First of the Big Three

And here we are, arrived at the first of the three epic holiday weekends that are the summer “high season” milestones. While At Quaquanantuck is all in favor of celebration, both generally and tied to specific occasions, it still seems a pity that the original reasons, and reverence, behind setting aside certain dates for holidays continue to diminish in relevance, almost to the point of disappearing altogether.

That’s why the beginning of this week’s column jumps to the far end of the holiday weekend to Monday, May 27: Memorial Day. Dating back at least as far as the American Civil War, the original holiday was known as Decoration Day, which refers to the practice of putting decorations on the graves of those who had fallen in battle.

A federal holiday since 1970 that is celebrated on the last Monday in May each year, Memorial Day was set aside as a day for remembering and honoring those who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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“These We Honor” … along with thousands and thousands of others who gave up their lives in the service of our nation. May we never forget their sacrifice.

Thanks to the men and women of the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department, Memorial Day is marked in Quogue each year with services in front of the firehouse near the World War II monument. Services this year are scheduled on Monday, May 27, at 11 a.m. with speakers and the traditional remembrance protocol.

The services are typically fairly well attended by adults of middle age and upwards. It would be wonderful if parents and grandparents brought more younger people so that they could get a sense—from the QFD volunteers in their dress uniforms, from the World War II and 9/11 monuments, and from the speakers—of what service means; what the commitment to service meant to those who were willing to give up their lives in the service of their nation and their fellow Americans. For all of us, old and young and generations to come.

State of the Village Address on Saturday
Courtesy of the Quogue Association, Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius will give this year’s State of the Village address on Saturday, May 25, at 10 a.m. in the North Room of the Quogue Village Hall.

Topics Hizzoner will address in this year’s address include: the upcoming Village Elections in June, when incumbent Trustees Ted Necarsulmer and Randy Cardo will be up for reelection; Quogue real estate, property taxes and assessments; the Quogue Market; water quality issues; the proposed erosion control district on Dune Road (see item below about the 3:30 p.m. informational meeting dedicated to this topic, also on May 25); and the status of the Hills Project in East Quogue, along with other topics.

In accordance with tradition, the Mayor will also graciously take questions from the floor following his address.

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Following a parent sometimes means being prepared to plunge. —A. Botsford Photo

Informational Meeting Slated on Erosion Control District Proposal
An informational  meeting concerning the proposal to form an erosion control district on the ocean side of a section of Dune Road in Quogue will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 25. The meeting is not a legally constituted public hearing, and the Village Board of Trustees will not hold any vote that day. The purpose of the meeting is to hear views on whether the Board of Trustees should consent to the formation of a coastal erosion control district by the Town of Southampton, should it agree to form such an ECD in Quogue, as it did years ago in Bridgehampton and Sagaponack.

While it is the Town of Southampton that would administer such a district and collect taxes from the residents therein, the town cannot proceed unless the Quogue Village Board of Trustees grants its consent.

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Detail of map of proposed erosion control district from the Save the Dunes and Beaches Foundation website. For complete overview map, click here.

It would seem, at first blush, that the creation of such a district is primarily an issue for those homeowners who live within its boundaries, as they would be the only residents taxed to foot the bill for beach nourishment and any other erosion control measures. However, since the Quogue Village Beach is situated within the proposed district’s boundaries, and the ocean beach below the mean high tide line, both within the proposed district and all along the barrier island, is public property, the possible impact and ramifications of creating an ECD would seem to be a matter of concern for all village residents.

The case in favor of creating the district has been made succinctly by the Save the Dunes and Beaches Foundation on the group’s website, quoguebeaches.org. Meanwhile, the Concerned Citizens of Quogue—whose mission statement includes “To research and explore effective and affordable methods of growing and sustaining our dunes and beaches”—raises a number of concerns about the proposal on its website, ccquogue.org.

All those wishing to be fully informed on this issue are advised to thoroughly examine both of these websites, and to attend the meeting on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Democracy works best when citizens are well informed about all sides of any issue.

Voters Approve Quogue School Budget and Propositions
Speaking of democracy in action, the Quogue School budget for 2019-2020 was approved by voters on Tuesday, May 21, with 163 voting in favor and 42 against. The Quogue Library appropriation and two other propositions on the ballot were also all approved by very wide margins.

In the vote for three open seats on the Quogue School Board of Education, incumbents Lauren Battista (145 votes) and Steve Failla (131) won reelection to another three-year term, while challenger Paul Bass (116) will take the seat currently held by Barbara Sartorius, who received 111 votes.

Anyone who questions whether one individual’s vote can have an impact in Quogue should take note that the margin of victory for Mr. Bass was a mere five votes. A reminder to all registered voters in our village to come out and exercise one of the most important rights in our democracy every time there is an election, at any level, from school budgets, to village, town, county, state and national elections.

Noël Coward’s “Private Lives” Opens for Three-Week Run
Opening tonight, May 23, at 7 p.m., playwright Noël Coward’s effervescent 1930 comedy “Private Lives” will be the fourth and final play of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2018-2019 season.

In the spirit of celebration—both for opening night and for the Memorial Day weekend start to the summer season—Little Q-Quogue Shop and Q44 proprietor Theresa Fontana will once again be serving Prosecco and “light goodies” to toast the HTC opening night starting at 6 p.m. tonight, Thursday, May 23, at the Quogue Shop, next door to the Quogue Market. Theresa wrote to At Quaquanantuck this week to say she is very happy to be “finally moved, up and running, and to toast HTC!” (Both Little Q-Quogue Shop and Q44 will now be open seven days a week.)

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Rosemary Cline, Andrew Botsford, Rebecca Edana and Matthew Conlon in rehearsal for “Private Lives.” —Tom Kochie Photo

Long considered one of Coward’s masterpieces, “Private Lives” takes a sidesplitting look at the volatile chemistry that can draw couples together, or split them apart. Sparkling with wit and wisdom, the play opens with once-married Elyot and Amanda now honeymooning at the same hotel with their new spouses. When their paths cross, the old spark is reignited and the two impulsively run away to Paris, only to wonder a few days later whether love, jealousy or anger is the hotter passion.

The prodigiously gifted Coward sketched out the play in his head over two weeks while he was recuperating from the flu, and then wrote it in four days. The first production, in 1930 in London, starred the playwright in the role of Elyot, his longtime co-star Gertrude Lawrence as Amanda, and a young Laurence Olivier as Amanda’s stuffy new husband, Victor Prynne.

Sir Noël Peirce Coward (1899 – 1973) was a prolific English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer known for his wit, flamboyance, and a personal style marked by a keen sense of theatricality. Making his professional stage début as a dancer at age 11, as a teenager he was introduced into the high society that would serve as the setting for most of his plays.

His most enduring success was as a playwright, with more than 50 plays published from his teens onwards. Many of his works have remained in the regular theatre repertoire, including such notable successes as: Blithe Spirit (1941; produced by HTC 1997); Hay Fever (1924; produced by HTC 2015);  Private Lives (1930); Design for Living (1932), Present Laughter (1942).

The cast of “Private Lives” features five HTC veterans: Andrew Botsford as Elyot; Rosemary Cline as Amanda; Matthew Conlon (fresh from his role as Cervantes/Quixote in HTC’s “Man of La Mancha”) as Victor; Rebecca Edana as Elyot’s new wife, Sybil; and Diana Marbury as  Louise, the maid in Amanda’s Paris flat.

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Matthew Conlon and Rosemary Cline in rehearsal for “Private Lives.” —Tom Kochie Photo

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

“Private Lives” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from May 23 to June 9,  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 8, prior to the regular 8 p.m. performance that evening.

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 8. 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 Gallery Abstraction Group Show
Make time over the holiday weekend to check out the Quogue Gallery’s “Broad Strokes” group show in the North Gallery. The exhibition of abstract works by seven artists will run until June 19.

Sally King Benedict, Tangine, 2019, 60_ x 60_ Mixed media on wood panel
Sally King Benedict, Tangine, 2019 mixed media on wood panel, 60″ x 60″, on view in the “Broad Strokes” group exhibition at the Quogue Gallery through June 19.

Featured in the exhibition are works by Sally King Benedict, Harry Bertschmann, Clementine, Holland Cunningham, Blayne McCauley, Barbara Sussberg, and Susan Vecsey.

Save the Date for QWR Wild Night for Wildlife
The 13th annual Quogue Wildlife Refuge “Wild Night for Wildlife” gala will be held this year on Saturday, July 13, once again on the grounds of the wildlife sanctuary. The most important fundraiser of the year for the Refuge,  this event provides a major portion of the QWR operating budget.

This year’s gala will feature substantial hors d’oeuvres by Justin of Justin’s Chop Shop, cocktails, local wine and beer, live music by Noiz, live and silent auctions, and a chance to meet QWR resident animals up close. A private VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. for those contributing $750 or more per person. For more information, call 631-653-4771.

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A rare sighting for At Quaquanantuck’s favorite nature photographer: a male and female rose-breasted grosbeak at the suet feeder. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Sign Up Now for QWR Summer Field Ecology Program 2019
A reminder to parents to sign up the young folks for one of the nine one-week sessions of the children’s Summer Field Ecology program at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, which will be marking its 50th anniversary this summer.  

Early signups are encouraged; for more information and signup forms, visit quoguewildliferefuge.org/summer-camps/.

Wildlife Refuge Seeking Summer Help
With the Summer Field Ecology program on the horizon, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is now hiring for summer positions and internships. Job openings include: part-time temporary receptionist; summer camp educator for Summer Ecology program; and summer camp educator for Little Naturalists program.

Summer internship positions include: Summer Ecology program educator; Little Naturalists educator; and Nature Center animal care intern. For more information, call the Refuge at 631-653-4771, click here, or visit the QWR website, www.quoguewildliferefuge.org.

Your Comments Welcome
At Quaquanantuck is happy to provide a forum for civil discussion of village issues and initiatives and welcomes all comments. All are encouraged to share ideas and opinions by writing to AtQuaq@gmail.com.

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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