Changing Times

The so-called high season around these parts is, like most blessings, a mixed one.

On the one hand, it’s great to have so many activities, parties, benefits for worthy causes and culturally enriching programs to choose from, for young and old alike—and to fill up the column with. On the other, good old-fashioned down time for simple relaxation comes at a premium, making tough choices about how to spend one’s precious time can actually become stressful—and some timely items get boxed out of this column.

Such was the case with a wonderful slice of history served up to At Quaquanantuck for last week’s column by Jock McLean, son of longtime Quogue mayor Malcolm McLean: the 100th anniversary to the day of the fire that claimed his family’s “mansion” in Quogue on July 11, 1918.

Jock provided the clipping from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle shown here. The headlines that were cropped for better reproduction of the clipping read:

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Thursday, July 11, 1918. –Courtesy of Jock McLean


Wind Fans Flames and
All Efforts to Save
Structure Fail.

(Yes, the Brooklyn Eagle
punctuated subheads in

It’s great to see the folksy style of an urban daily newspaper at the turn of the 20th century, to wit: “… a fine old mansion …” And to recognize the same sense of community that, thankfully, continues in Quogue to this day: “Every effort was made by the local volunteer firefighters and residents to save the house, but a strong wind from the ocean fanned the blaze and caused the fire to make rapid headway.” And, at the end of the article: “For a time it looked as though sparks from the house would set fire to nearby houses, and when it was seen that Dr. McLean’s residence was doomed, the firefighters concentrated their efforts toward saving the other houses.”

It’s also great to get some historical perspective on property “value” in our region. The complete destruction of the mansion meant that the “damage amounted to $15,000.” Today, $15 million for a beachfront house no longer astonishes, and a 12-acre parcel on Dune Road in Southampton with four or five buildings and two swimming pools is listed at $150 million.

Thanks for sharing, Jock. Sorry about the good doctor’s mansion.

Sign of summer … or summer in a sign.

Quogue Association Annual Beach Party July 20
Speaking of the great sense of community we all enjoy here in Quogue, the annual Beach Party hosted by the Quogue Association at the Village Beach will be held this year on Friday, July 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. (Rain date is July 27 at the same time.)

Music will be provided by DJ Mike Variale of East End Entertainment; hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers, salads, and watermelon will be served, along with beer, wine, lemonade and water.

There will be floppy flying disks free for children and a bonfire on the beach. Cost is $25 for adults; $15 for children 5-12; children under 5, free. So far, forecasts for Friday look very good; let’s hope it stays that way.

Lulie Morrisey, right, serving lunch near the Moria refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece, February 2016. Ms. Morrisey and Julia Cannon will speak about their separate volunteer experiences in Greece and give an update on the refugee crisis tonight, Thursday, July 19, at 6 p.m. at the Quogue Library.

“Fay Lansner: Figure and Form” Opens at Quogue Gallery
“Fay Lansner: Figure and Form” will be the next exhibition at the Quogue Gallery, highlighting the late artist’s works on canvas and paper dating from the 1940s to the 1990s. The exhibition will be on view from July 19 to August 23, 2018; an opening reception will be held at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street on Saturday, July 21, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Fay Lansner
Fay Lansner, 1974, oil on canvas, 70″ x 90″

The solo exhibition at the Quogue Gallery of this historically recognized artist is being presented following the enthusiastic reception for Lansner’s work at the Art on Paper fair in New York City in March and the Bridgehampton Market Art + Design fair in July.

Fay Lansner (1921 – 2010) was an American painter known for her abstract expressionist and figurative paintings and her strong use of color. For more information, visit

Annual Quack Attack Is Back
Around this time of year, some folks seem to get ducks on the brain. That’s probably because the annual Quogue Association Duck Race and party will be held on August 10 at 6 p.m. at the Quogue Village Dock. Free beer, wine, water and music from a live band, but everyone has to have a duck, or multiple ducks, in the race.

Ducks S Beck
Ducks and a few close friends at the Chase Bank in Westhampton Beach. –Courtesy of Stefanie Beck

Ducks can be purchased at the Quogue Post Office on Saturday mornings between now and August 10. They can also be purchased at the Quogue Market, Homespun, The Lily Pad, Little Q, Mr. Q and the Quogue Library.

“Conversations with the Author” Features Mark Weinberg on Sunday
At Quaquanantuck was very sorry to miss the delightful author Helen Simonson rocking the house last Sunday in the Conversations with the Author” program. By all accounts, and as anyone who knows Ms. Simonson would expect, a very good time was had by all.

helen 3
Helen Simonson–S. Pasca Photo

Coming up this week, on Sunday, July 22, at 5 p.m. will be “Movie Nights with the Reagans” author Mark Weinberg.

A former speechwriter and advisor to President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Weinberg served on the 1980 Reagan campaign traveling staff, all eight years in the Reagan White House, and two years thereafter as Reagan’s spokesman in his post-presidency office in Los Angeles. “Movie Nights with the Reagans” tells the backstory about what films the family enjoyed during time off at Camp

Mr. Weinberg will provide an informative look inside the down-time of an American President. A reception follows the reading and conversation, with hors d’oeuvres provided by Hampton’s Farms.  Tickets are $20, call 631-653-4224 for more information or to buy tickets.

As Nancy Reagan wrote, in a letter to the author: “Mark, I am delighted to hear you are writing a book about Camp David. There are a lot of wonderful stories to be told, and just thinking about these days brings back such happy memories.”

Other authors in this summer’s series will be: Cristina Alger, author of the 2018 summer thriller, “The Banker’s Wife,” on July 29; Stephen McCauley, author of “The Object of My Affection” and “My Ex-Life,” on August 5; and Genevieve Sly Crane reading from her debut novel, “Sorority,” on August 12 to wrap this summer’s series.

Curtain Up for Quogue Junior Theater Troupe
Talk about timely. Fresh from the huge artistic and critical success of last summer’s production of “Legally Blonde,” the older company of the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe will present “9 to 5” the musical Tuesday through Friday, July 31 through August 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Quogue Community Hall.

Considering that the plot centers on three working women at a company presided over by a sexist, lecherous, and pompous boss, this show could not be more timely for the #MeToo sensibilities of today.


The younger company show this year is “Lion King, Jr.,” with shows Tuesday through Friday, August 21, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m. and August 24 at 5 p.m.  

The QJTT benefit this summer will be held on Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m., celebrating the troupe’s 40th anniversary. This year’s benefit concert will be presented at the theater and the after-concert party will be at Quogue Field Club. Both older and younger casts will be performing along with a number of alums. Tickets for the benefit and for the shows can be purchased online at

Final Sunday This Season for Rev. McCall at Church of the Atonement
The Reverend Dr. Richard D. McCall, who has been at the Church of the Atonement for 19 seasons, will officiate for the last of his three services this season on Sunday, July 22. Services are at 8 and 10 a.m. and all are welcome.  

All children in the community, age 7 to 14 are invited to sing in the junior choir, which is led by Patricia Osborne Feiler, organist and choir director. Rehearsals are at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings and there is no minimum commitment. That means that even if kids are only in town for one weekend, they can still take part. For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at

John de Marmon Murray Memorial
There will be a memorial service honoring the late John De Marmon Murray at the Church of the Atonement on Friday, July 20, at 4:30 p.m.

Quogue Historical Society Art Show and Sale August 11
The annual Art Show & Sale to benefit the Quogue Historical Society will be held on the Quogue Village Green on Saturday, August 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. A $5 family donation is suggested; light refreshments will be available.

The juried Children’s Art Show will also be held that day from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on the Village Green. Art Lessons in preparation for the show will be held from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. on July 27 and August 3 for ages 6 to 14. Registration is at The art lessons are sponsored in part by the Councilman-Oxholm Fund.

For further information, call 631-996-2404 or 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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