Still Seeking Signs

While At Quaquanantuck was not expecting a tsunami of responses to the request for readers’ personal indicators that summer has arrived, it was still a bit disappointing to see only one in the mailbox for the first five days after the column was published. And then a very slender ray of hope arrived in the form of a second response today.

Two responses? Really? Out of the 80 to more than 100 readers who look at the column every week? Does no one else have a sign of summer they’d like to share? Or is it just that people are shy? At Quaquanantuck is willing to allow anonymity if that’s what is holding anyone back from emailing.

It’s an open call at this point, so please step up and do your part for participatory community journalism. Send thoughts, observations, photos . . . even verses if you like, describing first signs of summer to At Quaquanantuck at

Meanwhile, big thanks to these two contributors, sisters no less, who offered two different takes on first signs of summer.

Baltimore Oriole
A Baltimore oriole, attracted by half an orange and (somehow) grape jelly is a beautiful first sign of summer. –Florrie Morrisey Photo
Lilacs 051518
The sudden emergence of Syringa vulgaris, and its divine scent, around the middle of May, says summer is not far behind. –Lulie Morrisey Photo


Jessup Avenue: Looking Back 140 Years

As work continues apace on revamping the Village Green, the Quogue Historical Society is offering an illustrated talk on Sunday, May 20, at 2 p.m. at the Quogue Library on “The History of Jessup Avenue: Celebrating 140 Years.”

QHS Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie B. Greene will discuss how Jessup Avenue, which opened in 1878, has changed as Quogue has grown as a popular summer resort, going all the way back to the 19th century when the railroad finally reached Southampton.

Today, of course, Jessup Avenue is what the QHS calls “a hub of business, cultural, and civic activity.” To register, call the library at 631-653-4224, ext. 101.

One large slice of history is contained, appropriately enough, in the QHS headquarters, now known as the Pond House for its location adjacent to the manmade pond opposite the firehouse. Originally, though, the house had a different identity, as revealed by the early advertisement below and the reminiscences of that beautiful storehouse of all manner of information, the late, beloved by many, Concha Georgeson Payne.QHS Home Store ad July211922

As noted in Concha’s obituary in The Southampton Press, “During summers when she was a child, her parents often rented the ‘Old Revolution’ house on Montauk Highway in Quogue from the Foster family, one of the founding families of the village.”

As current Quogue Village Board member and Concha’s son Kim Payne told the Press, Concha’s grandmother, Josiah Pierson Howell, formerly Mary Halsey, operated the Foster boardinghouse on Quogue Street, now known as the “Antiquity House” that was moved to Quantuck Lane in 1912 and later transformed into a private home. Concha grew up on the Howell farm, which was located next to the boarding house and supplied enough food to sustain the many local boarding houses.  

QHS Concha Home Store Reminiscences

For six degrees of Quogue separation, astute QHS board member Pi Gardiner pointed out this week that Concha’s grandmother, Mrs. Josiah Howell (Mary Halsey), was Kim’s great grandmother and Pi’s great grandmother Sarah Kimberly Halsey’s sister.

The more you learn about Quogue history, the more fascinating it becomes. Another great reason not to miss Julie Greene’s talk on Sunday at the library.

Dig Out Photos, Ephemera and Memories of the 1950s

Don’t forget, the Quogue Historical Society has put out a call for photos, ephemera, and objects from Quogue in the 1950s. All are needed to populate the Society’s exhibition, “Happy Days: Quogue in the 1950s,” tentatively scheduled to open sometime in June.

The Society and the exhibition’s curators would like, ideally, to have donations of the aforementioned  1950s materials. But they would also be happy to take objects and ephemera on loan for the exhibition and scan any photos and return them.

All donations and loan items can be dropped off at the Pond House. For more information, email or call 631-996-2404.

Society curators are also asking people to dig deep into their memory banks, as there are plans to have an oral history gathering at some point during the summer.

Quogue Gallery Opens Tommy May Exhibition

Certainly one definite sign that summer has arrived can be seen in the first show of the season at the Quogue Gallery. So it is with real excitement that At Quaquanantuck notes the opening of “Tommy May: Mosaics and Machine” at the gallery at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street, on view from May 17 to June 21, 2018, with an artist reception scheduled on Saturday, May 19, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The exhibition features 15 large to small-scale paintings that allow May’s full abstract expressionist force of color to erupt on canvas. With a focus primarily on painting, works on paper and alternative photography, May’s work explores multiple viewpoints of the landscapes that surround him. He interprets his immediate environment in an abstract expressionist style with the use of strong blocks of color, energetic brush strokes, symbols and motifs.

If the show itself is a certain sign of summer, the opening reception on Saturday is the exclamation that proves the point. See for yourself.

Hampton Theatre Company Opening “Don’t Dress for Dinner” May 24

No better indication of what a cultural hub Jessup Avenue has become than the opening next week of the final show of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 33rd season. “Don’t Dress for Dinner”—a mile-a-minute comedy by Marc Camoletti adapted from the original French by Robin Hawdon—will be the fourth and final play of the Company’s 2017-2018 season, opening on May 24 at the Quogue Community Hall and running through June 10.

With his wife Jacqueline scheduled to visit her mother, British ex-pat Bernard has invited his chic mistress, Suzanne, to spend the weekend at his converted farmhouse outside Paris. He has arranged for a Cordon Bleu chef to cook for them and has also invited his best friend, Robert, as a suitable alibi. What could possibly go wrong?

Matthew Conlon, Amanda Griemsmann, Rosemary Cline, and Rebecca Edana in a scene from “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” opening May 24 at Quogue Community Hall. –AB Photo

For starters, unknown to Bernard, Robert and Jacqueline are secret lovers and are determined that Jacqueline will not leave for the weekend; due to mistaken identity, the cook has to pretend she is Bernard’s mistress; and his actual mistress, relegated to the kitchen, is unable to cook. Preposterous alibis and explanations start to pile up … and then the chef’s homicidal husband comes calling. In an evening of hilarious confusion, Bernard, Jacqueline and Robert and are all forced to improvise at breakneck speed.

Marc Camoletti’s original version of the play was a hit when it first opened in Paris, running for two years. The Robin Hawdon adaptation ran for six years and more than 2,000 performances in London in the 1990s. “Don’t Dress for Dinner was called “two of the most rib-tickling hilarious hours I have spent in the theatre in some time” in a review in  Chicago Style Magazine.

Other rave reviews for the boulevard comedy include: “Pile on the comic chaos!” (Variety); “Gut-busting! Hilarious!” (Entertainment Weekly); and “A near faultless piece of theatrical invention” (The Guardian).

French playwright Marc Camoletti (1923 – 2003) was perhaps best known for his signature hit, “Boeing, Boeing,” which ran for seven years in London in an English adaptation by Beverley Cross. He was awarded one of France’s highest honors, the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, and his plays have been performed in numerous languages in 55 countries.

Robin Hawdon is a British actor and playwright whose first major commercial success, “The Mating Game,” had a long run at London’s Apollo Theatre and subsequently played in more than 30 countries around the world. Following its long run in London, Hawdon’s adaptation of “Don’t Dress for Dinner” played all over the U.S., Australia, Canada and the English speaking world.

Rebecca Edana, Amanda Griemsmann, Matthew Conlon and Rosemary Cline rehearse a scene from “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” AB Photo

The cast of “Don’t Dress for Dinner” features five HTC veterans and one newcomer to the Quogue stage. Andrew Botsford and Rosemary Cline play Bernard and his wife Jacqueline; Matthew Conlon has the role of Robert; Rebecca Edana is Suzanne; and Amanda Griemsmann plays the chef, Suzette. Making his debut in Quogue is Sam Yarabek, in the role of Suzette’s husband, George.  

George Loizides directs. Set design is by Sean Marbury; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

“Don’t Dress for Dinner” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from May 24 to June 10 with shows 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 9, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening.

The Hampton Theatre Company will again be offering special dinner and theater packages in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. Offered in association with the Quogue Club at the Hallock House, a special lunch and theater package is available for the Saturday matinee on June 9. For information about all packages and available discounts, visit or email Additional information about library dinner and theater packages is also available through the libraries.

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

“Golfing with the Owls” Benefit for QWR at Sebonack Golf Club

There’s still time to sign up for a very special fundraiser for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge slated for Tuesday, May 22, at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton—as a player, a sponsor, or both. Located on 300 acres with spectacular views of Peconic Bay in Southampton, the bucket-list course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Doak and has ranked in Golf Digest’s top 100 U.S. Golf Courses since 2009.Sebonack

Sebonack was also the host of the 2013 Women’s Open, the first time that tournament has ever been held on Long Island. The cost to play is $750 per golfer or $2,800 per foursome.

The driving range will be open and continental breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m.; the shotgun start is at 8:30 a.m.; awards luncheon and BBQ at 1 p.m. Sign up at the QWR website, For more information about the outing or opportunities for sponsorship, email

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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