Solstice Welcomes Return of the Light

One of the very limited number of pleasures of creating an online column (the kind of column that rhymes with Quogue), is the ability to see where the postings are being read. The stats for last week’s At Quaquanantuck, for example, show that although the column had fewer total visitors and views than any of the others in recent weeks, it was, remarkably, opened and presumably read by one person in Namibia.

It’s odd to look out the window here in Quogue and imagine what the reader in Namibia sees out of her or his window. Here’s hoping that person reads this week’s posting as well, and is kind enough to send a photo ( showing how things look over there at this time of year.

As we all know, with the solstice and first day of winter arriving today, December 21, here in Quogue it’s all about expressing holiday cheer and spirit via seasonal decorations, in our homes: 

Clockwise from top left, the beautifully decorated tree at the home of Graham Russell and Ira Briskman; the lovely tree at the home of Missy Lynch; the holiday face of the newly renovated home of Roger Moley.

And at our businesses:

At left, a photo taken by Eileen Duffy outside the Mr. Q shop on Jessup Avenue; at right, the window of Flowers by Rori, courtesy of Lulie Morrisey. 

Theresa Fontana, meanwhile, has assured At Quaquanantuck that her Lily Pad Quogue shop will be open 10 to 5 every day for the remainder of this week and, as always, will stay open until the very last minute of Christmas Eve for the benefit of, principally, Quogue males who are incapable of shopping until there are less than 24 hours to go until Christmas. While she acknowledged this week that she needs to close the store in time to get to Midnight Mass, she promised to accommodate last-minute shoppers right up until that time.

Winter comes to the fire ring; DBN: Decorated by Nature.  –A. Botsford Photos

Honoring the Solstice

A Winter Solstice Celebration and Drum Circle will be held at the Quogue Library today, Thursday, December 21, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. All those wishing to celebrate the return of the light are invited to join musician and teacher George Schultze of Spirit Sky Drum, who will start the program with a sage burning blessing in the back garden at 4:30 p.m.

Following the blessing, participants will enter the library for a meditative drumming lesson, with drums provided for participants. Call the library at 631-653-4224 to sign up and reserve a drum.

Village Trustees Name 2017 Person of the Year

Village Clerk Aimee Buhl, who is credited by ex-firefighter John McGurk with saving his life on April 25, has been named the 2017 Person of the Year by the Quogue Village Board of Trustees.

Aimee Buhl John McGurk

Quogue Village Clerk Aimee Buhl with the very grateful John McGurk.  –Dana Shaw Photo

Village residents may recall that quick thinking Aimee came upon Mr. McGurk as he was going into cardiac arrest on that day and called 911 on her cell phone. Her timely call resulted in Mr. McGurk getting the help he needed from the Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance crew and a succession of doctors and surgeries.

Just one more confirmation that when At Quaquanantuck refers to “the fine folks at Village Hall,” the women and men who work in village government consistently live up to that characterization.

Quogue Historical Society Annual Appeal

For the last few weeks, At Quaquanantuck has been reminding readers of the year-end appeal from the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, there is another wonderful local institution, the Quogue Historical Society, that needs our support.

While the recent Historical Society Holiday House Tour was a success despite the unsavory weather conditions, the fact remains that donations from members are the Society’s single largest source of income, enabling the group to continue fulfilling its mission to collect, preserve, and interpret the rich history of our village.

The following is but one marvelous example of the historic treasures held in the Society’s collection, an enlightening entry from a traveler’s diary about “Quag,” written almost three centuries ago, in 1749:

“Fryd July 21 fair. I set out Eastward to kitchabonack, a Small village. I Rid about 3 or 4 mile further and came to Quag a village Several houses and plain Champion Land. The South Side is near and the Bay contracted very narrow in this place. I suppose they Ride a Cross to the Beach. Here is no Tavern and I Enquired after oats & was directed to Mr. Cook’s formerly of mecocks who being acquainted with my Son at Sohold for his sake bid me welcome & gave my horse a sheaf of oats & got me some dinner & then Set me in the way to the River head about 10 mile.”

Kitchabonack (in Algonquian: “place where large roots grow”) covered land that now includes Westhampton and Westhampton Beach. Mr. Cook was Jonathan Cook, one of several large landowners in Quogue during its early period of growth.

HIST PRES Cook gravestone 1754 G16-1
Headstone on the grave of Jonathan Cook

The Society’s Fall 2017/Winter 2018 newsletter highlights a number of the Society’s activities and accomplishments during the past year and plans for 2018, including a critical project to document and preserve deteriorating headstones in the oldest section of the Quogue Cemetery. Jonathan Cook’s 1754 headstone will be one of the first to receive care.

Support from members and other village residents makes all the Society’s work and engaging and informative exhibitions and programs possible, and fully tax deductible donations may be made online at We only make the present richer by honoring our past.

December Art Exhibition at Quogue Library Art Gallery

On view through December 29, the Art Gallery at the Quogue Library is presenting “Jon Schusteritsh: Seascapes of the East End.” This solo photography exhibit features photographs of the shorelines surrounding the eastern end of Long Island made by the winner of Best in Show honors in last year’s “50 Shades of White” exhibition.  

“A Christmas Carol” Radio Play at Library 

C Carol Cast

The cast of the “Christmas Carol Radio Play” at the Quogue Library on Sunday, December 17, included, left to right: Lulie Morrisey, Andrew Botsford, Edward A. Brennan,
Diana Marbury, Jim Herbert, Rosemary Cline, Amanda Griemsmann,
Roger Moley and George Loizides. 

Quogue Wildlife Refuge

Just about a week left in the Quogue Wildlife Refuge annual appeal for tax deductible donations. To find out more about the annual appeal, including the benefits of membership and how to make a donation, visit

QWR new deck

An Amy Hess yoga class on the new Quogue Wildlife Refuge Education Platform Deck, which was made possible through a donation from the Crowe family, and with the generous assistance of Beach Electric, Durand HVAC, Land Use Ecological Services,
Sea Level Construction and Speonk Lumber.

End of the Line . . . for 2017

So, that’s it for At Quaquanantuck online in 2017. Following the practice established when the column was in print in The Southampton Press, and before that in the Hampton Chronicle-News, and before that in the Hampton Chronicle, there will be no column published or posted in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

There have been 51 columns posted since the beginning of this experiment, necessitated by the eradication of community columns in the so-called “local” newspaper. No telling what changes may be made to the column in 2018–subscriptions? sponsors?–or if it can even survive under the threat of no more net neutrality, but for now the plan, with your support, is to forge ahead and see what the future holds. 

For now, At Quaquanantuck wishes all readers peace, joy and robust good health in this season of solstice and in the year ahead.

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 and ask to be put on the mailing list, or just to visit and feel free to follow.

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