Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
July 16, 2014

It’s as Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, I know Lyme disease when I experience it. I don’t care what the test — which has yet to come back — says.

It flattens one, utterly. Though this time — I’ve had it before, about 10 years ago — I was able to think, after a fashion; not that it’s an absolute requisite in this business.

Christopher Walsh
July 16, 2014

“Tuesday afternoon is never ending, Wednesday morning papers didn’t come.” But that was okay, because I was sitting in front of a computer that Wednesday morning, and the news came to me.

How I came across the website I don’t recall, but instead of scrambling to meet another deadline I spent a few minutes on a page devoted to Beatles-related news. And there it was: Ringo Starr was to make a personal appearance at SoHo Contemporary Art on the Bowery in New York on June 20.

David E. Rattray
July 16, 2014

A truism about cooking is that if you lay a breaded coating onto just about anything and fry it up in a bit of oil, kids will eat it without objection. Still, it was with no minor degree of amazement that I was able to get a mess of fritters made from a notably pungent shellfish down our brood’s craws the other night.

Helen S. Rattray
July 9, 2014

July Fourth isn’t what it used to be. It’s been six years or so since the last Declaration of Independence party hereabouts, an annual ritual that lasted for some two decades. It was extraordinary and all-American, a coming together of like-minded individuals to recognize the best things about the United States, things from which we all have benefited. The Declaration was read, a brass band played marches, and the Union Jack was lowered. Guests were then invited to speak or read from pertinent material.

Jack Graves
July 9, 2014

Soccer is king at East Hampton High School — the team, in the absence of a varsity football squad, will be featured at homecoming this fall as the result of a student vote — and it has been king here at the adult level for years, beginning with emigrants from Costa Rica in the mid-1960s, after which came Mexicans, Colombians, and Ecuadorians, mostly from Cuenca (not to mention the Irish).

Morgan McGivern
July 9, 2014

East Hampton, N.Y., July 1, 2014: Concern and discussion about a number of new vehicles that have taken to the East Hampton roads seem all the rage in local scuttlebutt. New white Ford F-150s have been spotted tailgating the cars of older East Hampton Village residents who pilot smaller automobiles. Most of the people being tailgated are elderly ladies.

David E. Rattray
July 9, 2014

Last week, I wrote about a newfound interest in sea gulls, birds that I had, like many others here, tended to overlook. It was perhaps by some Murphy’s Law that one of my brothers-in-law and I ended up rescuing one on the Fourth of July.

Helen S. Rattray
July 2, 2014

Do you know what the difference is between $212,614 and $230,726? I don’t mean the figure you get if you subtract the first dollar amount from the second. I refer to the difference between what the chancellor of the New York City Department of Education earns annually and the salary the Bridgehampton School District superintendent, Lois Favre, will make next year.

Jack Graves
July 2, 2014

We watched “The Natural” the other night, for the umpteenth time. It never grows old. It is our fable.

At least the movie version is, with Roy Hobbs’s transcendent home run (“That’s how it feels, isn’t it, to come through like that in a game?” said Mary as the soaring music played and the sparks from the short-circuited stadium stanchions lit Roy’s way ’round the bases) and the father-and-son catch in the farm field in the golden light at the end.

Janis Hewitt
July 2, 2014

Taking into consideration the way our visitors are driving this summer and the pedestrians darting in front of cars outside of marked crosswalks, it has given me ample opportunity to think about heaven, if I should be so lucky to land there someday.

David E. Rattray
July 2, 2014

It was late in the day, after a child’s birthday party had moved from the beach up to the house, that something I had never noticed before drew my attenton to a raft of black-backed gulls that had gathered near the shore for an evening hunt for crabs.

Helen S. Rattray
June 25, 2014

White Boots, our 8-year-old cat, is 3 feet long. At least that’s how long he looked the other day when I picked him up from the living room floor to move him away from a visitor who is allergic to cats: Stretched out toe to toe, white boots and white belly presenting, he was practically the size of a porpoise.

White Boots is supposed to belong to one of my granddaughters. She fell in love with him on her 5th birthday, when she was taken for a visit to the shelter run by the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.

Jack Graves
June 25, 2014

The Shelter Island 10K is, and was especially this year, a living symbol of all that is right with America, a country that is not without its faults, but which at its best remains as inspiring as it ever was.

Bella Lewis
June 25, 2014

The tale is an infamous one, shared between my family and our oldest, best family friends, the Scrudatos. “The time Thea and Bella ran away at the beach” is what our parents call it; however, I remember the purpose of that unauthorized beach adventure to be something other than an attempted escape out from under our beach umbrellas.

David E. Rattray
June 25, 2014

Memo to South Fork businesses that raise prices before the arrival the summer hordes: We live here, too.

Helen S. Rattray
June 18, 2014

My daughter, who is also an editor, is always chiming in from the peanut gallery to tell me that my column is best when I resist my natural inclination toward sententious themes of doom and gloom. She likes to warn me, only half-joshing, not to allow my column to become a “Whine of the Week,” and perhaps she is right. But today’s sky is awfully gray, and it looks like it’s going to rain for the next two or three days . . .

Jack Graves
June 18, 2014

“I play like you work,” I said the other day to Mary, who works very hard, and has precious little time to play, though I am encouraging her to become more like me — minus the neuroses of course.

I am ashamed to admit that my work, by and large, is fun, so, while I would rather say to her, “I work like you play,” it is not so, at least at the moment, though she has been working out weekly with Rob Balnis at East End Physical Therapy, as I do, and we hit tennis balls whenever we both find ourselves free.

Carissa Katz
June 18, 2014

When I’m not busy working or cooking three different meals for the four different members of my family, I can usually be found folding laundry.

That sounds like such a stereotype, and it’s a lie, really, because I can never actually manage to fold all the clean laundry in the house before the next pile of dirty laundry creeps up on me. I am like Sisyphus, endlessly pushing my rock up the hill, only this rock is made of tangles of clean socks, wrinkled pants, crumpled shirts, and dishtowels.

David E. Rattray
June 18, 2014

Two things have greatly improved the way we eat at the Rattray house this spring. First, warmer weather brought the garden to life and helped encourage me to get out on the water to fish and clam. The other is that after talking for years about signing up for weekly produce with one of the community-supported agriculture ventures that have popped up here, we joined Amber Waves.

Helen S. Rattray
June 11, 2014

Have you heard the news about the 10-fold increase, since 2011, in the number of children coming illegally and by themselves into the United States? The Obama administration has called it a humanitarian crisis. Almost unbelievably, it is estimated that 60,000 children will be apprehended this year trying to get into the U.S. across our Southwestern borders. Many of these children — from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador — are placed in the care of a federal agency called the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Others, from Mexico, are routinely sent back home.

Jack Graves
June 11, 2014

I had a column about my Scrabble complaints ready to go, but thought better of it inasmuch as it seemed, in reading it over, as opaque as a mud flat after a heavy rain.
 
In brief, it didn’t breathe. But I did think what I said about the mouse-eaten Webster’s New International Dictionary sagging forlornly at the edge of Irene’s desk was Chekovian, she and I being the only ones left in this office to do it reverence.

Lucia Akard
June 11, 2014

You wouldn’t think there was anything about the peaceful, shaded streets of Springs that calls to mind the architecture of Paris’s grand boulevards and bourgeois dwellings. And at first glance, there isn’t.

In Paris, the buildings (aside from those in Montmartre and the Marais, districts that survived the urban planning of the 1850s) for the most part all look the same. The walls are cream-colored stone and the roofs are slate blue; the balconies, always on the second and fifth floors, have black iron railings, and windows are in top floor dormers.

David E. Rattray
June 11, 2014

The annual onslaught of ticks is in full swing around here now, which has prompted talk of drastic measures. Each of the members of our human family on Cranberry Hole Road in Amagansett has pulled at least one of the horrifying little pests from his or her person recently, and our animals have been playing unwitting hosts as well.