Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
June 30, 2016
I’ve been accommodating myself to death for a while now, but today I was actually wishing for it when I read that they’re not only to play the U.S. Open at Shinnecock in 2018, but also in 2026.

I’ve been accommodating myself to death for a while now, but today I was actually wishing for it when I read that they’re not only to play the U.S. Open at Shinnecock in 2018, but also in 2026.

Mark Segal
June 30, 2016
It wasn’t a hairpiece. Or a toupee. It was a full-blown wig, a helmet of synthetic hair that I kept on a Styrofoam wig stand in a corner of my loft where nobody but my wife would see it.

It wasn’t a hairpiece. Or a toupee. It was a full-blown wig, a helmet of synthetic hair that I kept on a Styrofoam wig stand in a corner of my loft where nobody but my wife would see it. 

David E. Rattray
June 30, 2016
A recipe in The New York Times for shrimp broiled with honey and hot pepper caught my eye the other day, and as I read it, it occurred to me that the approach would be worth trying on sea robin. Yes, sea robin.

A recipe in The New York Times for shrimp broiled with honey and hot pepper caught my eye the other day, and as I read it, it occurred to me that the approach would be worth trying on sea robin. Yes, sea robin.

Helen S. Rattray
June 23, 2016
Three generations of Rattrays have enjoyed the old house I live in, which, as you might guess, is both awfully nice and, at least on occasion, headache-inducing. I like to say that this or that treasure “came with the house” when someone asks about a vase or a chair, but I also find myself worrying about who has saved what and whose responsibility it is to do something about repairs and storage and suchlike.

Three generations of Rattrays have enjoyed the old house I live in, which, as you might guess, is both awfully nice and, at least on occasion, headache-inducing.

Jack Graves
June 23, 2016
I told our eldest daughter that she was living in northwestern Ohio the Suburban Dream, which she knows.

I told our eldest daughter that she was living in northwestern Ohio the Suburban Dream, which she knows. 

It’s quiet, it’s safe, her two athletic sons are moving every moment, and the houses — the ones in Perrysburg’s historic district, anyway — remind you of Sag Harbor’s architecture, frozen in time, pleasing to the eye. 

Christine Sampson
June 23, 2016
I’ll admit it: I enjoy show tunes. Listening gives me great joy, and I particularly like breaking out into song with a selection from a favorite musical. Be it Broadway hits like “Rent,” “Chicago,” or “Wicked,” I’ve been known to belt out a number or two. But only when appropriate, for instance when I’m alone, like in my car or in the shower, or when it’s clearly okay to make a ridiculous spectacle of yourself, like at a karaoke night at a bar. Since when is that a crime?

I’ll admit it: I enjoy show tunes. Listening gives me great joy, and I particularly like breaking out into song with a selection from a favorite musical. Be it Broadway hits like “Rent,” “Chicago,” or “Wicked,” I’ve been known to belt out a number or two.

David E. Rattray
June 23, 2016
It is strawberry time again, which means time to think about putting up some preserves from the local crop. But the way things go, South Fork strawberries are usually gone by the time I get around to pulling out the canning kettle.

It is strawberry time again, which means time to think about putting up some preserves from the local crop. But the way things go, South Fork strawberries are usually gone by the time I get around to pulling out the canning kettle.

Helen S. Rattray
June 16, 2016
Louise W. Knight, a historian who is the author of two books on Jane Addams — the 19th-century activist and founder of one of the country’s first settlement houses, in Chicago — keeps in touch with my husband, whom she has known for many years. After the heinous massacre in Orlando this week, she sent him an email in which she took issue with the media’s calling it “the worst mass killing” in United States history.

Louise W. Knight, a historian who is the author of two books on Jane Addams — the 19th-century activist and founder of one of the country’s first settlement houses, in Chicago — keeps in touch with my husband, whom she has known for many years.

Jack Graves
June 16, 2016
I had finished reading of the last linotype machine operator at The New York Times, who’d quietly taken his leave last week at the age of 78, declining to be interviewed on his way out, and dreamed of the days when unions held some sway.

I had finished reading of the last linotype machine operator at The New York Times, who’d quietly taken his leave last week at the age of 78, declining to be interviewed on his way out, and dreamed of the days when unions held some sway.

Christopher Walsh
June 16, 2016
“Watch out now, take care, beware of soft shoe shufflers / Dancing down the sidewalks, as each unconscious sufferer wanders aimlessly / Beware of Maya.”

“Watch out now, take care, beware of soft shoe shufflers / Dancing down the sidewalks, as each unconscious sufferer wanders aimlessly / Beware of Maya.” 

These lyrics looped in my consciousness as I sat frozen on the third floor of State Supreme Court in Riverhead. There was no escaping them — not the lyrics, nor the proceedings. 

David E. Rattray
June 16, 2016
The old $50 lawn mower that I bought quite a few years ago from Harvey Bennett may have mowed its last lawn. At this point, I don’t remember if I had spotted it in the Star classifieds or if Harvey had mentioned that he had one to sell. But for $50, how bad could it be?

The old $50 lawn mower that I bought quite a few years ago from Harvey Bennett may have mowed its last lawn. At this point, I don’t remember if I had spotted it in the Star classifieds or if Harvey had mentioned that he had one to sell. But for $50, how bad could it be?

Helen S. Rattray
June 9, 2016
Perhaps you were among those who saw the feature about The Star in The New York Times on Memorial Day. Such positive publicity, and the subsequent rally of support from readers and the advertisers upon whom we depend, is no small thing. It’s not every day that reporters and publishers get a pat on the back and, for this, we are truly grateful.

Perhaps you were among those who saw the feature about The Star in The New York Times on Memorial Day. Such positive publicity, and the subsequent rally of support from readers and the advertisers upon whom we depend, is no small thing.

Jack Graves
June 9, 2016
I read a review of two sports books in The New Yorker recently and there was not once the mention of joy, though, admittedly, it was the business of sport — the money in it — that was the subject, not the headiness of play per se.

I read a review of two sports books in The New Yorker recently and there was not once the mention of joy, though, admittedly, it was the business of sport — the money in it — that was the subject, not the headiness of play per se.

David E. Rattray
June 9, 2016
I should apologize at the outset to the man my kids and I call Wrong-Way Guy, but we’re kind of obsessed.

I should apologize at the outset to the man my kids and I call Wrong-Way Guy, but we’re kind of obsessed.

Helen S. Rattray
June 1, 2016
Trying to determine if the East End is medically underserved isn’t very hard to do, but it might have been foolish to try to answer the question the day after a crowded holiday weekend.

Trying to determine if the East End is medically underserved isn’t very hard to do, but it might have been foolish to try to answer the question the day after a crowded holiday weekend.

Jack Graves
June 1, 2016
It’s Friday and it’s almost as if a show’s begun: There were 12 instead of the usual five or six servers behind the counter at Starbucks this morning. Main Street traffic was very, very slow. Noses were pressed up against the doors at BookHampton, which was to reopen the next afternoon.

It’s Friday and it’s almost as if a show’s begun: There were 12 instead of the usual five or six servers behind the counter at Starbucks this morning. Main Street traffic was very, very slow. Noses were pressed up against the doors at BookHampton, which was to reopen the next afternoon. 

Biddle Duke
June 1, 2016
Rain is fitting on Memorial Day, the solemnity of the occasion not totally forgotten amid sunny beach outings and start-of-summer barbecues.

Rain is fitting on Memorial Day, the solemnity of the occasion not totally forgotten amid sunny beach outings and start-of-summer barbecues.

Memorial Day was enacted to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War. It was set on May 30, near the day of reunification. The day was expanded after World War I to include all American casualties of any war or military action.

David E. Rattray
June 1, 2016
Nine American war veterans lie buried in a modest farm cemetery off Jericho Road in East Hampton. I had driven by their resting place from time to time on my way to Georgica Beach from the highway, but had never given it much thought until John Phillips, who lives next door, filled me in.

Nine American war veterans lie buried in a modest farm cemetery off Jericho Road in East Hampton. I had driven by their resting place from time to time on my way to Georgica Beach from the highway, but had never given it much thought until John Phillips, who lives next door, filled me in. 

Helen S. Rattray
May 25, 2016
East Hamptoners revere the heritage of this place and are proud that so many ancient objects have been preserved. The house that has remained in continuous use as a residence the longest dates to 1680 (and The Star is pleased to provide a look at it in today’s Habitat section). That certainly sounds like a very long time . . . but as historically significant as our treasures may seem, an exhibition now at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church puts them in perspective.

East Hamptoners revere the heritage of this place and are proud that so many ancient objects have been preserved. The house that has remained in continuous use as a residence the longest dates to 1680 (and The Star is pleased to provide a look at it in today’s Habitat section). That certainly sounds like a very long time . . .

Jack Graves
May 25, 2016
We took delivery of a Ping-Pong table the other evening, and it is sitting handsomely in the newly painted, well-lit basement.

We took delivery of a Ping-Pong table the other evening, and it is sitting handsomely in the newly painted, well-lit basement. 

Irene Silverman
May 25, 2016
We were having dinner at the home of friends when the conversation segued from the relatively safe subject of politics to the unfailingly dangerous one of cats.

We were having dinner at the home of friends when the conversation segued from the relatively safe subject of politics to the unfailingly dangerous one of cats. 

David E. Rattray
May 25, 2016
Memorial Day weekend is when the seals abandon the South Fork beaches, turning them over to the summer crowd. But, well-fed and happy, they remain in the area, just slinking off to remote places to relax. Kind of like the locals.

Memorial Day weekend is when the seals abandon the South Fork beaches, turning them over to the summer crowd. But, well-fed and happy, they remain in the area, just slinking off to remote places to relax. Kind of like the locals.

Helen S. Rattray
May 19, 2016
Mine was called the Silent Generation. We probably didn’t have the collective energy of today’s millennials, but take a look at some of those, like me, born in the generation between the early 1920s and 1944: Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis Presley, Malcolm X, Andy Warhol, Robert F. Kennedy, Ray Charles, Che Guevara, the Beatles, and, get this, Bernie Sanders. Maybe we weren’t so quiet after all.

Mine was called the Silent Generation. We probably didn’t have the collective energy of today’s millennials, but take a look at some of those, like me, born in the generation between the early 1920s and 1944: Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis Presley, Malcolm X, Andy Warhol, Robert F. Kennedy, Ray Charles, Che Guevara, the Beatles, and, get this, Bernie Sanders.

Jack Graves
May 19, 2016
Knowing that my brother-in-law was going to the Kentucky Derby this year, thus forgoing his annual party where he persuades attendees to part with significant sums of money as he, as auctioneer, hypes the virtues of seeming — and, in the end, certifiable — also-rans, I said to Mary, “The good news is we’ll save $300 this week.”

Knowing that my brother-in-law was going to the Kentucky Derby this year, thus forgoing his annual party where he persuades attendees to part with significant sums of money as he, as auctioneer, hypes the virtues of seeming — and, in the end, certifiable — also-rans, I said to Mary, “The good news is we’ll save $300 this week.”