More News Than Muse

More emulating Janus this week, as At Quaquanantuck looks to the past, celebrates the present and peers into the future. The Village Trustees’ selection of a Person of the Year for 2018 requires a review of that person’s many contributions over the years to making Quogue the very special place that it is. The opening of the Hampton Theatre Company run of “On Golden Pond” tonight, Thursday, January 10, is the very definition of celebrating the present and looking (two weeks) ahead.

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All to himself. —A. Botsford Photo

In addition, there is a news item this week about a horrifying incident at the railroad crossing near the north end of Old Depot. Staying in the moment, there is some news from the Quogue Library and the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. And At Quaquanantuck takes notice of the passing of a well-loved longtime member of our community.  

Cristina Kepner Named 2018 Person of the Year in Quogue
Way back in 2018—on December 21, to be precise—the Quogue Village Board drafted a document naming the very deserving Cristina Kepner the 2018 Person of the Year in our village. To quote the document directly:  “Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Quogue expresses its deep appreciation to Cristina Kepner for her exemplary service to the Village of Quogue and organizations within it and hereby designates her as 2018 Person of the Year.”

Among the many contributions cited in the proclamation were: Ms. Kepner’s six years of service on the Village of Quogue Design Review Board, including the last three as Chair; her five years of service on the Village Planning Board from 2002 to 2007; and her years as a “mainstay of many of its important institutions, having served on the Board of the Quogue Association and as its President from 2001 to 2004 and as a member of the Board of Trustees and Treasurer of the Quogue Library for nine years from 2007 to 2016.”

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2018 Person of the Year Cristina Kepner receives her proclamation from Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius.

The proclamation also detailed that “as the idea was launched in 2012 to give rebirth to the iconic but badly deteriorated building known generally as the ‘Inn,’ Cristina became one of the central backers of that effort, giving liberally of her time, energy and creative thinking to help establish the Quogue Club at Hallock House as a handsome, historic replica building at the foot of Jessup Avenue that is an eating club and boutique hotel and serves as a popular gathering spot for many Quogue people.”

In naming her the 2018 Person of the Year, the Trustees noted that “all of the foregoing contributed enormously to the betterment of the lives of the past, present and future residents of the Village of Quogue,” and went on to point out that “while we all are quite sure that Cristina’s service in Quogue is not yet complete, for all of her past efforts and accomplishments, the Board of Trustees wishes to recognize and honor Cristina in perpetuity.”

Presuming to speak for all village residents, At Quaquanantuck offers a very hearty “And so say all of us.”

Firefighters Respond to Train Tracks Collision at Old Depot
Fire Chief and faithful correspondent Chris Osborne reported this week that the QFD responded to a vehicle accident at 5:20 a.m. on January 3 involving a tractor trailer and an LIRR westbound train.

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Photos courtesy of Quogue Fire Department

Arriving units found the truck had initially become stuck with the cab on one side of the tracks and the trailer on the other at the crossing at Old Depot Road. The collision resulted in extensive damage to the railroad equipment as well as the locomotive and the truck. The driver of the truck had exited just prior to impact, Chris reported, and the engineer, crew, and the only passenger on the train were not injured.

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The Southampton Town Hazardous Materials Team was on scene for mitigation of fuel leaking from the truck and also for supervision of the offload of materials. Employees of South Shore Docks volunteered materials and manpower to help with the safe removal of the truck’s fuel tank.

“On Golden Pond” Opens Tonight at Quogue Theater for a Three-Week Run
The Hampton Theatre Company’s production of “On Golden Pond” by Ernest Thompson opens tonight, January 10, at 7 p.m. at the Quogue Community Hall and runs through January 27.

“On Golden Pond” is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are spending their 48th summer together at a summer cottage on a lake in Maine. Norman, now 80, uses mordant wit and a gruff exterior to fight back against heart palpitations and a failing memory. Although she is clear about what lies ahead, Ethel, 10 years his junior, offers support by celebrating all the small things that continue to enrich their life together.

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Wally Marzano-Lesnevich, George Loizides, Ian Hubbard, Jane Cortney and Diana Marbury in a scene from “On Golden Pond.” —Tom Kochie Photo

Along with the lake’s longtime mailman, Charlie Martin, they are visited by their divorced, middle-age daughter—long disappointed in her relationship with her father—and her dentist boyfriend, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind in their care. As the summer wanes and family dynamics begin to shift, Norman and Ethel come to understand the power of love in facing down the relentless advance of time.

First produced Off Off Broadway in 1978, the play went on to have a successful Broadway run in 1979, and an even more successful revival the following season, running for a total of 400 performances. A New York Daily News review called the play “a work of rare simplicity and beauty,” noting that “in Thompson our theatre has found a fresh new voice.”

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George Loizides and Diana Marbury are Norman and Ethel Thayer in “On Golden Pond” at the Quogue Community Hall. —Tom Kochie Photo

The cast of “On Golden Pond” features four actors who have appeared in previous HTC productions and two newcomers to the Quogue stage. HTC veterans include: Diana Marbury in the role of Ethel Thayer; George Loizides as Norman; Jane Cortney (last seen in “Hay Fever”) as their daughter Chelsea; and Paul Bolger (last seen in the HTC revival of “Bedroom Farce”) as the mailman Charlie Martin. Making their debuts on the Quogue stage are Wally Marzano-Lesnevich as Chelsea’s boyfriend Bill Ray and Hampton Bays High School student Ian Hubbard as his son, Billy.

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

Shows are 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, January 26, 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 (details below). Offered in association with the Quogue Club at the Hallock House, a special lunch and theater package is available for the Saturday matinee on January 26. For information about all packages and available discounts, visit  www.hamptontheatre.org or email info@hamptontheatre.org. Additional information about library dinner and theater packages is also available through the libraries.

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

Quogue Library Continues Programs at New Venues; Matching Grant Extended
While construction is underway on the Quogue Library renovation and expansion project, the library is now open at 4 Midland Street Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering almost identical services at this new location. Patrons are asked to call 631-653-4224 to register for all programs offered at Midland Street or down the block at the ever hospitable Quogue Firehouse.

Upcoming programs include a Sound Vibration Healing and Meditation session on Thursday, January 17, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Firehouse on Jessup Avenue. The healing and meditation are based on the sounds and vibrations of Tibetan singing bowls and gong.  

The library continues to sponsor Yoga Fridays!  every Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the Firehouse for an all-over stretch yoga class followed by chair yoga at 10:45 a.m. Participants are asked to bring a mat and water. The fee is $10 for each class or $15 for the double class, payable at 4 Midland Street.

An Open Knitting Session with instructor Amanda Schaefer will be offered by the library on Thursday afternoons from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. at 4 Midland Street on January 17 and 31 and February 14 and 28. Anyone who would like to start knitting or who has questions on a particular stitch can come in to find out how to get started or take on a new technique. This crafty hobby is considered perfect for the winter months, and all are welcome. Drop in or register by calling 631-653-4224 or stopping in at 4 Midland Street.

There may still be time to register for the library’s Dinner Theater evening, with dinner at the Quogue Club on Quogue Street prior to the Hampton Theatre Company production of “On Golden Pond” on Thursday, January 24.  Patrons will meet at the Quogue Club for dinner at 5 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show, and the cost is $70 per person. Call the library for details, 631-653-4224.

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Jetty sunset. —Tricia Prentis Photo

Next Phase of Library Project Going Strong
The indefatigable Lynda Confessore informs At Quaquanantuck that January is a great month to be thinking about the library. While the main building on Quogue Street is getting added space and a major renovation, the “charming annex next to the Quogue Post Office has many new materials and the ability to borrow from other Long Island libraries for its patrons,” Lynda writes.

“The affable and very helpful staff still greets everyone walking in, reading chairs are in place for the WSJ and NY Times morning faithful, and a delightful children’s nook offers read aloud and craft space. Children are always welcome to browse the shelves. The many programs “that have delighted and entertained patrons of all ages are still being offered at the Quogue Firehouse and 4 Midland.” Patrons are encouraged to check quoguelibrary.org/calendar for the weekly schedule.

Lynda also noted that “due to the continuing success of the Capital Campaign, construction has begun on the building.” She has promised updates in the near future on construction progress on the library website along with photos and information she will share with this column.

The Matching Gift Challenge offered by Kevin Crowe Sr. and an anonymous donor has been extended until the end of January. Lynda avers that “now would be a great time to jump in and make that gift you’ve thought about oh so often, but haven’t yet mailed. Pick up a donation envelope at 4 Midland. Or, use the red Donate Now button on the library web site—a very simple process!”

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Male merganser. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Light the Night Winter Trail Walk
On Saturday, January 19, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge will host its fifth annual “Light the Night” Winter Trail Walk from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The anticipated magical evening begins with check-in inside the Nature Center between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., with a toasty fire and hot chocolate and cookies available before and after the hike.

After checking in, participants can enjoy a self-guided peaceful stroll along the gently illuminated forest trails. This is a program for adults and families; the fee is $10, or $5 for kids 12 and under. Reservations (631-653-4771) preferred; walk- ins welcome.

Charles Frazier Booth Dies at 98
Charles Frazier Booth, age 98, formerly of Old Greenwich and Quogue, died on January 7 at Peconic Landing in Greenport, where he had been living since the death of his beloved wife Jocelyn (née Bower) in 2003.

The son of Dr. Courtland Linden Booth and Juanita Snyder Booth, he was born in Portland, Oregon, where he graduated from Lincoln High School. He earned his BA degree from Yale University in 1942, and was a member of the Yale Glee Club. After college he joined the Army, serving in Florida and Hawaii, and left the Army Air Force as a Captain in 1945.

After returning to civilian life he worked for Sterling Windows, Inc. in New York City and Chicago, then with the investment firm of Robert M. Ferguson, Associates. In 1955 he formed his own firm, Charles F. Booth Architectural Aluminum, based in Manhattan. He was a manufacturer’s representative for many companies serving the building trades in greater New York.

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Charles F. Booth

Married in 1945, Charles and Jocelyn were devoted to each other, their children, the Long Wharf Theatre, and summers in Quogue. The couple always made their home a welcoming place for their children and their many friends, and a revolving menagerie of rescued animals, including horses, turtles, owls, chickens, cats, and many cherished dogs. After he moved to Peconic Landing, Charles  enjoyed a loving relationship with Mimi Morris of New Haven CT. After her passing he shared his love of life with the warm and supportive Peconic Landing staff with whom he became quite close.

He was a member of the Yale Club, the Yale Glee Club Alumni Chorus, the Quogue Beach Club, Quogue Field Club, and the Shinnecock Yacht Club. Predeceased by his sisters, Frances Wharton of Ojai, CA, and Jean King of Burley, ID, he is survived by his four children and their families: his oldest daughter, Jane and her husband Robert Pomykala, and their children Ben and Jonathan Pomykala, and grandchild, Margaret Pomykala of Grand Isle, VT; Court Booth and his wife Reyne, and their sons Charlie and Dylan Booth of Concord, MA; William Booth and his wife Ivy, and their son Lucas Booth of Old Greenwich, CT; and his youngest daughter, Sally Booth and her husband Jeffrey Cole, and their children Sam and Jocelyn Cole of Mystic, CT.

At Quaquanantuck did not know Charles well, only well enough to see that he brought a gentle light in his bright eyes, a warm smile, and a thoroughly engaged mind to all encounters with young and old in Quogue.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Island Harvest, islandharvest.org, would be appreciated by the family. 

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 AtQuaq@gmail.com and ask to be put on the mailing list.

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