Giving Thanks

At Quaquanantuck has been thinking recently about a brief scene in the David Mamet written and directed film “State and Main” from 2000. 

After a spectacular and dramatic car crash, the movie star character in the film played by Alec Baldwin is pulled from the now upside down vehicle. Befuddled, inebriated and basically unscathed, he surveys the situation and without missing a beat he laughs and declares matter of factly, “So that happened.” 

Dunes at dusk. —A. Botsford Photo

While the recent presidential election, by all accounts of the secretaries of state, was well run and essentially free of irregularities, everything that has happened since—all the destruction of faith in how our democracy is supposed to work—certainly qualifies as an ugly, slow motion and somehow unending car crash from which it remains to be seen whether the republic can emerge in one piece.

Once again, as with the health care crisis and economic devastation brought on by the pandemic, as with the long overdue reckoning with systemic racism that flared after the killing of George Floyd, as with the evidence in wildfires, hurricanes and floods of the horrifying impact of climate change, we are prevented by our divisions from squarely facing these tremendous challenges and doing, as a nation, what must be done to overcome them. 

This is not news; it’s all anybody talks about anymore: our divided nation. But what will it take, how much of a cataclysm must we suffer, before we finally step away from self-interest and loyalty to “our side” and actually do something about it? 

It has to start with an agreement of some kind. If we can agree on our gratitude for living in this beautiful if troubled country, that could be a start. If we can agree about a basic set of facts—that the coronavirus is not “like the flu,” for example, but a deadly disease and scientists actually know how to stop its spread—perhaps we can get to a place where we can agree that we can only snuff it out if we listen to the scientists and all work together. That we need to put the interests of the whole nation ahead of our own. 

It’s simple arithmetic: a fraction of our nation can’t possibly surmount the challenges we face, right now or in the years ahead. We need the whole thing, as stated in the pledge: one nation. We have to work together if we hope to get out of this wreck. Division is subtraction; it makes us less. 

And so it goes in the days of the novel coronavirus today. 

Olcott Pond. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

Time to Give Thanks by Taking Action
It has often been observed that perhaps the best way to show sincere gratitude is by truly honoring the gifts and blessings that we have received. And so it is with the extraordinary blessing—especially during the daunting days of the coronavirus pandemic—of being able to shelter in place in the beyond beautiful bubble that is Quogue. 

Honoring the myriad benefits of living in this place means showing our appreciation by supporting all the people and institutions that help to make our community so special, from the businesses and stores on Jessup Avenue and Midland to the personnel of village government, the Police Department and Fire Department; from the Quogue Library, Quogue Wildlife Refuge and Quogue School to the Quogue Association, the Quogue Historical Society, the Westhampton Garden Club and Quogue Chamber Music, Hampton Theatre Company and Quogue Junior Theater Troupe. And the list goes on. 

Autumn beach panorama. —John MacWilliams Photo

Fortunately for all of us fortunate residents, each and every one of these institutions makes it easy for us to give our support, always demonstrating that they love this community just as much or more than any of us and always working overtime to be sure they contribute more to our exceptional quality of life than could ever be measured by our support. 

Let’s look at our vibrant downtown business district. From Beth’s Cafe, the Quogue Gallery and Jen Going Interiors at the south end of Jessup Avenue right down the street and around the corner to Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon and Flowers by Rori on Midland, Quogue residents are indeed blessed to have such a great array of shops and services. 

New Quogue Country Market General Manager Pete Gragnano, left, and Chef Mike Nicholson. —A. Botsford Photo

With Best Market in Westhampton Beach now closing indefinitely on November 26 before morphing into a Lidl store (one cashier suggested a six-month hiatus), the Quogue Country Market has now become even more essential. How gratifying, then, that the QCM is now planning to stay open through the winter.  Guiding the transition into year-round operation, Peter Gragnano, left above, is the new general manager. Mike Nicholson, right, is the new chef, and he has already won over many fans with his ready made dinners and fresh soups—minestrone, chicken tortilla, and mushroom bisque, to name a few—daily. 

Chef Mike says his menus tend to be “vegetable centric, root to stem.” Examples of recent winners include: Atlantic salmon with rice-quinoa pilaf and roasted vegetable medley; chicken rollatini stuffed with goat cheese and asparagus, with roasted shallot red pepper sauce; seared Greek chicken topped with Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers and feta cheese; homemade chicken pot pie; shrimp scampi over pasta with peas, olive oil and garlic; and old fashioned meatloaf and gravy, to name just a few. 

This week Chef Mike said he was going to be making “meatless meatballs.” 

For those interested in having someone else do the cooking for Thanksgiving, stop by the market and check out what’s on offer. The deadline for ordering is Friday, November 20. Email quoguemarketllc@gmail.com

Homespun at 142 Jessup Avenue will be open seven days a week starting November 23, noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. —Lulie Morrisey Photo
Double Rainbow is open six days a week, noon to 4 p.m. , Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Tuesday. —Lulie Morrisey Photo
Quogue Liquors is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. —Lulie Morrisey Photo
Flowers by Rori is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. —Lulie Morrisey Photo
Proprietor Theresa Fontana strikes a pose in front of the Little Q Quogue Shop. Signs in the windows of Little Q and Beach down the street indicate that both stores are “on a break, gearing up for a ‘fab’ holiday season.” Both stores are set to reopen on Wednesday, November 25, at 10 a.m. —Lulie Morrisey Photo

Hudsy Run Going Virtual for 2020
Organizers of the Hudsy 5K Run/Walk—the annual event honoring the late Joan Hudson that funds heart-healthy activities at the Quogue Elementary School—were not about to let the coronavirus put the kibosh on this well-loved tradition. Instead, like many other determined souls before them, they are going the virtual route. 

Participants of all ages will still be actually running and walking, but instead of doing it all together on the same day at the same time, they will be doing it from November 21 to November 29 on their own terms, their own time, and in many cases on their own 5K course that they choose or set for themselves. 

With a nod to the face-covering world we now inhabit, instead of special t-shirts this year, the first 150 participants will receive a Hudsy 5K buff/gaiter. Keepsake bibs (not required for participation) will be mailed out to all registrants; allow 3-5 business days to receive.

The savvy folks at events.elitefeats.com/hudsy20 have got all the technical details well in hand, and will guide registrants through the process, including choosing your distance and your course, the right apps to use on your smart phone to record your run, and when and how to submit times. And if running or walking are not your thing, there is a space on the registration form to make a straight up donation; no exertion of any kind required. 

To find out more and to register, right up to November 29, visit or paste into your browser events.elitefeats.com/hudsy20. For more information, call Ryan Fay at 631-653-4285. 

Left to right, Officer Anthony Comito, Chief Chris Isola, Lieutenant Daniel Hartman, and Officer Ashleigh Trotta of the Quogue Village Police Department with the non-perishable food items collected so far in the Thanksgiving Food Drive undertaken by police departments and schools and students in Southampton Town. Residents can donate food in the front lobby public area of the police station through Friday, November 20. —A. Botsford Photo

Quogue Chamber Music Making the Most of Grant Funds
Like so many other cultural arts institutions around the world and right here on the East End, the members of the Quogue Chamber Music board of directors were beyond crestfallen when the pandemic forced the cancellation of first the June concert and then the September concert, in other words, the entire 2020 season. 

Showing the kind of resourcefulness that cultural arts presenting organizations are more and more becoming known for, though, Quogue Chamber Music has found a way to make good use of grant funds awarded in the fall of 2019 by the Huntington Arts Council for use in 2020. The cancelled school concerts planned for last March are now being replaced with virtual programs for the children of the Quogue, East Quogue and Hampton Bays elementary schools. The good news is that these virtual concerts will reach many more children than would have been possible with live performances.

QCM President Jane Deckoff reported that, happily, “the musicians we have engaged for previous children’s programs, all graduates of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, have agreed to put together two programs for the area children, to be ready later this month. So the funding from the Huntington Arts Council will not be allowed to  fall through the cracks.”

Members of the Manhattan Chamber Players are scheduled to perform in the Quogue Chamber Music concert on June 19, 2021.

The QCM schedule for 2021 features concerts on June 19 and September 11. As Ms. Deckoff wrote: “We are eager to be reunited with you, our wonderful audience, and we sincerely hope that the circumstances will cooperate with our plans … On behalf of the musicians and the Board, here’s to you … to music … and to brighter times ahead!”

For more information, check out the updated QCM website, www.quoguechambermusic.org.

Historical Society Offers Glimpses of the Past … and Great Gifts
At Quaquanantuck  sincerely hopes that all readers have joined—or will join—the Quogue Historical Society so that they may reap the many rewards of membership. At a time when so many of us are sheltering in place, just the QHS at Home page of the quoguehistory.org website alone is worth far more than the nominal cost of an individual or household membership.

Online exhibitions here include: “Quogue’s Early 20th Century Postcards’; “A Moment in Time: Photographs of Quogue Streets, 1942”; “Quogue Through the Lens of George B. Brainerd, ca. 1875”; “1822 Schoolhouse: 2019-2021 Restoration” and “1822 Schoohouse: History.” Other lovely features of the QHS at Home page include Talks Online via Zoom, Virtual Tours, and Children’s Activities.

Early postcard of Louis Muley’s successful automobile repair shop on Jessup Avenue, c. 1907.

Another wonderful benefit of joining the QHS is getting your email address on the list to receive beautifully timed illustrated nuggets of Quogue history researched and presented by Historical Society Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie Greene. Recent offerings include: a fascinating look at the 1790 Census in Quogue; “1950s Halloween on Jessup Avenue”; “The Election of 1836: Daniel Webster for President” and, arriving on Veterans Day, “The Admirable Admiral,” about naval officer, strategist, author and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914). 

Admiral Mahan is accurately described by Ms. Greene as “without a doubt the most influential and historically significant figure ever to reside in Quogue. (Daniel Webster comes close, but was just a visitor.)” Heady stuff. 

One of the recent emails sent to QHS members, with the subject line: “Quogue Book with a View,” focused on a charming viewbook of Quogue and also pointed the way to some lovely gift ideas. 

Front cover of viewbook.

As Ms. Greene wrote in that email: “In the late 19th and early 20th century, before cameras were portable, travelers purchased picture postcards and postcard-sized viewbooks to remember the places they visited. 

“The souvenir viewbooks had distinctive eye-catching covers and featured photographs, lithographic images, engravings, and charming illustrations. Not only mementos of vacations, they were also popular with businessmen and real estate investors, who often gave them to clients to encourage property investment in certain areas.” 

Interior page, Quogue cottages.

Ms. Greene went on to recount how Louis Muley, owner of Muley’s Garage and Machine Shop on Jessup Avenue and known in the village as the “car doctor,” put together “Pictorial Views of Quogue, On the Sunrise Trail, Long Island, New York,” a 22-page souvenir book of photographs and sketches of notable Quogue streets, landscapes, cottages, and commercial buildings.

“Pictorial Views of Quogue” was printed and published, ca. 1917, by the Albertype Company, of Brooklyn, originally known as Wittemann Brothers. This Quogue’s viewbook was available for purchase at Muley’s, A.A. Tuthill’s drugstore on Quogue Street (now Beth’s Café), and other village locations.

Back cover, Muley’s newly renovated auto shop.

Today, these once-affordable viewbooks are sought-after collectors’ items. Village residents can be grateful that “Pictorial Views of Quogue” has been reproduced and is available for collecting or gift giving at a still-affordable price on the Quogue Historical Society website, quoguehistory.org.

Visitors to the History page of the website will also find some other great Quogue-centric gifts in the Society’s Collections. In “Voices of Quogue: A Small Village Remembers the Way We Were,” author Meredith Murray documents 20th century life in our village through the reminiscences of 14 of Quogue’s longtime residents. “Quogue’s Heritage Road” was prepared for the QHS by Melissa Cook, Dick Gardner and Frances Ryan and published in June, 2009; revised and reprinted November 2011.

“Notes on Quogue: 1659-1959” by Richard Post was published by the Quogue Tercentenary Committee in 1959. Other titles include: the oral history collection “Quogue As We Remember It: A Collection of Memories”; “Hurricane of 1938, Vol. I” and “Hurricane of 1938, Vol. II.” For more information about purchasing, visit the website or email info@quoguehistory.org

Quogue Gallery Opens “Lauren Lyons: A Bender of Fiction” November 24
Serving as the launching point for a very promising career with collectors and in galleries, the Quogue Gallery will present “Lauren Lyons: A Bender of Fiction” from November 24 to December 31, featuring 12 large scale provocative photographs from highly stylized shoots that the artist conceived and styled over the course of the past 20 years. The exhibition opening next week represents the first time these photographs are being exhibited formally together in a gallery.

A socially distanced and responsible reception for the artist will be held at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 28. 

Lauren Lyons, “Lauren” (1/5), 2008, Archival Pigment Print on Hahnemühle German Etching Paper, 42 x 42 in (106.68 x 106.68 cm). —Image courtesy of the Quogue Gallery

Ms. Lyons is a self-taught photographer who got her start decades ago photographing musicians in Philadelphia and New York City. Over the years, she has made photographs for album covers, promotions, concerts, and festivals and worked with record labels, magazines, concert promoters, A&R scouts, and advertising agencies. 

In a telephone interview this week, Ms. Lyons said that her fine art photography was born out of her complete immersion in shooting for the music industry. She was captivated, she said, by the “tawdry, somewhat seedy, edgy demimonde of club life, which is not at all who I am,” and she started thinking about ways to create provocative images that could render some sense of the attitudes and sensibilities of that offbeat and avant garde world. 

Each of the resulting photographs represents a vision that is uniquely her own, from the original conceptualizing to scouting and choosing unusual locations, deciding on wardrobe or coming up with physical modifications for nudes, scene and model styling, and adding props. “The only thing I don’t do,” she said with a laugh, “is hair and makeup.”   

Sabrina De Turk, an Associate Professor with the College of Arts and Creative Enterprises at Zayed University in Dubai and a friend of Ms. Lyons, wrote this about the artist’s work:

“The power of observation is overwhelmingly present in the work of Lauren Lyons. Her intense photographic portraits capture emotions both fleeting and timeless. Context and scene are important components of the image, yet, in the end, it is the haunting and evocative characters in her work who are the most compelling…

“Often single figures occupy the picture frame, sometimes staring out at the viewer, even defying the camera’s lens. And when the interaction is more subtle, when the subject seems to have been taken unaware, there is a powerful sense of human presence and the viewer understands that they are privileged to occupy a position as spectator … We do not necessarily understand the dramas or psychic conditions of her photographs—indeed some scenarios beg further explanation—yet we are drawn to watch, to see more, and if not to know, then to imagine.”

Lauren Lyons, “Amy” (1/5), 2001, Archival Pigment Print on Hahnemühle German Etching Paper, 42 x 42 in (106.68 x 106.68 cm). —Image courtesy of the Quogue Gallery

Born in Southern Delaware in 1969, Ms. Lyons moved to Philadelphia about 30 years ago. As a result of her love of music and her involvement with the music industry as a photographer for many years, she was selected to be a voting member of the Grammys and held that distinction for 18 years. The artist lives and works in Philadelphia and Quogue. 

Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. For more information, visit quoguegallery.com.

Wildlife Refuge Embraces the Spirit of Giving
Support for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is always a win-win, packing tons of fun into fundraising and giving immeasurable value for any and all contributions, whether you signed up for a Walk for Wildlife in honor of National Hiking Day, ordered bird seed in the annual sale, tucked in to a benefit dinner, place an order for cool gear or a holiday ornament from the online gift shop, or make a gift of a QWR membership, an animal adoption, or an engraved brick in the Butterfly Garden.  quoguewildliferefuge.org/gift-ideas

Left to right, Quogue Wildlife Refuge Executive Director Mike Nelson and Assistant Director Marisa Nelson (with screech owl) with Chris and Joanne Richards of CJ’s American Grill in Mattituck.

Just last week, for example, Assistant Director Marisa Nelson reported that the Refuge “raised over $1,000 thanks to the generosity of CJ’s American Grill in Mattituck. Pasta Night on Veterans Day was a success, with most folks choosing take out on the rainy day, and some enjoying the open-air, beautifully illuminated and festive tented dining area.” 

“One of our permanently injured resident screech owls came along,” Marisa wrote, “and folks loved meeting him and learning about this native species. Chris and Joanne Richards, owners of CJs (where Chris is the chef), were going to be our Gala caterers this past summer; they are very generous throughout the entire East End community and their food is delicious.”

Marisa attributed some of the success of this year’s bird seed sale to the fact that “more folks are out east, and many folks are working from home, finding enjoyment in bird watching and feeding their feathered friends.”

A sample of some of the excellent gifts available in the QWR online shop (quoguewildliferefuge.org/shop) would include such items as: embroidered fleece and quilted apparel; QWR hats in a range of colors; the super sturdy Seed Bunker all-season bird feeder; water bottles; plush Audubon birds that play the bird’s real song when squeezed; and the beautiful, hand-crafted, 100 percent lead-free pewter QWR ornament, to name only a few. Shopping is conveniently online only, with curbside pickup easily arranged. 

Readers are urged to remember to check in frequently at quoguewildliferefuge.org/events/ for more information and details on upcoming virtual and in-person socially distant programs. Coming up in November, for example, are: “Winter Waterfowl of Long Island” (virtual program) on Friday, November 20, at 4 p.m.; “Turkey Talk & Craft” (virtual program) on Saturday, November 21, at 10 a.m.; and a “Full Moon Night Hike” on Monday, November 30, at 5 p.m.  

Get all the details and register at www.quoguewildliferefuge.org

Beach scraping. —Andrew Cirincione Photo

Courtesy of Quogue Library, Virtual Programs Abound
Of the many things to admire about the Quogue Library—its tireless staff, its board of directors, its volunteers—one of its most extraordinary strengths these days is its momentum. Look at the wide array of virtual programs sponsored by the library, and you’ll see it is way past overcoming inertia. 

Looking ahead, popular ongoing exercise classes include Pilates on Mondays at 10 a.m. and Sculpting and Cardio Dance for all ages on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., both with instructor Leisa DeCarlo; and Yoga with Jillian for adults and youngsters 8 and up on Fridays at 10 a.m. 

Adult programs coming up include a Virtual Paint Party to create a “winter wonderland” scene on an 8- by 10-inch canvas with artist Marie Camenares on Sunday, November 29, at 7 p.m. All supplies will be provided in a kit to be picked up at the Quogue Library. The next meeting of the Anti Racism Book Club will be on Tuesday, December 1, at 7:30 p.m.; discussion will focus on the Ta-Nehisi Coates book, “Between the World and Me.”  

Family programs on the calendar include another program led by Wildlife Biologist and Naturalist Eric Powers of the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery, “What Makes a Mammal a Mammal?” on Thursday, December 3, at 4:30 p.m. The program will examine this diverse and fascinating group of animals, ranging in size from the smallest shrew to the giant blue whale, investigating locomotion, body structure, biology, and more, with special appearances from live mammals.

Children’s programs include a Thanksgiving Story and Pine Cone Turkey Craft  on Saturday, November. 21, at 10:30 a.m., with craft supplies available to pick up at the Midland office through Friday, November 20.

There will also be a Thanksgiving themed Zoom Bingo session on Tuesday, November 24, at 6:30 p.m. 

For more information or to register for any of these programs, visit the Quogue Library website at quoguelibrary.org and click on the program flier on the home page. Remember that new programs are added regularly, so check the website often to make sure you don’t miss out. 

“Dad, I really think these masks you got are waaay too big.” —Liz Byrne Photo

Library Will Welcome Snowmen to Replace Scarecrows on Jessup
Meanwhile, the scarecrows on Jessup Avenue may be coming down, but not to worry: Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius has approved the library’s “Snowmen Stroll” event. 

Registration and pickup of snowmen templates will begin on December 7, and the last day to return finished projects to the Midland library office will be December 19. All participants are asked to inform the library if they wish to keep their snowmen after the “stroll” ends on January 22. 

The “Snowmen Stroll” from the area around Jessup Pond and down Jessup Avenue begins on December 21 and continues through January 22. The snowmen will be taken down on January 23 and available for pickup by their creators on January 24 at a location to be announced. 

With two weeks to go until the templates can be picked up, it’s not too early to start dreaming and designing your snowman now. 

As for the library’s ongoing renovation and expansion project at its headquarters on Quogue Street, Quogue Library Director Jenny Bloom wrote this week that “the library is anticipating opening in January or early February. Still lots of daily progress, but still much work to be done.” 

The current goal, Ms. Bloom wrote, is to schedule a grand opening of the updated and expanded facility on June 26. 

Common cormorant, a member of the pelican family. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Hampton Theatre Company Readies Virtual Performance
Members of the Hampton Theatre Company, denied the opportunity to present a live holiday show this year, are working on a socially distanced performance of the “Lux Radio Theater Miracle on 34th Street.” The performance will be filmed on December 16 and then posted on the HTC website, HamptonTheatre.org on December 19 in conjunction with the company’s end-of-year appeal.

Essentially cut off by the coronavirus from audiences and longtime patrons since last March, the HTC has been upping its game lately on social media. Patrons, theatre lovers and the merely curious are urged to check out (and “like”) the company’s posts on Facebook (@hamptontheatre; facebook.com/hamptontheatre); Instagram (hamptontheatre; instagram.com/hamptontheatre) and YouTube (youtube.com/channel). 

And keep an eye on social media and the HTC website, hamptontheatre.org, for information about the upcoming “Lux Radio Theatre Miracle on 34th Street” and the company’s end-of-year appeal. 

From Stage, to YouTube, to Your Kitchen
Rosemary Cline, the vice president of the Hampton Theatre Company board of directors and one of the company’s principal actors, has been instrumental, with HTC General Manager Terry Brennan, in the aforementioned updating of the HTC’s approach to social media. 

When last spring’s May production was cancelled due to the pandemic, she decided to take on a different role, launching a new enterprise, Essenza di Gusto, all about food as joy: “seasonally oriented, passionately driven.” 

In addition to posting upbeat Italian cooking instructional videos on the Essenza di Gusto YouTube channel, Ms. Cline and chef Christopher Tattanelli have also been offering beginning-to-end meal preparation in clients’ homes, as detailed on the Essenza di Gusto website, essenzadigusto.com

Now, with the gift-giving season upon us, Ms. Cline and Chef CT are creating Essenza holiday boxes “for that special client gift, or to treat yourselves.” Check out essenzadigusto.com for details on the holiday boxes and information on how to order. 

Early Review Praises Rosenblatt’s “Cold Moon”
A Kirkus review slated to be published December 1 has high praise for another great gift idea: the latest book by Quogue literary light Roger Rosenblatt, “Cold Moon—On Life, Love, and Responsibility” (Turtle Point; November 3, 2020; 104pp). 

Characterizing the new book as “memories and musings from the winter solstice of a life,” the reviewer begins with a quote that lays out the central theme of “Cold Moon”: 

“‘Better to know where to go than how to get there,’ writes the veteran essayist and author of fiction and nonfiction. ‘I wander from thought to thought, having learned but three things from my long night’s moon. I believe in life. I believe in love. I believe we are responsible for each other.’” 

The review goes on to note: “In brief passages connected by association and with the improvisational feel of jazz, [Rosenblatt] moves fluidly among memoir, philosophy, natural history, and inspiration, riffing on everything from the migration of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle to the landscape photographs of Oleg Ershov and the plot of a movie he saw in 1946 [when he was 5] called ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ 

“Though much of the book is a meditation on aging, it is illuminated by childhood memories … one more charming and emblematic than the next. In another passage, the author recounts walking into a stranger’s house and sitting down to play their gorgeous Steinway, which had ‘the gleam of a black stallion.’ When the neighbor escorted her 6-year-old visitor home, she commented to his mother on his fearlessness. ‘It’s the way he is,’ his mother replied. ‘He thinks the world is waiting for him to walk in and play the piano.’ Nearly 75 years later, he hasn’t changed a bit.”

The reviewer’s final judgment on the new book could just as easily be an assessment of the author himself: “A tonic for tough times filled with plainspoken lyricism, gratitude, and good humor.” Congratulations, Roger. 

Quantuck sunset. —Inger Mejean Photo

Fall Leaf Pickup Now Underway
Protocols for having the Village pick up leaves are identical to last year’s rules (as outlined on the November 6 posting on the Announcements page of village website at www.villageofquogueny.gov). To wit: 

“Leaves must be on the shoulder of the street by December 15 in order to be picked up. Do not pile leaves around fire hydrants or utility equipment. Do not use plastic bags; they will not be picked up, and you will have to remove them. No brush, such as twigs and branches, or lawn cuttings will be taken away, and mixing this debris with leaves will result in the leaves not being removed. 

“Brush with branches up to 3 inches in diameter may be taken to the Westhampton recycling facility free of charge from November 15 through December 31. In addition to the foregoing, property owners and landscapers who take leaves (only) from a Quogue property may make arrangements with the Quogue Highway Department to dump them at the highway yard. That will avoid having piles in front of your property waiting to be picked up and blowing back onto your lawn.” 

Morning on the marsh. —Rosemary Cline Photo

Quogue Family in Search of a Kidney Donor
As we give thanks at this time of year for all the abundance that surrounds us and all our many blessings, our gratitude can’t help but be magnified when we remember how many there are who are in desperate need.

Such is the case for Cathy Lee Gruhn, daughter of the much-loved Quogue couple Don and Judy Gruhn, whose advancing chronic kidney disease dictates that she seek a living kidney donor in order to extend her life. 

As Cathy wrote this week: 

“A kidney, from a living donor, will provide me more freedom and the ability to live a longer, healthier, more normal life. Asking people to consider donating a kidney is difficult for me, but I know it will greatly improve my chances of living. I’m completely aware of the magnitude of this ask and words cannot express my gratitude if a kidney comes my way. 

“A transplant will give me more cherished time with my wonderful family and friends, time to watch my niece grow up and watch her achieve her dreams as well as give me time with my beloved pets. I’ll be able to continue my passion for baking, have the energy to use my spin bike, as well as plant vegetables and plants in my garden.  

“The challenge is finding a kidney. There are more than 100,000+ people on the waiting list for a deceased donor. Time isn’t on our side as many of us will wait for years; many of us will die while waiting. The average wait time is eight-plus years. My best hope is to receive a kidney from a living donor. 

“You might not be familiar with living donation and I understand many are afraid of surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them.  Here is some basic information that may be helpful:

  • You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
  • Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
  • The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, about two to three weeks.
  • 100% of the cost of your evaluation and surgery is covered by the recipient’s insurance.  The hospital can provide you extensive information on this.
  • You will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.

“If you’re interested in learning about becoming a living kidney donor and/or possibly donating to me, please visit: Yale New Haven Transplant Center – Center for Living Organ Donors at www.ynhh.org/organdonation, or you can call: 1-866-925-3897 (you must have the correct spelling of my name: Cathy Lee Gruhn).  

“I now ask you to please share this, my story, with everyone, including but not limited to your family, your friends, your family friends, your friends of friends … Please help me by using social media and its connections so I can find a kidney and continue living to my fullest. 

“I don’t believe in regrets.  I believe there are reasons for everything.  It’s important to smile and laugh daily and to see life with the “glass half full,” not “half empty.” I’m more spiritual than religious; I do, however, believe we aren’t given more than we can handle.  None of us were promised life would be easy, but I think we can all agree that life is very precious; and I hope to continue mine so I can help others. cathyneedsakidney@gmail.com

As neighbors, it is incumbent upon us to do whatever we can to bring Cathy closer to receiving a donation. Our blessings come with the responsibility to honor them. 

Suspended animation. —Patricia Prentis Photo

At Quaquanantuck Grateful for Your Support
I’d like to once again offer my sincere thanks to all those who have responded so generously to my request for donations in the form of voluntary subscriptions to help me defray expenses and keep At Quaquanantuck always free for all who care to read it. 

Readers have so far sent in donations ranging from $30 to $300 (the equivalent of five voluntary annual “subscriptions” at the suggested “price” of $60) to support this free online publication, now being posted monthly. 

Meanwhile, I am continuing the appeal through the end of 2020. So, if you have the wherewithal, the column continues to have value for you in the monthly format, and you’d like to support keeping it a free resource for the community, please consider taking out or renewing a voluntary subscription (i.e. contribution) of $60 … or more … or less. 

Contributions may be made using PayPal by clicking here; with Venmo to user name Andrew-Botsford-1; or by check made out to Andrew Botsford and mailed to PO Box 1524, Quogue, NY 11959. 

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.  

News Items and Photos
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—or the world. 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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