The Time Has Come

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax— Of cabbages—and kings—”                                                              —Lewis Carroll

Would that it were as easy for At Quaquanantuck as it was for the Walrus. Alas, dear readers, for this columnist the time has come to talk of matters pecuniary, which cannot help but be awkward at best, without even addressing the issue of good taste.  

Ever since The Southampton Press, in its infinite wisdom, saw fit to cut costs by terminating the community columns on its pages at the end of 2016, At Quaquanantuck, with moral support and encouragement from readers, has soldiered on, being posted online weekly for 51 weeks a year for some two and a half years now. For free.

The column has never been what could be called a “money maker,” but there was a nominal, two-figure sum paid to this columnist weekly for the time, effort, and attempts at craft that went into producing the column each week for the newspaper. Believing as I do in the value of community columns in general—and, I hope, of this particular column in specific—I have been happy to obtain the domain name, learn a modicum of website administration skills, assemble an email address list, and write and post it every week, all without remuneration.

swan marsh
Morning on the marsh. —A. Botsford Photo

Also stemming from my belief in the value of the column for the community, I am committed to having At Quaquanantuck be forever free. For as long as I am continuing to put it together and post it almost every week (more on that later), there will never be a paywall, nor any content that is “for subscribers only,” meaning accessible only to those who pay for it.

Which brings me to the notion of voluntary subscriptions. There is no intention of making a fortune here; my only interest is in covering expenses plus a small compensation for my time. If you enjoy the column and would like to see it, like Wikipedia, remain free for everyone—and have the wherewithal—perhaps you would consider visiting the At Quaquanantuck PayPal page by clicking here (or pasting into your browser) and taking out a voluntary subscription for $60 a year. That translates to roughly $5 a month, or a little over $1 per column.

If $60 seems too steep, a lower amount would be appreciated all the same. If you are sufficiently well-heeled and feeling community spirit, you might consider paying for one subscription for yourself and one, two or even three more to cover those who, for whatever reason, won’t be making any payment. No amount, including zero, is too small; no multiple of $60, dare I say it, is too much. Much as I would like to offer some thank-you gift for any and all voluntary subscriptions, all I have is At Quaquanantuck, which I am committed to continuing, whatever the results of this “subscription” drive, until the end of 2019, on an almost weekly basis.

I say an “almost weekly basis” to allow for a few weeks off during the year (beyond the traditional week between Christmas and New Year’s day). I have found that having to write and post the column from far flung locales and foreign nations can take a fair amount of the joy out of travel.

I have added an option to pay for a voluntary subscription at the bottom of the weekly email blast I send out when a new column is posted. I will also put a paragraph near the bottom of each week’s column with instructions for those who are not on the email address list and either “follow” the column or are visiting for the first time. Other than that, I hope not to mention this notion again, or at least nowhere near the top of the column. Let’s move on.

QFD Mem 052719
Quogue’s bravest, and a small supporter, turned out in dress uniforms for the Memorial Day service on Monday, May 27, in front of the Firehouse. —Judy McDermott Photo

Foreign Policy Association Looks at Prospects for Effective Nuclear Negotiations
The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, sponsored by the Quogue Library and moderated by Susan Perkins and David Rowe, will meet at the QFD firehouse on Jessup Avenue at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, to explore the topic of “Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future.” Always a good idea to register early for these programs by calling 631-653-4224.nuclear_blast_v2

According to the FPA: “Nuclear weapons have not gone away, and the Trump administration has brought a new urgency, if not a new approach, to dealing with them.” So far, the President has met with Vladimir Putin as the New Start Treaty with Russia comes up for renewal in 2021; the first presidential summit ever with Kim Jong-un to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula has proven so far to be ineffective; and President Trump has decertified the Obama nuclear deal with Iran, which had the support of U.S. allies in Europe.

Saturday’s discussion will consider two questions: “To what degree should past nuclear talks guide future U.S. nuclear arms control negotiations?” and “Can the art of the deal apply to stabilizing our nuclear future?”

A helpful glossary of important terms and abbreviations for the discussion of nuclear negotiations is available by clicking here. These very popular programs tend to be quickly oversubscribed, so all interested in attending are urged to register at your earliest convenience by calling the library at 631-653-4224.

For more reading on nuclear negotiations, click here and scroll down to Latest News. To review all the topics for 2019 FPA discussions, readers can click here. Foreign Policy Association 2019 Briefing Books are available at the library outpost on Midland Avenue, for loan or for purchase at $22 per copy.

The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program provides background information and policy options for the eight most critical issues facing America each year, serving as the focal text for discussion groups across the country. For more information, visit

Noël Coward’s “Private Lives” Wins Praise from Critics and Audiences
The first weekend of the Hampton Theatre Company production of Noël Coward’s effervescent 1930 comedy “Private Lives” was an unqualified success, with both theatergoers and critics offering rave reviews.

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The course of true love does not always run smooth in “Private Lives” for Amanda (Rosemary Cline) and Elyot (Andrew Botsford). —Tom Kochie Photo

The play “bubbles like a gin fizz!” according to one reviewer; another called “Private Lives” the “perfect end to a perfect theatrical season … a witty, well acted, wonderful comedy!” One theatergoer called the show “the best of Broadway caliber theatre.”

Long considered one of Coward’s masterpieces, “Private Lives” takes a sidesplitting look at the volatile chemistry that can draw couples together, and possibly 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.

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.

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

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At left, Rosemary Cline and Andrew Botsford square off while, at right, Rebecca Edana tries to intercede with Matthew Conlon. —Tom Kochie Photo

“Private Lives” runs at the Quogue Community Hall through 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 or email

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

Summer Reflections on Nature: Poems and Short Readings” at QWR June 1
On Saturday, June 1, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., the Quogue Wildlife Refuge will present an afternoon of poetry reading outside on the Refuge grounds (weather permitting), hosted by local poet and published author Maggie Bloomfield. For this open reading for poets, listeners, and friends, all are encouraged to bring a poem of their own, a favorite by someone else, a very short essay to read, or just to enjoy the beauty of the Refuge.

All ages, including children, are invited to read. The topic for the event is “Celebrating Nature and our Local Environment.” Bring a chair to sit on if the program is being held outside; the event will be moved inside the Nature Center in the case of inclement weather. Registration is preferred for this family friendly event; call 631-653-4771 or visit

Quogue Gallery Abstraction Group Show
Art lovers should bear in mind that the Quogue Gallery’s “Broad Strokes” exhibition of abstract works by seven artists in the North Gallery will run until June 19.

Holland Cunningham,Chrysitie 55, 2018, Oil on Canvas, 36_ x 36_
Holland Cunningham, “Chrystie 55,” 2018, oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″, on view in the Quogue Gallery “Broad Strokes” exhibition 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.

Margot Carr in Two-Person Show at Estia’s Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor
Speaking of fine art, “Inside Out,” an exhibition of new work by gifted Quogue artist Margot Carr and Southampton’s Melinda Hackett, will be on view at Estia’s Little Kitchen on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike through June 12.

While the use of sumptuous color unites their work, in this exhibition the two artists approach landscape painting from different directions. Carr’s work studies the summertime world of endless lawns, sky and water rendered from the artist’s unique perspective on East End light and atmosphere. Hackett chooses to represent the natural world as a tangled jungle garden of invented species and eclectic perspectives, all represented in a harmonic setting “gently breezing through the picture plane,” according to the gallery.

All works in the exhibition are for sale, with a portion of sale proceeds going to support the Estia Art Fund.

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Margot Carr, “Fence,” is on view at Estia’s Little Kitchen through June 12.

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.

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

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.

One thought on “The Time Has Come

  1. Andrew,

    I was very happy to contribute through PayPal which was just done. This is a good time of the year to make an appeal. I suggest you do it annually at this time.

    Bravo on Private Lives which we saw last night.



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