Independence

Here’s an idea: Instead of celebrating Independence Day with parades and fireworks and parties laid on merely for the sake of celebration, why not take a moment to consider where we are as a nation some 250 years after the original idea to form a new republic took shape in the text of the Declaration of Independence?

For anyone who has been paying attention—generally for the past decade and specifically during the time from Election Day in 2020 up to this week’s hearings in Washington, D.C.—it’s not looking good. 

Big driftwood. —A. Botsford Photo

What happened to the idea that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”? Politicians on both sides of our sadly and severely riven democracy are seemingly deriving their questionable powers only from themselves, and basing their decision making solely on self preservation and ensuring their reelection. Incited and misinformed by algorithm-driven media, both social and mainstream, the equally divided electorate rallies behind slogans and ideas that are divorced from facts and a basic understanding of how our government is supposed to work, was designed to work by the founding fathers.

Isn’t it time to declare our independence from the kind of lockstep party politics that has veered so far from our republic’s foundational principles as to almost guarantee that government cannot possibly be by, for and of the people? Can we possibly go back to a dependence on the moral, ethical and humanitarian imperatives that the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution believed should guide all the branches of our government and all our representatives holding office in those branches? That would be a happy Independence Day.

A sizeable crowd gathered on the Village Green last Friday to honor and give thanks to Mayor Peter Sartorius for his 13 years of service. —A. Botsford Photo

Transfer of Power, Quogue Style
There has been a lot of focus lately at the national level on the peaceful transfer of power. In our village though, the recent passing of the mayoral baton from Peter Sartorius to Robert Treuhold seems more like a love fest in the passing along of civic responsibility. 

Outgoing Mayor Peter Sartorius.

Witness the Quogue Association celebration honoring Mayor Sartorius on the Village Green last Friday, prior to the Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks concert. All the speakers thanked Hizzoner for his 13 years of diligent service and the Village Trustees served up a proclamation lauding his accomplishments and naming him the Person of the Year for 2022, even though it’s only the end of June. 

Then Mayor Sartorius thanked everyone for thanking him, thanked everyone in village government and all the village workers and the Quogue Village Police and Quogue Volunteer Fire Department ro making his job so much easier, and offered special thanks to newly elected Mayor Treuhold and Village Trustee Sally Beatty for stepping up: he from Trustee to Mayor; she to fill his space on the Village Board.

In his final missive to village residents this week, Mayor Sartorius repeated his thanks to all, happily turning his job over to his successor. How refreshing. 

No, that’s not now former Mayor Peter Sartorius; it’s newly elected Mayor Robert Treuhold.—A. Botsford Photos


Members of the Quogue Field Club went all in back in the day on special decorations for this automobile for a July 4th celebration. —Image courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

Historical Society and Library Join Forces for Big Celebration
This Sunday, July 3, the Quogue Historical Society and the Quogue Library will co-host a bigtime celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the 1822 One-Room Schoolhouse and the 125th anniversary of the Quogue Library

At 2:30 p.m. Quogue Historical Society Curator and Southampton Town Historian Julie Greene will offer a talk on “Quogue’s One-Room Schoolhouse: History.” 

Then, at 3:30 p.m., visitors will have a chance to “step back in time to 1868 with Schoolmistress Lizbeth Griffing.” 

Also on offer as part of the celebration will be games, ice cream, face painting, live music and more, all on the grounds of the Quogue Library. The one-room schoolhouse and 1868 School Day exhibition will be open all summer during library hours. The QHS Pond House headquarters on Jessup Avenue will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, through September 3, and by appointment. www.quoguehistory.org

Bob Murray, center, served as conductor and tour guide for the Quogue Historical Society trolley tours of the Village Historic District on June 24. —Scott Moger Photo

Summer Film Series Resumes at Performing Arts Center
Formerly only screening foreign films, independent cinema, and documentaries from July 4th through Labor Day, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center got an early jump on its “Tuesday Night at the Movies with Andrew” summer film series this year. 

Starting with the riveting, if brutally disheartening, “Donbass” on June 7 and 8, series curator Allison Frost has lined up exceptional films for this summer, including “Benediction” on June 14 and 15; “Lost Illusions” on June 21 and 22; and, this week, the Greek Weird Wave film “Apples.” To see the complete schedule of what’s coming up and to buy tickets, go to www.whbpac.org and click on Films

The movies screen on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. each week, with commentary by Andrew Botsford and occasional guests following the Tuesday evening screenings. Next week, Andrew and moviegoers will have a rare treat when the director of next week’s film, “The Art of Making It,” Quogue’s own Kelcey Edwards, will be on hand to discuss the documentary after the screening on Tuesday, July 5. 

Artist Gisela McDaniel in “The Art of Making It.”—Image courtesy of Wischful Thinking Productions

Focusing on a diverse group of compelling young artists at pivotal moments in their careers, “The Art of Making It”—which is having its theatrical premiere screenings at IFC in New York City this week—explores the forces that thrust some into the stratosphere while leaving others struggling to survive. Who gets seen, who gets left behind, and why does it matter who is anointed to tell the stories of our time? 

Interweaving the voices of creative luminaries and disruptors, the film is both a cautionary tale about what America stands to lose if we don’t rethink what we value and why, and a love letter to those who persevere in their artistic practice in spite of the extraordinary odds of ever achieving commercial success. 

In a director’s statement included in press materials about the film, Ms. Edwards wrote that “Upon meeting producer Debi Wisch, I realized we shared a vision of a documentary that explored the cultural value of art through the world of today’s emerging artists and what their challenges could reveal about our society at large. 

“The Art of Making It” director Kelcey Edwards.—Kelli Hull Photo

“Working across a variety of media, the talented young artists in our film struggle to balance making art with making ends meet. They reflect on the challenges of navigating an art world ecosystem in which they are almost entirely dependent on a combination of their own fortitude, the whims of an unregulated market, and support from institutions with a history of barriers to entry based on race, gender and socio-economic class.” 

“When we began filming in 2019,” Ms. Edwards continues, “little did we know our film would literally capture the final months of the art world as we knew it. Now seen as an accelerant, COVID-19 brought the inequities of the status quo into even sharper focus. Facing mounting debt, and with little infrastructure in place to support the arts other than private philanthropy, galleries, artfairs, art schools, and even museums around the country, were forced to shut their doors. Yet amidst the fallout, our artists continue to make work, reminding us that every act of creation is an act of hope.Completing our final interview in early 2021, our film captures the rethinking of many of the art world’s most entrenched systems in real time.” 

On July 12 and 13, the PAC film series will offer another—decidedly more quirky—documentary, “The Pez Outlaw.” The film flips the lid on the story of Steve Glew, a Midwestern machinist who smuggles rare Pez dispensers from Europe and sells them for thousands, drawing the ire of both the  U.S. Pez corporation and rival collectors.

Up from Florida for the Southampton Writers Conference, former U.S. Poet Laureate and authority on quirk Billy Collins will be Andrew’s guest to talk about the film following the July 12 screening. 

“Queen of Glory” comes to the PAC July 19 and 20.

The following week brings the feature film “Queen of Glory” to the PAC on July 19 and 20. Ghanaian-American Sarah is all set to abandon her Ivy League doctoral program to follow her married lover across the country. But her plans are derailed when her mother’s sudden death leaves her the owner of a neighborhood bookshop in the Bronx.

While Andrew does not as yet have a guest for this film, he is hoping that enough readers will plead with screenwriter, script doctor, screenwriting textbook author, and strikingly handsome Dan Gurskis to step up so that he has no choice but to accede to their wishes.

Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas share the screen to hilarious effect in “Official Competition” on July 26 and 27; and Mark Rylance stars in “The Phantom of the Open,” coming to the PAC August 2 and 3. More on these films and the rest of the schedule in the next At Quaquanantuck.  

House and Garden Tour July 8
The Westhampton Garden Club Biennial House and Garden Tour will be held on Friday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The self-guided tour will feature premier homes and gardens in the Westhampton, Quogue and Remsenburg areas. 

The 2022 tour will showcase seven outstanding homes and gardens, each with its own unique style. One is a beautiful waterfront property recently featured in Hamptons Cottages and Gardens. Another is a historic home flawlessly renovated for modern times. All the homes feature award-winning gardens by prestigious landscape architects. The tour includes entry into a private garden open only for participants of the WGC tour. Complimentary refreshments will be offered poolside in one of the gardens.

There will also be a luncheon held at the Westhampton Country Club, offered at an additional price. Guests at the luncheon will be able to shop at pop-up boutiques featuring gifts, clothing and jewelry.  For more information and to purchase tickets for both the house and garden tour and the luncheon, visit:  www.westhamptongardenclub.org.

David Michael Slonim, “Chicken on the Run,” 2021, oil on canvas, 36″ by 36″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

David Michael Slonim Up Next at Quogue Gallery
Speaking of making art, and the role of galleries in the art of making it, from July 7 to July 25 the Quogue Gallery will present “David Michael Slonim: Color Song,” an exhibition featuring 11 recent works on canvas by the artist. An opening artist reception will be held at the gallery at 44 Quogue Street on Saturday, July 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

A press release from the gallery offers this quote from art historian John Seed: “Painter David Michael Slonim, who considers art-making a journey of discovery, hopes that visitors to his exhibition, ‘Color Song,’ will make discoveries of their own. By offering a suite of works that create emotional spaces for calm contemplation, he offers the opportunity to connect with the varied moods of his abstractions. Slonim is a formalist who distills as much beauty as he can out of each composition and thinks of each work as ‘an attempt to love a tiny corner of the universe into existence.’ 

“His art is intended as a way of showing love for others and the world that they share: each work carries the potential to serve as a unifying force. At this point in his life, Slonim has given intuition free rein. Although he is aware that the occasional viewer may wonder why his work is so spare or so abstract, Slonim is not interested in changing course. What motivates him is discovery, which he wills himself to each time he enters the studio. His commitment to discovery—which takes courage—is one of the pillars of Slonim’s artistic practice. This commitment itself is a kind of structure, endowing each of his paintings with a precious and highly personal from of artistic integrity.”

David Michael Slonim, “Blue Bang,” 2022, oil on canvas, 72″ by 60″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Remaining on view at the gallery through the holiday weekend will be “Eugene Healy: Ultramarine,” the second solo exhibition of the summer season. The exhibition features 12 recent works on canvas by the artist. 

The title of the exhibition refers to the deepest and richest of blue pigments, which is frequently used by the artist as part of his examination of “the often dramatic and beautiful interplay between shore, ocean, and sky,” according to a release from the gallery. 

Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. Quoguegallery.com.

Quogue Library Author Series Starts July 17
Beyond this Sunday’s big double anniversary celebration co-hosted by the Quogue Historical Society (see above), as always, the Quogue Library has an array of programs and activities to choose from in the month ahead. 

One of the most helpful of these might be two in-person sessions of “How to Use the New Quogue Library Website,” led by Tech Assistant Amber on Thursday, July 7, at 11 a.m. and Saturday, July 9, at 10 a.m.. Familiarity with all the features of the new website will make it easier than ever to check out all the virtual and in-person programs being offered at and through the Quogue Library. To find out more and try out your existing skills, visit www.quoguelibrary.org and click on the Calendar. 

Alexandra Andrews

While you are on the site, be sure to look into this summer’s Author Series at the library, which kicks off on Sunday, July 17, at 5 p.m. with the long-awaited reading by—and conversation with—Alexandra Andrews, author of the highly praised debut novel “Who Is Maud Dixon?” 

Offered on Sundays at 5 p.m., this summer’s in-person series under the tent will feature a reading by the guest author followed by a conversation with writer and editor Andrew Botsford before the author fields questions from the audience. Tickets are $25 and registration is online at quoguelibrary.org, by calling 631-653-4224, or in-person at the library at 90 Quogue Street. 

All books are available for purchase at the library or from www.bookhampton.com

Other authors in this summer’s lineup are: Amanda Fairbanks, author of “The Lost Boys of Montauk” on July 24; Anna Pitoniak, author of “Our American Friend” on July 31; Vikram Malhotra, author of “CEO Excellence” on August 14; Elena Gorokhova, author of “A Train to Moscow” on August 21; and Adele Myers, author of “The Tobacco Wives” on August 28.     More information on all library events and programs at quoguelibrary.org.

Green heron on the hunt at Sebonac Creek. —Florrie Morrisey Photo

Wild Night On the Horizon
One question for any readers who have not yet purchased tickets for the QWR Wild Night for Wildlife on July 16: Why not? 

The biggest fundraiser of the year for the Refuge, the Wild Night is an event not to be missed. Tate’s Bake Shop and North Fork Chocolate Company are the dessert sponsors, and Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka will be the official liquor sponsor, complementing the substantial hors d’oeuvres by East End Events Catering, copious cocktails, wine from Pellegrini Vineyards, and beer from Long Island Farm Brewery

The band Noiz will provide lively live music; auctioneers Bill Ritter of ABC “Eyewitness News” and Jim Cramer of CNBC “Mad Money” are returning to ramp up the bidding in the live auction; the silent auction will be brimming with treasures and experiences of a lifetime to bid on; and guests will have a chance to meet QWR resident animals up close. The party starts at 7 p.m.; a private VIP reception will be held at 6 p.m. for those contributing $750 or more per person. 

Contributions are tax deductible. Tickets will be held at the door. For further information, call 631-653-4771 or e-mail: info@QuogueWildlifeRefuge.org. For more information about other programs and activities at the Refuge, visit www.quoguewildliferefuge.org.

Haywire Returns to Hamptons Home Base
Raenell Murray, owner of the heavenly fashion haven known as Haywire, is inviting her extended family of established customers as well as new friends to come to her house in Quogue to see all of the clothing items and jewelry she has collected and curated for their perusal and perhaps purchase. 

For the last two years, in the summer and early fall, Raenell has opened her house, by appointment, for prospective customers to see her items. As before, she tells At Quaquanantuck, there will be her “regular, fun items” in the house and a barnful of sale items at 50 to 75 percent off.

All are invited to come see fabulous French capris and trousers, cashmere sweaters, shawls, colorful tops, tailored shirts, jewelry and much more. To set up an appointment, call Raenell at 631-283-2809. 

A sample of some of the wares available this summer at Raenell Murray’s Haywire.

July Lineup at Church of the Atonement
The Reverend Dr. Richard D. McCall will officiate at the Church of the Atonement on July 3, 10 and 17. He and his wife, the Reverend Dr. Terry McCall, live in Bloomington, IN, and have three children: a daughter Anne and her husband Myles in New Orleans, a son Ross and his wife Liz in Atlanta, and a daughter Emily and her husband Trent in Bloomington with their two boys, Parker and Charlie.

Rev. Anne Marie Witchger

The Rev. Anne Marie Witchger will officiate at the Church of the Atonement on Sunday, July 24. 

Rev. Witchger is Associate Rector and Chief of Staff at Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City, where she directs programs and outreach ministries and supports the rector with strategic and long-term planning. She and her husband, Joshua, have two daughters, Magdalena and Simeon, who love to sing, draw, help in the kitchen, and ride through Central Park on their matching orange scooters.

Services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and all are welcome. As per diocesan guidelines, masks are optional at church services. 

All children in the community age 7 to 14 are invited to sing in the junior choir, which is led by Organist and Choir Director Patricia Osborne Feiler. Rehearsals are at 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings.For additional information regarding the junior choir, contact Mary Vogel via email at mtvogel@icloud.com.

Write America Readings Schedule
Currently Crowdcasting from Byrd’s Books in Bethel, Connecticut, the “Write America” program originally conceived by Roger Rosenblatt continues to offer readings and discussions aimed at bridging some of the widening divisions currently eroding the foundations of our republic. 

Coming up in two weeks, on Monday, July 11, at 7 p.m., will be Vanessa Cuti, Elizabeth Nunez and Imani Perry. Check the schedule for future readings;  register for the Monday evening programs; and check out past episodes on the Byrd’s Books website, www.byrdsbooks.com/write-america.

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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