Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
December 1, 2016
I’ve been reading in comparative mythology recently, about ritual regicide, virgin births, thefts of fire, trees of life and of death, resurrections . . . that kind of thing, and apparently, at least according to Joseph Campbell, it’s all one — more or less the same stories and symbols from Day One aimed at reconciling earth with the heavens.

I’ve been reading in comparative mythology recently, about ritual regicide, virgin births, thefts of fire, trees of life and of death, resurrections . . . that kind of thing, and apparently, at least according to Joseph Campbell, it’s all one — more or less the same stories and symbols from Day One aimed at reconciling earth with the heavens. 

Christine Sampson
December 1, 2016
Does merely passing through someplace on a bus count as actually visiting that place?

Does merely passing through someplace on a bus count as actually visiting that place?

Not really, I have been told. Maybe it’s a superficial way to see what a small piece of a place looks like, but there is limited opportunity for a meaningful cultural exchange.

David E. Rattray
December 1, 2016
Not that I want to talk politics (we’ve all heard enough), but November’s election surprise did give me pause. Polls aside, why most of the national media missed the scale of Donald Trump’s strength among voters might be explained by the long and ongoing decline of regional and small-city newspapers, which in their heyday might have noticed.

Not that I want to talk politics (we’ve all heard enough), but November’s election surprise did give me pause. Polls aside, why most of the national media missed the scale of Donald Trump’s strength among voters might be explained by the long and ongoing decline of regional and small-city newspapers, which in their heyday might have noticed.

Helen S. Rattray
November 23, 2016
According to Kathleen Wall of the museum at Plymouth, Mass., the colonists and their Wampanoag guests in 1621 ate shellfish and wildfowl, perhaps with herbs and berries, but their meat was accompanied by no potatoes.

According to Kathleen Wall of the museum at Plymouth, Mass., the colonists and their Wampanoag guests in 1621 ate shellfish and wildfowl, perhaps with herbs and berries, but their meat was accompanied by no potatoes.

Jack Graves
November 23, 2016
I feel like one of Emily Dickinson’s birds that stay, now that someone whose advice I valued and whose actions in my behalf over the years to a great degree have contributed to the feelings of good fortune I entertain these days has died.

I feel like one of Emily Dickinson’s birds that stay, now that someone whose advice I valued and whose actions in my behalf over the years to a great degree have contributed to the feelings of good fortune I entertain these days has died.

T.E. McMorrow
November 23, 2016
My wife and I had been tuning into C-Span since we first were connected to cable. “Thank you for C-Span” was a standard opening for callers talking live on the network’s broad array of shows.

My wife and I had been tuning into C-Span since we first were connected to cable. “Thank you for C-Span” was a standard opening for callers talking live on the network’s broad array of shows.

David E. Rattray
November 23, 2016
The heat went out at home on Sunday night, though I did not mention it before bedtime. Instead, I put a space heater in the coldest bedroom of the house and hoped the rest of the rooms would not get too cold before a repairman arrived in the morning.

The heat went out at home on Sunday night, though I did not mention it before bedtime. Instead, I put a space heater in the coldest bedroom of the house and hoped the rest of the rooms would not get too cold before a repairman arrived in the morning.

Helen S. Rattray
November 17, 2016
Going to the internet to read what commentators have been saying about what the Trump administration might mean for the press, I was stunned by these words on the back of a black T-shirt worn by a man at a Trump rally: “Rope.Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.”

Going to the internet to read what commentators have been saying about what the Trump administration might mean for the press, I was stunned by these words on the back of a black T-shirt worn by a man at a Trump rally: “Rope.Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.”

Jack Graves
November 17, 2016
Wouldn’t you know it. No sooner do I write a column about how inveterately optimistic and cheery I am than this happens.

Wouldn’t you know it. No sooner do I write a column about how inveterately optimistic and cheery I am than this happens. 

Of course I’m talking about the Steelers, who’ve been losing, losing, losing. When are they going to become great again? 

David E. Rattray
November 17, 2016
Laura Ingraham, the right-wing radio and television personality, is on a shortlist of people being considered as Donald Trump’s press secretary, at least that is what the news media said Monday.

Laura Ingraham, the right-wing radio and television personality, is on a shortlist of people being considered as Donald Trump’s press secretary, at least that is what the news media said Monday. 

Helen S. Rattray
November 10, 2016
As we awoke to Donald J. Trump as president-elect of the United States yesterday morning, my best hope was that we would be able to count on his penchant for changing his mind. He is nothing if not fickle.

As we awoke to Donald J. Trump as president-elect of the United States yesterday morning, my best hope was that we would be able to count on his penchant for changing his mind. He is nothing if not fickle.

David E. Rattray
November 10, 2016
One of the puzzles about clamming is how slowly it goes at the start. It happens almost every time: No matter when or where I go, after I step into the water and drop my rake I find nothing for several long minutes. Then, there is a familiar clunk as the tines of the rake strike the first clam, and then another, and it is on. This may reflect some kind of truth about nature and humankind, but I’m not sure what that may be.

One of the puzzles about clamming is how slowly it goes at the start. It happens almost every time: No matter when or where I go, after I step into the water and drop my rake I find nothing for several long minutes. Then, there is a familiar clunk as the tines of the rake strike the first clam, and then another, and it is on.

Jack Graves
November 9, 2016
I’ve just reread some of my columns and I am struck by how relentlessly optimistic, how cheery I am, as — if you’ve read me for any length of time, for half a century, say — you will probably agree.

I’ve just reread some of my columns and I am struck by how relentlessly optimistic, how cheery I am, as — if you’ve read me for any length of time, for half a century, say — you will probably agree.

Levi Shaw-Faber
November 9, 2016
I’m a sucker for aesthetics. I’m the kind of guy who would live in a modernist glass cube because it looks cool, no matter how inconvenient. I judge books by their covers and products by their packing and I would rather have a mediocre dinner at a chic restaurant than good food from a dive.

I’m a sucker for aesthetics. I’m the kind of guy who would live in a modernist glass cube because it looks cool, no matter how inconvenient. I judge books by their covers and products by their packing and I would rather have a mediocre dinner at a chic restaurant than good food from a dive.

Helen S. Rattray
November 3, 2016
Let’s not blame the election but bad international news coverage for not knowing about the Peace Boat. You may not have heard about it, and I would not have if I had not been paying attention to what Judy Lerner, a part-time East Hampton resident and a nonagenarian, has been up to lately.

Let’s not blame the election but bad international news coverage for not knowing about the Peace Boat. You may not have heard about it, and I would not have if I had not been paying attention to what Judy Lerner, a part-time East Hampton resident and a nonagenarian, has been up to lately.

Jack Graves
November 3, 2016
Mary said they’d discontinued her makeup, and I said the things we liked seemed always to be discontinued, like the fleecy warm-up pants I just had had sewn, and which I’ll wear every day now until the end of eternity.

Mary said they’d discontinued her makeup, and I said the things we liked seemed always to be discontinued, like the fleecy warm-up pants I just had had sewn, and which I’ll wear every day now until the end of eternity.

Christopher Walsh
November 3, 2016
Summer ended late this year — a whole month late, this week’s high temperatures notwithstanding. It wasn’t until October 21 that the summer sun delivered its last, loving rays as we unloaded a good few thousand lobsters and crabs from the Kim & Jake.

Summer ended late this year — a whole month late, this week’s high temperatures notwithstanding. It wasn’t until October 21 that the summer sun delivered its last, loving rays as we unloaded a good few thousand lobsters and crabs from the Kim & Jake. 

David E. Rattray
November 3, 2016
Leo the pig has put on quite a few pounds since the last time I wrote about him. As pigs do, he grew fat this spring and summer, grazing on the lawn, then munched with pleasure on the black cherries, acorns, and beach plums that reached the ground in the fall.

Leo the pig has put on quite a few pounds since the last time I wrote about him. As pigs do, he grew fat this spring and summer, grazing on the lawn, then munched with pleasure on the black cherries, acorns, and beach plums that reached the ground in the fall.

Helen S. Rattray
October 27, 2016
The whole social-media dance has gone on for a long time now but, given its growth and its impact on the world in which we live, it seems well past time for me to get with the program. I use a Mac for work and read and write emails all day, every day, but beyond that I really have not participated in the revolution in how people communicate with each other.

The whole social-media dance has gone on for a long time now but, given its growth and its impact on the world in which we live, it seems well past time for me to get with the program. I use a Mac for work and read and write emails all day, every day, but beyond that I really have not participated in the revolution in how people communicate with each other.

Jack Graves
October 27, 2016
When Rob Balnis asked if I were coming to work out Saturday morning, I immediately said yes, inasmuch as the football game would be Friday night, at Mercy.

When Rob Balnis asked if I were coming to work out Saturday morning, I immediately said yes, inasmuch as the football game would be Friday night, at Mercy.

“We’re 0-6,” I said, “and so are they.”

“Really? I thought we’d won a couple.”

Irene Silverman
October 27, 2016
We were going head to head the other day, in a wide-ranging discussion with some other longtime summer people turned almost-year-round, about never-ending construction on our streets and whose lost real estate opportunities and dumb decisions, over the years, were dumbest and lostest.

We were going head to head the other day, in a wide-ranging discussion with some other longtime summer people turned almost-year-round, about never-ending construction on our streets and whose lost real estate opportunities and dumb decisions, over the years, were dumbest and lostest.

David E. Rattray
October 27, 2016
News that the Maidstone Club, having just gotten a new irrigation system in place for its golf course, now wants to build a new bridge over an upper reach of Hook Pond reminded me of my childhood in East Hampton Village. In those days, the mid-1970s, we could roam a lot more freely than kids can today.

News that the Maidstone Club, having just gotten a new irrigation system in place for its golf course, now wants to build a new bridge over an upper reach of Hook Pond reminded me of my childhood in East Hampton Village.

Helen S. Rattray
October 20, 2016
William Wordsworth’s words came crashing into my head as I tried without luck to think of something cheerful to write about yesterday.

William Wordsworth’s words came crashing into my head as I tried without luck to think of something cheerful to write about yesterday.

Jack Graves
October 20, 2016
Frankly, I didn’t know how I could top the “locker room” comments I’d leaked. When would people ever get it, I wondered; I had reviled everyone and everything, and still they believed! I could say anything!

Dear Hillary,

Well, we did it! 

Frankly, I didn’t know how I could top the “locker room” comments I’d leaked. When would people ever get it, I wondered; I had reviled everyone and everything, and still they believed! I could say anything!