Savoring Summer

A strange but welcome phenomenon of the last few years is the August lull that arrives in the second and third weeks of this last full month of summer.

Ocean Moment MB
A rainbow one moment … —Marcia Bradley Photo

It seems to stem from a combination of factors: the college age demographic is substantially reduced, in both the consumer and service sectors; the days are getting slightly shorter as a couple of cold fronts (everything is relative) foretell of the shifting of meteorological gears; and a sense of languor begins to pervade in the sweet spot between the aftermath of July’s explosion of frenetic vernal energy and the anticipation of back to school, back to work, back to the alternate universe that is starkly not the dream life of summer.

beach sky GJ
A dragon in the sky the next. —Geoff Judge Photo

Surprisingly, there are a few parking spots in the village centers and some gaps in the traffic; reservations are possible, now and then, at popular restaurants; it’s quieter, at least during the week. Where July commands us to go and go, and do and do, the slanting light of August whispers to slow down and gratefully stretch out these last golden moments before we turn the Labor Day corner.

A Reminder from the Gentle Ladies of Quogue
The gentle ladies of yesteryear in Quogue are speaking to us once again. Look at them closely; you can almost hear what they’re thinking: “I wonder what our village will be like in 100 years, Martha.”

“There’s no way of telling, Estelle. We can’t see into the future. But this photograph will last long after we’re gone, and village residents in the future will be able to look at it and see into the past. I wonder what they’ll think of us.” QHS ladies

One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty and the wonder of what we have now in this magical place is to better understand what came before. And that is the Quogue Historical Society’s gift to all of us. And while this gift is polished and refined and rewrapped, year after year, and freely given, it takes more than the dedication, expertise, and generosity of spirit of the QHS board and staff to bring it to us.    

Membership contributions are the single largest source of income for the Society. All those members who haven’t yet renewed for the coming year are urged to do so now. All those who are not yet members are encouraged to consider joining. Renewals and new memberships can be taken care of online by clicking here (what would the gentle ladies think?) or by visiting contributions

All tax-deductible contributions directly support the work of the Quogue Historical Society to preserve the rich cultural and architectural heritage of Quogue through education programs, collections care and research, and advocating for historic preservation. 1822 schoolhouse

With the Quogue Library in the midst of a major renovation and expansion, the Society is excited about the relocation of the 1822 Schoolhouse to a more prominent site on the library grounds. The move offers the QHS the opportunity to undertake a major restoration of the Village’s most important historic structure. Once the plans and timetable for the restoration have been finalized, friends and supporters will be asked to help the Society to finance the project with additional contributions. Very simply, none of the work of the QHS would be possible without the generous support of village residents.   

Be sure to check out the special exhibition currently on view at the QHS Pond House headquarters on Jessup Avenue: “Quogue’s 1822 Schoolhouse: History and Preservation.” The exhibition includes details of the plans to restore the almost 200-year-old building, which retains a remarkable degree of architectural integrity, including original pine floorboards, plaster walls and ceilings, and 12-over-12 windows.

QHS Workshop Tonight, August 22: Researching the History of Your House
The Quogue Historical Society will present a workshop on “Researching Your Historic House” led by QHS Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie B. Greene tonight, Thursday, August 22, at 6 p.m. at the Pond House at 114 Jessup Avenue.Norman Rockwell 1957 Closing a Summer Cottage, Quogue, New YorkThe setup for Norman Rockwell’s “Closing a Summer Cottage” (1957). Among other things, this house was the scene of the gruesome murder of Dr. Henry Tuthill, a chiropodist known as the “corn doctor.” For an example of the extraordinary work that the Quogue Historical Society undertakes on our behalf, click here, which is a shortcut to this

The workshop will cover how to research your home with resources available in the Society’s library as well as other local repositories. Ms. Greene will lead participants step-by-step through uncovering a property’s past by way of general histories, deeds, wills, online newspaper databases, and other sources.  Information sheets will be available. 

All village residents are invited. The procedures are useful for researching the history of all houses, not just historic properties. Reservations are not necessary. For information, call 631-996-2404 or email

B&B full cast
The cast of QJTT’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”

Two More Shows for QJTT’s “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”
Tickets can be obtained now from the QJTT website for the final two shows of the younger cast production of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.,” tonight, August 22, at 7 p.m. and tomorrow, Friday, August 23, at 5 p.m.  B&B costumes 1

Adapted from the Disney animated film and Broadway musical of the same title, the QJTT show features Belle, her absent minded professor father Maurice, the vainglorious Gaston, the Beast, and a host of living household items, including Mrs. Potts and Lumière. B&B costumes 2

Tickets are $25 for reserved seating, available at the QJTT website,

Lyrical Themes of “Susan Vecsey: Painting” at Quogue Gallery
“Susan Vecsey: Painting” will be the next solo exhibition at the Quogue Gallery. Featuring a number of paintings and works on paper by the East Hampton and New York City based artist, the exhibition will be on view from August 22 to October 2; an Artist’s Reception will be held at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street on Friday, August 23, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Untitled (Hot Orange_Green), 2019, Oil on Linen, 32_ x 40_
“Untitled (Hot Orange/Green)” 2019, Oil on Linen, 32 x 40. —Courtesy of Quogue Gallery

A painter interested in creating lyrical and poetic themes, Vecsey explores iconic imagery derived from nature. As Gabrielle Selz noted in a recent review: “Inspired by painters like Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, Milton Avery and Helen Frankenthaler—all of whom explored the variance of tonality on limited compositional formats—Vecsey creates work that is filled with ideas about arrangement, lyrical color, perspective, repetition and surface.” 

References to representational imagery are a starting point, a vehicle to convey a certain emotion and to explore color, form, and shape. Vecsey’s oil-stained linen and paper works carry on the color field and minimalist traditions in a contemporary context. Beginning with charcoal studies in which she draws her perceptive ideas on paper, she then creates elaborate color studies. Afterwards Vecsey thins oil paint and pours it directly on primed linen or paper, allowing it to flow naturally with some guidance from the artist. “With poured paint, timing is everything,” Vecsey says, “and it is important to be decisive with it, and also ready to accept or reject the unexpected.” 

Vecsey’s solo museum exhibition at the Greenville County Museum, South Carolina, in 2017 was accompanied by an exhibition catalogue with an essay by Phyllis Tuchman. Tuchman asserted that “unlike, say, Fairfield Porter, another East End artist, Vecsey is less involved with the here and now. She’s not recording the details of daily life. She’s reminding you of places where you have been. With swooping curves, extended horizon lines, and a mix of tonal colors, Vecsey’s compelling images have the character of memories, recollections, and reveries. You’re revisiting sites of pleasure and wonderment.”

Untitled (Blue_Green), 2019, Oil on paper, 34_ x 64_ (1)
“Untitled (Blue/Green)” 2019, Oil on paper, 34 x 64. —Courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Born in New Jersey and currently living and working in both New York City and East Hampton, Vecsey earned her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, New York and her MFA from the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, studying under Graham Nickson. In 2012, Vecsey was a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. Her paintings are widely held in public and private collections around the world.  

For more information, visit

Still Time to Register for Final Week of QWR Summer Ecology Camp
Week 9—Monday, August 26, through Friday, August 30—will be the final week of the 2019 Summer Ecology Program at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, with one five-day camp geared to ecologically minded youngsters entering grades three, four and five and another for junior naturalists age 4,5 and 6 that runs from Tuesday, August 27, through Thursday, August 29.   

The week 9 program for third, fourth and fifth graders is a special one, exploring the most infamous areas of the Refuge, not the least of which is the super secret, extra squishy mud trail. Campers will find the magic at Fairy Dell and get a taste of Chocolate Pudding Pond. They’ll also journey to Dune Road to seine for slippery fish and frisky crabs.

Dune Road birds
Dune Road egrets. —A. Botsford Photo

Campers are reminded to wear closed-toe sturdy shoes and dress to get wet every day. Classes run Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to noon. Parent drivers are needed to help transport children on Thursday to and from Dune Road.

$300/Non-Members, $250/Members. We are not accepting reservations online at this time, please call the office at 631.653.4771 to ensure that there is space in this session.

Little Naturalists Meeting August 27-29
The Little Naturalists program for kids age 4, 5 and 6 will meet Tuesday, August 27, through Thursday, August 29. 

This introductory program is designed to immerse young children in nature through outdoor exploration, hands-on activities, games, crafts, and meeting many of the Refuge animals up close. The children will learn respect for the natural world while having lots of fun in the process. 

A variety of topics will be introduced, including: forest and pond habitats; food chains; local plants and animals including birds, mammals and reptiles; animal defenses and adaptations; and composting and recycling. During this program, the children do not get wet or muddy. Campers will meet from 9 a.m. to noon each day. 

The cost is $150 for QWR members; $200 for non-members. Call 631-653-4771 to see if there is still space available

Two Positions Open at Wildlife Refuge
The Quogue Wildlife Refuge is looking to fill two jobs. The first is an unpaid Fall Intern position for a minimum of 15 hours per week, up to 40 (hours can vary), for a college student studying environmental, educational or animal related sciences. This internship includes a requirement of one weekend day. 

The second job is a Maintenance position for 21 hours/week with salary and benefits; $16 per hour; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, starting at 8:30 a.m. For further information on job descriptions and responsibilities, visit; to set up a meeting, contact Marisa Nelson at 631-653-4771.

Rev. Robert Dannals Leading Services at Atonement Church August 25
The Reverend Dr. Robert Dannals will officiate this Sunday, August 25, at the Church of the Atonement. 

After many years as Rector at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Dallas, Rev. Dannals continues to do interim ministry, guest preaching and is a parish consultant. He earned his Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, his Doctor of Ministry from Drew University in Madison, NJ and his PhD from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, IN. 

Sunday services this week will be held at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. All are welcome. The Episcopal Church of the Atonement is located at 17 Quogue Street.
Junior Choir Reminder
All children in the community ages 7 to 14 are invited to sing in the junior choir at the Sunday 10 a.m. services at the Church of the Atonement. The choir is led by organist and Choir Director Patricia Osborne Feiler. Rehearsals are at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at

Quogue Chamber Music Presents Verona Quartet September 7
For the second concert of its 10th anniversary season, Quogue Chamber Music will present the Verona Quartet performing a program of Ravel, Beethoven and Mendelssohn on Saturday, September 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Quogue Community Hall. 

As is the tradition, a post-concert reception will be held at a nearby Quogue home. More details in a future column. 

Quogue Association Presents Supervisor’s State of the Town September 7
Courtesy of the Quogue Association, at the Association’s annual meeting on Saturday, September 7, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman will deliver the annual State of the Town speech at the Quogue Village Hall at 10 a.m. 

The Supervisor will address issues facing the Town of Southampton including: town finances; assessments; water quality; and affordable housing, among other topics. All residents are encouraged to attend; membership in the Quogue Association is not required. 

Take a Vet Fishing on September 15
Hampton Watercraft and Marine is calling all captains and veterans to come out for the third annual Take a Vet Fishing Tournament on Sunday, September 15. During this event volunteers from the community will take local veterans fishing for the day. 

Registration is now open for both captains and veterans. Anyone who would like to volunteer boats, fishing equipment and/or time and any veterans who would like to participate should contact Ronnie Kelly at 631-728-8200 or by email at The fishing will be followed by a BBQ lunch at Hampton Watercraft and Marine marina in Hampton Bays. 

Thanks to the Quogue Association for passing along the information about this wonderful program. At Quaquanantuck joins the Association in hoping that everyone will support the event, and that the word will be spread to all veterans about this opportunity. 

Voluntary Subscriptions Appreciated
Many thanks to all those readers who have signed up for a voluntary subscription, or subscriptions, to At Quaquanantuck. A reminder to all those who have not done so, if you enjoy the column and would like to see it, like Wikipedia, remain free for everyone, please consider visiting the At Quaquanantuck PayPal page by clicking here (or pasting into your browser) and taking out a voluntary subscription for a suggested $60 a year. If PayPal is not for you, consider sending a check made out to this columnist, Andrew Botsford, and sending it to PO Box 1524, Quogue, NY 11959. 

To all who read the column, At Quaquanantuck offers heartfelt thanks … and a reminder: This is your column, too, and it only gets better when readers send in photos and news and social items of interest to A column for the community is at its best when it is at least in some measure created by the community. 

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 observations, 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.

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