Thankful Thinking

At Quaquanantuck admits to being exceedingly thankful that we have arrived at that time of the year when clocks are moved ahead (before retiring on Saturday, March 12, this year, for those whose devices don’t automatically adjust) and we are granted a very welcome extra hour of daylight. 

Sunset grass. —A. Botsford Photo

At its core, every At Quaquanantuck column is essentially an expression of gratitude. While some posts lean in to this positive emotion a little more heavily, all of them spring in one way or another from a sense of appreciation for the blessing of being able to live or just spend time in this very special place, as a part of this very special community. 

Going from the global to the granular, we can be existentially grateful for the security that is all too often taken for granted, until events like the Syrian civil war, the evacuation of Afghanistan, or the unspeakably horrifying Russian invasion of Ukraine—for just a few glaring examples—bring our good fortune into stark relief. This is the kind of gratitude that fuels compassion, and begets more gratitude for our community as we join with neighbors in whatever relief efforts we can support. 

Stirred up. —A. Botsford Photo

In our own backyard, there are events that unite us in gratitude as well. Consider for one example the fire on Ocean Avenue on February 18. Courtesy of QFD Chief Mike Nelson, At Quaquanantuck can share some of the details that can inform and reinforce our appreciation. 

Since no one from the residence was home at the time, we can be thankful that a contractor who was doing work in the area called 911 when he happened to pass by the house (near the end of a dead-end street) and saw flames.

We have to be grateful yet again to the members of the Quogue Volunteer Fire Department, 20 of whom responded to the alarm, and all the volunteers from the East Quogue, Westhampton, and Hampton Bays fire departments who rushed to the scene to offer mutual aid. Thankful, too, that the Westhampton, East Quogue, and Flanders Ambulance companies arrived to provide medical support should a firefighter need it. Happily, no one was injured during the call, with firefighters and support teams—including the Suffolk County Fire Marshal and a PSEG representative—clearing the scene approximately two hours after responding.

Firefighters from four departments remained on the scene for two hours after controlling the blaze. —A. Botsford Photo

As Chief Nelson wrote this week: “Although the cause of the fire is to be determined by the Fire Marshal,  it appeared to be electrical, and spread from a utility room on the southeast side of the house into the attic, engulfing a bedroom on the southeast corner of the house.  Through hard work, persistence—and with a little assistance from the wind—firefighters were able to contain the fire to the SE corner of the house.”

It is an unfortunate fact of life that it often takes a disaster or an emergency for us to appreciate the round-the-clock readiness and day-in and day-out dedication of the first responders in our community. A case in point would be a motor vehicle accident on Montauk Highway near the eastern terminus of Quogue Street on Friday, March 4, with details provided in a press release issued by Sergeant John P. Galvin of the Quogue Village Police. 

At 2:41 p.m. on Friday, Quogue Police Officers arriving at the scene determined that an eastbound pickup truck had crossed over the double yellow lines into the westbound lane and collided head-on with another pickup truck. 

The driver of the westbound truck suffered serious injuries and was taken by the Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance Corps to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for treatment. The driver of the eastbound truck that caused the collision was subsequently arrested for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th degree.

As is customary in these cases, both vehicles involved were impounded for safety checks and the incident remains under investigation by the Quogue Village Police Detective Division. Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who has any pertinent information is asked to contact the QVP Detectives at 631-653-4791. 

Just as the Quogue Village Police offered thanks in the release to all assisting agencies—including Southampton Town Police, Westhampton Beach Village Police, the Quogue Fire Department and the Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance—so, too, should all residents give thanks all the time, and not just in the case of emergencies, for the professionalism of the Village Police and the entire mutually supportive first responder community.

In addition, although the accident is still under investigation, the injuries and the arrest in this case show the importance of the QVPD’s vigilance and legendary strict enforcement of drunk driving and driving while ability impaired laws, which, taken together, have without question prevented many accidents and injuries and saved many lives.

Thank you can never really say enough. 

Crusher. —A. Botsford Photo

Foreign Policy Association Considers Chaos in Myanmar
The first installment of the 2022 Foreign Policy Association Great Decisions Discussion program, offered live at the Quogue Library and via Zoom on Saturday, March 12, at 5 p.m., will focus on “Myanmar’s Never Ending Crisis.” 

According to briefing materials from the FPA, the situation in Myanmar, which has been unstable for years, continues to spiral into chaos. Chief contributors are the coup by the military in February 2021,  the ongoing human rights crises, and civil resistance by those opposed to the regime. 

Compounding the seemingly intractable problems—especially in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine—is Russian support for the military junta in power. 

Resistance to the military junta is only one of the problems facing Myanmar.

Questions to be addressed on March 12 include: How are neighboring countries reacting to the deteriorating situation in Myanmar? And, what role will—or can—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) play?

Prospective participants are reminded that the Great Decisions program is not a lecture followed by a Q&A, but a live audience discussion moderated by David Rowe after a 25-minute documentary on the particular topic being considered. 

To register for the March 12 program via Zoom, visit and click on the FPA Great Decisions “Myanmar’s Never Ending Crisis” flier on the home page, or click here.  For more information or to sign up for the live program, email  

The 2021 Great Decisions Briefing Book may be purchased ($22) from the Quogue Library or digitally from

Carol Crane, Sarah Adams, Susie Moley, and Victoria Sartorius bundled up for a beach visit to see the sunset (below) and the rise of the full snow moon on February 16. —Roger Moley Photos

New Hours, Irish Food Festival, Array of Programs at Library
Beginning this month, the Quogue Library has announced new hours that include being open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. 

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the Quogue Library is hosting an “Irish Food Festival” during the month of March, with exclusive recipes and on-demand videos from Chef Rob Scott available on the Quogue Library website,  

Recipes include: Irish Stew with Vegetables and Herbs; Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage   Soup with Carrots; Irish Soda Bread Muffins; and Irish Soda Bread. Recipe copies are also available for pickup at the Service Desk in the Library.

Coming up in virtual programming, there’s the Adult Fiction Book Club discussion of “The Personal Librarian” by Marie Benedict on Sunday, March 13, at noon; “Android Phone: Getting Started” on Thursday, March 17, at 2 p.m.; “Science Thursdays with Brookhaven Lab” on Thursday, March 17, at 4 p.m.; and “Dr. Katie Takayasu: Plants First!” discussion of wellness through a plant-forward diet on Wednesday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m., to name only a few. 

The library is also now providing convenient links to Roger Rosenblatt’s “Write America” series of virtual author readings and discussions, Crowdcast from Byrd’s Books (see below). Check the library home page and click on the flier to sign up and receive the link to each virtual program.  

 There are also in-person programs coming up, such as “Intro to Google Apps” on Saturday, March 12, at 10 a.m., with tech assistant Amber introducing participants to all the apps Google has to offer. Participants are asked to bring a device and follow along. 

Coralling the dunes. —A. Botsford Photo

HTC Opens “Ripcord” March 17 at Community Hall
“Ripcord,” David Lindsay-Abaire’s comedy centered on two strong-willed seniors, will be the second play of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2021-2022 season, opening on March 17 at the Quogue Community Hall and running through April 3. 

Revolving around a comedic clash over prime real estate in the fictional Bristol Place Senior Living Facility, “Ripcord” begins when the cantankerous Abby is forced to share her quarters with Marilyn, a new arrival with an aggressively sunny disposition. A seemingly harmless bet between the women results in a riotous game of one-upmanship that yields lots of laughter—while also revealing deeper truths that each would rather remain hidden. 

Giovanni Sandoval and Laurie Atlas rehearse a scene in “Ripcord,” opening March 17. —A. Botsford Photo

Writing for The New York Times about the 2015 Manhattan Theater Club production, Ben Brantley noted that “there’s polish to spare” in a script he called “admirable in its precision and symmetry,” concluding that all the elements of “Ripcord” add up to “a perfectly enjoyable evening.” 

In a review for The Arts Fuse, Robert Israel wrote that “given the dour, sour, and maniacal farce that is American reality, ‘Ripcord’ offers some refreshing respite. In a world that has left odd in the rearview mirror, a comedy about mismatched roomies facing mortality comes off as inspirational.” 

The cast of the HTC production of “Ripcord” features one HTC veteran: Vincent Cinque (“Six Degrees of Separation”) in multiple roles, including Benjamin, Abby’s estranged son. The five newcomers to the HTC stage are: Laurie Atlas as Abby; Claire Parrella-Curran as Marilyn; Matthew Schiavoni as the attendant, Scotty; Lindsey Sanchez as Marilyn’s daughter, Colleen; and Giovanni Sandoval as Colleen’s husband, Derek. 

Vincent Cinque and Claire Parrella-Curran working on a scene in “Ripcord.” —A. Botsford Photo

Andrew Botsford (“Admissions,” “On Golden Pond,” “Clever Little Lies,” “Dead Accounts”) directs. Set design is by Andrew Botsford, Ricky Bottenus and Meg Sexton; lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski; sound by Seamus Naughton; and costumes by Teresa Lebrun. 

“Ripcord” will be performed from March 17 through April 3 on Thursdays and Fridays at 7, Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2:30. A bonus “talkback” with the cast will be offered immediately following the March 25 Friday evening show. 

For the safety of all and following the lead of New York City theaters, ticket holders will be required to show a photo ID and proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of the day of the performance they are attending. Face-coverings will be required at all times while inside the theater. For more information and updates on safety protocols, visit

Tickets are $36, $31 for seniors, and $20 for students 25 and under. To purchase tickets, visit For information on Veteran or Native American discounts or to order tickets over the phone, call 631-653-8955.

March Native News: Our Plant-Dependent Biosphere
Just in time for the official arrival of spring, Paula Prentis and Lulie Morrisey of Go Native have served up some recommendations for all those interested in improving the quality of life for all the life forms on the East End—including humans. The following is their spring advisory: 

“All life depends on plants.Think about it. What we do on our own properties has an impact on the entire East End ecosystem—and our own backyard is a microcosm of our planet’s biosphere. So by making some changes at the backyard level, we are helping stay the decline in birds, bees and other critical organisms that keep all life (including our own) functioning the way it is supposed to. These kinds of positive changes also send a message to your neighbors that you care. 

“March and April are the months that landscapers get back into action, so it is a crucial time to speak to them about what you’d like them to do – and not do. 

“Remember 2/3 for the birds? The Perfect Earth Project ( would like all property owners to plant two native plants for every three new plants installed on your property. Native plants give birds and native butterflies the food that is most beneficial to them. Many of the ornamental plants sold at nurseries (including most hydrangea) are sterile: they offer nothing to our feathered friends or insects. 

“Go Native discussed both pesticides and fertilizers last summer. Synthetic chemicals interfere with the natural systems that provide the food and protection from diseases and predators that evolved with the plants themselves. And, of course, pesticides are toxic and don’t go away, entering our food, our water and, yes, our bodies.

“A healthy lawn can be achieved by certain cutting and watering practices. Order “The PRFCT Yard Handbook” from the site above (or just look under Resources/Lawn Basics on the website) and there you will find the tools to have healthy grass while discontinuing all chemical use on your property. 

“We know this can be a difficult sell with a landscaper (who, frankly, profits from the continuous applications of toxins to your lawn and shrubs) but if more people are asking the same questions, then lawn/plant/tree service professionals may eventually see the light! 

“A few (of many) things to know: 

—Overwatering and early season fertilizing can promote fungus diseases. 

—Fungicides on your lawn kill nematodes, which are the natural predators of grubs. 

—Pre-emergents and broadleaf killers used to control weeds are highly toxic and do not provide permanent solutions. 

—Embrace clover. It nurtures your turf and is not a weed! 

“We have agency! And by using native plants and dispensing with toxic chemicals, we protect and enhance the integrity, resilience, diversity and beauty of our planet.”

Great blue heron on the marsh in East Quogue. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Wildlife Refuge Gearing Up for Spring
With spring just around the corner, the Quogue Wildlife Refuge has issued an invitation for all to join members of the Shinnecock Nation “for a blessing of our earth” on Saturday, March 19, at 10 a.m. along with a guided traditional dance open to all honoring the upcoming Spring Equinox.

The next Full Moon Night Hike at the Refuge steps off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16. Adults and families with children age 11 and up can enjoy an evening hike through the forest up to North Pond while looking and listening for nocturnal creatures and enjoying some night vision activities under the light of the moon. Cost is $10 for QWR members or $20 for non-members; reservations required at least 24 hours prior, as space is limited.

A virtual program on certifying a yard or garden as a habitat with the National Wildlife Federation will be offered on Tuesday, March 22, at 5 p.m. Sign up or get more information at

Families with children and grandchildren are reminded that registration is now open for QWR members for all Summer Camp programs: Little Naturalists, ages 4 to 6; Summer Ecology, entering grades 2 to 6; Young Explorers, grades 7 to 9; and Explorers, grades 10 to 12. 

Complete registration instructions are available on the QWR website, but readers should be aware that QWR members at the Family level or above receive priority registration through May 11, 2022. This is a real benefit of membership, since these programs tend to fill up fast. 

Memberships are only valid through the calendar year; so all those who were members last summer who haven’t renewed will need to renew before registering. And bear in mind that Family memberships are only valid for immediate family (parents and children) and not for grandchildren. 

So, get all the info; confirm membership status, gather the required documents; and get the young ones signed up now for the age-appropriate programs at the Refuge this summer. 

The “Who’s Hoo” exhibition of works by Quogue School students will remain on view at the library through April 26. —Kristy Verity Photo

Two Exhibitions at Library Art Gallery
On view through April 26, the Quogue Library is presenting “Who’s Hoo at the Quogue School,” an exhibition of owl artworks created by the children of the Quogue School. All are welcome to an in-person artists reception for this show slated at the Library Art Gallery on Friday, April 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. 

Meanwhile, the exhibition of photographs by George Bradford Brainerd from the Brooklyn Museum, “QUEEN OF THE HAMPTONS: Quogue on the Cusp, circa 1875” will remain on view through Memorial Day weekend, closing May 31.

Next Film Feast Feature Will Be “This Is Spinal Tap”
The next in-person Film Feast at the library is coming up on Saturday, March 26, at 6 p.m. when the featured film will be “This Is Spinal Tap,” the 1984 comedy classic “rockumentary”  directed by Rob Reiner and featuring all of the film’s writers: Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Rob Reiner.  

This mock documentary about the fictional heavy metal rock band Spinal Tap served as the model for such subsequent satires as Christopher Guest’s “Waiting for Guffman” and “Best in Show.”  

James Berardinelli waxed almost rhapsodic in a review for RV Reel Views: “‘This Is Spinal Tap’ is virtually guaranteed to appeal to nearly everyone. The film contains everything from laugh aloud moments to scenes that will have even the most dry, humorless viewers smiling with unrestrained mirth. Since 1984, there have been plenty of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ imitators, but none have come close to what Reiner and his talented troupe achieved in this mockumentary classic.”

 Writing for The Boston Globe, Jay Carr concluded that the film is “a heady flow of brilliant stupidity.” 

The “price” of admission for the March 26 Film Feast will be a potluck dish to serve at least six people and a beverage to share. Masks required. Email or call 631-653-4224, ext. 101, to register or for more information.

Safe harbor. —A. Botsford Photo

“Write America” Staying the Course
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, “Write America” continues to offer programs aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Coming up in the next few weeks, all at 7 p.m., will be Jamaal May, Michelle Whittaker and Lindsay Adkins on Monday, March 14;  Ken Auletta, George Colt and Susan Isaacs on March 21; Jillian LaRussa and Roger Rosenblatt on March 28; Carmen Giménez and Dan Halpern on April 4; and Anne Fadiman and Lou Ann Walker on April 11. 

Past episodes, including the lovely tribute to the late Frank McCourt by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins and Stony Brook Southampton Provost Robert Reeves and the conversation about the art of cartooning between Gary Trudeau and Jules Feiffer, can be found by scrolling down on the Byrd’s Books website,

Check the Byrd’s Books website for details on March and April programs. All programs begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register, visit the Byrd’s Books website at

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.comNews 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 and ask to be put on the mailing list.

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