Memorial Day

High on the list of the many blessings of being able to gather again—while respecting responsible safety protocols—is the opportunity to come together once more on Monday, May 31, at 10 a.m. outside the firehouse on Jessup Avenue for the Quogue Fire Department sponsored observance of Memorial Day. 

According to Quogue Ordinance Inspector and volunteer firefighter Chris Osborne, the resident coordinator for Monday’s program is Steve Alpert. The guest speaker will be Bob Dunigan, local businessman and Vietnam veteran pilot. 

The annual commemoration of all the men and women who have died while serving in the military for the United States of America ranks, along with Veterans Day in the fall, as one of the most important holidays on our calendar. So many of the wonderful freedoms we enjoy, so much of our country’s identity and pride, and even our quality of life: all are thanks in large measure to the dedicated commitment, regardless of the consequences, of the men and women who have served in the military over the 245 years since our nation’s founding. On Veterans Day, we give special thanks to those who served in the military; on Memorial Day, we honor those who gave their lives in the service of their country. 

“These We Honor.” Memorial Day 2019. —A. Botsford Photo

Perhaps through overuse, classifying their deaths as “the ultimate sacrifice,” though apt, sometimes seems to lessen the significance of lives brutally cut short; hopes, dreams and relationships obliterated; the fabric of families ripped apart. As in years past, At Quaquanantuck urges all readers to attend the QFD service on Monday, and to explain the meaning of the holiday to children and grandchildren. It is so important for us today, and for generations to come, to recognize the tremendous debt of gratitude, and honor, that we owe. 

Speaking of service, our gratitude is owed as well to the hosts of Monday’s ceremonies, the men and women of the Quogue Fire Department, more than 60 volunteers who respond seven days a week, 24 hours a day to structure fires, gas leaks, automobile accidents, water/ice rescues, and any number of other emergencies. 

Perhaps because of the influx of off-season residents due to the pandemic, in 2020 the QFD volunteers responded to more emergency calls than in any other year. All of the certified volunteers undergo a minimum of 100 hours of training in fire fighting, rescue, and dealing with hazardous materials. The QFD also has an active Explorer program for community teenagers 15 and up, to prepare the next generation of volunteer firefighters. 

Bear in mind that Monday’s ceremony is an outdoor event and, for your own protection and consideration of others, the fire department is requesting that all who attend respect the Covid safety protocols put in place.  

Members of the Westhampton Garden Club and Quogue Fire Department traveled to the Battery Park Conservancy on May 19 to pick up plants for the 9/11 memorial at the Quogue Firehouse. Front row, left to right, Lynda Confessore of the WGC; Gabriela Marin, Battery Conservancy head horticulturist; Lucian Gomez, Battery Conservancy gardener: Joy Flynn of the WGC; Inger Mejean, WGC past president and project leader; and Michael McMahon of the QFD. Back row: Philip Condyles, Battery Conservancy gardener; Sean Kiely, Battery Conservancy park manager; Warrie Price, Battery Conservancy founder and president; Joan Reilly of the WGC; and Dave Schaffauer of the QFD. —Photo courtesy of the Westhampton Garden Club

Garden Club Helps Expand 9/11 Memorial at Firehouse
With thanks to correspondent Lynda Confessore, At Quaquanantuck is happy to report that, one week ago on Wednesday, May 19, two volunteer firefighters from the Quogue Fire Department joined members of the Westhampton Garden Club on a mission into New York in the second phase of an ambitious project to expand the 9/11 Memorial at the firehouse. 

The 9/11 memorial at the Quogue Firehouse on Jessup Avenue. —A. Botsford Photo

Originally given to the QFD in recognition of the volunteers’ unhesitating response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the memorial consists of a six-foot section of I-beam from one of the towers that fell. After bringing the beam back to Quogue, QFD volunteers mounted it atop a waist-high base and transformed it into a sculptural fountain as a permanent memorial. 

In 2019 the Westhampton Garden Club, under the leadership of then president Inger Mejean, proposed expanding the memorial as a Garden of Remembrance, a place of peaceful respite based on the model of the Battery Conservancy in Manhattan. 

After approval for the idea was obtained from the Quogue Fire Department, the Mayor and Trustees, a unique partnership developed between the Battery Conservancy, where many sought shelter or boarded boats at the water’s edge when the towers fell, and the Westhampton Garden Club—both fervent proponents of the restorative power of nature’s beauty. According to the WGC, both gardens, though very different in scale, are meant “to pay tribute to those who died on September 11, 2001, the thousands of survivors who fled to safety, the heroes who responded without hesitation to Ground Zero, and all who have searing memories of that day.” 

After 9/11, the board of the Battery Conservancy decided to redesign and rebuild a 10,000-square foot area on its promenade as the Gardens of Remembrance, designed by the renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, known for his use of perennials and native plants. The WGC goal was to create a smaller garden with similar goals, with Dragonfly Landscape Design Ltd. of Speonk agreeing to donate their services in preparation of the beds and the installation of the plants. 

Dragonfly Landscape Design crew at one of the Garden of Remembrance beds. —Photo courtesy of WGC

After the Westhampton Garden Club obtained a $1,000 grant from the Plant America program of the National Garden Club to cover costs, WGC members went to Battery Park in 2019 to help plant 5,000 bulbs in the Conservancy Garden, some of which would be brought back to be replanted in the Quogue Garden as a connection between the two.  

On Wednesday, May 19, “all the planning and cooperation came to fruition,” according to Ms. Confessore. Two Quogue firemen, Second Assistant Chief Dave Schaffauer and Company Captain Michael McMahon, and members of the Westhampton Garden Club traveled in a QFD vehicle to the Battery Conservancy to pick up the “exchange” plants, thank TBC president and founder Warrie Price and other staff members, and have “a time for remembrance in this beautiful garden with views of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and other memorable sites—all part of the history and future of New York City.” 

Now that the plants have been brought back to Quogue and are under the tender care of Dragonfly Landscape Design, the square stone base for the I-beam will be refurbished and irrigation for the plants will be rerouted in time for an official opening of the garden in September 2021, the 20th anniversary year of the September 11 attacks. 

At Quaquanantuck joins the rest of the village in saluting all involved—the Westhampton Garden Club, the Quogue Fire Department, the Battery Conservancy, and Dragonfly Landscape Design—and giving thanks for their efforts on the 9/11 memorial and in all their good works. 

Spring surfcasting as spectator sport. —A. Botsford Photo

Library Grand Opening Scheduled June 26
With more books being shelved every day, carpet being laid, and finishing touches added all around, Quogue Library Director Jenny Bloom and the library’s Board of Trustees are “feeling confident” that June 26 will be the date of the Grand Opening event at the newly renovated and expanded library, with tours, official opening ceremonies, and special activities. 

In order to complete preparations for the Grand Opening and the start of regular service at the library, Ms. Bloom and the library staff are planning to close the Midland facility at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 12. While work will continue getting ready to open the new library, “we will need to be closed for the two weeks prior to the Grand Opening,” the library director said this week. 

Quogue Library staffers reluctantly took a break from their labors for a photo op in the front door of the newly renovated and expanded library. Left to right, Stephen Jordan, Eileen Schermeyer, Arie DePhillips, and Elizabeth Caputo. —A. Botsford Photo

“June 27 will be our first real day of service, and we are going to be open on a 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Tuesday schedule,” she continued. “We are also beginning to feel out the waters for some in-person programs once we are open.” For the time being, the library will need to be closed on Wednesdays, as current staffing levels do not allow for a seven days a week schedule. 

Look for more details on the June 26 Grand Opening in the June 10 At Quaquanantuck. 

More information is also forthcoming on this summer’s Conversations with the Author series, which will feature Sarah Penner, author of “The Lost Apothecary,” on July 11; Paula McLain, author of “When the Stars Go Dark,” on July 18; Karin Tanabe, author of “A Woman of Intelligence,” on July 25; David S. Reynolds, author of “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” on August 8; and Alexandra Andrews, author of “Who Is Maud Dixon?”, on August 22.

The next installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, hosted virtually by the Quogue Library, is scheduled on Saturday, June 12, from 5 to 6 p.m. The topic for the June 12 discussion, following a brief video on the subject, will be Brexit: Taking Stock & Looking Ahead.” More details in the June 10 column. As always, the library is hosting or sponsoring a wide array of virtual programming for all ages and interests. To find out more and to register for any of these programs, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the fliers posted on the home page. 

Chris Rottmann, husband of Quogue Library staffer Elizabeth Caputo, recently made these birdhouses—the two at right modeled on the smokehouse and Schoolhouse Museum on the library grounds—and donated them to the library. —Elizabeth Caputo Photo

The Mayor’s Corner
The most recent posting of “Quogue Updates” by Village Mayor Peter Sartorius is so chock full of important and interesting information—property taxes; school district tax rate and a runoff election for a seat on the Quogue School Board; village elections; open hours and parking rules at the Village Beach; new proposed laws (on smoking on village property, leaf blower use, and nuisance lighting); bids for sidewalk reconstruction on Jessup Avenue; changes at the Post Office; and more—that At Quaquanantuck can’t possibly do it justice in a distillation. 

Readers are encouraged to click on or visit www.villageofquogueny.gov/Files/96667.pdf to take advantage of this remarkable resource and bring themselves fully up to date on Village news.

“Okay: day at the beach in your kicky new outfit … big smile, big smile. C’mon; work with me!” —A. Botsford Photo

Quogue Wildlife Refuge Zoom Talk on Tick-Borne Diseases
With warmer weather upon us, and everyone spending more time in the out of doors, the folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge have scheduled a Zoom talk next week on a topic that can’t get enough attention: “Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases: What You Need to Know.” 

As the QWR description of the program pointed out, “Chances are that you, or someone you know, has been diagnosed with Lyme or another tick-borne disease.” On Wednesday, June 2, at 5:15 p.m. Jerry Simons, PA-C, a member of the Medical Advisory Panel of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital’s Regional Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center, will speak about the types of diseases that are carried by the different species of ticks found on Eastern Long Island, and the symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment options that are available. Tips on preventing tick bites will also be shared.

To register in advance for this meeting, click on the following link us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register or visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org and find the program under the Events Calendar tab on the home page. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Yes, it’s one of the tiniest turtles you’ll ever see, but what kind of turtle is it? See below for the answer, courtesy of Marisa Nelson at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. —Jamie Whitall Photo

As always, At Quaquanantuck relies on Associate Director Marisa Nelson and staffers at the QWR for identification and information about wildlife in our area. This week, Ms. Nelson offered this response to a query related to the photo of the tiny turtle above: 

“It looks like it may be a diamondback terrapin, which lives in brackish water such as our bays and creeks. Found on land when they are tiny as ALL turtle nests are on land. Most important to know is not to move turtles, as you can mistakenly put a freshwater turtle in salt water or vice versa, or a terrestrial box turtle into any kind of water. The only time a turtle should be moved is if it is in the road or in direct harm’s way such as the path of a lawn mower, etc. Otherwise they live their very long lives in the same home territory, and relocating them can cause failure to thrive.”

Ms. Nelson also offered this note on the recent golf outing to benefit the Refuge: “Golfing with the Owls, honoring Mayor Peter Sartorius, was a successful event, and we are so very grateful to golfers, sponsors, supporters, and Golf Committee Co-Chairs Paul Insalaco and Andre Insalaco!”

Quogue Village Mayor Peter Sartorius was the honoree at the recent Golfing with the Owls at Sebonack Golf Club benefit for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. Above, left to right, Eric, Barbara, Peter and Scott Sartorius.

HTC’s “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney Selling Out at Limited Capacity
The long-delayed Hampton Theatre Company production of  “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney—a romantic comedy about the impact of adopting a stray dog on an empty-nest marriage—opens on Thursday, May 27, and runs through June 13. 

In “Sylvia,” a sassy stray dog (played by a human) is brought home from Central Park and becomes a major bone of contention for Greg and Kate. A street-smart mixture of (possibly) Lab and poodle, Sylvia offers Greg an escape from the frustrations of his job and the unknowns of middle age. While Kate considers Sylvia a rival for Greg’s affection, Sylvia sees Kate as clueless about the bond between man and dog. After a series of hilarious and touching complications, all three learn lessons about the importance of compromise and the power of love. 

In accordance with the Governor’s guidance for small theaters, advance ticket sales are based on limited seating capacity of approximately 60 ticket holders for each performance. As a result, even though two additional Saturday matinees were added, many of the performances have already sold out. “Sylvia” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from May 27 to June 13, with performances on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 2:30 and 8, and Sundays at 2:30. To check for ticket availability, visit www.hamptontheatre.org, or call 631-653-8955. Patrons are required to wear appropriate face coverings while inside the theater. A complete list of HTC safety protocols may be found at www.hamptontheatre.org.

Amanda Griemsmann as Sylvia is scolded for getting on the couch by Catherine Maloney as Kate. —Tom Kochie Photo

Tickets Available for Quogue Chamber Music “Tenting Tonight”
Quogue Chamber Music will launch its 2021 season on Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. with members of the Manhattan Chamber Players—piano and strings—performing works by Brahms and Chausson under a tent at the Quogue Elementary School at 10 Edgewood Road. 

With an eye to patrons’ safety during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, masks will be required; there will be no reception following the concert; and no tickets will be sold at the box office on the night of the performance. 

Tickets are $50, for the concert only; or $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased by mail by sending a check to Quogue Chamber Music, POB 1984, Quogue, NY  11959 or by Paypal  on the QCM website (www.quoguechambermusic.org). There will be no social distancing, but proof of vaccinations will be required at the door and masks need to be worn.For further information about ticket sales or safety protocols, email info@quoguechambermusic.org.

Quogue Gallery Prepares to Change Out Shows
The Quogue Gallery at 44 Quogue Street at the intersection with Jessup Avenue got started early this year, with “Robert Remer: Biophilia” on view from March 13 until next Monday, May 31. 

Coming up next at the gallery will be “Norman Carton: Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist Series,” on view from June 10 to July 6, with an opening reception scheduled on Saturday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition will feature 15 oil paintings on canvas from the late artist’s epochal Lunar and Organic Abstract Expressionist series of the 1970s. More details on this exhibition will be posted in the June 10 At Quaquanantuck.

Norman Carton, “The Haunting Spectre,” Oil on canvas, 52 x 38.5. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Haywire Continues to Adapt
In a typical, pre-pandemic summer, Haywire owner Raenell Murray would display her wares in three different shows. However, even as more and more people are vaccinated, pandemic protocols still need to be observed. So, as she did last summer, Ms. Murray is inviting her faithful customers, as well as new friends, to come to her house to see all of the clothing items she is selling.

She advised At Quaquanantuck this week that there will be regular priced items in the house and a barn full of sale items. Starting June 10, all are invited to come see fabulous French capris and trousers, cashmere sweaters, shawls, colorful tops, jewelry and much more. Call Ms. Murray at 631-283-2809 to set up an appointment.  

Raenell Murray’s Haywire fashions will be confined to quarters for another summer.

Write America Keeps the Spark Burning
Anyone who hasn’t checked out the new Write America weekly program is encouraged to join the legions of fans who have already made a habit of tuning in. The brainchild of writer, teacher and Quogue resident Roger Rosenblatt, the program offers beautiful readings and stimulating discussions between gifted writers on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by the Huntington independent bookstore Book Revue. 

To catch up on what the series is all about, At Quaquanantuck recommends a visit to the Book Revue website, bookrevue.com/write-america-series, where you can access recordings of all the readings and conversations of the series up to now. 

Coming up on Monday, May 31, in the “weekly readings and conversation about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation” will be New York Times bestselling author Bruce Weber and editor, novelist, poet and founder of Lit Pub Molly Gaudry. 

As noted, Write America runs weekly, every Monday at 7 p.m. EST on Book Revue’s Crowdcast channel. All events are free; registration is required at bookrevue.com/write-america-series. A selection of signed titles will be available for purchase with each Write America episode; Book Revue ships worldwide. For more information, click here or visit bookrevue.com/write-america-series.

Quogue angler Bob Murray not only managed to catch this beautiful squeteague (aka weakfish), he also seems to have mastered the art of the selfie for this handsome portrait. Congratulations!

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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