Point of View: I’ve Seen the Light

A historic storm surge of egg sandwich orders

   Delis here, those that had power, were awash up to their hipboots in a flood tide of humanity the morning after Hurricane Sandy blew through. I told Artie Seekamp, of Brent’s, that he and his employees should get a prize — Bill Hall and One-Stop’s staff too — for having withstood the historic storm surge of egg sandwich orders.
    Springs, where I live, got off relatively lightly, yet we’ll probably, if history serves as a guide, be the last to have power restored. First in school taxes, last on LIPA’s repair list. That’s just the way it is.
    Dire things had been predicted — and dire things happened, elsewhere — though when I looked up from our bed at the sky at around 11 that night, when we were told the winds would be peaking at 90 miles per hour, the trees were utterly still.
    “This wasn’t a wind event — it was a water event,” Frank Ackley said to me at One-Stop Wednesday morning. “There wasn’t any wind. Now Gloria [1985], that was a hurricane, not this. . . . Maybe I’ll go down to Atlantic City, which will probably have power before us, and stay in a hotel with lights and hot water.”
    This he said after I’d relayed a published report that power might not be restored here for two weeks.
    Whereupon I went out to my car, only to find, on turning the key, that it had no power either.
    Leaving my dog, Henry, in the back seat, I walked up the hill behind One-Stop to Rick Holub’s body shop, where Rick and his assistant, Jimmy, were most helpful. A subsequent battery jump with no positive result led to talk of a tow. But first I had to get my garbage to the dump and Henry, who’s 13, home, about a mile and a half distant.
    Ben Hall, who was on his way to the village,  took me and my garbage to the dump, and after he’d dropped me off on Springs-Fireplace, I hitched a ride home in a car in which Danny Barros, an East Hampton High School football player I’ve written about, was a passenger.
    I’d hoped to hop in our other car on my arrival so that I could fetch Henry, but couldn’t find the keys. They were with my wife, who was babysitting our 3-year-old granddaughter while her parents were putting out this week’s issue of The Sag Harbor Express.
    I went next door, to a house that over the past several months has been wonderfully redone, a restorative effort that has lifted our boat, as it were, in paradigmatic capitalist fashion. There, Jorge, who had come to put some final touches on, but could not because there was no power, readily agreed to take me back to One-Stop, where he, a mechanic to boot, said, after assessing the situation, that the problem might lie with the ignition switch. He then took me and Henry back to my house, where I sat down to write this, Henry, on his bed in the kitchen, by my side.
    All by way of saying that while our power has yet to be restored, my faith in humanity, given the above exemplary examples, has been.