And They’re Off!

Or they will be, anyway, on Saturday, July 23, when all the hundreds upon hundreds of entrants in the Quogue Association’s annual Duck Race extravaganza are dumped from the Post Lane bridge into the Quogue Canal and start bobbing along with the tide toward the finish line adjacent to the Village Dock at the end of Quogo Neck Lane.

The Quogue Village dock, site of Saturday’s Quogue Association Duck Race reception. —A. Botsford Photo

If you haven’t already obtained a selection of thoroughbred ducks to enter into the big race, which benefits the Association’s community projects, first of all: shame on you! And, second, you still have a chance to get into the swim of things. Ducks—the majority of which have been cleaned and recycled—can be purchased all this week at the Quogue Library and the Quogue Shop on Jessup Avenue. 

QA flag. —Stefanie Beck Photo

And QA representatives will be making final duck sales from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 23, just in time for buyers to get them marked up with name and telephone number and returned to organizers for the 4 p.m. duck drop. 

Prices are in line with past years: one duck for $5; five for $20; 13 for $50; 30 for $100; and 100 (which might require a team to mark in time) for $300. The purse is also the same: $500 to the owner of the first place duck; $250 for second place; and $150 for third. 

The Quogue Association flag is already flying down at the Village Dock in anticipation of the festive reception at the finish line, running from 4 to 6 p.m. Live music will be provided by the band Soul’d Out as a lively soundtrack for the free beer and wine party, with lemonade for the kids, a popcorn machine, and other snacks. 

Quogue Association flags will be available for purchase.  

Next up on the Quogue Association’s summer calendar will be the big blowout beach party on August 20 at the Quogue Village Beach. Details to follow in the August 11 At Quaquanantuck. 

White Shark Washes Up on Quogue Beach
On Wednesday morning, June 20, Quogue Police responded to a report of a dead white shark on the beach in Quogue, between numbers 80 and 90 Dune Road. 

Originally reported by a Dune Road resident, the shark was apparently washed back out to sea before police could secure it for a necropsy by the South Fork Natural History Museum Shark Research and Education Program, who are working with the police to monitor the situation, or personnel from the Stony Brook Southampton Marine Science field station. 

Swimmers and boaters in the area are cautioned to be aware of the situation and to report any sightings to the Quogue Village Police at 631-653-4791. 

Many mysteries connected to the sighting, including probable cause of death, and how a fish of that size (7 to 8 feet long) and weight, once washed up on the shore, could so easily be washed back out to sea. Stay tuned. And watchful. 

Strong Lineup for Library’s Author Series
This summer’s Author Series at the Quogue Library got off to a great start last weekend with “Who Is Maud Dixon?” author Alexandra Andrews. 

Amanda Fairbanks

Coming up next in the series will be: Amanda Fairbanks, author of “The Lost Boys of Montauk” on July 24; and Anna Pitoniak, author of “Our American Friend” on July 31. The series skips a week on August 7 before Quogue’s own Vikram Malhotra, author of “CEO Excellence” comes to the library for the August 14 program.   

Offered on Sundays at 5 p.m., this summer’s in-person series under the tent features a reading by a 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, by calling 631-653-4224, or in-person at the library at 90 Quogue Street. 

In the nonfiction “The Lost Boys of Montauk” author Amanda Fairbanks tells “the True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind.” 

In March of 1984, the commercial fishing boat Wind Blown left Montauk Harbor on what should have been a routine offshore voyage. Its captain, a married father of three young boys, was the boat’s owner and leader of the four-man crew, which included two locals and the blue-blooded son of a well-to-do summer family. After a week at sea, the weather suddenly turned, and the foursome were caught offshore in a vicious, hurricane force nor’easter. Neither the boat nor the bodies of the men were ever recovered.

The fate of the Wind Blown—the second-worst nautical disaster suffered by a Montauk-based fishing vessel in over a hundred years—has become interwoven with the local folklore of the East End’s year-round population.

Ms. Fairbanks examines the profound shift of Montauk from a working-class village to a playground for the ultra-wealthy, seeking out the reasons that an event more than three decades old remains so startlingly vivid in people’s minds. And she shines a light on the powerful and sometimes painful dynamics between fathers and sons, as well as the secrets that can haunt families from beyond the grave.

An article in Vanity Fair when the book came out noted that Ms. Fairbanks “traces a wide range of stories that connect back to the men, from the history of Montauk to the men’s relationships with their fathers to how tilefish became such a prized catch for fishermen in the ’80s. The result is a sweeping, and often devastating, portrait of a community on the brink of transformation, and of how grief can ricochet across generations.” 

To register for the Amanda Fairbanks reading and conversation, click here

Author Anna Pitoniak spins a yarn described as “a Cold War-era political thriller” in her novel “Our American Friend,” which follows one intrepid journalist working on the official biography of a mysterious First Lady and “uncovering secrets that could destroy them both.” 

Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of “The Alice Network,” calls the book “an intriguing Russian nesting doll of modern Washington politics, Cold War spy games, and above all women with secrets. … Just what is the President’s wife hiding? Anna Pitoniak’s masterful puzzle of espionage, love, and betrayal keeps us flipping the pages to find out!”

Anna Pitoniak

A review in The New York Times described “Our American Friend” as “Elegant and well-paced … like ‘Emily in Paris’ meets ‘Scandal’—fantastic fun.”

And #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child wrote: “Spectacular—a global thriller with pace, tension and ever-higher stakes, born of an intimate and unlikely friendship between two very different women … The story succeeds on every level.”  

To register for the Anna Pitoniak program, click here

All books are available for purchase at the library or from More information on all library events and programs at

More details on Vikram Malhotra in the August 11 At Quaquanantuck. Other authors in this summer’s lineup are: 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

Anne and Charles Mott were honored at the Wild Night for Wildlife for their many years of support for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge’s work and mission. —Amanda Bellenir Photo

Wildly Successful Wild Night; Calling All Teen Explorers
Always (when it’s held) the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, this year’s Wild Night for Wildlife was a resounding (and well deserved) success.

QWR Director Michael Nelson, left, and Associate Director Marisa Nelson, right, with Conservator Award honoree Ine Wijtvliet. —John Neely Photo

According to Associate Director Marisa Nelson, there were some 405 revelers in attendance and fundraising happily exceeded expectations.  

Animated auctioneers Bill Ritter and Jim Cramer coaxing higher bids, left; and Joe and Yoly Light stepping out on the dance floor at the Wild Night for Wildlife. —John Neely Photos

Meanwhile, registration is still open for teens entering grades 10, 11 and 12 in the QWR Explorers program running from Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29. Participants will visit favorite places at the Refuge, explore by kayak, and enjoy off-site field trips. 

Program hours are: Monday, July 25, 9 a.m. to noon at the Refuge; Tuesday, July 26, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Sunken Forest on Fire Island; Wednesday, July 27, 9 a.m. to 2:30 for kayaking on the Peconic River; Thursday, July 28, 9 a.m. to noon at the Refuge and returning to QWR for a 7 p.m. hike followed by a campout at the Refuge; Friday, July 29, 9 a.m. pickup at the Refuge. 

Parents are responsible for transportation on Tuesday and Wednesday; additional information about off-site trips will be emailed upon registration. For more information and to register, click  here, or visit the QWR website at and click on Education and then Summer Camps. 

For further information, call 631-653-4771 or e-mail:

Be sure to mark the calendar for Earth Yoga Outside with Amy Hess on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.; Kids Painting for Pollinators on Monday, August 1, at 2 p.m.; Whales, Dolphins & Seals of Long Island with Dr. Artie Kopelman on Tuesday, August 2, at 7 p.m.; and a Full Moon Night Hike on Tuesday, August 9, at 7:30 p.m. For more information about these and other programs and activities at the Refuge, visit

One of the nesting pair known as Mary and Ralph, photographed on July 4. See if you can make out the eye of a chick between the twigs at the top of the right side of the nest.—Florrie Morrisey Photo

More Great Movies in PAC Summer Film Series
Courtesy of gifted curator Allison Frost, the parade of top notch films continues in the “Tuesday Night at the Movies with Andrew” summer film series at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. . 

Antonio Banderas and Penelope Crus in “Official Competition.”

Coming up on Tuesday, July 26, Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas share the screen to hilarious effect in “Official Competition,” playing two of three egomaniacs (Oscar Martinez is the third) commissioned by a millionaire to make a movie together in this sharp comedy skewering wealth, art, and pride.

The following week, Mark Rylance and Sally Hawkins star in “The Phantom of the Open,” coming to the PAC August 2 and 3. Rylance plays amateur golfer Maurice Flitcroft, who achieves his late-in-life goal of participating in the British Open Golf Championship, causing an uproar in the staid golfing community. 

Mark Rylance in “Phantom of the Open.”

On August 9 and 10, the PAC will screen “Butterfly in the Sky,” a new feature-length documentary chronicling the legacy of one of the most important and influential children’s television shows of all time, “Reading Rainbow.” Spanning nearly 40 years from 1981 to the present, the film tells the story of a handful of broadcasters, educators, filmmakers, and one incredible host, LeVar Burton, who believed television could inspire a lifelong love of reading.

To find out more and buy tickets online, visit and click on Films. More on the rest of the summer 2022 schedule in the next At Quaquanantuck. 

“Art Gene” Exhibition at Library Art Gallery
Opening next week and running through September 7, the Quogue Library Art Gallery will present “Art Gene: Five Generations of Quogue Artists,” an exhibition of works by artists from five generations of one family: Disston, Jones, Larson, Lyman, Peters, and Stabler

According to the library’s Art Gallery Committee, “this exhibition is about the inspiration, teaching, and passion for art from one generation to another. It is also about the inspiration from and connection to a place that is held dear and stores generations of memories.” 

An art gallery reception is scheduled on Saturday, August 6, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. At Quaquanantuck hopes to have more details and representative artworks from this show in the next column, posting on August 11. 

At top, Quogue Library Trustees Kathy Lomas, Meredith Imber, Sarah Adams and Barbara Sartorius kick up their old school heels at the library’s 125th Anniversary party on July 3. Above, library patron Jim Conlin, left, entertained the crowd; visitors tried their hand at weaving and yarn spinning. —Arie Weber and Kristy Verity Photos

Miss Lizabeth, left, takes students of all ages through a typical school day in the 19th century during the celebration of the 1822 Schoolhouse’s 200th anniversary on July 3. All are encouraged to check out the summer-long exhibition organized by the Quogue Historical Society, “An 1868 School Day with Schoolmistress Miss Lizabeth Griffing,” open during library hours through Labor Day. —Photo courtesy of Quogue Historical Society

“Harry Bertschmann: Retrospective” Opens July 28 at Quogue Gallery
Opening July 28 and running through August 16, the Quogue Gallery at 44 Quogue Street will present a retrospective exhibition of the work of Harry Bertschmann, featuring more than 25 paintings by the artist from the 1960s up to the 1990s. 

An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Saturday, July 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. 

Harry Bertschmann, “Figurative Series, No. 37,” acrylic on canvas, 48″ by 58″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

Paintings from the 91-year-old artist’s many different series will be on display, including work from the Grid Series, the Bank Street Series, the Iconic Man Series, the Form Composite Series, and the Subway Series

According to a press release from the gallery, early success at museums and galleries during the 1950s portended Bertschmann joining the ranks of the masters of abstract expressionism with whom he exhibited. In 1958, the jury of the prestigious Carnegie International selected him as its youngest exhibitor, showing his work alongside Rothko, Kline, Newman, Guston, and Motherwell. Shortly afterwards, he was represented by the avant-garde Howard Wise Gallery, and in 1961 his solo exhibition followed one for Elaine de Kooning. 

After settling in Greenwich Village in 1962, Bertschmann purposely drifted from the gallery scene because he was leading a double life. His training at the famous Basel School of Design led him to become an innovator in graphic design, and many of his commercial logos and packaging designs have become pervasive in American culture. 

The logos and packaging for Kent and Newport cigarettes, Nestlé’s, and Bufferin are but a few of his creations. In 1997, his home city of Basel honored him with a retrospective. In 2018, the Fashion Institute of Technology honored him with the school’s rarely-bestowed Lifetime Achievement Award. 

In parallel with earning a living from his commercial projects, the artist was resolute in painting every day. Art critic and historian Prof. Robert C. Morgan described his vision as “abstract gestural signs that suggest a language.” He added, “Bertschmann is essentially an art world outsider looking inward. He is a seasoned artist, a highly creative artist, an articulate individual, and a nearly obsessive worker, always willing to stand back and examine what he does before moving ahead. He is also an exemplary draughtsman … His atelier is a phenomenon to behold.”

Harry Bertschmann, “Subway Series, No. 36,” acrylic on canvas, 57.5″ by 49″. —Image courtesy of Quogue Gallery

The “David Michael Slonim: Color Song” exhibition featuring 11 recent works on canvas will continue at the Quogue Gallery through July 25.  

Art historian John Seed describes the exhibition as “a suite of works that create emotional spaces for calm contemplation.” Mr. Seed goes on to note that “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.’” 

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

Sunday Services Schedule for Church of the Atonement
The Rev. Anne Marie Witchger will officiate at the Church of the Atonement at 17 Quogue Street on Sunday, July 24. 

Rev. Witchger is Associate Rector and Chief of Staff at Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City. 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. 

Rev. Stephen Setzer

The Reverend Stephen Setzer will officiate at the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services at the church on Sunday, July 31. 

Rev. Setzer has served in parishes from Dallas to Delaware. Most recently he was the priest in charge at St. John’s Park Slope. His wife, Yoana, is an attorney at Cooley LLP, and the couple lives in Park Slope. 

Rev. Zachary Thompson

The Reverend Zachary Thompson will officiate at the Church of the Atonement on Sunday, August 7 and 14. 

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

His wife, Amy, is the Assistant Head of School at the Church of the Epiphany Day School. They have two sons, Rowan, 10, and Ezra, 8. 

Services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and all are welcome. As per diocesan guidelines, masks are optional at church services. For details and a full schedule, go to

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

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

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 and ask to be put on the mailing list.

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