Transition Gaining Traction

The sun is rising just before 6:30 these days, and setting at 5:40, with last light seeping away around 6:30, which means when the clocks are set forward on March 11 it’ll be daylight until almost 7:30. Meanwhile, with a few stutter steps, average temperatures are trending upwards weekly. So the seasonal change seems to be gaining some traction en route to the vernal equinox on March 20.

It is not lost on At Quaquanantuck that if we do indeed have an early spring, our esteemed guest rodent prognosticator Quaquanantuck Quentin will be one for one, which translates to batting a thousand.

SUP starts 0224
Starting small.                                                                                                   –A. Botsford Photo

Reflecting the quickening, the calendar is starting to fill in with some benchmark events. In addition to the aforementioned start of Daylight Saving Time on March 11, a prime example would be the St. Patrick’s parade in Westhampton Beach, scheduled this year on Saturday, March 10.

With St. Patrick’s Day observances looming, it’s always a safe bet there will be some Erin themed programming at the Quogue Library. Next week, for one case in point, gourmands can look forward to “The Cheese and Spice Sampler featuring Irish Cheeses and Tea” at the library on Tuesday, March 6, at 6 p.m. Samples of aged Irish cheddar and Emerald Irish brie will be offered along with Irish teas and spices from around the world in this informative “taste and learn” event presented by the Cheese and Spice Market. Call the library at 631-653-4224, ext. 101 to register.

Talk on History of Long Island Synagogues at Library

Backing up to Sunday, March 4, the Quogue Library will be hosting a “Synagogues of Long Island” historical pictorial lecture at 3 p.m. For some perspective on the topic, consider the fact that hundreds of thousands of Jewish soldiers returned from World War II in search of a fresh start in the suburbs and synagogues to join. By way of a response, in 1946 Rabbi Elias Solomon called a meeting in Manhattan of Conservative rabbis from the area to map out a plan for a synagogue at every Long Island South Shore Long Island Rail Road stop from Valley Stream to Patchogue.

Central Synagogue of Nassau County and Beth El in Great Neck congregations both grew to more than 1,000 families as Reform Judaism took hold. The growth of the Chabad movement in recent decades has spurred an increase of Orthodox Judaism. For Sunday’s lecture, author Ira Poliakoff will catalogue the history of synagogues and congregations that have shaped Long Island, past and present. Call the library at 631-653-4224 to save a seat for this interesting slice of LI history.

“The Square” Screening at PAC; “Airplane!” at Library March 8

In movie news, foreign film buffs and Oscar watchers will have a few chances to see one of the Best Foreign Language Film nominees this weekend at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center . Screening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the PAC will be “The Square,” winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes.the-square-06

As Blake Goble wrote in one review: “Navigating the nexus of hype, commerce, ego, and bullshit that drives the modern art scene, ‘The Square’ is almost too perfect in its cunning simplicity. The art world’s always been easy to drag, what with its interiority, weirdos, and frustrating games of pin-the-tail-on-the-thesis. But rarely are these ideas lampooned so beautifully.”

For more information or to buy tickets, visit

The Quogue Library is reaching back in time for a different kind of satire next week with its film programming, offering a Throwback Thursday film, “Airplane!” on Thursday, March 8, at 6 p.m. with pretzels and a soda to round out the “let’s go to the movies” experience.Airplane

As most folks of a certain age—and even some younger people—will recall, “Airplane!” was that rare bird of an award-winning, critically and commercially successful, silly and surreal, slapstick satire that parodied the disaster film genre. With cameos from a host of well-known actors no one expected to see in a low-budget farce, the film was, er, a take-off on the 1957 Paramount film “Zero Hour!”

Save a seat by calling the library at 631-653-4224, ext. 101.  

Julie B. Green and Elizabeth Lueck

Ashley Lueck, left, and Quogue Historical Society Curator Julie B. Greene were happy to meet up at the Quogue Library and Quogue Historical Society “Then and Now: Pictorial Quogue” slide show and lecture, in which Ms. Greene related historical facts to provide context for the circa 1875 photos of George Bradford Brainerd.  –Selina Pasca Photo

“Reflections on Nature” Readings at Quogue Wildlife Refuge

When it comes to classic topics for literature, nature is likely second only to love as a source of inspiration for writers across all genres. So it seems very appropriate, as well as laudable, that the Quogue Wildlife Refuge and published writers Maggie Bloomfield and Joe Lamport will be hosting and Open Reading at the Refuge on Saturday, March 3, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Reflections on Nature: Poems and Short Readings for the Entire Family” will serve up an afternoon of fireside literary salon in the Nature Center for poets, listeners, and friends of all ages. All are encouraged to bring a poem of their own, a favorite by someone else or a very short essay to read—or just enjoy a warm winter respite. All ages, especially children, are invited to read. The topic for this open mic program is “Celebrating Nature and our Local Environment.”

Cookies and tea will be served, and there will be a short intermission. Registration is encouraged for this family friendly event; call 631-653-4771 or visit

Works by Laura Westlake on View in March at Library

Featured in March at the Quogue Library Art Gallery will be “Laura Westlake: The Art of the Bird.”

Ms. Westlake, a painter and naturalist, fuels her creative energies through her love of birds and nature,  re-creating the rich colors and moods of still life and landscapes using color pencils and oil paints. Her slow layering process, often incorporating up to 15 layers of color, sometimes requires as much as 100 hours for the completion of a single work.

“Laura Westlake: The Art of the Bird” exhibition will remain on view through March 28.  

Writers Speak Stony Brook Southampton

Novelist Lee Clay Johnson will be the next guest in the spring Writers Speak Wednesdays series of free author talks and readings open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Newman will read from and talk about his work on Wednesday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

LC Johnson by Sasha Wiseman
Author Lee Clay Johnson

The author of the novel Nitro Mountain (Knopf), which won the 2017 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Mr. Johnson’s work has appeared in Lit Hub, the Oxford American, The Common, Appalachian Heritage, Salamander, and the Mississippi Review.  He holds a BA from Bennington College and an MFA from the University of Virginia. He grew up around Nashville in a family of bluegrass musicians, and currently lives in St. Louis and New York City.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. Preceded by a brief reception at 6:30 p.m., all readings begin at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton, NY 11968.

For more information, call 631-632-5030 or visit On Facebook, visit Writers Speak Wednesdays; to follow on Twitter, @ WritersSpeakWed.


At Quaquanantuck notes with sadness the recent passing of two members of the Quogue community:

Jennifer Gillen Rasmussen, age 54, the daughter of the late Brenda Gillen, died at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on February 18.  Jennifer was married to Robert Rasmussen; in addition to her husband, she is survived by her four children, Henry, Will, Christopher and LouLou.

A service was held last week in Arizona; a memorial service will be held in Quogue over the summer.

Nancy D. Mullan of Quogue, 77, died on February 26, 2018.  The civic minded Ms. Mullan was an active participant in the Southampton Town Democratic Committee, the vestry of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and the Westhampton Garden Club, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Hampton Theatre Company. A fierce advocate for historic preservation, she served on the Town of Southampton Landmarks and Historic Districts Board, was a member of the Quogue Historic Preservation Society, and was instrumental in the effort to establish the Quogue Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

A funeral service will be held on March 10 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Hampton Bays.  Interment will follow at Quogue Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the charity of the donor’s choice.

A complete obituary will be published in next week’s edition of The Southampton Press. At Quaquanantuck hopes to have details on the funeral service in next week’s column.

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.

Surf Clb R Murray
Surf Club beach.                                                                                     –Robert Murray Photo


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