Stage Is Set, and a Reflection

Loath as At Quaquanantuck might be to sound a serious note, the time has come to consider our relationship, as a community, to balloons (and all forms of plastic) and to our beloved beach.

This column is all for celebrating important events, transitions, achievements and rites of passage, and there is no gainsaying the value of balloons in the cause of creating a festive atmosphere and signaling the significance of any occasion. And yet, knowing what we know about the delicate balance of nature in this beautiful place where we live, and being clear-eyed about how often balloons go astray, how can we continue, in good conscience, to include balloons as they are currently constituted as a part of event planning for every celebration, small or large?

30 balloon and others
The joy of celebration fades quickly when considering the lethal potential of plastic waste. 

At Quaquanantuck is not suggesting curbs on anyone’s commerce or any kind of a moratorium. But if there is sufficient will, why can’t manufacturers come up with a material with all the properties required for balloons that will dissolve when it comes in contact with sea water? That would still leave the issue of knotted and tangled ribbon, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

After all, what child or adult, watching balloons from their party float away, wants to feel responsible for the death of a dolphin or sea turtle or other blameless sea creature? Who among us wants to defile the beaches that are the soul of this region’s splendor?

As we wait for the needed advances in responsible manufacturing, we salute the people like Hillary Ames, Betsy Rowe and the anonymous dozens of others who never walk on the beach without collecting the ubiquitous spent balloons and other plastic detritus that mar the beauty of the strand and also endanger sea life. But these caring neighbors can’t possibly keep up. It’s up to all of us to reduce the plastic footprint on our shores, and to gather and dispose of such forever waste whenever and wherever we see it. Karma is everybody’s business.

Stage Is Set for Hudsy 5K This Weekend: Saturday, October 20
As noted in previous columns, the annual Heart Links Hudsy 5K Run and Fun Run for Kids—honoring the memory of the late, beloved Joan Hudson—is scheduled this year on October 20. As always, the 5K begins in front of the Quogue School on Edgewood Road. The Fun Run for the small fry starts immediately after the 5K finish.

Registration closes on race day at 8:45 a.m. The pre-registration cost is $25 per person for adults 18 and up and $10 per person for 17 and under; on race day the cost is $30 for all ages. Once again, there will be a special gift for the first 150 registered race participants. The kids’ Fun Run is free.

In the 5K, prizes go to the top male and female overall as well as to the top three males and top three females in 10 different age groups. Proceeds from this event go to fund heart healthy activities at the Quogue Elementary School.

The Hudsy 5K is one of the traditional signifiers that the fall season has arrived and now holds sway, regardless of what the thermometer might suggest. At Quaquanantuck encourages all those who are not participants to line the run/walk route to offer support and encouragement and cheer on the runners and walkers. And At Quaquanantuck urges anyone and everyone to send it photos of the event, to

Participants can run or walk for the event, routed through the streets of Quogue with a Quogue Police escort. For more information or to register, visit, the school website at, or call the school at 631-653-4285.

bridge view VR
View from the bridge.                                                                —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

Stage Is Set for a Safe Halloween Fundraiser at Quogue School 
The Quogue School PTA is having a Safe Halloween Fundraiser open to the public to raise money to support local troops. For this fundraiser, timed to the upcoming Veterans Day Celebration assembly at the school at 2 p.m. on November 9, the school is setting a goal to raise $3,000 in three weeks in order to support a soldier seeking treatment at the Elk Institute.

The Quogue School “Safe Halloween” for students, community members and neighboring communities will be held on Friday, October 26, from 4 to 6 p.m. Ticket holders turning out for the Quogue School safe Halloween “trick or treat” night will find classroom doors designated as the “trick or treating” stops and volunteers in costumes will be handing out candy at each stop. Tickets for the Trick or Treat walk are $10. There will also be a “spooky walk” that is all about tricks, without the treats. Spooky Walk tickets are $5 per person.

All are encouraged to attend. Those who cannot attend but who would like to support the cause and help the PTA hit the $3,000 mark are encouraged to contact  

The Elk institute is a non-profit organization that was established to provide mental health treatment to U.S. military. The institute specializes in psychological trauma (PTS, PTSD) in the military and provides services at no cost to the soldiers. Westhampton’s Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing works closely with this institute and provides wellness and treatment to their soldiers. The Safe Halloween fundraiser is intended to help cover additional costs of a soldier’s PTSD treatment.

In addition, the school would like to honor any and all veterans in the community at the November 9 assembly. Veterans are asked to contact, and families are invited to submit the names of veterans to be recognized—even those who have passed on—

Stage Is Set for “A Comedy of Tenors” To Open 
Thursday, October 25, will be the opening night for Ken Ludwig’s “A Comedy of Tenors,” the Hampton Theatre Company’s first production of the 2018-2019 season at the Quogue Community Hall on Jessup Avenue. The show will run for three weekends, through Sunday, November 11.

Featuring several characters from Ludwig’s Tony Award-winning sendup of the opera world,  “Lend Me a Tenor,” and set in a hotel suite in 1930s Paris, “A Comedy of Tenors” follows the fortunes of four tenors, two wives, and three girlfriends as they struggle hilariously with outsize egos, mistaken identities, bedroom hijinks and madcap antics in preparation for a concert at a soccer stadium filled with impatient screaming fans.

COT rehearsal
Terrance Fiore, Catherine Maloney, Matthew Conlon, and Edward A. Brennan rehearse a scene from “A Comedy of Tenors.”

For the epicures among Quogue theatergoers, there are a couple of options on the table for theatergoers to enjoy a meal at the Quogue Club at the Hallock House before taking in the show.

First up is the Quogue Library Dinner Theater evening on Friday, October 26, with dinner at 5 p.m. and curtain at the Quogue Community Hall down the street at 7 p.m., all for $70 (cash or check only) due upon registration at the library (631-653-4224, ext. 101). This package is available first to library patrons; if space is available, others may participate as well.

For those who can’t join the library group, or who might prefer a luncheon, the HTC and the Quogue Club are offering a Lunch and Theater package on Saturday, November 10, with lunch at 12:30 prior to the 2:30 curtain for the matinee that day, all for $65 (tax and tip included). To reserve, send a check, for $65 per person, to Hampton Theatre Company, PO Box 400, Quogue, NY 11959. Include your name, address, phone number and email address so that you can receive tickets by email; reference “November 10 lunch/theater event.”

Reservations and payment required by November 2.Visit for details or to purchase tickets, or email for more information. To reserve tickets now, visit, or call OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

Stage Is Set for Winter Bird Food Sale at Quogue Wildlife Refuge 
Come one, come all to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge and Eastern Long Island Audubon Society bird food sale. It’s important to have order forms and payment in the hands of QWR staffers by October 25 for this fundraiser for ELIAS and the QWR.

Seed pick up will be in the Nature Center on Sunday, November 4, between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Representatives from Bay Gardens will be in the Nature Center on November 4, selling bird related gift items. Local wood carver Matt DiBernardo will also be on hand, with several of his beautiful, life-like bird carvings.

For additional information call 631-653-4771.

Stage Is Set for Enchanted Forest Trail Walks at Wildlife Refuge
Children ages 2 to 7 accompanied by an adult will have three opportunities to enjoy the Enchanted Forest Trail at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge this year: on Saturday, October 27, and Sunday, October  28, and again on Saturday, November 3.

A QWR guide will introduce the little ones to whimsical, fun, and educational characters on the forest trails, and the parking lot/staging area will have lots of games and activities for the small fry. All are invited to wear their Halloween finery if they like.

Reservations are required and the fee is $10 per person; call 631-653-4771 to reserve a time slot. For more information, visit

Guess the Weight of the Quogue Library Pumpkin; Win a Pie!
Pretty much always in step with the season, the fine folks at the Quogue Library have obtained a lovely, large pumpkin and installed it in all its grandeur outside the Midland Street outpost. Visitors are now welcome, nay, encouraged, to stop by between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or between 3 and 5 p.m. and guess the pumpkin’s weight.

The contest runs through October 30 and the closest guesser will win a pumpkin pie.

A Reflection from Roger Moley

Moley Sunset
October 15, 2017.                                                              —Roger Moley Photo

October 15, 2018: I took this photo at the Quogue Beach Club on October 15, 2017. It had been a gorgeous fall day, albeit one tinged with sadness: a dear friend from Bellport had died that morning after a long illness. As the sun was setting, my wife Susie and I headed to the beach to toast our friend, and I captured the moment with a photo.

An hour later, I got a phone call from my nephew. My brother Jeff had collapsed in his St. Louis home. Jeff, a doctor who had grown up with me in Quogue, had a history of AFib but was otherwise in good health. There was no reason to believe that his life was in peril. But fifteen minutes after the first call, a second: Jeff had died. He was 64.

For the past year I’ve been going about my daily routines in much the same way as I did when Jeff was alive; the fact is he lived a thousand miles away, and we saw each other only once or twice a year. He, his wife and one of their three sons did take a week off in Quogue that August, staying with Susie and me. I am thankful for the time we spent together, and that we spent it here. We hung out at the beach, shared dinners with our sister Janis and her family, hoisted beers, played old tunes together. Jeff was a great musician and he always brought his guitar when he traveled. I was sure Jeff and I would retire together, start up a new band, spend more time in Quogue. That’s not going to happen, and I’d be lying if I said I’ve been able to fully process that reality.

Jeff died one year ago today. Since then, the house our dad built in the 1950s was sold and torn down. A new house is being built and a new family will live there. Susie and I are fortunate to have been able to put down new roots that will keep our family here awhile. Quogue is a special place to live, and everyone who has ever called it home leaves behind a mark. Jeff certainly did. He was part of the Quogue community. He was a kid here, went to Junior Sports, body surfed at the beach, worked at Head Start, dated girls, mastered the guitar, played in bands, built friendships. After his medical residency he moved to St. Louis with his wife, also a doctor, and he raised a family there. But a part of him always remained in Quogue. Our village is richer for him passing through it.  And I’ll remember him as we move on, year by year, sunset by sunset.

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, or the world. Friends and family who enjoy all things Quogue are encouraged to email and ask to be put on the mailing list.

One thought on “Stage Is Set, and a Reflection

  1. Thanks for mentioning. I am further flummoxed about what to do now that China has decided to buy a much smaller percentage of our recycling materials .

    Thank you,

    ~ B

    On Thu, Oct 18, 2018 at 6:17 AM At Quaquanantuck wrote:

    > atquaq posted: “Loath as At Quaquanantuck might be to sound a serious > note, the time has come to consider our relationship, as a community, to > balloons (and all forms of plastic) and to our beloved beach. This column > is all for celebrating important events, transitions” >


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