Firehouse Fun

Yes, Quogue has earned the characterization of “a sleepy little village.” Still, when the chock full calendar and busy social scene transforms the entire East End into more of a “bright lights, big city,” it can be helpful to get out on the bay, away from the cell phones and interweb and chatter, and get a different perspective.

cormorants winging
Kayak level view of cormorants taking flight.                                                       –A. Botsford Photo

And sometimes, when serenity seems hard to come by, it’s good to go against the grain of traffic, get off the island, and head to the woods and mountains for a change of scenery and to unplug for more than the hour or so that it takes to paddle a kayak around the creeks. At least, that’s what At Quaquanantuck believes, and that’s the reason for this column coming out a day early this week.  

Fire Department Open House on Sunday

August 5 is the date of this year’s Quogue Volunteer Fire Department annual Open House, running from 4 to 6 p.m. The volunteers deserve our unqualified support, both spiritually and monetarily, and the party is always a great time for everyone, from tiny, enthusiastic, bouncy house jumpers and first-time fire engine riders to members of the full array of older generations.

QFD Truck
The Quogue Fire Department’s beautiful Engine 3.                                          –Photo courtesy QFD

Along with the traditional barbecue and entertainment, there will be safety demonstrations, a heavy rescue demonstration, opportunities to take a turn on a fire hose, truck rides and much more. Whether at the open house or just encountering volunteers on the street, it’s always a good idea to thank our firefighters for their service; they consider our gratitude the best kind of “paycheck.”

“9 to 5” Lighting Up the Stage at Quogue Community Hall

The older company of the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe production of “9 to 5” the musical opened on Tuesday and runs through Friday, August 3, at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Quogue Community Hall.

9 to 5 ensemble
Cast, crew and directors of QJTT’s “9 to 5.”                                                          –Sue Prior Photo

This season’s younger company show will be “Lion King, Jr.,” with shows on Tuesday through Friday, August 21, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m. and August 24 at 5 p.m. Tickets for this season’s shows can be purchased online at It’s possible to buy tickets at the theater box office before showtime, but that means taking a chance on missing the show if it’s already sold out.

Quogue Chamber Music Offers “Peter and the Wolf” at Library
The Quogue Library and Quogue Chamber Music are teaming up to present a free Summer Music for Kids concert of “Peter and the Wolf” on Wednesday, August 8, at 3:30 p.m. at the library. download-2

A woodwind quintet made up of five doctoral students and alumni from the Stony Brook University Music Department will perform. To reserve a seat at the concert in the Shinnecock Room, call 631-653-4224.

Big Success for “Red Sneakers” Childhood Allergy Awareness Program
There was a good turnout of youngsters and grownups for last weekend’s important Childhood Food Allergy Awareness program at the Quogue Library. Offered through the sponsorship of Red Sneakers for Oakley, the event was organized to raise awareness of the highly misunderstood and underappreciated public health issue of nut allergies.

Red Sneakers soccer
The Red Sneakers food allergy awareness event at the Quogue Library included a well attended soccer clinic. –Sandra Beuerlein Photo

Given the pervasive role nuts play in our diets, it is vitally important that everyone understands the risks and potentially lethal impact nuts can have, especially on children. Asthma and allergies also pose a unique challenge to parents and families in recognizing the signs of children going into anaphylactic shock.

Red Sneakers for Oakley was established by the Debbs family of Quogue in memory of their son Oakley, to highlight problems, increase awareness, and present solutions. The organization strives to ensure that no other child with an allergy loses his or her life.

“Conversations with the Author” Features Stephen McCauley on August 5
On Sunday, August 5, at 5 p.m., Stephen McCauley, author of “The Object of My Affection” and “My Ex-Life,” will be the next guest writer in the “Conversations with the Author” series at the Quogue Library.

This summer’s series will conclude on August 12 with Genevieve Sly Crane reading from her debut novel, “Sorority.”

Rev. Dannals at Church of the Atonement for Next Three Weeks
The Reverend Dr. Robert Dannals will officiate at services on Sunday, July 29, at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the Church of the Atononement 17 Quogue Street, 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 those angelic voices are only touching down in our little corner of heaven for one weekend, they can still sing out. For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at

SS Class Sailboats Celebrate 110th Anniversary with Championship Racing
This year’s SS Class Championship racing was held on Saturday, July 21, at the Shinnecock Yacht Club, marking the 110th anniversary of the first boat built to the original design by Benjamin Hallock in 1908.

Skipper Bobby Murray and Jock McLean, left; skipper Helen Horton and Paul Graff.        –Joy Flynn Photos

Waterfront correspondent Betsy Rowe checked in last week with an account of a regatta that turned into an episode of “Victory at Sea,” due to the combination of very old wooden boats, brisk winds, and (in At Quaquanantuck’s view, not Betsy’s) a few skippers who might possibly benefit from a little more seasoning.

Here’s how Betsy described it, with her account essentially confirmed by Meredith Murray and Joy Flynn, who sent in photographs: “Dockmaster Henry DiCapua had to race all over the bay in his outboard to help the sailors get out of reeds, organize broken masts, deal with man or woman overboard, etc. Late in the day the engine actually FELL OFF the other tender into the bay.” (Love the “etc.” in Betsy’s account; the mind reels.)

Brad Connett’s vessel suffered a broken mast; Marius and Caroline Halvorsen took an unplanned dip. –Joy Flynn Photos

The facts, subject to verification, are these: Sail #135 with skipper Rob Dudley and crew Jimmy Ewing were winners overall and won the SS Class Championship trophy. Skipper Bob Murray and crew Jock McLean, who raced together in this competition 55 years ago, came in second. John (Jr.) and John (III) Sartorius were third in #120. They also received the Atwater Trophy, given to the winner of the first race. (There were three generations of the Sartorius family in attendance.)

Interviewed after the event, Jock McLean said that although he and his skipper, Bobby Murray “might not be as nimble” as they used to be, racing once again in an SS made him feel “like the 55 years never happened.”

He allowed as how both he and Bobby once “went down” at the same time as they were coming about; the beams were weeping enough to float the floorboards even after giving the craft he and Bobby borrowed from John Sartorius III an eight-hour soak the night before; and winning skipper Robby Dudley’s rudder broke as he crossed the finish line in the second (and final complete) race. Still, Jock said, he wouldn’t have wished for any other conditions and he wouldn’t have missed the experience for the world.

Meredith Murray opined that “it was probably the most exciting and dramatic sailboat racing I’ve ever seen in our local bays!”

Winners of the SS Championship were skipper Robby Dudley and crew Jimmy Ewing, left; at right, Atwater Trophy winners John Sartorius Jr. and John Sartorius III. –Joy Flynn Photos

Betsy believes the Race Committee was Doug Adams, Kip Allardt and Jim Schelter. She noted that Abby Connett was sailing with Bob Hadden (a name At Quaquanantuck hasn’t heard in 50 years), who had spent a year and a half restoring his boat; the two sailors heard one too many creaks so they cut their losses and just came in before anything actually broke. She also reported that Dan and Joy Flynn made sure the BBQ, at least, went smoothly.

At Quaquanantuck still remembers racing as crew for skipper George Horton in weekly Saturday races at SYC in the early ’60s, when Chance Vought sailed with Bobby Lincoln on the Bob-o-Link and Capt. Lou Nichols, his breathing a whistle through the pipe clamped in his teeth, started the races with a miniature cannon that fired shotgun shells filled with black powder.

For those who would like to know more about the SS class, a visit to will be instructive.


The Champion Golfer of the Year Is . . .

PGA Golf Professional Rich Stucklen passed along congratulations this week to all the Quogue Field Club Men’s Club Championship participants.

Rich also reported that the final match for the Championship Flight under the new format this year will be Tyler Morgan vs. Thomas Petrocelli, with the date of that match to be determined. The final match for the Senior Championship Flight will be Robert Crowley vs. Jed McCarthy, date also TBD.

In the Ringers Flight, the winner was Paul McKenna; runner-up, EJ Reinoso; third place, Jim McDermott. The Low Gross Winner was Ken Melkonian, and the Super Senior Champion this year is James Tolan Sr.

Quogue Historical Society Art Show Weekend Starts August 10
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 QHS Art Show weekend will kick off on Friday, August 10, with a “Celebrate Art!” benefit from 5 to 7 p.m. on the grounds of the Quogue Field Club Junior Sports Clubhouse. The benefit will include a silent auction and a presentation by Peter Hastings Falk, noted art historian, advisor and publisher.

Mr. Falk will speak on “An Insider’s View on Valuing Fine Art,” examining the methodology of pricing artwork appropriately and how it pertains to gallery pricing. Since the vast majority of artists showing at fairs and in galleries have no auction records, Mr. Falk’s discussion is intended to give buyers greater confidence as they make acquisition decisions.

The juried Children’s Art Show will also be held on Saturday, August 11, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. on the Village Green. The second session of Art Lessons in preparation for the show will be held from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. on 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

Rubber Ducks Still Available for Annual Quackfest
The annual Quogue Association Duck Race and party will be held on August 10 at 6 p.m. at the Quogue Village Dock. There will be free beer, wine, and water as well as music from a live band, but all of that is only available to those who have a duck, or multiple ducks, in the race.

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.

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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