

In a text interview following the event, Big Chill revealed his source: “While recovering from his vet visit, he spoke to the hawk this morning, who relayed to the Big Chill, “I will go with my pal Hal [Holtsville Hal] and predict an early spring as I did not see my shadow.” At this time, BC said, there are already plans in formation for a large fundraising event at the Refuge on Groundhog Day in 2023. 

QWR Associate Director Marisa Nelson confirmed at least some of Big Chill’s account: “Yes, he is recovering from an ear infection and is doing well,” she wrote. As a point of interest, Ms. Nelson added that “last year he emerged from hibernation April 17. (This year he didn’t actually start due to being at the vet.)”

Meanwhile, Ms. Nelson wrote, “We thought it would be fun to promote our ‘Quincy the Quogue Groundhog’ t-shirts, which are for sale.  They are $13 each, with a 10 percent discount for 2022 members. We have a mix of adult and kid sizes, and they were designed by QWR Educator Tony Valderrama. All proceeds support QWR.”

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Associate Director Marisa Nelson and Program Director Cara Fernandes display a trove of Quincy t-shirts.—QWR Photo

Following the recent snowstorm, Ms. Nelson said, lots of area residents enjoyed the trails at the Refuge on cross country skis and snowshoes. For those who don’t have their own, QWR rents them out, free to 2022 members, $20 per person for non-members. Equipment is provided on a first come, first served basis, she said, and it’s best to call the office the day of to check on trail conditions and times for rental.

February is member appreciation month at the Refuge, so if you haven’t renewed your membership for 2022, now would be a great time to re-up.

To check out what’s coming up at the Refuge, visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on the Events drop down.

Village Dock drift. —Hilary Ames Photo

The Mayor’s Corner: A Salute to Those Who Serve
In a Mid-Winter Update email sent out at the end of January, Mayor Peter Sartorius started out with a very well deserved shout out to the crew members of the Village Highway Department, who worked for 36 hours plus to keep our streets passable during the recent snowmageddon. 

“The Quogue Highway Department, composed of six hard-working men with the best dispositions you would ever want to find, worked on Friday night, all day on Saturday until 2 a.m. on Sunday morning and then again during the day on Sunday. The clean-up continues this week. If you have the opportunity, please thank them for all their hard work. The Police and Fire Departments also responded to several calls during the height of the storm. As Mayor, I must say that knowing that these very dedicated and competent people are on duty during events like this storm gives me a great deal of comfort.”

In the email, Hizzoner went on to get village residents caught up on a whole bunch of news around Village Hall. To recap, for those not on the Mayor’s email list: 

First, despite the strong northeast winds during the big storm, the dune and steps at the Village Beach thankfully  remained intact. 

A chilly wait for breakfast. —A. Botsford Photo

The Persons of the Year for 2021, named at the December meeting of the Village Board, are Lynda Confessore, Sally McGrath, Paul Mejean and Barbara Sartorius, the members of the committee that oversaw the spectacular renovation and expansion of the Quogue Library. 

In January, the Village Board appointed Jonathan Stanton as a new full-time officer on the Quogue Village Police force, and promoted 12-year veteran Bobby Hammel to the rank of Sergeant. The Quogue Village Police Department, meanwhile, named Detective Alex Gladding the 2021 Officer of the Year. At Quaquanantuck congratulates all three of these officers for earning these well deserved honors. 

Snow dune. —A. Botsford Photo

January 1 saw a changing of the guard at the Quogue Fire Department as Ben Hubbard completed a two-year term as Chief and was succeeded by Mike Nelson, executive director of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. At Quaquanantuck joins the Mayor in thanking both Chiefs, and all the men and women of the QVFD, for their service to residents of the village.

Deanna Miller has joined the top-notch team of professionals in the Village Office. Since she will typically be the first face residents see when they come to the window in the front lobby, all are encouraged to give her a warm welcome. 

And, finally, the Mayor reminded residents that work was completed in November on the new sidewalk from the bridge to the Village Beach: perfect for a winter walk. 

Frozen shore. —Rosemary Cline Photo

Historical Society Provides Two Exhibitions for Library Art Gallery
Taking beautiful advantage of the return to in-person services and programming at the Quogue Library, an in-person reception is slated at the Library Art Gallery on Saturday, February 12, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in celebration of two exhibitions running through March 1. 

Featuring photographs by George Bradford Brainerd from the Brooklyn Museum, “QUEEN OF THE HAMPTONS: Quogue on the Cusp, circa 1875” looks at Quogue’s rapid rise as a preeminent Long Island summer resort at the end of the 19th century. 

Also on view through March 8 is the related exhibition, “Wish You Were Here … Early 20th Century Postcards of Quogue” from the collection of the Quogue Historical Society. 

At the reception on Saturday, Southampton Town Historian and Quogue Historical Society Curator Julie Greene will offer commentary on the two exhibitions. 

George Bradford Brainerd, at right, with a fellow photographer in Hempstead, circa 1875. —Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

At Quaquanantuck once again salutes Ms. Greene and QHS board member Pi Gardiner for their willingness to provide this column with in-depth context for all things historical. To wit, a release from the QHS this week tells us that when photographer George Bradford Brainerd traveled to Long Island in the mid-1870s, the small hamlet of Quogue “was on the cusp of becoming a bustling summer resort. As hyped in an 1877 Long Island Rail Road guide: “it is unsurpassed … Quogue stands pre-eminent … Known as “QUEEN OF THE HAMPTONS, Quogue rules supreme.” 

Lured by the same wonderful attributes that continue to draw visitors today, people began journeying to the south shore by stagecoach as early as the 1770s. In 1835, when the first regularly scheduled stagecoach service was established, Quogue was the second overnight stop on the three-day trip from Brooklyn to East Hampton. 

Just 10 years later, in 1844, the Long Island Railroad introduced direct service to Riverhead. “Every thrifty and intelligent farmer formed the habit of taking in summer boarders for four months of the year,” one summer lodger wrote. 

In 1870, the railroad was extended south from Riverhead and two trains a day stopped in Quogue, bringing even more summer visitors. By 1880, 13 boarding houses and hotels lined Quogue Street and the village flourished, becoming “undoubtedly, in proportion to the number of its inhabitants, the wealthiest town in L.I.” (History of Suffolk County, 1882.) 

Traveling to Quogue in the mid-1870s on the newly opened South Branch railroad, and using cameras he developed himself, George Bradford Brainerd captured views of the village as a fledgling summer retreat that are at once striking and starkly beautiful. 

The nine stunning images of Quogue in the mid-1870s displayed at the library are modern digital prints enlarged from scanned collodion silver glass wet-plate negatives. The glass-plate negatives, dating from 1870 to 1885—and each meticulously labeled with the scene and subject—were given to the Brooklyn Museum in the early 20th century.  

A classic penny postcard from the Quogue Historical Society collection.

Wish You Were Here … Early 20th Century Postcards of Quogue
The golden age of postcards in America spanned 1905 to 1915, coinciding with Quogue’s peak years as a bustling summer resort. With technological advances in photography, printing, and mass production, as well as expanded daily mail pickups and deliveries, postcards were effectively the text messages of their time, cheap and convenient to send. 

Nearly one billion penny postcards were mailed each year. Many were also purchased simply as souvenirs and never mailed. Today, they are considered collectors’ items.

The Quogue Historical Society holds more than 150 early 20th century postcards in its collection, including beach scenes, boarding houses, and summer cottages. Taken together, they create a charming visual portrayal of our village 100 years ago.

Winter wave rider. —Roger Moley Photo

As In-Person Services Return,  Library Keeps Calendar Crowded
Although the library is maintaining its abbreviated hours of operation in February, in-person services are back, and the library continues to offer plenty of engaging virtual programs for all ages and interests. 

Coming up in the next week in virtual programming, there’s “2022 Medicare Updates and Options” tomorrow, Thursday,  February 10, at 1 p.m.; Adult Fiction Book Club discussion of “Assembly” by Natasha Brown on Sunday, February 13, at noon; and “Prevent The Event: Be Heart Smart” on Tuesday, February 15 at 6:30 p.m.  

Library patrons who were hoping to get in touch with their spirit guides back in January are in luck: the Meet and Greet Your Spirit Guides program led by certified psychic medium Winter Brook has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 17, at 7 p.m. Ms. Brook will explain what spirit guides are and how individuals work with many different ones over the course of their lives. 

Winter Brook

Afterwards, Ms. Brook has promised to give mini guide readings to some of the attendees. To learn more about Ms. Brook, visit www.winterbrookmedium.com. To register for the program, click here or click on the Meet Your Spirit Guides box under Adult Programs on the library home page. 

Coming up in two weeks will be an installment of the Stony Brook Cancer Center Health Education Series on Wednesday, February 23, at noon. 

On Friday, February 25, at 7 p.m. it’s time for another Virtual Paint Party with artist Marie Camenares. All supplies (canvas, paint, brushes etc.) will be provided in a kit that will be available for pick up at the front desk beginning Friday, February 18, for $10. 

As always, the Quogue Library continues to offer a wide array of programming for younger patrons and families. To see what’s coming up over the next few weeks, or to get more information or register: visit www.quoguelibrary.org and simply click on the flier for any program that catches your interest. In every case, a registration link or instructions on how to register will pop up. Easy. 

“Ripcord” Up Next for Hampton Theatre Company
The set is under construction, the cast has been picked, and rehearsals start next week for David Lindsay-Abaire’s pointed and poignant comedy “Ripcord,” about two women vying for prime real estate in an assisted living facility. The Hampton Theatre Company production opens on March 17 and runs through April 3. Andrew Botsford directs.  

Tickets are on sale now; visit www.hamptontheatre.org or call 631-653-8955 for more information. 

Melinda Zox Launches New Residency Series at Quogue Gallery
Always looking for ways to keep fine art a part of the conversation in every season in Quogue, Quogue Gallery owners Christy and Chester Murray have organized a new Artist in Residence series for the winter months, launching this weekend with Melinda Zox. Ms. Zox will be working in the gallery space on Jessup Avenue on Saturday and Sunday, February 12 and 13, and again on Saturday and Sunday, February 19 and 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all four days.  

Melinda Zox, 2022, mixed media on watercolor paper, 9.8″ x 3.9″.—Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

According to a release from the gallery, the Artist in Residence series is designed to showcase local artists painting live in the gallery/studio space, “sharing their passion and creative process firsthand.” The fortuitous timing of the first weekend of artist residency will allow visitors to “come and be inspired, meet Melinda Zox and shop for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift,” according to the release. 

Melinda Zox is an emerging Abstract Expressionist painter who studied at the School of Visual

Arts in New York City under Frank Roth. The daughter of abstract painter Larry Zox, who played an essential role in the Color Field discourse of the 1960s and 1970s, and his artist wife Jean Glover Zox, she was raised in the heart of the downtown New York City art scene. She thinks of her childhood as “a continual lesson in the experience of art and creativity. Art, color and expression were part of our daily life and almost every conversation.” 

Melinda Zox, 2022, mixed media on watercolor paper, 16″ x 12″.Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

In her artist’s statement, Ms. Zox writes: “I work hard to develop paintings that speak both to me and to others about the beauty that exists in space, color and movement. I am drawn to color and influenced by bold, strong lines as well as dynamic powerful shapes. The work is grounded by quiet and still lines interrupted by layers of explosive energetic color.

“I feel exhilarated when I paint a new line of color interrupting the flat space creating movement, and flow. I layer the paint creating texture; building and adding more dimensions. Drawing has always been an inspirational form of expression for me. As a child, I was mesmerized by Michael Steiner steel sculptures and Alexander Calder’s mobiles, as well as the NYC architecture. I have to paint; it is my life’s blood. Paint and canvas have become instruments for me to express my feelings and be heard.”

Quogue Gallery is located at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. For more information, visit www.quoguegallery.com

Claudia Doring Baez Showing at Art Fair
Speaking of fine art, At Quaquanantuck notes with pleasure that local artist Claudia Doring Baez is showing her work this weekend at the Zona Maco Art Fair in Mexico City. With additional support from another Quogue resident, Sally Beatty, the artist is set up in Booth EJ30, an exhibition space she has dubbed “The Empty Circle.” 

Claudia Doring Baez, “David – Josephine’s Cape During the Coronation of Napoleon, Louvre,” 2021, oil on canvas, 40″ x 48″. —Image courtesy of the artist

The VIP preview and official opening of the fair were held yesterday, on Wednesday, February 9.  Hours for this weekend—for any readers who find themselves in Mexico City—will be from 1 to 9 p.m. today through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 13.


A snowy owl zeroes in on its prey. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

“Write America” Keeps the Torch Burning
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, “Write America” continues to offer programs aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Just last night, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Stony Brook Southampton Provost Robert Reeves offered a lovely tribute to and reminiscence about “Angela’s Ashes” author the late Frank McCourt.  

Coming up in the next few weeks, all at 7 p.m., will be Tyehimba Jess, Molly Gaudry and Marie Howe on Monday, February 14; Arthur Size, Alice McDermott and Henry Louis Gates on Monday, February 21; Grace Schulman and Samyak Shertok on Monday, February 28; and Robert Reeves, Jill McCorkle and Magdalene Brandeis on Monday, March 7. 

Past episodes, including the conversation about the art of cartooning between Gary Trudeau and Jules Feiffer, and the recent tribute to Frank McCourt, can be found by scrolling down on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.

Check the Byrd’s Books website for details on the February and March programs. All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, visit the Byrd’s Books website at byrdsbooks.com/write-america-reading-our-country

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.

Oh, My Aching Omicron!

Just when everyone thought that maybe, finally, it wouldn’t be just wishful thinking to imagine that life might be on the cusp of shifting into something at least bearing a slight resemblance to what we remembered from the Before Times … Omicron. 

Quaquanantuck sunset; December 25, 2021. In response to a recurring question, this photo has not been edited. —A. Botsford Photo

At the international level, the variant has been sweeping through like a brush fire in high winds, though charts continue to show the U.S. as perhaps the planet’s biggest concentrated hot spot. Despite clear statistical evidence attesting to vaccination affording better protection against serious illness and hospitalization, confusion and misinformation and even disinformation continue to fuel debate and further entrench opposition to getting the shots. 

At the local level, it seems there is no family or individual that wasn’t affected by the rapid spread of the virus during the holidays. Travel plans waylaid; dinners and family gatherings disrupted; discovery of exposure begetting contact tracing and isolation, begetting testing and reporting and then retesting; and on and on. 

Quogo Neck sunset; December 17, 2021. —Roger Moley Photo

Even so, at times when we are tempted to get bitter or mournful and resentful about the dozens of ways our plans and our lives have been and continue to be derailed by the virus, it would be good take a step back and consider the plight of—and have a good thought for—those who are really bearing the brunt of this next wave. That would be the hospital and health care workers who, without ever getting a real break or chance to recover from the devastating trauma of the first surge, are now quite literally overwhelmed once again, with no respite in sight.  

Consider how their lives and the lives of their families have been affected and surely the disappointments and canceled plans in our lives should pale to the point of disappearing. We should have a good thought for them and offer support in whatever way we can. 

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

It’s nice to think that this makes sense to someone; there seems to be a real lack of certainty. —AB Photo

Two Quogue School Alumni Named to All-Long Island Team
Many thanks to village resident Heather Haynia for sharing some great good news with At Quaquanantuck: Maximus Haynia and Gavin Ehlers, both graduates of the Quogue School who attend Westhampton Beach High School, were named to Newsday’s All-Long Island Boys Cross Country Team for fall 2021. 

Gavin Ehlers, a senior at WHB, was also named Newsday’s Long Island Runner of the Year for his outstanding record at the local, regional and state level. Announcing the roster for the All-Long Island team (click here to see the article) Newsday noted that Max Haynia, a junior at WHB, “was consistently second behind Ehlers on Long Island’s top team.” 

Congratulations to both of these outstanding athletes; and thank you for bringing some light to these difficult times through your achievements.  

Library Shifts Schedule and Programs in Response to Surge
As might be feared and perhaps even expected, the Quogue Library has not been spared the disruptions wrought by Covid’s new chip off the old block. Which is to say that the Omicron variant has left the library short staffed, in addition to making in-person, indoor programs potentially more perilous in terms of transmission of the virus. 

The result is as one might imagine: all programming will be virtual only at least through the end of January. In addition, the library has to limit traditional services to curbside only, during scaled back hours. The temporary schedule, for the time being, is: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; closed Wednesday; Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

To make a curbside pickup request, patrons can click here, or go to the Quogue Library website, www.quoguelibrary.org, and click on the box with the text: Click Here to Reserve Items for Curbside Pickup. At that link, patrons will be asked to fill out a form for curbside pickup requests; a library staffer will call when items are ready for pickup. 

Adrift in a drift, garden gnomes greet the arrival of winter. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Pickup will be located in front of the library at 90 Quogue Street. Patrons arriving to pick up their items are asked to call 631-653-4224, ext 101.

In line with the Omicron response policy, the library’s January Board of Trustees meeting will be virtual, at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 15. Click here or go to the library website to register. 

Appropriately, under Adult Programs on its home page, the library is offering a connection to free, confidential, and anonymous counseling for anyone feeling overwhelmed during Covid, a joint project of  NYProject Hope and New Horizon Counseling Center. For more information, call 1-855-818-HOPE (4673). 

Weekly group sessions are also offered under the program, on Mondays at noon and 4 p.m. To join, open Google Meet and enter the code: zbs-gkhb-jca.

January is a decidedly good month for indoor pursuits, so it’s great to have follow-along video recipes from The Baking Coach available online this month. The recipes and video demonstrations on tap for January include: French onion soup; creamy baked potato soup; and buttermilk biscuits. The library’s Baking Coach page is here, and on the library website. Hard copies of the recipes will also be available for curbside pickup.   

Virtual exercise options continue via the library website, with Leisa Taylor leading Pilates for Everyone on Monday, January 24, and Monday, January 31. Ms. Taylor will also be leading Follow Along Cardio classes on Tuesday, January 18, and Tuesday, January 25. The fee is $10 per each class; visit the library website or call 631-653-4224, ext. 101, to register. 

Winter Brook

Library patrons looking to get in touch with their spirit guides are in luck: certified psychic medium Winter Brook will be leading a virtual Meet and Greet Your Spirit Guides program today, Thursday, January 13, at 7 p.m. Ms. Brook will explain what spirit guides are and how individuals work with many different ones over the course of their lives. 

Afterwards, Ms. Brook has promised to give mini guide readings to some of the attendees. To learn more about Ms. Brook, and perhaps the certification process for psychic mediums, visit www.winterbrookmedium.com. To register for tonight’s program, click here or click on the Meet Your Spirit Guides box under Adult Programs on the library home page. 

For those patrons who might prefer to be in touch with aspects of the physical world, the library is tapping into an East Hampton Library presentation of a Virtual Tour of the Fire Island National Seashore’s Sunken Forest, also today, and also at 7 p.m. A park ranger will lead the virtual tour of this globally rare maritime holly forest, discussing the resident plants and animals and the natural forces that created this unique ecosystem, as well as the threats it faces today. 

For this program, a Zoom meeting ID and password will be emailed to all participants 15 minutes prior to the start of the event. To register, call the East Hampton Library at 631-324-0222, ext. 3; or visit www.easthamptonlibrary.org. As always, the Quogue Library continues to offer a wide array of programming for younger patrons and families. To see what’s coming up over the next few weeks, or to get more information or register: visit www.quoguelibrary.org and simply click on the flier for any program that catches your interest. In every case, a registration link or instructions on how to register will pop up. Easy.

Snowy owl on a snag near Sebonack Creek. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Just in Time: Thoughts Turn to Summer at Wildlife Refuge
What better way to greet the new year and the onset of frigid days and nights than to start looking ahead to summer? 

That’s what the folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge are doing, sending out an email blast this week announcing that registration is now open for QWR members for all Summer Camp programs: Little Naturalists, ages 4 to 6; Summer Ecology, entering grades 2 to 6; Young Explorers, grades 7 to 9; and Explorers, grades 10 to 12. 

Complete registration instructions are available on the QWR website, but readers should be aware that QWR members at the Family level or above receive priority registration through May 11, 2022. This is a real benefit of membership, since these programs tend to fill up fast. 

Memberships are only valid through the calendar year; so all those who were members last summer who haven’t renewed will need to renew before registering. And bear in mind that Family memberships are only valid for immediate family (parents and children) and not for grandchildren. 

So, get all the info; confirm membership status, gather the required documents; and get the young ones signed up now for the age-appropriate programs at the Refuge this summer. www.quoguewildliferefuge.org 

Between Paula Prentis, her husband Peter Prentis and Peter’s sister, Patricia Prentis, the Prentis family has been provided with a plethora of peripatetic photographers. On January 6, Peter Prentis captured the sunset at the shoreline, above, and sent it to his sister Patricia, who submitted it to At Quaquanantuck. The next day, Paula Prentis got the image below of the beach blanketed in snow just after the flakes stopped flying.

The next Full Moon Night Hike at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge steps off at 5 p.m. on Monday, January 17. Adults and families with children age 11 and up can 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 at least 24 hours prior, as space is limited. 

The evening of Saturday, January 29, has been set aside for another session of Light the Night Winter Trail Walks from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Adults and families are invited to visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/light-the-night to reserve an arrival time for a self-guided, peaceful stroll through the gently illuminated forest trails.

Flashlights are not permitted during the walk. And strollers are reminded that this is a quiet walk, and parents must accompany their children and encourage them to enjoy the trail quietly. 

The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under, with all fees going to support the work of the Refuge. The next evening for Light the Night Winter Trail Walks will be on Saturday, February 12.  

Earth Yoga with Amy Hess returns to the Refuge at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays beginning on February 2. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat for this one-hour class. Pre-register and pre-pay the $15 fee online or by calling 631-653-4771, as space is limited. 

The class will be held indoors in the Nature Center, so masks will be required. The Nature Center will open at 8:45 a.m. for yoga students who want to arrive early and settle in.

This short-lived snowman was built by Dashiell Deckoff, above, just before the rains came on Sunday, January 9. —Jane Deckoff Photo

On Saturday, February 5, the QWR is planning to host an in-person Seals on Long Island program in the Nature Center at 11 a.m. several species of seals seen in NY waters? A representative from the New York Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC) will discuss the various species of seals seen in New York waters; the best practices when observing seals in their natural environment; how human interaction can negatively affect them; common illnesses and injuries seen in seal patients; and what’s involved in restoring these animals to good health. 

Visitors will have a chance to learn about NYMRC efforts to help these animals in need, and how to get involved in helping protect and preserve the local marine environment.

This is a free program and an RSVP is required as space is limited. All programs are, of course, subject to change based on Covid-19 safety regulations. Masks are required for all visitors to the indoor Nature Center.

For more information or to register, call 631-653-4771 or visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org

And on Wednesday, February 9, at 6 p.m., the QWR will present a virtual program on the History of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1934, the Refuge has a fascinating origin story, beginning with ice harvesting on the aptly named Ice Pond and the early stages of a nationwide waterfowl conservation movement. The virtual Zoom presentation is a free program for 2022 members in honor of Member Appreciation Month.

To register in advance for this meeting, click here or visit the Refuge website. All those who register will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Sundown behind the dunes. —A. Botsford Photo

Theatre Company Looks Back and Forward
Doing the January thing of looking back at the past year while looking ahead to the new one, the members of the Hampton Theatre Company are counting up the successes of 2021 while hoping to improve on these in 2022. 

Last May, the company finally managed to stage its long-delayed revival of “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney, albeit playing to houses limited to 30 percent of capacity with a full array of Covid protocols in place. 

Then, in the fall, George Loizides directed a game cast in a stirring production of “Native Gardens” by Karen Zacarias, with no capacity limits for this show. Proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours were required, and masks covering nose and mouth had to stay in place throughout the performance. 

On December 11, four members of the company—Roger Moley, Rebecca Edana, Amanda Griemsmann, and Andrew Botsford—who had signed up sponsors for the HTC team joined hundreds of others for the Polar Bear Plunge into the icy Atlantic at Cooper’s Beach in Southampton to support the Heart of the Hamptons community food pantry and other good works. Thanks to the generosity of the greater Quogue community, the HTC team raised $3,303, placing fifth in fund-raising among all teams signed up to take the Plunge. 

Coming up next will be a production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s pointed and poignant comedy “Ripcord,” about two women vying for prime real estate in an assisted living facility, opening on March 17 and running through April 3. Andrew Botsford directs.  Auditions will be held on Sunday and Monday, January 16 and 17, and rehearsals are scheduled to start on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Details about the play and auditions, and ticket sales, are on the website, www.hamptontheatre.org

On Sunday, December 26, At Quaquanantuck columnist Andrew Botsford, Lucy Carroll and Veronica Botsford took advantage of the mild conditions for a (very) quick dip. —Barrett Worthington Photo

“Write America” Continues to Shine
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, “Write America” continues to offer programs aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Always illuminating, informative and inspiring as well as entertaining, the weekly episodes can be relied upon to bring good talk and great insights into whatever space that audiences are receiving them. A recent standout was the special event on Wednesday, January 5, when Al Gore talked with series creator Roger Rosenblatt. 

The good news for devotees as well as those who might be new to the series is that past episodes, including the recent program with Al Gore, can be found by scrolling down on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.

Coming up on Monday, January 17, at 7 p.m. will be novelist, memoirist and children’s book author Susan Shreve in conversation with Thomas Becker. Mr. Becker served for 32 years as the 17th president of the Chautauqua Institution, the 148-year-old not-for-profit organization dedicated to lifelong learning based on its four pillars of art, education, religion and recreation. 

Gary Trudeau

A very special Write America installment on Monday, January 24, at 7 p.m. will feature genre giants Gary Trudeau and Jules Feiffer in conversation about the art of cartooning.

Frank McCourt

Check the Byrd’s Books website for details on the January 31 and February programs, but be sure to mark the calendar now for the special event on February 9 at 7 p.m. when former two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and novelist and Stony Brook Southampton Provost Robert Reeves honor their late friend and beloved colleague Frank McCourt. 

All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, visit the Byrd’s Books website at byrdsbooks.com/write-america-reading-our-country

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.

Making the Turn

And, just like that, we’ve arrived at the winter solstice.

Not sure why it comes as such a surprise to At Quaquanantuck. All the signs have been there: the Christmas decorations going up everywhere before anyone could even start to make a dent in leftover Halloween candy; the “holiday” music dropping in as the universal soundtrack for shoppers in every store; the leaves collecting on the curbs; the shorter and shorter days.

Tide pool. —A. Botsford Photo

Maybe it’s surprising because of the number, and the scope, of the distractions. While it’s tempting to blame Covid—and our daily efforts to cope with the shapeshifting nature of the virus and its variants as well as the protocols drafted to deal with it—the pandemic and its global fallout are just a simmering, foundational base layer under the existential fear, anxiety and dismay streaming out of the news cycle: 

Climate crisis. Environmental depredation. Bitter culture wars, tribalism, and political posturing blocking progress on addressing so many problems that affect us all. The ascendance of self-serving fiction over facts and the decline of adherence to the principles of equality and justice upon which this nation was founded—are there any truths anymore that can be held to be self-evident? Gun violence writ large once again in yet another school shooting. Economic instability for some; intractable poverty for others. Point of view trumping jurisprudence. Darkness gathers. 

So the solstice can’t come soon enough. Every year at this time in the northern hemisphere, in different ways and different faiths, we welcome the return of the light as the Earth starts tilting little by little back toward the sun. Along with the light, we join together to celebrate love and family and community and brighter days ahead.

Clean break. —A. Botsford Photo

This year, rather than succumbing to the encroaching darkness, let’s take advantage of this opportunity to set aside our differences and the perspectives that divide us and reach out to celebrate our shared humanity. Let’s take a lesson from the unofficial Christmas truce of 1914 in World War I, when soldiers on both sides of the conflict emerged from the trenches and shared gestures of goodwill.

In line with this historic, all too brief, from-the-bottom-up cessation of hostilities—coupled with the Dickensian directive to honor Christmas in our hearts and “try to keep it all the year”—may we all try to climb out of the trenches we have dug for ourselves and seek common ground in our communities and in the larger life of the world. Let’s try to remember the quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead that the Quogue Wildlife Refuge so thoughtfully shares in much of its correspondence: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 

However challenging it might be, perhaps we can reflect some of the gradual increase of light beyond the holiday season in our efforts to truly embrace the ideas of real peace on Earth and sincere good will to all women and men. Happy Solstice to all!


Carolers from the Quogue School warmed up the crowd at the Quogue Fire Department sponsored Holiday Lighting ceremony and visit from Santa on December 3. —A. Botsford Photos

Looking for a Winter Wonderland? Try the Wildlife Refuge
The holiday season got a lovely launch over at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge on December 4 with more than 400 people descending on the Refuge for a very successful Light the Night Winter Trail Walk and Outdoor Holiday Market. 

The welcoming lights of the Quogue Wildlife Refuge Outdoor Holiday Market on December 4. Below, Stefanie Wagner and the Gigi’s Jewelry team. —Photos courtesy of QWR

As QWR Associate Director Marisa Nelson reported to At Quaquanantuck: “Our first Outdoor Holiday Market was a fun success!  Folks were kept a little warmer thanks to some toasty heat towers and complimentary hot cocoa. Patrons seemed to really enjoy shopping from local small businesses and meeting the artisans. 

“In addition, we were thrilled with the turnout of 428 people who walked the Light the Night Winter Trail Walk. We have additional Light the Night walks scheduled for two Saturdays: January 29 and February 12 for anyone who missed it, or would love to experience it again.”

In the near term, Ms. Nelson advised that there is still space available in three upcoming walks: the Full Moon Night Hike on Friday, December 17; the Guided Forest Walk on Saturday, December 18; and the Sunset Solstice Hike on December 21. 

The Full Moon Night Hike on Friday steps off at 4:30 p.m. Adults and families with children age 11 and up can 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 at least 24 hours prior, as space is limited. 

The 9 a.m. Guided Forest Walk on Saturday is designed for folks who are not comfortable walking the trails in the dark during full moon night hikes. Adults, seniors, and families can celebrate the full moon with this morning guided hike through the forest. Reservations and payment ($10, or $5 for QWR members) is required in advance.  

The Sunset Solstice Hike is another echo of the standard Full Moon Night Hike. Stepping off at 4 p.m., adults and families with children over 11 will look and listen for crepuscular as well as nocturnal creatures and enjoy some of the same night vision activities that one might encounter on a full moon night hike. Cost is $10 for QWR members or $20 for non-members; reservations required at least 24 hours prior.

For more information on any of these programs, visit quoguewildliferefuge.org or call 631-653-4771. 

Quogue Wildlife Refuge ornaments are available for sale in the Nature Center, open noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. —Photo courtesy of QWR

Meanwhile, with Christmas arriving just one week from Saturday, there are some wonderful last-minute shopping options inside the Nature Center at the Refuge. Stocking stuffers, apparel and accessories, and even tasty treats for our avian friends are all available: QWR pewter ornaments; Audubon bird plush; Wild Republic plush animals; Wild Clingers; Nature Tubes; wooden frogs in two sizes; QWR embroidered hats; QWR hooded sweatshirts; hand-knit wrap-scarves; the children’s book “Moonglow”; and wine glasses, to name just a few items. 

There is also a limited supply of birdseed, including black oil sunflower, wild bird mix, and a surfeit of suet cakes.

Shopping in the Nature Center is from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; masks are required indoors.


Great blue heron on the wing. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Feast Your Eyes on “White Christmas” at Quogue Library Saturday
The next in-person Film Feast at the library is coming up this Saturday, December 18, at 6 p.m. when the featured film will be “White Christmas,” the 1954 holiday feature directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. 

Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen and Danny Kaye team up for song, dance and romance in “White Christmas,” screening at this weekend’s Film Feast at the Quogue Library.

One of the first movies filmed in VistaVision and featuring classic songs by Irving Berlin—including the timeless title tune (first heard in the 1942 Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby romp “Holiday Inn”)—this comedy/romance/musical spins a yarn about two successful song-and-dance men who become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

The Variety review of a preview screening in December of 1953 reported that “Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, along with VistaVision, keep the entertainment going in this fancifully staged production, clicking well.”

Writing about a restored version of the film that returned to the big screen briefly in 2008, a staffer at Total Film wrote: “This was the ‘Mamma Mia!’ of its day, a nostalgic blast of popular Irving Berlin show tunes gift-wrapped in new-fangled VistaVision that danced its way to the top of the 1954 box office.”

The “price” of admission for this holiday themed Film Feast will be a potluck dish to serve at least six people and a beverage to share. Masks required; festive holiday attire optional. Email info@quoguelibrary.org or call 631-653-4224, ext. 101, to register or for more information.

December 5 was a perfect, windless day for a low cruise. —A. Botsford Photo

Just When You Thought You Had a Handle on Village History
Sometimes, but not always, a search for something in the past can lead.to discoveries about something else that is even more intriguing. 

Consider as a case in point the recent search by Southampton Town Historian and Quogue Historical Society Curator Julie Greene and QHS board member Pi Gardiner for some kind of Quogue Christmas story in the QHS archives. One item they came across seemed a likely candidate: a perfect fit for the snappy headline, “When Coal in Your Stocking Was a Good Thing.” Here’s the item, taken from The County Review of Thursday, December 19, 1935 (boldface mine): 

“There were over three hundred players at the card party given by the Quogue Women’s Athletic Association in the Community House last week. Miss Julia Spatowski of Jamesport won the door prize of a ton of coal. George W. Still won a half ton of coal for the highest score in bridge and D. Gardiner won the half ton of coal for the highest score in 500.”

That’s a lot of coal in winnings; two tons of it to be precise. But wait … what’s that about the Quogue Women’s Athletic Association? Intrigued, the ever diligent Raiders of the Lost Ark Ms. Greene and Ms. Gardiner followed up on this tasty lead. And this is what they found: 

“The Quogue Women’s Athletic Association (known as the QWAA) was formed in 1935. Basketball was among the sports they played, but they would only play against teams that followed the men’s rules.” No shrinking violets in the QWAA.

“In addition to athletics, the QWAA provided food baskets at holiday times for the sick and needy, raising funds through strawberry festivals, beach picnics, suppers, dances, fashion shows, and other entertainments throughout the year.” Among those entertainments was the timeless gem “Aunt Samanthy Rules the Roost, A Farce in Three Acts” by Charles George. Time and place for the action of the play were “The Dawn of Woman Suffrage” and the “Home of Samanthy Simpkins of Simpkinsville.” And while the play may have been written by a man, all the parts—male and female—were played by the women of the QWAA. 

The QHS has already expressed hopes that the Hampton Theatre Company will consider reviving this storied success, but several issues need to be resolved first: namely, first locating a copy of the script and then ascertaining who holds the rights to this priceless IP. 

After establishing from the group’s constitution that it was founded “to participate in various athletics and aid in charitable work,” a follow up investigation yielded another clipping. This one revealed that the QWAA had elected Mrs. Mae Sacks president at the annual meeting, which was followed by a “novel program” marking the group’s first anniversary. 

“The entertainment took the form of an Amateur Hour ove Broadcasting Station QWAA,” the clipping reads. “Kathryn Golding was Graham McCracker, announcer, and Eunice Raynor was Major Woes, conducting the amateur.” 

After listing various cast members and the comical names of their characters, the article reveals that “Ballots were cast for the prizewinners: the Hula Girls received first, the Eavesdroppers second, and Buzz Wood third.” 

At Quaquanantuck is beyond grateful that the QHS has shared this wonderful treasure from the past, and hopes that there are athletic and charity minded women living in our community now who will be inspired to revive this spirited group. 

Library Programming in High Gear for December and January
Lots of engaging options in programs coming up at the Quogue Library. 

Artist Garrett Chingery’s “The Ark” exhibition, featuring a selection of new paintings of wild and domestic animals from around the world, will remain on view in the library Art Gallery through January 4. 

An “Intro to Google” technology class led by the amazing tech assistant Amber will be offered on Saturday, December 18, at 10 a.m. Participants are invited to bring a device and follow along as Amber introduces all the different apps that Google has to offer. Discussion will include Slides, Docs and Sheets, all available for free. Call the library at 631-653-4224, ext. 101, to register. 

A Teen Night Out program on Sunday, December 19, at 4 p.m. will feature a screening of “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Registration for Youth Services (Quogue Library) begins on December 20. 

Exercise classes at the library will be virtual through December, with pilates offered on Mondays at 10 a.m. and cardio on Tuesdays, also at 10 a.m. 

Quogue Library staffers Amanda, Amber, and Chloe created this lovely symbol of the season during the Holiday Tree program led by Rori of Flowers by Rori. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo 

The library will host a Winter Floral Arrangement class led by the exceptionally talented Rori of Flowers by Rori on Saturday, January 8, at 2:30 p.m. There is a $30 fee for materials for this in-person, adult class; limited to 15 people.

The computer animated film “Ice Age” will be screened for the Family Movie Night on Saturday, January 8, at 4 p.m. All ages welcome for this in-person program. 

The next meeting of the Adult Fiction Book Club will be held on Sunday, January 9 at noon, when the book under discussion will be “The Nature of Fragile Things” by Susan Meissner. 

For ages 15 and up there will be an “Adulting 101: Resume Writing” in-person workshop on Sunday, January 16 at 2:30 p.m. 

An in-person program on “Botanical Prints on Old Book Pages” will be offered at the library on Saturday, January 22, at 1 p.m. Participants will learn how to transfer images of favorite plants and flowers to make foam “stamps” that will be printed onto old book pages. At the end of the workshop, the prints will be mounted onto wood. 

There is a $10 charge for materials due before class. No previous art experience needed. Participants are requested to bring images of plants that they would like to use. 

For more information or to register for these programs, call 631-653-4224, ext. 101; or visit www.quoguelibrary.org

As always, the Quogue Library continues to offer a wide array of programming for children, teens/tweens, families, and adults of all ages. Getting more information and registering is easy: visit www.quoguelibrary.org and simply click on the flier for any program that catches your interest and a registration link or instructions on how to register will pop up. 

Full moon river. —Michael Cook Photo

Update from “Write America” Founder Roger Rosenblatt
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, “Write America” continues to offer programs aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

In a recent missive to the legions of writers and friends connected to the program, Write America founder Roger Rosenblatt provided an update and a holiday salutation, excerpted here. 

“Just a brief account of our recent and upcoming activities,” Mr. Rosenblatt wrote, “and good wishes to you all. 

“The past few weeks have been sort of heady, with the appearance of Norman Lear, the 99-year-old new kid on our block, and 95-year-old Alan Bergman, a kid in comparison. So impressive to see how these two memorable writers, working in such different genres, have given their creative lives to the common comedy, sweetness, and torments of human behavior. They were fulfilling Write America’s purposes long before there ever was us.”

After providing details on the last reading of the first year, by Juan Felipe Herrera and David Tomas Martinez, on December 13, and a special event with Richard Ford and Bruce Weber celebrating the memory of E.L. Doctorow on December 14, Mr. Rosenblatt went on to note that “From time to time, we will do these appreciations of the greats we knew. On February 9, 2022, Billy Collins, the most appealing public poet since Whitman, and the word-playful novelist Robert Reeves will honor their friend Frank McCourt. 

“In another kind of special event, on January 5, I’ll have a conversation with Al Gore, who has recently joined us, about his invaluable books on climate change (politics too, probably). And on January 24, 2022, Jules Feiffer and Garry Trudeau will talk to each other about cartooning, of which both have made high art, suggesting how many essential words may be implied in the lines that make up a drawing. 

“But before I get too far ahead of myself, continued thanks to you all for sustaining our enterprise with such gusto and a rich variety of gifts. Watching you each week, as you read your work and chat with one another, and with Alice, one is stunned with admiration at the lives and minds you put before our audiences. The individual power of each of you is only surpassed by the collective power, which is breathtaking. (I’m glad we’ll keep an archive.)  And the evident pleasure you take in one another’s work is – well, one sighs. Our words are our bond. 

“Since writers take no holidays, I won’t wish you a happy one – except at those quietly rapturous moments when you sit back and smile (just a little) at a well-wrought phrase, line, or sentence. You may also take some satisfaction in knowing that little by little, Write America may be proving its point. People are people, available to the same joys, shames, loves, and griefs to which we give expression every day of our miserable, neurotic, ecstatic lives.” 

All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, visit the Byrd’s Books website at byrdsbooks.com/write-america-reading-our-country

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.

Giving Thanks

Honoring a promise made to the late Quogue Village Historian and keeper of the flame Pat Shuttleworth, At Quaquanantuck is happy to share once again—even if it’s not in newsprint that can be put up on the refrigerator anymore—its annual reflection on just a few of the many things for which all of us who are lucky enough to spend time in this blessed community can be truly grateful.

Morning light. —A. Botsford Photo

With so many challenges continuing to dog us as we attempt to navigate our way out of the pandemic and get past seemingly intractable political divides in order to address the burgeoning threats to our democracy and the very future of our planet, it is more important than ever that we understand just how fortunate we are to be living in Quogue, so that we might better show compassion and generosity to those who are not so blessed. 

With beachfront erosion a constant threat even under the best of circumstances, we can all be extremely thankful that 2021 was another off year for hurricanes making a direct hit on the eastern seaboard. Still, we must always honor the lessons of the past by remaining vigilant, heeding evacuation warnings, and following safety protocols when a major storm has the East End even tangentially in its sights. And always bear in mind that it’s not a question of if another major storm will hit Long Island, only when. 

Dunes at dusk. —A. Botsford Photo

We can be thankful for, and humbled by, the courage and community spirit of the members of the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department and all first responders, ready to make whatever sacrifices are called for to ensure the safety and protect the property of all residents.

And we can be grateful for the certainty that once we get past the remaining restrictions and prudent caution required by the lingering and resurgent threat of Covid, the fire department—which thankfully brought back the Open House this year and has continued to give fire safety lessons to Quogue School students—will resume all the activities and programs that help give our village its identity: a full fledged Halloween Ghost Parade, support services for Santa’s visit to the Village Green, the Easter Egg hunt, and the traditional pancake breakfast at the firehouse on Thanksgiving weekend, which will be sorely missed again this year.  

Here, and next door at the Fire Department, and next door in the Quogue Village Hall. —A. Botsford Photo

Likewise we can be thankful that we are blessed with the talented teams of people who work for the Village of Quogue and serve in village government, in the Village Office and Building Department, on the police force, and out on the roads and bays: their dedication to helping us all keep safe through the pandemic and their community spirit translate into the best possible quality of life for all of us.

We can be grateful that our beautiful Community Hall has been, and will continue to be, a center for the performing arts on eastern Long Island. Home to the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe and the Hampton Theatre Company as well as the Quogue Chamber Music series and special Westhampton Garden Club programs, the Community Hall is a thriving cultural hub only because of the support of the fine folks in Village Hall, donors, subscribers and volunteers, and the creative people dedicated to making theater and presentations of the highest quality to honor this support. 

Nice day for a dip. —A. Botsford Photo

We can give thanks that the Quogue School has been certified as one of the best schools on the East End—and in all of New York State—courtesy of the caring and committed teachers, administrators, support staff and the Parent Teacher Association all working together to create a truly superlative and nurturing educational experience, all while meeting or exceeding the highest standards of elementary school education.

In cataloguing our gratitude, it bears mentioning that a comparison of local school district taxes shows that a recent comparison shows the Quogue School District with the lowest rate at $1.88 per $1,000 of assessed value. For perspective, consider that the Westhampton Beach district was the next lowest at $5.95 per $1,000.

Our village is blessed, too, with the fantastic Quogue Library, now establishing healthy roots after returning to its beautifully renovated, restored and expanded headquarters on Quogue Street. 

Give credit for the completion of the project and the vast array of in-person and virtual programs there to an enthusiastic and thoroughly engaged board of directors and an accomplished and helpful staff. The overwhelming support and vote of confidence that the library received for the project was clearly offered in recognition of the vital role the library has in binding our community together, across generations, different viewpoints and disciplines.

Another jewel of our village is the Quogue Historical Society, managing and curating the artifacts and accounts of Quogue’s storied history dating back to the 17th century for the benefit of young and old, today and for generations to come. At Quaquanantuck is particularly grateful to the Society, the always helpful board member Pi Gardiner, and Curator Julie Greene for frequently sharing fascinating tidbits of village history that immeasurably improve the texture of this column’s postings.   

January at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. —Marilyn Di Carlo Photo

On the northern border of our village sits another reason to be thankful: the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, where—thanks to the Southampton Town Wildfowl Association, the village, the town, and thousands of supporters since 1934—all are welcome to wander and experience and learn about the unspoiled natural beauty of this area, the flora and fauna and hundreds of direct links to the spirit of Quogue’s past. 

Although the Westhampton Garden Club doesn’t have our village name in its title, Quogue is clearly ever-present in the hearts and minds of its members. The WGC established and maintains all the public gardens in Quogue, including the flowers and greenery at the Village Green; the historic garden and the pollinator garden at the Quogue Library; and the Butterfly Garden at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, calling attention to “The Pollinators” and threats to the monarch butterfly and bee populations, among others. The WGC has also brought renowned speakers to the village, offering engaging and compelling programs that have packed the Community Hall. 

November surf sunset, with gulls. —A. Botsford Photo

Need more? How about the Quogue Association? Nothing inspires gratitude like the efforts of a group of people who get together to inform, educate, do good works, and throw great parties based on a shared love for the place where they live. It is incumbent upon all of us who care about our village—and is there anyone who doesn’t?—to join or donate to the Quogue Association, or if you are already a member, to renew your membership right away, at quogueassociation.org.

The beautiful, tree-lined “business district” of our village, on Jessup Avenue and out to Montauk Highway, has never been more vibrant, with a wondrous makeover of the Quogue Country Market, which is now open year-round, and shops like Double Rainbow, Homespun, the Little Q Quogue Shop, Quogue Liquors, Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon, Flowers by Rori and Jen Going Interiors offering a range of goods and services to delight all ages and tastes. 

The beautiful private Quogue Gallery is another jewel in the necklace of our business district. Appropriate for a celebration of our community at this time of year, an opening reception for the “Quogue in Common” group exhibition is scheduled this weekend, on Saturday, November 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. Masks required. 

The Quogue Village Dock, aka Sunset Central. —A. Botsford Photo

Continue with the checklist: The Post Office, the Board of Election volunteers, the Village Dock and boat launching ramps, the expanded Village Beach facility and the drawbridge that provides access to it, the Quogue Cemetery Association: all of these places and institutions and the people who work for them and who make them work so well: all of  these contribute essential and cultural services, texture and color to make Quogue truly beautiful, and unique. 

Another day, another beautiful sunset captured from the end of Quogo Neck. —Elizabeth Caputo

At Quaquanantuck is aware that these are the most obvious elements of life in our village that prompt our gratitude. Photos and news items regularly sent in to this column by readers over the course of the year offer a more nuanced picture. It is hoped that readers will continue this practice; please send news and social items, comments and observations, and photos (in Large size if taken on a smartphone) to AtQuaq@gmail.com

Glassy Penniman. —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

On a personal note, At Quaquanantuck is sincerely grateful to all the people who have shown their appreciation for this column by sending in payments for voluntary one-year “subscriptions,” so that the column, now posted monthly (-ish, sort of), can continue to be accessed for free by all who care to read it. 

Quogue Canal sunset. —Geoff Judge Photo

Seeing the health crisis and economic havoc wrought by the pandemic in our nation and around the world; seeing so much conflict around the globe and so many forced to flee their homes and struggle, amid horrific circumstances, to make a new start; observing the meteorological anomalies, natural disasters, and other mounting threats stemming from global warming; and ticking off so many other challenges facing so much of our planet today: may none of us ever take for granted the security of having comfortable shelter, and may we all be ever mindful of all the natural beauty and all of the many blessings we share in this village as we celebrate this holiday of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!