In the Swim

Comparing the abundance of programming this summer with what was on offer during the Covid summer of 2020 makes At Quaquanantuck think of a race car accelerating from zero to 85 in about three seconds. It’s a little disorienting. 

Perhaps that’s why—with live programs returning and summer just getting really underway a couple of weeks ago—it seems impossible that the Quogue Fire Department Open House is coming up in one week, and the Quogue Historical Society Art Show & Sale the week after. 

Sunset sentinels. —A. Botsford Photo

As readers have undoubtedly noticed, the abundance of programming and all manner of events and activities, coupled with At Quaquanantuck’s now monthly (ish) schedule, have resulted in this column getting almost impossibly long. It now requires a real commitment of time to digest it all; anyone trying to read it on their phone in one sitting runs the risk of having their battery die. You have my apologies.

And yet, it is so gratifying to at long last have so much to share as the community comes back to life. So, please, get a calendar to mark up and settle in: there’s a lot going on that you won’t want to miss. 

Youngsters step up to examine a fire truck at a previous QFD Open House. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Fire Department

Fire Department Brings Back the Open House
As the volunteers made it clear on a postcard announcing the event, the Quogue Fire Department wants to do its part in the return to normalcy by “reinstating our annual open house on August 1” from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Firehouse. 

There will be a few changes “to reflect the times and the CDC protocols in effect on that date.” Plans call for emphasizing demonstrations of what the volunteer firefighters do as part of their responsibilities. All activities will be outside, with food and beverages provided “within the guidelines.” And, yes, there will be fire truck rides. 

Everyone wants a chance to try their hand at hitting a target with a fire hose. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Fire Department

Following the festivities at the Firehouse, there will be a live performance by the band UrbanAcoustic at 6 p.m. on the Quogue Village Green on Jessup Avenue. 

Come one, come all, and get your Open House on!

Get Ready to “Celebrate Art!” and Visit the QHS Art Show & Sale
While we’re on the topic of beloved summer traditions that we’re all happy to see coming back, make sure to mark the calendar for the Quogue Historical Society “Celebrate Art!” cocktails and art talk benefit on Friday, August 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Village Green, and the 55th annual Art Show & Sale to benefit the QHS the next day, August 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, also on the Quogue Village Green on Jessup Avenue.  

Speakers for the art talk portion of the “Celebrate Art!” benefit will be Frances Beatty and Stacy Goergen, discussing “Contemporary Art After Covid-19: How the pandemic has impacted the contemporary art market.” For more information about the Friday benefit and the Saturday Art Show & Sale, visit https://quoguehistory.org.

Photo of the first exhibition at the “Old Schoolhouse Museum” in 1949. —Photo courtesy of the Quogue Historical Society

A Historical Society celebration of a different kind is now going on at the Society’s 1822 Schoolhouse Museum on the grounds of the Quogue Library. The Schoolhouse Museum currently features an exhibit looking back at the very first exhibition in the building that Abram Post salvaged in the early 1900s and the Post family donated to the library in 1948 to be operated as a museum.  

On August 24, 1949, the Quogue Library’s newly formed Historical Committee, forerunner of the Quogue Historical Society, opened its first exhibition, which featured “furniture, implements, photographs, and documents, many of them dating back to the early settlers in Quogue.”

Self-guided tours of “Quogue’s ‘Old Schoolhouse Museum’: The First Exhibition, 1949” are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Tuesday (closed Wednesday).  

Historical Society members were reminded at the beginning of this month to renew memberships for the coming year to support the Society’s “ongoing work to collect, preserve, and interpret the rich history of our charming Village.” Annual memberships provide critical financial support and also serve as assurance of members’ interest in preserving Quogue’s past for future generations.

All those who are not already members, are asked to please consider joining, as membership contributions are the single largest source of income for the Society. Renewing or taking out a new membership can be done online at www.quoguehistory.org. All donations are fully tax-deductible. For more information, email info@quoguehistory.org or call 631-996-9490.

Quogue Association Is Feeling Just Ducky: Watch the Pond to See Why
Fresh from the success of the Association’s Beach Party on July 17, members of the Quogue Association have a surprise in store tomorrow, July 23, for Quogue Pond visitors and passersby.

As Stefanie Beck disclosed in a scoop for At Quaquanantuck this week: “On Friday, July 23, the coolest Duck yet will make its appearance in the Quogue Pond for three weeks only! The visiting duck will herald the return of the Duck Race on August 20, with sales of ducks on only three Saturdays: on July 31, August 7 and August 14 in front of the post office from 9 a.m. to noon.”

Resuming this summer without missing a beat, the annual Duck Race on Friday, August 20, and free attendant celebration at the Quogue Village Dock run from 5 to 7 p.m., with beer, wine and water provided, and music from the band Souled Out. Picnicking is encouraged, so be prepared to BYO munchies and chow down. This year’s winning duck will be awarded $500; second place prize is $250 and third place wins $150. 

Prices for the cleaned and recycled ducks this year are: one duck, $5; Quack Pack (5 ducks), $20; Ducky Dozen (13), $50; Quack Sack (30), $100; and a Quoggie (100), $300. 

Ms. Beck was also kind enough to share a report on last Saturday’s beach party, calling it “a huge success with over 250 people.” Beer was supplied by the local Westhampton Beach Brewing Company, earning “lots of compliments,” she said, noting that the same brewery will be supplying the beer for the Duck Race celebration. “The DJ played  great music and a good time was had by all.”  

A reminder to all 2020 members who have not already renewed their membership, and any community members who would like to join the Quogue Association, the process is simple: visit www.quogueassociation.org and click on the “Join/Donate” tab on the upper right of the home page.


Members of the older cast of the Quogue Junior Theater Troupe rehearsing some musical magic from “Pippen,” running August 3 through 6 at the Quogue Community Hall. The QJTT Summer Benefit is scheduled this year on Friday, July 30, with a performance at 7 p.m. at the theater followed by a cocktail reception at the Quogue Field Club at 8 p.m. Visit the qjttonline.org website for more information. —Jeff Prior Photo

More In-Person Programs at Wildlife Refuge;  “Moonglow” Graces Story Book Walk
Step by responsibly cautious step, the folks at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge are bringing back more socially distanced in-person programs. 

For one example, in collaboration with the Quogue Library, a new story has been placed in the Story Book Walk at the Refuge. The children’s book “Moonglow” by author Peggy Dickerson is about a magical moonlit night in a forest where animals are transformed by the moonbeams. Visitors can start at the beginning of the green trail to find the first page of the book, and follow the arrows around to 19 separate installments. 

According to Refuge Associate Director Marisa Nelson, “A Story Book Walk, for folks who aren’t familiar, is a fun, educational activity that places the pages from a children’s story along a trail. The walk is designed to help children at all reading levels to enjoy the outdoors and read a book with their family and friends.” This activity is available to be enjoyed daily from sunrise to sunset this summer; a new book will be installed in the fall. 

The Refuge is offering an opportunity to meet “Moonglow” author Peggy Dickerson and purchase the beautifully illustrated book at a Meet the Author social distance event on Friday, August 6, at 10 a.m. 

As pretty much everyone knows, “On a moonlit night in the forest, magical things can happen….” At the Meet the Author event, Ms. Dickerson will read from her book and sign purchased copies. The program will take place outdoors (under a tent if raining), and is offered in collaboration with the Quogue Library. For more information about the book, visit www.moonglowkids.com.

On Thursday, August 12, the Refuge is offering an opportunity to meet resident raptors in person at an outdoor Live Birds of Prey social distance program at the Refuge at 3 p.m. During a 45-minute presentation, visitors will learn about native Long Island raptor species—their diets, habitats, and physical adaptations that make them excellent hunters—as well as how to help protect them.

This magnificent great horned owl is one of the resident raptors at the QWR. —Kevin Ferris Photo

Visitors are requested to bring a blanket to sit on at designated socially distant locations, and to please arrive several minutes ahead to get situated. The fee for this program for adults and families with children age 6 and older is $10 per person, or $5 per child under 10.  Reservations and prepayment required; visit quoguewildliferefuge.org or call 631-653-4771. In case of rain, this will be changed to a virtual Zoom program. 

And mark the calendar now for the “Visions of Nature” art exhibition and social distance reception to benefit the Refuge on Saturday, August 21, from 4 to 6 p.m. 

“Pastel Seascape” by Susan Gilbert is one of the works that will be on view in the “Visions of Nature” exhibition at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.

Area artists will showcase works that represent their visions of nature and wildlife, with a portion of proceeds from sales going to benefit the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. On display will be paintings, photographs, and mixed media works from artists including: Steve Alpert, Jean Arena, Marissa Bridge, Kevin Ferris, Susan Gilbert, John Renner, and Rob Seifert, curated by Elizabeth Anne Hartman of HartmanOnHudson.com and the new Hartman On Hudson gallery in Westhampton Beach. 

In the meantime, all are urged to make a donation to the QWR Summer Appeal, a fundraiser established in lieu of the Wild Night for Wildlife benefit. Donations can be made directly on the QWR website, www.quoguewildliferefuge.org, or by clicking on this link, quoguewildliferefuge.org/summerappeal.

Black crowned night heron stalks a daytime meal . —Florrie Morrisey Photo

This Week’s Message from “Go Native”: Make a Correction
Way back at the beginning of the environmental movement in the ’60s and ’70s, the directive to “Think globally, act locally” arrived with a whiff of crunchy granola and Birkenstocks and was often sneered at and dismissed as out of touch. 

Today, though, with fires and floods and superstorms taking their deadly toll all over the planet, the phrase has taken on an inescapable urgency, and it’s more important than ever to take whatever steps we can locally as we wait and pray for governments to act globally. 

For this edition of At Quaquanantuck, Lulie Morrisey and Paula Prentis, self-described “co-motivators-in-chief” of the Go Native initiative in Quogue, are asking residents to consider what kind of actions they can take in their own backyards.  

As Ms. Morrisey wrote this week: “‘Save the birds’ … ‘Save the bees’ … these slogans can make one feel powerless in the face of the overwhelming forces arrayed against our natural planet. But the power of one—You!—should not be underestimated. You don’t have to feel helpless, or that you can’t make all the changes to your landscape that you’ve heard recommended: just make a correction.

“Make one or two changes and you’re off to a great start. No need to rip out hydrangeas, just add a few natives (especially pollinators). 

“One of the most important changes you can make is to eliminate the use of poisons on your property (otherwise known as pesticides and herbicides). 

“Often these chemicals work in the opposite way than intended. Rodenticides cause internal bleeding in voles. This makes them thirsty and they tend to crawl out of their holes and stagger around looking for water. This makes them easy prey for hawks and owls who, after eating a few, will also die from internal hemorrhaging. Yes, this is gruesome, but this is the full circle that we all need to be aware of when we make these choices.

“Similarly, using pesticides to get rid of bugs ends up starving both adult birds and their babies. Baby birds need protein and bugs are the main source of that: especially fat caterpillars! A few holes in your leaves is actually a sign of a healthy, functioning ecosystem. 

“We’ve lost an astounding one third of all the birds in North America in the last 40 years—3 billion in all. This is devastating for the health of our planet. Just keep thinking how your actions play out in the bigger picture. And make a correction.”

Instead of trying to croon his tune, this mockingbird, left, opted to mock/mimic the body language of this high wire willet.
—Florrie Morrisey Photo

New Art Exhibit, Author Conversations, and Plethora of Programs at Library
The Gallery at the Quogue Library will present “The Quogue Photography Exhibit” from July 31 through August 25, with an Artists’ Reception open to all on Saturday, July 31, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Featuring photography by Susie Gilbert, Veronique Louis, Lauren Lyons, Peter Moore, Reid + Factor, and Victoria Sartorius, this exhibition aims to highlight the innovative work of local artists. From the serene to the surreal, the work on view will bring “a new perspective on the extraordinary beauty in simple, ordinary things,” according to a description from the Art Gallery Committee, and will “challenge viewers to consider what we so often overlook.” 

“Fury,” a 24 x 36-inch print on metal by Veronique Louis, will be one of the works on view in “The Quogue Photography Exhibit” opening at the Quogue Library Art Gallery on Saturday, July 31. —Photo courtesy of the artist

The next installment of the summer Conversations with the Author series at the Quogue Library is scheduled on Sunday, July 25, at 5 p.m. with Karin Tanabe, author of “A Woman of Intelligence,” reading from her work and discussing it via Zoom with moderator Andrew Botsford.

David S. Reynolds, author of “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times,” will be the guest author on August 8, and poet John Barr, author of “Dante in China” on August 15.  The conversation with Alexandra Andrews, author of “Who Is Maud Dixon?” will be live and in-person at the library on August 22.

Patrons can opt to go to the library for the Zoom presentations or view them from the comfort of home; the August 22 program with Ms. Andrews will be in-person. To find out more about the series, visit the library website and click on any of the Author Series 2021 fliers on the home page. 

The Quogue Library continues to offer an incredibly wide array of programming for children, teens/tweens, families, and adults of all ages. Getting more information and registering is easy: simply click on the flier for any program that catches your interest and a registration link will pop up. 

Write America Brings Far-Flung Authors to Your Home
Speaking of conversations with authors, remember that Write America: A Reading for Our Country, the brainchild of Quogue author and playwright Roger Rosenblatt, continues to offer beautiful readings and stimulating discussions aimed at mending some of the rifts roiling our nation on Monday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Crowdcast channel hosted by Book Revue, the wonderful, community minded gem of an independent bookstore located in Huntington.

Roger Rosenblatt

Even as in-person programs resume, the virtual Write America series continues to put together writers in far-flung locations for engaging discussions that can be accessed by anyone around the world, live in real time or in a recorded version.   

Coming up on Monday, July 26, will be novelist and journalist Joyce Maynard and poet and essayist Adrienne Unger. On Thursday, August 5, at 7 p.m. the series will offer a special event, “Celebrating Rita Dove,” with the poet in conversation with series creator Roger Rosenblatt. The regular Monday evening schedule resumes on August 9 with memoirist and novelist Kaylie Jones and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri; on August 16 the guest authors will be award-winning novelist Ursula Hegi and author and editor Vanessa Cuti

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.

“Three Women: Three Visions” Opening July 31
“Three Women: Three Visions,” an art exhibit featuring the works of Claudia Baez, Ellen Ball and Leslie Singer, will be on view from July 31 to September 7 at the new Hartman On Hudson space at 8 Moniebogue Lane in Westhampton Beach, with an Artists Reception scheduled on Saturday, July 31, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

“Three Women: Three Visions” offers “the evocative visions of three talented artists who employ disparate media to create their moody and dramatic works,” according to a release from gallerist Elizabeth Anne Hartman. 

Santa Fe based painter Leslie Singer’s new series, “Gotham Gals,” takes its cues from the audacious Art Deco era painter Tamara de Lempicka, who painted the beau monde exuding elegance and attitude. 

Claudia Baez, “Last Year at Marienbad: Someone’s Coming,” 2018, oil, charcoal and oil stick on canvas, 21 x 27 inches, is one of the works that will be on view in “Three Women: Three Visions,” opening July 31 at Hartman On Hudson in Westhampton Beach. —Image courtesy of Hartman On Hudson

In 2017, Quogue and New York artist Claudia Doring Baez was overcome with teenage memories of going with her family to their neighborhood arts cinema in Mexico City, where she was raised. One film in particular eclipsed the others: French director Alain Resnais’s 1961 enigmatic film “Last Year at Marienbad,” a seminal work of the French New Wave. Using film stills as inspiration, Baez’s oil, charcoal and oil stick paintings on canvas invite the viewer into her private bold and stylized vision of this influential film.

Ellen Ball’s large scale works on Belgian linen feature iconic forms distilled to their abstract minimal shapes, lines and contours, or photographic simplicity. By combining elaborate patterns, she creates wholly original compositions and artworks. Working with found or appropriated imagery, Ball photoshops, cuts, collages, layers, or draws on metal leaf, creating new compositions that are then transferred onto canvas. This process leaves behind black ink and reveals a natural degradation. Provident imperfections occur and new shapes and textures present themselves.

Barbara Ernst Prey through August 4; Clementine Up Next at Quogue Gallery
“Barbara Ernst Prey: Vanishing Point” remains on view until August 4 at the Quogue Gallery at 44 Quogue Street. 

Barbara Ernst Prey, “Early Morning Beach Day,” 2021, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

The Barbara Ernst Prey exhibition features 20 works in various mediums—watercolor on paper, oil on panel and canvas and digital print—reflecting the widely acclaimed artist’s Long Island roots. Three paintings of Quogue scenes are included in the show. 

Coming up next at the Quogue Gallery will be “Clementine: Selfless in a Selfie World.” Featuring 15 works newly created by the artist, the exhibition will run from August 5 to August 25, with an artist reception scheduled on Saturday, August 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Speaking about her “art filter” body of work, the artist has said: “I am intrigued by how I can reflect our social media era in a fine art form. This series is comprised of interchangeable art filters that overlay paintings, instantly transforming them, just as with digital filters in platforms such as Instagram. Filter paintings represent social media symbols, such as the conspicuous selfie pucker.” 

Clementine, “#Retro,” 2021, acrylic on Plexiglass “Art Filter” over acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 inches. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Clementine employs her “art filter” technique in her new “Selfless” series. The series reflects her journeys to remote villages in third world nations to give hidden stories and humanitarian challenges a voice through her art. Through photography, she captures encounters with disabled school children, orphans facing life threatening events, or those simply in need of basic human essentials such as access to clean water. Melding photography into paintings on canvas, Clementine overlays an art filter that is representative of our social media obsessed society. The resulting message, according to a release from the gallery, is: “Look beyond the self and at others in the world who truly need our attention.” 

“Selfless in a Selfie World” is a series created by the artist “to raise the consciousness of society, embracing what it means to move beyond narcissism and towards human connection.”

Clementine is an international artist with an exhibition history spanning Milan, Amsterdam, Brussels, Miami, and New York. She works across series painting primarily in acrylic on canvas and plexiglass. Her paintings range from purely abstract to figurative in style, all with an underlying freedom of expression depicted through bold color palettes and symbolic messages. Clementine received a B.A. from Boston College with additional art studies at Parsons and Harvard.

PAC Film Series Welcomes Billy Collins
Former two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins will join Andrew Botsford to offer film commentary on the Tuesday, July 27, screening of the French film “Mandibles,” directed by Quentin Dupieux, as part of the 2021 Rose and Don Ciampa World Cinema summer series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. 

A giant fly discovered in the trunk of a stolen car sparks the action in “Mandibles.”

Films in the summer series are screened on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30, with Andrew Botsford of Quogue introducing the films on Tuesday evenings and discussing them afterward, often with guest commentators, followed by an informal audience discussion. A complete list of this summer’s films, with trailers, is available on the PAC website. For more information about PAC protocols and to purchase tickets, visit whbpac.org and click on Films

Following “Mandibles” the lineup continues with “Summertime” on August 3 and 4; “Swan Song” on August 10 and 11; and “Ema” on August 17 and 18.

Foreign Policy Association Looks at “China and Africa”
The next installment of this year’s Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program will examine some of the growing economic and political issues between China and Africa. Pending any changes based on new guidance, the program will be hosted virtually by the Quogue Library and presented by moderator David Rowe and facilitator Susan Perkins on Saturday, August 14, from 5 to 6 p.m.  

The Covid-19 crisis has put a massive strain on what was originally a positive economic and political relationship between China and the continent of Africa. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s centerpiece “Belt and Road initiative” continues to expand Chinese power, the response to the spread of Covid-19, as well as the African governments’ growing debt to China, has seen pushback. 

The Great Decisions discussion series, America’s largest program on world affairs, involves reading the Great Decisions briefing book and meeting in a Discussion Group to watch a DVD and discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. To sign up for the July 17 virtual program, click here or visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the FPA Great Decisions “China and Africa” flier on the home page.

Summer Services at Church of the Atonement
The Reverend Dr. Robert Dannals, now in his 19th season at the Church of the Atonement, will continue to officiate at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday services through Sunday, August 8.

Following the traditional schedule, Communion is offered every week at the 8 a.m. service and Morning Prayer at 10 a.m.; on the first Sunday of the month, Communion is offered at both services. 

The Rev. Zachary Thompson

Rev. Dannals, who has been serving as a part-time Associate at St. John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville, Florida, was recently appointed as the Interim Rector for the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida, for the coming year. 

He earned his Masters of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary, a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University and a Ph.D. from Graduate Theological. For more than 12 years he has been writing lectionary-based daily e-devotions. 

The Reverend Zachary Thompson will officiate at the Church of the Atonement for two Sundays, August 15 and 22. 

Rev. Thompson is the Vicar at St. James’ Church in Manhattan. Prior to St. James’, he served as Rector and Associate Priest at the Church of Our Saviour in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Chaplain at Emory University. Originally from Princeton, New Jersey, he earned his Master of Divinity at Emory University and a Master of Sacred Theology at Sewanee: The University of the South. 

Rev. Thompson’s wife, Amy, is the Director of Admissions at the Church of the Epiphany Day School. They have seven and nine year-old sons, Ezra and Rowan.

Masks are required at services, according to a notification from the church, “until we are sure it is safe for everyone.” All children in the community, age 7 to 14, are invited to sing in the junior choir, which is led by Patricia Osborne Feiler, organist and choir director. Rehearsals are held at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at mtvogel@icloud.com

Sunday services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.; all are welcome. The Church of the Atonement is located at 17 Quogue Street. 

Remembering Two Stalwart Quogue Residents
Over the last two weeks, our village lost two larger than life characters who loved Quogue dearly. In this week’s column, At Quaquanantuck and those who knew them best remember Frances (Frankie) Ryan and Tom Lawson.

Frances (Frankie) Ryan
Survived by her son Robert Ryan of New York City and her longtime companion Richmond (Dick) Gardner of Quogue, Frances (Frankie) Mead Ryan died peacefully at home in Quogue on July 8 due to heart failure. She was 87.

Born in New York City, she graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1955 and went to work at Met Life Insurance, remaining there until 1963. After changing careers to early childhood education, she moved to Long Island in 1968 and taught at the East Quogue Elementary School, mostly in the first and second grades, until her retirement in 2000.

Frances (Frankie) Ryan

Mrs. Ryan was known as a patient and supportive teacher with a passion for books, gardening and history. 

“A 50-plus year resident of Quogue, the Village was always high in her thoughts,” Dick Gardner wrote in an email this week. “Among her civic interests were the Library, where she spent many Saturday mornings as a volunteer at the circulation desk; the Quogue Historical Society, where she succeeded Pat Shuttleworth as the expert on the histories of Quogue houses and will be remembered for her annual presentations; her service as Village Historian; the Church of the Atonement, where she was a member of the Altar Guild and a Eucharistic Minister; and the Westhampton Garden Club, as an enthusiastic participant in all the club’s activities.” 

Her friend Cecelia Lazarescu wrote this week that “in addition to her love of the history of Quogue, Frankie was so very proud of her garden. Years ago, when I first met her, she invited me over to see all of the beautiful things she had planted. At that time I knew nothing about gardening and she seemed to know everything and was willing to share with a novice.”

In addition to her membership at the Quogue Beach Club, the Surf Club, the Quogue Club, and the Daughters of the American Revolution; she was also a trustee of the Suffolk County Historical Society. 

A funeral was held on July 18 at the Church of the Atonement, and Mrs. Ryan will be interred at the Quogue Cemetery. Memorial donations in her name may be made to the Church of the Atonement.

Tom Lawson
Thomas Elsworth Lawson of Quogue, and formerly of Manhattan and Wellesley, Massachusetts, died on June 29. He was 84.

As detailed in an obituary in The Southampton Press, Tom’s Odyssean career began in the golden age of New York advertising and spanned 50 years, with leadership positions at Ogilvy & Mather, McCann-Erickson, and Arnold Worldwide. 

In 1971, he joined Ron Rosenfeld and Len Sirowitz to form Rosenfeld, Sirowitz & Lawson (RS&L), which  would become one of the most talked about and dynamic agencies in New York over the next 15 years, and was named the hottest medium-size shop of the year in 1979. 

A Harvard graduate, he played varsity football there and received the William Paine LaCroix Award for sportsmanship, loyalty, and team spirit. After college, he continued to play tennis, golf, softball, and volleyball as often as he could. He also served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant, earning his Parachutist Badge. In his later life, McDonald’s, a major client, presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Around our village, his dashing good looks combined with his sartorial choices made it appear that he had walked out of the pages of an elegant menswear catalog, and qualified him for best-dressed honors in any context, be it the boardroom or the backyard. Whether greeting a longtime friend or a new acquaintance, his ever-present ebullient bonhomie and love of laughter almost seemed a challenge to anyone he encountered to be in as good a mood as he was. 

As the Press obituary noted: “His hospitality was legend: if you showed up on his doorstep—whether you were from overseas or zip code 11959—you were welcomed with drinks, toasted at dinner, and offered a roof over your head for as long as you needed.”

His friend David Campagna wrote in an email this week: “Tom was a special guy. Some of his attributes that come to mind are: humorous; intelligent; ethical; unpretentious; respected boss and businessman; courageous; a loyal and valued friend; loving husband, father, and grandfather; and generous patriarch of his extended family. It was a privilege to know him; He will be sorely missed by many.”

Another longtime friend, Tom Elliott, wrote in an email: “Tom was a man who exuded optimism every day, had a keen sense of humor, left a huge footprint in the advertising world, had a love of all sports, both as a fan and as an avid competitor, and above all an endless love of his family. He will be missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing him.” 

He is survived by his wife, Nina, the love of his life for more than 40 years; his children, Patric (Sarah) of Norwell Massachusetts, James (Caroline Flynn) of Park Slope, and Samantha (Matthew Termine) of Park Slope; grandchildren, Maeve, Cordner, Matilda, Theo, and Oliver; siblings, Captain Peter (Rosine) of San Ramon, California, Judy Clarke of Rockland, Massachusetts, and Christopher (Dianne) of Hanover, Massachusetts; and many nieces and nephews. 

A celebration of Tom’s life is scheduled for autumn 2021, date to be determined. Donations may be made in Tom’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.

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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