Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
April 27, 2017
We were positively giddy the other night, thinking that, at long last, we’d finally made it in tandem to Medicare.

We were positively giddy the other night, thinking that, at long last, we’d finally made it in tandem to Medicare.

“And now, freed from all care — just show your card, not worrying whether the doctors and anaesthesiologists are in-network or out-of-network — I’ll probably go out and get hit by a truck,” Mary said.

Christopher Walsh
April 27, 2017
I think it was the poet Marvin Bell who advised my freshman English class as to overcoming writer’s block. “Lower your standards,” he said.

I think it was the poet Marvin Bell who advised my freshman English class as to overcoming writer’s block. “Lower your standards,” he said. 

Let me tell you, I’ve made a career out of Mr. Bell’s counsel, and see no reason to stop now. 

David E. Rattray
April 27, 2017
Over drinks with a couple of friends at the American Hotel the other night, Maziar Behrooz posed the question of what this place would look like in 100 years.

Over drinks with a couple of friends at the American Hotel the other night, Maziar Behrooz posed the question of what this place would look like in 100 years. 

Would eastern Long Island be part of a city that stretched from New York to Montauk? Would it be abandoned as sea levels rose, or parkland perhaps? Would there be sea walls around the entire area?

Helen S. Rattray
April 20, 2017
Can it be true that this column has appeared in The Star more than 2,000 times?

Can it be true that this column has appeared in The Star more than 2,000 times?

Apparently, that is the case, at least approximately. And if the number is really thereabouts, how have I come up with something different to say every week? 

Well, to be frank, I haven’t. 

Jack Graves
April 20, 2017
Our Medicare broker suggested that I might try a supplemental plan that would cost me nothing.

Our Medicare broker suggested that I might try a supplemental plan that would cost me nothing.

Durell Godfrey
April 20, 2017
When I was a kid I played with dolls. I was an only child and (maybe consequently) I had a lot of dolls. These were not mushy baby dolls; they were “fashion dolls.” This was the 1950s, folks, pre-Barbie.

When I was a kid I played with dolls. I was an only child and (maybe consequently) I had a lot of dolls. These were not mushy baby dolls; they were “fashion dolls.” This was the 1950s, folks, pre-Barbie. 

David E. Rattray
April 20, 2017
In the weeks since a dead tree outside my office window was taken down I have become aware of how many near-misses there are on Main Street on any given day.

In the weeks since a dead tree outside my office window was taken down I have become aware of how many near-misses there are on Main Street on any given day. 

Helen S. Rattray
April 13, 2017
An inveterate but rank amateur birder, I nevertheless enjoy seeing birds at the feeder or suet cake through the sun porch windows so much that it is often a high point of my day.

An inveterate but rank amateur birder, I nevertheless enjoy seeing birds at the feeder or suet cake through the sun porch windows so much that it is often a high point of my day.

Jack Graves
April 13, 2017
Though the weather’s wretched today, I know better days are coming — sportswise too, if the close scores this week are indicative.

Though the weather’s wretched today, I know better days are coming — sportswise too, if the close scores this week are indicative.

Taylor K. Vecsey
April 13, 2017
A few weeks back, I stopped at the Village Cheese Shop after a doctor’s appointment in Southampton. As I walked in, I noticed an older woman with silver hair and a flattering red suit sitting at a table with a group of other women her age, maybe a little younger. She was the kind of woman you knew instantly had style and great taste. She must have been quite stunning in her youth. I decided she was in her 80s now. She was still quite beautiful.

A few weeks back, I stopped at the Village Cheese Shop after a doctor’s appointment in Southampton. As I walked in, I noticed an older woman with silver hair and a flattering red suit sitting at a table with a group of other women her age, maybe a little younger. She was the kind of woman you knew instantly had style and great taste. She must have been quite stunning in her youth.

David E. Rattray
April 13, 2017
What passes as a positive sign on the national front is when the headlines in the morning and the terrible thing that led the news when you went to bed are the same. Risk and scandal have seemed to come quickly in the last few months, with a fresh outrage presenting itself at almost every turn of the clock.

What passes as a positive sign on the national front is when the headlines in the morning and the terrible thing that led the news when you went to bed are the same. Risk and scandal have seemed to come quickly in the last few months, with a fresh outrage presenting itself at almost every turn of the clock. 

Helen S. Rattray
April 6, 2017
Remember the gas crisis of the mid-1970s and the long lines at filling stations? If you aren’t old enough to have been there, you aren’t likely to recall the nationwide energy-conservation effort that followed.

Remember the gas crisis of the mid-1970s and the long lines at filling stations? If you aren’t old enough to have been there, you aren’t likely to recall the nationwide energy-conservation effort that followed. 

Jack Graves
April 6, 2017
When I said I might write a column about the participation-com­petition debate as it concerns youth sports, Mary said I should stop beating a dead horse.

When I said I might write a column about the participation-com­petition debate as it concerns youth sports, Mary said I should stop beating a dead horse.

Christopher Walsh
April 6, 2017
It was somewhere on I-75 that I saw the sign and knew I was on the right track.

It was somewhere on I-75 that I saw the sign and knew I was on the right track. 

David E. Rattray
April 6, 2017
Up before dawn, I heard a spade-foot toad calling from the small swamp just west of my house. Spring mornings can be loud down here alongside Gardiner’s Bay, but on Wednesday, after a thunderstorm that came through during the night, the toad and a few birds whose songs I did not recognize were the only voices I heard.

Up before dawn, I heard a spade-foot toad calling from the small swamp just west of my house. Spring mornings can be loud down here alongside Gardiner’s Bay, but on Wednesday, after a thunderstorm that came through during the night, the toad and a few birds whose songs I did not recognize were the only voices I heard.

Helen S. Rattray
March 30, 2017
Our friend Mary, who spent the weekend visiting for the first time in more than a year, immediately felt something was amiss. “You don’t have a dog,” she said, looking around.

Our friend Mary, who spent the weekend visiting for the first time in more than a year, immediately felt something was amiss. “You don’t have a dog,” she said, looking around. 

Jack Graves
March 30, 2017
O’en’s become a boon companion, largely a creature of habit like me, and our evening walks, when it’s just us on the darkened streets of our neighborhood, has become one.

O’en’s become a boon companion, largely a creature of habit like me, and our evening walks, when it’s just us on the darkened streets of our neighborhood, has become one. 

David E. Rattray
March 30, 2017
I did not get around to gathering a few surf clams to freeze for bait when thousands of them washed up along the ocean last week. Those who did could have put away enough to last the entire porgy season.

I did not get around to gathering a few surf clams to freeze for bait when thousands of them washed up along the ocean last week. Those who did could have put away enough to last the entire porgy season.

Helen S. Rattray
March 23, 2017
First off, I confess that I had no idea “Mad Men,” the popular cable-television series about the Madison Avenue advertising world of the 1960s, had arrived 10 years ago and continued for seven seasons. I was certainly slow on the uptake even though I had a vague interest in the show’s time and place.

First off, I confess that I had no idea “Mad Men,” the popular cable-television series about the Madison Avenue advertising world of the 1960s, had arrived 10 years ago and continued for seven seasons. I was certainly slow on the uptake even though I had a vague interest in the show’s time and place. 

Jack Graves
March 23, 2017
I can’t wait to try out my new Signum Pro Tornado strings in a stroke-of-the-week clinic tomorrow. The website says you will “wreak havoc” with them.

I can’t wait to try out my new Signum Pro Tornado strings in a stroke-of-the-week clinic tomorrow. The website says you will “wreak havoc” with them. 

Judy D’Mello
March 23, 2017
The train was like the Hogwarts Express, but only for women. An insider’s knowledge was needed to locate its whereabouts. Even the stationmaster, who sat under a twirling fan in his office of cockeyed grandeur, could only waggle his head and say, “No idea,” when I asked what time the next Ladies Special train would leave Bandra — a neighborhood of Mumbai — for Borivali, at the northwestern end of the city.

The train was like the Hogwarts Express, but only for women. An insider’s knowledge was needed to locate its whereabouts.

David E. Rattray
March 23, 2017
March storms are hard on the ocean beach. The month was also hard on ships in the long age of sail, many of which ran aground on the shore here on their way to and from the Port of New York.

March storms are hard on the ocean beach. The month was also hard on ships in the long age of sail, many of which ran aground on the shore here on their way to and from the Port of New York.

Helen S. Rattray
March 16, 2017
I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s not corned beef and cabbage I’ve been wanting. It’s a Reuben sandwich: corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, on grilled rye. There is nothing wrong with a good, traditional corned beef and cabbage supper — with boiled potatoes, I can taste it right now! — and maybe this evening I might find myself tucking in at the St. Pat’s dinner being thrown by the Lions Club of Sag Harbor, at the Whalers Church. But, still, as far as I’m concerned, a Reuben is in a class by itself.

I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s not corned beef and cabbage I’ve been wanting. It’s a Reuben sandwich: corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, on grilled rye. There is nothing wrong with a good, traditional corned beef and cabbage supper — with boiled potatoes, I can taste it right now!

Jack Graves
March 16, 2017
Now what shall I write about this week. . . ? Silly question. Of course it’s John 3:16!

Now what shall I write about this week. . . ? Silly question. Of course it’s John 3:16!

You know, you’re always referred to it on those signs you see in the ballparks. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”