Let Spring Yield to Summer Now

As far as fresh local produce is concerned, it’s still very early in the season. Not so early, though, that there are no options to choose from for some farm-to-table goodness.

Want to know more about what’s available, and maybe pick up a few items to prepare at home? Get over to the Quogue Library on Saturday, June 3, at 1 p.m. and meet Tony Nurel of Nurel’s Farmers Market—the former little farm stand that was converted to an all-season produce warehouse just east of the railroad overpass in Hampton Bays on the way to the Shinnecock Canal. 

On Saturday, you don’t have to drive to Hampton Bays to tap into Mr. Nurel’s expertise, as he will be talking at the library about sources for local produce and also what’s fresh and in season and available for the late spring, early summer dining table. Local produce will be available for purchase after the event. Call the library at 631-653-4224 for more information.

First Show of Summer Abstract Series

“Gail Miller: Drawn Together,” the first show of the Summer Abstract Series slated at the Quogue Library Art Gallery this year, opens today, June 1, and will run through Sunday, June 18.  

A Quogue-based artist, Gail Miller previously exhibited her paintings executed in cloth at the library in 2010. “Drawn Together” consists of two bodies of recent watercolors and drawings, related in form but executed in the different mediums to reflect the content and inspiration.

“The watercolors are inspired by my reading of ‘Moby Dick’ and have a fluid movement as if afloat at sea,” the artist said. “The drawings utilize the medium of colored pencils, which allows me to explode across the paper.”

According to Ms. Miller, “My forms are interactive, bouncing off one another, splitting apart, moving through space.  These drawings and paintings are organic.  The organisms give life to each other, both within one drawing and also amongst the entire body of work.”

Ms. Miller has an MFA from Hunter College and was an instructor in visual arts at Fordham University for many years. She has shown in numerous venues in New York State and recently in Seoul, South Korea and her work is in many private collections.

Visit www.gailmillerartist.com to see more of the artist’s work.

Christy Murray and Cristina Kepner are chairs of this show, which will be on exhibit from June 1 to 25.

On the subject of art, be sure to get over to the Quogue Gallery on the corner of Jessup Avenue and Quogue Street to see the “Laura Lobdell: Swell” exhibition, which is coming down after June 7.

Sunday Jazz with Dennis Raffelock Duo

The Dennis Raffelock Duo, featuring vocalist and bassist Dennis Raffelock and guitar virtuoso Mark Marino, will play songs from Mr. Raffelock’s “So Many Way” CD as well as classics and standards like “It Had to Be You,” “Misty” and “Satin Doll” from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, at the Quogue Library.

Trailing a long list of credits and prestigious venues where he has played, Mr. Raffelock will share his thoughts on jazz and provide insights about this classic American form of music. Light refreshments will be served; call the library at 631-653-4224 for more information or to register.  

Spring Music Fest at Wildlife Refuge

A Rites of Spring Music Fest will be held Sunday, June 4, at 5 p.m. at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, featuring Cliff Baldwin and ACME, the Aquebogue Contemporary Music Ensemble. Just prior to the concert, there will be a presentation with live owls and a conversation with East End naturalists and the composer at QWR at 4:30 p.m.

“Quogue Nocturne” is a live concert by the Aquebogue Contemporary Music Ensemble featuring the sounds of the natural environment and live performers. The piece is an electroacoustic soundscape of water, birds, flora and fauna, all sourced locally and the ensemble will mix field recordings made by the composer in Aquebogue, Chiang Mai, Thailand and Quogue with music performed live.

Sounds from owls, frogs, and crickets from the East End and Southeast Asia will mesh with sounds of the immediate environment.

The concert will be followed by a Wild Food and complimentary wine reception offered in collaboration with Early Girl Farms and Laurel Lake Vineyards. For tickets call the Quogue Wildlife Refuge at 631-653-4771.

Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels at QWR

Also on tap at the Refuge this weekend will be a presentation on “Rain Gardens, Rain Barrels and Native Plant Gardens” on Sunday, June 4, at 1 p.m., just a few hours before the Rites of Spring Music Fest.

The Peconic Estuary Program is taking the lead with this informative program about the benefits and ways to install a rain garden and/or rain barrels. Other topics to be covered include the Homeowner Rewards Program, which offers a $500 reimbursement for homeowners who live in the Peconic Estuary Watershed interested in installing a rain garden, rain barrel or native plant garden on their property.

This incentive was introduced as a way to reduce the amount of pollution, including a reduction or elimination of fertilizers and pesticides entering our local waterways. A free program for adults. Reservations required; call 631-653-4771.

Comedy Continues on Quogue Stage

This weekend is the second for the Hampton Theatre Company production of Michael Frayn’s “Alarms and Excursions” at the Quogue Community Hall. This collection of five rollicking comedies by the author of “Noises Off” runs through June 11, with shows on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.

On June 10, the final Saturday of the run, the HTC will present an additional 2:30 p.m. matinee prior to that evening’s performance at 8 p.m.

There may be some tickets left for the HTC’s  special benefit performance of “Alarms and Excursions” on Saturday, June 3. Audience members paying $175 per person or $300 per couple to support the company will enjoy a glass of wine or beer and hors d’oeuvres at the theater at 6 p.m. prior to the 6:30 p.m. curtain; a cocktail reception and buffet follows the performance at the Quogue Field Club. For more information about the benefit performance, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, email info@hamptontheatre.org, or call 631-653-8955.

The five separate “dizzyingly funny” (Variety) mini plays of “Alarms and Excursions” serve up the playwright’s observations about the way longtime couples cope with their dependence on the so-called technological “advances” of the modern world and how their relationships are shaped by the routines and roles they have established with each other.

As noted previously, the cast of “Alarms and Excursions” features Hampton Theatre Company veterans Rosemary Cline, Andrew Botsford, Jane Lowe (Baldwin) and George A. Loizides.

To reserve tickets, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

Remembering Teddy Prentis

Edmund Astley “Teddy” Prentis IV—brother of Peter Prentis of Quogue and a longtime friend to several Quogue residents—died in a motorbike accident on May 11, 2017, in Bermuda. He was 68.

A resident of Delray Beach, Florida, Westhampton Beach, and Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Teddy was a croquet champion, instructor and tournament director, and the world’s first full-time croquet professional. Beyond his accomplishments in the world of croquet, which were many, he also aspired to, and easily reached, a higher calling as an international sportsman of high character.

At Quaquanantuck keyed in on this line in the obituary for Teddy that ran in The Southampton Press last week: “His dedication, energy, humor, infectious laugh and irrepressible enthusiasm won the hearts of all who met him.” As packed with accurate descriptions and insights about the man that this sentence is, it cannot possibly do justice to the larger than life and colorful character that Teddy was.

Like-minded souls tend to find each other and band together in this very special part of the world, and in his younger days Teddy ran with an assortment of fellow rascals and reprobates and self-anointed authorities on everything. He was known respectfully as Champagne Teddy because of his fondness for—and dissertations on the signature characteristics of—different vintages and brands of sparkling wine, which he typically poured from bottles ranging in size from magnums right up to Rehoboams and Methuselahs.

Since everyone he ran with already knew everything, it required tremendous energy and force of personality for Teddy to impress on all of them his superior knowledge of almost every subject. And he somehow managed to do it with such good humor and ingenuous sincerity that he never came across as pompous or obnoxious, just determined and always ready to laugh away other points of view.

His waterskiing exploits on the bay with his pals were legendary. I will always remember the time when Billy Beatty, Jock McLean, Arma Andon, Jimmy Pullis and I had spent an afternoon on JP’s boat catching weakfish and bluefish in the deep hole a little west of the Prentis bayside home in Westhampton and we brought the fish to Teddy’s house to cook them up for dinner. No sooner had I filleted the fish than Teddy took me aside and showed me, step by step, “the only way” to cook fresh caught bluefish on the grill, even as I maintained that I already knew how to do it.

The fact is, on those few occasions when I have caught and kept a bluefish, I have used Teddy’s method ever since and continue to use it to this day.  

The last time I saw Teddy was more than 30 years ago, playing croquet in Palm Beach at the Breakers. But I can still see him clearly, arriving at my house in Quogue for a recovery party on New Year’s Day, getting out of a limousine that brought him out from the city and walking up to the door with his round fists wrapped around the necks of two double magnums of Champagne, a sparkle in his eyes and grinning that world-embracing Teddy smile. An original among originals, he will be sorely missed.    

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. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list, or just to visit AtQuaquanantuck.com and feel free to follow.

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