Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
May 28, 2015
I am dying, Egypt, dying — of the pollen and the ticks — but life, at least as I find it today, is wonderful, now that the sun is out and we’re in the trees’ embrace.

I am dying, Egypt, dying — of the pollen and the ticks — but life, at least as I find it today, is wonderful, now that the sun is out and we’re in the trees’ embrace.

Irene Silverman
May 28, 2015
About two years after my mother died, at the unfair age of 58, my dad, who was in his early 60s, found himself pursued by a phalanx of age-appropriate widows.

About two years after my mother died, at the unfair age of 58, my dad, who was in his early 60s, found himself pursued by a phalanx of age-appropriate widows.

David E. Rattray
May 28, 2015
Post-Memorial Day, it is a little difficult to decide what to write about. There are so many choices: traffic, noise, events missed, yard work.

Post-Memorial Day, it is a little difficult to decide what to write about. There are so many choices: traffic, noise, events missed, yard work.

Helen S. Rattray
May 21, 2015
My cousin Harriet tries to keep her father’s side of the family together even though she lives in Dallas and most of the relatives live on the East Coast.

My cousin Harriet tries to keep her father’s side of the family together even though she lives in Dallas and most of the relatives live on the East Coast. On Sunday, it had been nine years since a dozen of us sat down together. The nice thing is we all are alive and well, although one first cousin doesn’t leave her house anymore.

Jack Graves
May 21, 2015
It is time to talk of the outdoor shower, that blessed sanctuary among the trees and birds and light in which one can revel six months long before driven inside to the fire, a pleasure of a different kind.

It is time to talk of the outdoor shower, that blessed sanctuary among the trees and birds and light in which one can revel six months long before driven inside to the fire, a pleasure of a different kind.

Taylor K. Vecsey
May 21, 2015
I feel like I spent most of the month of April in Tom Field’s basement. This may sound like an odd statement, I realize, but if you have any connection to the network of emergency medical providers on the South Fork, you get it.

I feel like I spent most of the month of April in Tom Field’s basement.

This may sound like an odd statement, I realize, but if you have any connection to the network of emergency medical providers on the South Fork, you get it.

David E. Rattray
May 21, 2015
It was surprising at the beginning of the week to find myself in an art gallery in a small town in Northern California looking at photographs calling attention to that community’s housing crisis.

It was surprising at the beginning of the week to find myself in an art gallery in a small town in Northern California looking at photographs calling attention to that community’s housing crisis.

Helen S. Rattray
May 14, 2015
Although the jokey nickname is often used, calling Montauk “The End” doesn’t really catch the spirit of the buzzing community at the tip of Long Island. It has always felt like a place apart —

Although the jokey nickname is often used, calling Montauk “The End” doesn’t really catch the spirit of the buzzing community at the tip of Long Island.

Jack Graves
May 14, 2015
My brother-in-law, presider over an annual Kentucky Derby party, couldn’t pronounce the horse’s name, and so, of course, I went for it — Mubtaahij.

My brother-in-law, presider over an annual Kentucky Derby party, couldn’t pronounce the horse’s name, and so, of course, I went for it — Mubtaahij. You can’t get more exotic than that, and, besides, the Post’s handicapper had thought he’d win. I bet $100 on Mubtaahij, and then $120 in reply to a counter bid, before my wife could jab me in the ribs.

Greg Bullock
May 14, 2015
One of the first questions I’m always asked is, “How can you stand the smell?” I invariably answer, “What smell?”

One of the first questions I’m always asked is, “How can you stand the smell?” I invariably answer, “What smell?”

I’m speaking, you see, of being a cheesemonger. That so-called smell just hovers in the background — a pleasant, comforting environment.

David E. Rattray
May 14, 2015
My own collecting has no particular form, unlike, say, people who scour the markets for cast-iron tractor seats or frog figurines. Still, I am fascinated by those who develop passions for whatever it is and pursue them.

Lacking much of an idea for a column this week, I took a short walk over to the East Hampton Library. After tiptoeing past a number of people focused on their computers, I went into the magazine room and settled in a chair after picking up a copy of Treasures: Antique to Modern Collecting, which got me thinking.

Helen S. Rattray
May 6, 2015
This old house, pardon me, I mean office building, is full of surprises; you never know what will be unearthed in the archives, or a filing cabinet, or an old desk. What we need here is a resident historian.

This old house, pardon me, I mean office building, is full of surprises; you never know what will be unearthed in the archives, or a filing cabinet, or an old desk. What we need here is a resident historian.

Jack Graves
May 6, 2015
My son said recently he thought I’d live to 100, submitting an article that found a link between longevity and vigorous exercise, though if there’s a danger point beyond which you shouldn’t go they haven’t ascertained it yet, nor have I.

My son said recently he thought I’d live to 100, submitting an article that found a link between longevity and vigorous exercise, though if there’s a danger point beyond which you shouldn’t go they haven’t ascertained it yet, nor have I.

Janis Hewitt
May 6, 2015
Since my son is working on Sunday and one of my daughters lives quite far away, I don’t expect much for Mother’s Day. So I’ve given myself a gift — the gift of meditation.

Since my son is working on Sunday and one of my daughters lives quite far away, I don’t expect much for Mother’s Day. So I’ve given myself a gift — the gift of meditation.

David E. Rattray
May 6, 2015
Had I known that scones were relatively easy to make, I would have begun baking them years ago. I like to cook and consider myself pretty good in the kitchen, but that said, like almost any simple art, scones take work to get right.

Had I known that scones were relatively easy to make, I would have begun baking them years ago. I like to cook and consider myself pretty good in the kitchen, but that said, like almost any simple art, scones take work to get right. I’m not there yet.

Helen S. Rattray
April 30, 2015
Constant readers, especially those with a flair for gardening, would have seen and I hope enjoyed The Star’s gardening supplement, which was part of last Thursday’s edition.

Constant readers, especially those with a flair for gardening, would have seen and I hope enjoyed The Star’s gardening supplement, which was part of last Thursday’s edition.

Jack Graves
April 30, 2015
I’ve seen my wife worshipful, utterly transported, a few times in my life. Once in the cathedral at Chartres, and now, many years later, again, at the Baltimore Aquarium, where, beckoned by her hands, which she’d pressed against the glass, a dolphin gliding by faced around and came ever so slowly toward her, smiling, her eyes seeming to say, “I know you.”

I’ve seen my wife worshipful, utterly transported, a few times in my life. Once in the cathedral at Chartres, and now, many years later, again, at the Baltimore Aquarium, where, beckoned by her hands, which she’d pressed against the glass, a dolphin gliding by faced around and came ever so slowly toward her, smiling, her eyes seeming to say, “I know you.”

David E. Rattray
April 30, 2015
The phone rang from home early Tuesday morning. I was at the office, and Lisa was home getting Ellis, our 5-year-old, ready for school. The subject of breakfast had come up, and Ellis was adamant.

The phone rang from home early Tuesday morning. I was at the office, and Lisa was home getting Ellis, our 5-year-old, ready for school. The subject of breakfast had come up, and Ellis was adamant.

“I don’t want a croissant from Starbucks; I want it from Pierre’s,” he said, prompting Lisa to call me to find out just who was spoiling our child.

Helen S. Rattray
April 23, 2015
Everyone loses things. Right? So why was I in such a tizzy when my purse, containing a wallet and the usual appurtenances, disappeared last week?

Everyone loses things. Right? So why was I in such a tizzy when my purse, containing a wallet and the usual appurtenances, disappeared last week? My husband said I was probably reading too much into it, taking it as a sign of aging. But no, I insisted, the whole episode was getting to me for some other reason that I couldn’t quite put my finger on at first.

Jack Graves
April 23, 2015
We’re changing medical insurers again, as happens every year about this time, and of course the squeeze continues.

We’re changing medical insurers again, as happens every year about this time, and of course the squeeze continues. Greg and I are counting the days until our spouses qualify for Medicare, as he and I did some time ago.

Morgan McGivern
April 23, 2015
Sometime during this winter past, quizzical surfers considered a long-asked question: If the saltwater in the Atlantic Ocean is close to freezing temperature, technically partially frozen, can one still surf?

Water temperature, 37 to 40 degrees, variable; air temperature, 33 to 41 degrees, variable; snow, two to three inches expected during daylight hours. Gray rain bands, long as the imagination, are in clear view off the coastline of Montauk, New York. The land is an iceberg of sorts — so cold.

David E. Rattray
April 23, 2015
The last time I looked, I was getting 100 miles to the gallon. This is not entirely fair to the purely internal combustion vehicles on the road, though, since we are talking about my Chevy Volt.

The last time I looked, I was getting 100 miles to the gallon. This is not entirely fair to the purely internal combustion vehicles on the road, though, since we are talking about my Chevy Volt. As the name implies, it runs mostly on electricity from massive batteries, turning to its small gas generator when the stockpiled power drains down.

Helen S. Rattray
April 15, 2015

Robert Frost would, I think, find it ironic that the most often repeated line from his poem “Mending Wall” is his neighbor’s insistence that “good fences make good neighbors.” The poet, you see, doesn’t really seem to agree. He says:

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder    
If I could put a notion in his head: 
Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it 
Where there are cows? 
But here there are no cows.

Jack Graves
April 15, 2015

It seemed reading the paper the other morning that all was chaos, and yet . . . and yet the baseball season had begun!

And, somehow — for that moment at any rate — everything seemed all right, everything seemed natural, and fitting, and harmonious — just as it should be.

And, what’s this, the Mets won!

And what’s this, the Yankees lost!

On opening day. The lowly raised up and the mighty fallen — just as it should be.