Only By Chance

Last week, At Quaquanantuck reflected on the responsibility of those who live on the shore, as we do, to show compassion and offer help in any way we can to those in other places who have suffered the worst impacts of hurricanes, specifically, as well as other natural disasters. 

The point was brought home most tellingly last Saturday morning, when local residents flocked to the beach to marvel at—and in many cases paddle their boards out in—the rough surf stirred up by the passage far offshore of by then Tropical Storm Dorian, just as the first video footage, photos and comprehensive news reports were detailing the horrendous loss of life, the missing numbering in the thousands, and the almost total destruction of the built environment on Abaco, the cays arrayed off its eastern shore, and Grand Bahama.

829 surf GJudge
The net effect for eastern Long Island from Dorian passing by far offshore was to change the ocean waves from this … —Geoff Judge Photo
Dorian Surf AB
... to this. —A. Botsford Photo

The destruction wrought by this storm is on an almost unimaginable scale, and it will be years before anything resembling normalcy can be restored. It is, as ever, important to remember that it is only by chance that the situation was not reversed, with the northern Bahamas experiencing high surf as the storm passed by and eastern Long Island in ruins after a category 4 hurricane and associated storm surge made a direct hit on the South Shore beaches.

As we pray that nothing approaching this level of devastation ever lands on our shores, At Quaquanantuck hopes that area residents will do what they can to support relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. For now, Project Hope seems to be one of the most direct ways to offer help; click here or paste this website into your browser for more information:

On Saturday morning, the waves were up at the Surf Club (Jerry Schwartz photo); by Saturday evening, surf conditions were only draggy at the Quogue Beach Club (Lulie Morrisey photo).

Cecelia Lazarescu Steps Down from Quogue Association 
At last Saturday’s annual meeting of the Quogue Association, interim board President Lynn Lomas announced that Cecelia Lazarescu had stepped down from the Association board and her post as President, which she has held since 2017.

Cecelia Lazarescu
Cecelia Lazarescu

Cecelia served as an active member of the Quogue Association board since 2010. In making the announcement at Saturday’s meeting and in an email this week, Mr. Lomas noted that “her talents as a leader, communicator and organizer, and her public relations skills will truly be missed. Thank you, Cecelia, for your service to the Quogue Association and to the Quogue community.” 

In a separate email, another Quogue Association board member, Mac Highet, applauded Cecelia’s “active and tireless involvement in so many projects, all focused on beautification of the Village and support of the community.”

To which At Quaquanantuck would add that it is the commitment and dedication to service of people like Cecelia that makes all the difference in enriching the experience of living here for all of us. Thank you, Cecelia.   

Foreign Policy Association Discussion on “Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics”
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, September 14, to explore the topic of “Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics.” Always a good idea to register early for these programs by calling 631-653-4224. cyber

One of the subjects covered in detail in a fascinating talk by John MacWilliams at the library last year, cyber conflict is a new and continually developing threat; it can include foreign interference in elections, industrial sabotage and attacks on infrastructure. Federal investigations have demonstrated extensive Russian interference via hacking and social media in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, and China is committed to using cyber tactics as a tool of national policy. Dealing with cyber conflict will require new ways of looking at 21st century warfare. Is the United States prepared to respond to such threats?

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

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. 

Full Moon Night Hike at Quogue Wildlife Refuge
Setting aside all numerological and astronomical considerations as they relate to horror movies, werewolves, bad luck and triskaidekaphobia, please note that the next Full Moon Night Hike at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge will be offered on Friday, September 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. full moonDuring the 90-minute walk through the forest up to North Pond and back, adults and families with children age 11 and up will look and listen for nocturnal creatures and undertake some night vision activities under the light of the moon. 

This program is $5 for Wildlife Refuge members; $10 for non-members. Reservations (653-4771) are required at least 24 hours in advance, along with payment of the appropriate fee.

Pine Barrens Discovery Day September 14 at Wertheim Refuge
The 12th annual Pine Barrens Discovery Day will be held on Saturday, September 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge at the LI Complex Visitor Center, 340 Smith Road in Shirley (11967 for your GPS). 

This full day of fun for the whole family has something for everyone, from age 5 to adult. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about one of Long Island’s most important natural areas by experiencing it firsthand. For more information, visit the website

Blooming VR
Still blooming. —Ginny Rosenblatt Photo

Library Book Programs for Kids and Adults on Sunday
The Quogue Library is hosting two book programs on Sunday, September 15. The first one, for kids age 6 to 10, will feature author Arlene Steinberg reading “Room for One More” at 11 a.m. at 4 Midland Street. The program will include bagels and a craft project. Space is limited and registration is required; call 631-653-4224, ext. 101. 

The second program on September 15 is another installment in the library’s Adults Sunday Fiction Book Club, this week featuring a discussion of “The Witch Elm” by Tana French. Slated to begin at noon on Sunday, the discussion will be held at the Quogue Firehouse on Jessup Avenue. Call 631-653-4224 for more information. 

Two Garden Clubs Present Lecture by Thomas Woltz in Quogue
The Westhampton and Southampton Garden Clubs will present a lecture by innovative landscape architect Thomas Woltz on the topic of “Garden of Ethical Delights: Beauty, Culture, and Conservation in the Work of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.” Mr. Woltz will speak on   Friday, September 20, at 2:30 p.m. at the Quogue Community Hall.

Thomas Woltz   —Robert Wright Photo
Thomas Woltz —Robert Wright Photo

 During the past 20 years of practice, Mr. Woltz has forged a body of work that integrates the beauty and function of built form and craftsmanship with an understanding of complex biological systems and restoration ecology. His firm’s practice has yielded thousands of acres of reforested land, reconstructed wetlands, native meadows, and flourishing wildlife habitats.

In 2011, Mr. Woltz was the second youngest designer to be invested into the Council of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects, one of the highest honors in his profession. In 2013 he was named Design Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal Magazine.

He is currently leading Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects in the design of major public parks across the United States, Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand, including the Aga Khan Garden (Alberta, Canada), Cornwall Park (New Zealand), Mount Cuba Center (Delaware), Memorial Park (Houston, Texas), Centennial Park (Nashville, Tennessee) and Hudson Yards (New York City).

Centennial Park (3)
Aerial view of a Centennial Park project of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.

Reservations are required and Westhampton Garden Club and Southampton Garden Club members and guests are asked to register by emailing by Friday, September 13.

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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