Sometime in April, for no reason I can think of—probably procrastination to put off working on the column—I started going through a box full of folders that were salvaged from my late mother’s house when I and my siblings cleaned it out before eventually selling it.
In the box there were a number of folders full of my stepfather Richard Dougherty’s papers. A longtime journalist, novelist, and playwright, he also had a couple of jobs managing tricky public relations, most notably for the New York City police commissioner and, later—already up to his chin in Democratic politics—for the ill-fated presidential campaign of George McGovern in 1972.
As I thumbed through one of his folders, a funeral card fell out. I picked it up and felt a pang when I realized it was from the funeral mass for Robert F. Kennedy, assassinated on June 6, 1968 when he was running for president. On one side, the card bears an image of a smiling RFK, slightly marred by a stain from a rusty paperclip; on the reverse, as is customary with this kind of memorial card, there is the text of a one-line prayer and a couple of hopeful lines quoted from Tennyson’s “Ulysses.”
Then, remarkably, there are poignant, thoughtful, and positive quotes from Kennedy himself, taken from his extemporaneous remarks on the death of another victim of assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on the day that he was killed, just two months before, on April 4.
I spent some time going through a whole gamut of emotions and thoughts as I read and re-read the card. Then I put it on my desk and didn’t think about it that much until I happened to glance at it about a week after the murder of George Floyd on May 25, when the ensuing protests and nationwide outcry pinned RFK’s words right in the middle of my consciousness.
So, why did I happen to go through those folders on that day? And why weren’t all the folders thrown out years ago, since that’s inevitably going to be their fate anyway? Not for me to figure out these things or even to ponder.
I only know that here we are in another election year, 52 years later, and still we struggle with the pernicious issues around gun violence, social justice, racism and equality. And so it seemed appropriate to share this serendipitous find with At Quaquanantuck readers. As to Robert Kennedy’s words, I can only hope that one day we will all be able to speak with one voice to say: Amen.
And so it goes in the days of the novel coronavirus today.
Get Ready to Zoom into Quogue’s Past
Readers are reminded that next Thursday, July 23, at 6 p.m., Quogue Historical Society Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie B. Greene will host the first in a planned series of QHS Illustrated Talks via Zoom, “Then and Now: Pictorial Quogue, c. 1875 & 2020.”
This first talk will take participants through a comparison of how parts of our village looked in the late 19th century as captured by George Bradford Brainerd versus the way they look today.
Brainerd captured 10+ images of Quogue in the mid-1870s that provide a portrait of the village’s early days, a long time before smartphone cameras, or even Brownies.
The photographic collodion wet plate process used by Brainerd requires the photographic material—in Brainerd’s case glass plates—to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about 15 minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field.
The process was arduous—Brainerd and his assistant would walk from the rail depot into each village and set up a tent as a darkroom.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space in the Zoom room. The Zoom link to join will be emailed a week before the talk to those who register.
Another new initiative from the Society is QHS At Home (quoguehistory.org/qhs-at-home), an update of the QHS website featuring a roster of virtual opportunities to explore Quogue history. Throughout the summer, the Historical Society will be adding online exhibitions, virtual tours, children’s activities, videos, and more.
Fans and supporters of the QHS are reminded: you can create or renew your membership by clicking here or by visiting quoguehistory.org/support/financial-contributions/. You’ll have the option to complete the Membership Reply Form and mail a check, or click on the donate button to pay with a credit card or PayPal.
Quogue Wildlife Refuge Needs Donations to Keep On Coming
The date for the Wild Night for Wildlife that was not to be has now gone by, but the QWR’s need for support continues every day.
For those who might have missed it, the talented folks at the Refuge and some friends and supporters put together a lovely video about the QWR and the people who keep it going that you can see by clicking here, or by visiting this page on the Refuge website: quoguewildliferefuge.org/summerappeal/
As Refuge Executive Director Michael Nelson has noted, all donations help “to ensure that the Refuge is able to continue to provide quality care for our animals and priceless experiences in nature for the community.” To make donations, click here or visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org and click on Wild Night Appeal.
And please remember, too, the new Quogue Wildlife Refuge “text to donate” app for smart phone users. Donations to the QWR can now be made from anywhere simply by texting QWR2020 to 202-858-1233. The new app leads users to a very simple donation form, right on their cell phones.
Foreign Policy Association Looks at Modern Slavery
The Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion Program Virtual Conference via Zoom will be held on Saturday, July 18, at 4:30 p.m. To register, click here, or go to quoguelibrary.org and click on the Foreign Policy Association flyer.
Moderated by David Rowe, with Susan Perkins serving as facilitator, Saturday’s discussion will consider the horrifying fact that almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery.
Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?
All are invited to pour a light refreshment, and connect to Zoom for a short film and a stimulating discussion.
The Great Decisions Briefing Book may be purchased at a discount from the library by emailing email@example.com.
Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go to a Library Zoom …
Cartilaginous fish enthusiasts get ready for the Quogue Library Shark Week 2020 kickoff on Monday, July 27: a self-scheduled stroll down Jessup Avenue and along the pond to view the sharks on display.
On Tuesday, July 28, the library is asking all those who have registered to “Check your email—videos and fun shark information will swim into your inbox.” On Wednesday, July 29, at 3 p.m. a “Let’s Talk Sharks” program with the Quogue Wildlife Refuge will be offered on Zoom. And on Thursday, July 30, Miss Pat’s Shark Storytime and craft is scheduled at 11 a.m., and then there will be a “Sharks and Oceans Rock!” virtual under-the-sea tour at 4 p.m.
Aimed at kids age 5 to 12, the “Let’s Talk Sharks” program with the Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, July 29, at 3 p.m. will offer interesting facts and excellent info about sharks and participants will make a shark tooth necklace. Register and get Zoom login information by clicking on the flier at quoguelibrary.org.
“Dinosaurs Rock” will lead the virtual under the sea tour in the “Sharks & Oceans Rock” program on Thursday, July 30, at 4 p.m. This science presentation and museum exhibit of life-size creatures will offer an up-close view of animals and sea life, including “sharks, crabs, the blobfish and more.” Register and get Zoom login information by clicking on the flier at quoguelibrary.org.
Other family programs offered by the library this summer include: a “Tour the Pollock-Krasner House with Joyce Raimondo” children’s tour on Wednesday, July 22, at 4 p.m.; and “Miss Pat’s Story Time” for children age 2 to 5 on Thursday mornings at 11 a.m.
To register for any of these programs, go to quoguelibrary.org and click on the flier.
Final Week for Norman Carton; Patricia Udell Next at Quogue Gallery
This is the final weekend for “Norman Carton: 1950s & 1960s Works on Paper” at the Quogue Gallery. On view through July 20, the exhibition at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street, which can also be viewed in the Quogue Gallery’s virtual space, features 15 Norman Carton paintings in the north gallery.
Writing about the exhibition, Charles A. Riley II, the Director of the Nassau County Museum of Art, noted that: “Norman Carton, with his academic training, his love of studio process and materials (he ground his own vivid pigments) and his mastery of art history, stuck to [a philosophy of] art as part of life. As these wonderfully painterly, quite often large and substantive works in gouache triumphantly show, there was plenty of room left to operate in the Abstract Expressionist style, especially when it came to color.”
To see the complete text of Riley’s essay on the exhibition, click here.
Next up at the Quogue gallery will be “Patricia Udell: Color Space and the Female Form,” on view July 21 through August 13, with a reception planned at the gallery on Saturday, July 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. The exhibition will feature the artist’s gouache paintings and as well as her plaster reliefs.
Patricia Udell’s body of work explores color, space and the female form across a variety of media. Early in her career, Udell created a series of small bronze sculptures exploring the female form. Over time, she progressed beyond the figurative in favor of more abstracted examinations of shape, line and negative space through a series of monochromatic plaster reliefs and painted reliefs of corrugated cardboard and wood.
The artist further distilled this concept into a series of colorful flat gouache paintings. Similar in composition to her sculpture, she blurs the distinction between form and negative space by assembling vibrant bands of colors running up and down the paper in what Udell describes as a “back and forth between gesture, positive and negative space.”
For more information, call 203-321-9427, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Church of the Atonement Virtual Service Sunday
The Reverend Dr. Richard D. McCall will officiate virtually at the Morning Prayer service of the Church of the Atonement on Sunday, July 19, at 9 a.m. All those wishing to obtain login information for the Zoom platform are requested to send an email to email@example.com for the Zoom meeting ID number and password.
The Atonement, a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, welcomes worshippers of all faiths. Atonement organist and choir director Patricia Osborne Feiler will provide music for the virtual Morning Prayer services. This Sunday’s 9 a.m. service will be recorded for later viewing on the church’s website (Quoguechurch.org).
The Reverend Dr. Robert S. Dannals will officiate at the Atonement’s Morning Prayer services from Sunday, July 26 through Sunday, August 16.
Film Suggestions from Performing Arts Center
For June and July, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is offering exclusive tickets to stream two movies written and directed by the celebrated South Korean filmmaker Hong Sangsoo, “Hill of Freedom” (2020) and “Woman on the Beach” (2008).
Half the proceeds from ticket sales go to the PAC. For more information, trailers and tickets, along with links to companion commentary by Tuesday Night at the Movies host Andrew Botsford, click here or visit www.whbpac.org and click on Films.
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 AtQuaq@gmail.com.
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