Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
September 24, 2014

Our lineup is being depleted, as Steve Marley’s death this past week reminded me.

Russell Drumm
September 24, 2014

Much was made this summer about the crowds, “the biggest ever,” our way of life lost, “trouble right here in River City.” It got crowded, yes, and Labor Day weekend topped it all, but why the surprise?

David E. Rattray
September 24, 2014

They really have the cleanup thing down pat in Port Jefferson, where I was for two days last week for a newspaper conference. Early Saturday, when I was out looking for a cup of coffee and something to eat instead of the hotel buffet, I noticed that the main route through the business district was littered with castoffs from the previous night. Plastic cups, waxed-paper remnants of late-night pizzas, cigarette butts, empty soda bottles, napkins, and other garbage spread over a two-block stretch.

Helen S. Rattray
September 18, 2014

Suppose you’re a kid in one of the East Hampton School District’s three schools on a particular day this fall. Suppose you don’t usually get breakfast at home, and you’re hungry when you get on line for lunch. Friends on line are opting for whatever the main offering is, maybe spaghetti or pizza, and some also ask for and get a cookie or other snack.

September 18, 2014

What with the Jewish High Holy Days coming up, I’ve been thinking a lot about God. But the Days of Awe, that 10-day period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the time for introspection and repentance, have given me pause. Prayers will be offered, pleas and propositions will go up to the heavens. To God. The Almighty, the Munificent, all-knowing yet unknowable God.

Jack Graves
September 18, 2014

It’s hard to imagine that participating in sectarian slaughters fraught with possibilities that we’ll be played for suckers perhaps by all the combatants will lead to any good, and yet it seems we have no choice given the likelihood of a greater evil emerging insofar as Americans are concerned from a jihadist triumph.

Irene Silverman
September 18, 2014

I am still angry, from 3,000 miles away, at an old man whom I do not know and will never meet, but who unnerved my daughter Julia to the point where she went on Facebook to tell the story to her friends and ask for their take. This happened in Portland, Ore., but it could have been anywhere.

Here is what she wrote, along with some of the many comments. I know the comments helped her get over it, and I’m betting that rehashing it in this way will do the same for me.

Elly, by the way, is 5 years old. Jeff is my son-in-law.

David E. Rattray
September 18, 2014

The next couple of days will spell the end of the remarkable beach plum crop of 2014. A mild, relatively dry summer made for good growing conditions, and the dunes from one end of town to the other were full of the tart purple fruit. A prodigious turnout of wild grapes in the understory was related to favorable weather as well.

Helen S. Rattray
September 10, 2014

A passel of college kids conjured the back-to-school spirit last weekend when they came to Bridgehampton to sing. Shere Khan, an a cappella ensemble of 12 Princeton students, performed for a group of friends at a private party, while the 45-member Howard University Gospel Choir, accompanied by electric bass, keyboard, and drums, raised the rafters of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. 

Jack Graves
September 10, 2014

As I walked to The Star’s kitchen the other day with Henry’s empty dish, not needing it anymore, I saw a piece of plywood barring the editor’s door, about baby gate-high, and looked in, and there was a puppy nibbling at his shoelaces. I wasn’t overly sad, for that’s the way it is: Life goes on.

Morgan McGivern
September 10, 2014

It is a foregone conclusion that East Hampton went to the dogs long ago. Now it is the cats! East Hampton began its meandering path to going to the cats mostly in the modern historical sense of time.

Our family cats began, when I was a little boy, with Black Nose. He was a family pet, yet the only significant memory I have of this cat was wrapping him in a blanket and putting him in the bathroom sink to rest. The cat was not well. Black Nose spent his last days resting in the bathroom sink comfy and dry, wrapped in his small blanket.

David E. Rattray
September 10, 2014

You hear from time to time how tight East Hampton Town is when it comes to handing out construction permits. “You can’t get anything approved around here,” the complaint goes. Well, that is not really the case. Although the paperwork may mound up and the review process be painfully slow, you can generally get what you want.

During a late-August getaway, I visited a California community that was really restrictive and puts East Hampton’s supposedly hard-nosed preservationism into sharp perspective.

Helen S. Rattray
September 3, 2014

A friend sent an email to me and a slew of others this week, using Gmail, that warned against opening any email that might arrive from her Hotmail account, which had been hacked. I don’t know what can happen if you open a hacked email, and I don’t plan to find out, but I do know something about my friend that she hadn’t intended: the email addresses — and many of the names — of her friends, acquaintances, and business connections, some 350 of them. 

Jack Graves
September 3, 2014

Summer does not so much make a light escape here as a noisy one, so that we, the birds who stay, and who indeed will shiver, rejoice.

Thus the seasons are for us rearranged, and the waning of summer, what for many is a signal of decline, brings promise here.

Christopher Walsh
September 3, 2014

“Christopher Walsh celebrated his eighth birthday with a party on Saturday at his Cleveland Road home.”

It’s right there in the Sept. 13, 1973, issue of The Star, there in the Montauk notes. You can look it up.

In truth, it was my seventh birthday, and I lived on Hudson Road, just off Cleveland. Nonetheless, I was thrilled to see my name in the newspaper. Imagine my delight, almost 40 years and a thousand or so bylines later, to see it in The Star again, this time as a reporter.

David E. Rattray
September 3, 2014

An erupting fight over the former East Deck Motel property in Montauk has pitted a wealthy new property owner against scores of residents and visitors who would like to see Ditch Plain Beach remain the way it was for so long. More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition opposing J. Darius Bikoff’s plan to convert the iconic motel into a private surf club, of sorts.

Helen S. Rattray
August 28, 2014

Because I like reading the real estate section in the Sunday New York Times, it was no surprise when I saw a headline on Aug. 24 that began “Full of Character for a Lot Less. . . .” But when I read the rest of it, I let out a loud “Wow.” The full headline was “Full of Character for a Lot Less in Bayonne, N.J.”

Jack Graves
August 28, 2014

After all these years I still don’t know the rules of anything really, and was somewhat tongue in cheek taken to task by a doubles opponent this past week for having served out of turn during a tiebreaker.

Janis Hewitt
August 28, 2014

If tourists didn’t want to be picked on then they shouldn’t give us so much material to work with. This summer out here in Montauk was a horror, and I do not exaggerate!

David E. Rattray
August 28, 2014

We pulled the car into the driveway the other night, Lisa, two of the children, and I, coming back from picking up a takeout dinner in Montauk. It was a dark night, no moon, no haze to catch the reflected light from the ground. Lisa hustled the youngest one inside to get him ready for bed. But, looking up, I told the other child to stop. “There’s the Milky Way,” I said.

“Where? Oh, yeah,” she said.

A clear band of dusty white hung from above the horizon to the south, all the way to straight overhead.

Helen S. Rattray
August 20, 2014

It’s been at least 10 years since people started asking me if I had retired. Even habitual readers seem surprised when I tell them I work a whole lot, and that the boss, my son David, finds plenty of jobs to assign me. I guess my title of publisher doesn’t make that clear.

Jack Graves
August 20, 2014

The Hamptons, as it were, have been described as a mighty unfriendly “city” in a recent Condé Nast poll, though I’d beg to differ. On the contrary, rather than brutish, I find people here, if not beatific, quite giving.

So much so that I think every now and then — when I’m not in traffic — that we’re an island of sanity in an insane world.

Bella Lewis
August 20, 2014

Part I: The Saga of Winter, 2011

Santa Claus managed to get two big red kayaks down our chimney. The grandeur of the boats in front of the fireplace, amid wrappings of varied shapes, was as beautiful as consumerism gets.  

Kayaks are a perfect present, except if it’s winter, when their use seems a little far off. It is actually not so far away, according to my mom, who has read about the wonders of wintertime kayaking online.

David E. Rattray
August 20, 2014

On my way home from the office a couple of weeks ago, I passed an elaborate lemonade stand set up at the Dunemere and Egypt Lane intersection. A classic Volkswagen bus sat on the side of the road with its doors wide open. There was a low table and a tall, impressive, hand-lettered sign. I didn’t stop.