Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
April 16, 2014

    A flush bank account inspired me the other day to buy two new pairs of athletic socks, a spending spree that I hid from my wife until I thought the timing was right.

    She chose that moment to confess that she, too, had been prodigal, having taken to the cleaners a wool sweater that needed mending.

Janis Hewitt
April 16, 2014

    Easter has always seemed to me to be a mystical holiday. We have the darkness of Good Friday, the quiet of Holy Saturday, and then the glorious brightness of Easter. Growing up, my whole family would attend the 9 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s, Star of the Sea, in City Island. Even my father, who normally went to 6:30 a.m. Mass by himself on Sunday mornings, or so we thought.

David E. Rattray
April 16, 2014

    The house we live in, built for my parents more than 50 years ago, is a little tight for a family of five that includes a 4-year-old with an ample supply of Legos and dinosaur toys, as well as two dogs and a pet pig. We need more closet space. The upstairs wood floors are due to be redone. The kitchen cabinets haven’t been painted in 20 years.

Helen S. Rattray
April 9, 2014

    The East Hampton Star has offered, and helped pay for, its employees’ health insurance for as long as anyone can remember. As premiums have soared, what it has cost to do so has increased every year, as has the amount employees pay toward their coverage. Nevertheless, I am proud that, as a small company in an industry undergoing its own changes, The Star’s contributions to employees’ health insurance have stayed at the same level since 2007.

Jack Graves
April 9, 2014

    Mary, unlike me, who because I’m a journalist knows better, immerses herself in the depressing news that Henry dutifully brings to our door every morning.

    Immediately, I reach for the sports, which are to be found within the business section, whose contradictory reports on the economy often can be found on facing pages: The economy, according to the latest jobs report, looks as if it’s on the upswing . . . Yellen Mutters, Market Tanks. . . . That kind of thing. So you buy and hold . . . on for dear life.

Debra Scott
April 9, 2014

    When my cat Nelson went missing the other night I was beside myself. I knew in my bones that he was gone for good. Why else would he disappear for hours on end?

David E. Rattray
April 9, 2014

    A friend sent me a text message Tuesday night that the spring peepers had begun to sing near her house. Down here by the beach, the diminutive frogs had started their chorus exactly a week earlier. They were late, according to a rough record I keep penciled on our basement wall; last year, their ringing love calls began before the middle of March.

Helen S. Rattray
April 2, 2014

    A single batch of daffodils, in a tight cluster near the sun porch in my backyard, is almost in bloom. They seem to be saying “thank goodness” for this week’s sun and warmth. Before long, I will see which other plants survived the long, cold winter (and survived the ravages of the famished deer).

Jack Graves
April 2, 2014

    On the same course as last week, I’d like to think that not thinking is the goal when it comes to doing something athletic, tennis in my case, which is why I thought a couple of months ago that it would be good to attend East Hampton Indoor’s weekly “stroke of the week” clinics, so I could think about what I was doing wrong and could take heedless satisfaction in what I was doing right.

Carissa Katz
April 2, 2014

    It almost always feels like spring will never come, that the daffodils or forsythia are late, that the osprey have missed their return date, that the robins surely should have started their nest-building and infernal crack-of-dawn window-striking already.

David E. Rattray
April 2, 2014

    In the coming weeks I hope to finally correct what I and a number of other local people see as the misidentification of a portion of Gardiner’s Bay, something I have been pursuing for nearly six years.

Helen S. Rattray
March 26, 2014

    That said, he hopes to grow the economy from day one. At the end of the day, it’s gaining traction and — going forward — some people will be pleased. Others? Not so much.

    The paragraph above contains seven of the many jargon-y turns of phrase that get my dander up. I’m proud of being a stick-in-the-mud where American English is concerned. I’m not entirely sure what my problem is, but I simply loathe trendy, overused words and phrases.

Jack Graves
March 26, 2014

    Because the winter past was particularly dreary, any sign of respite has been welcome; a little sun is all I ask, that and the crack of a bat and a head-first slide into second, or a deft pass for a one-touch score from the corner of the crease.

Christopher Walsh
March 26, 2014

    “Word has been received from Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Johns, who are touring the world. They were in India and write that they think and speak of Amagansett every day.” So reported The Star on this day in 1914.

    Ninety-five years later, facing certain death on the road to Manali, I thought of Montauk and mumbled a prayer to Sri Krishna that I might swim in the mighty North Atlantic again.

    “Dead,” the Tibetan driver said, so matter-of-factly I was sure I’d misheard him.

David E. Rattray
March 26, 2014

    This week the South Fork experienced an abrupt return to bitter weather of the sort that characterized the winter just ended. A sharp downturn in the thermometer was often accompanied by snow and wind, followed by a brief warm-up, then cold again.

Helen S. Rattray
March 19, 2014

    A story in The New York Times on March 3 brought into more vivid focus all the news these days about the Affordable Care Act. At least for me, it reverberated more strongly than all the statistics about those who remain uninsured.

Jack Graves
March 19, 2014

    When I go, I’d like to go, as Montaigne said, “planting my cabbages,” which is to say either swept away by the one I love or, that failing, by the sure knowledge that I have swept away the opposition in a last rally at East Hampton Indoor.

Janis Hewitt
March 19, 2014

    I’ve become the absentminded reporter these days. And with St. Patty’s Day being celebrated in Montauk this weekend — the unofficial harbinger of the season out here — I’m not counting on Mother Nature to allow me to get my bearings.

David E. Rattray
March 19, 2014

    So by now we all know about the soccer mom. Allow me to introduce the ballet dad.

    Ballet dads, of which I am one, are hardly a demographic that politicians are going to be chasing in the next national election, and of course there are as many ballet moms as fathers. Allow me to tell you what it’s like.

Helen S. Rattray
March 12, 2014

    Jeannette Edwards Rattray, who wrote “One of Ours,” the longest-standing personal column ever to run in The Star, used to say “the world comes to our door.” That was eons and eons ago (or at least it feels like it to me). Would she still say that — that the world comes to our door? I think she might not. These days, the world is already here . . . if perhaps only on weekends.

Jack Graves
March 12, 2014

    No more whistling in the dark, the winter’s over. I’ve decreed it. Nothing but blue skies from now on.

    There will be a medal-conferring ceremony at Hook Mill for all those who stayed, the date and time to be announced.

    Saturday morning I went about singing, “I feel worthy, oh so worthy / I feel worthy and nervy and wry / And I pity / Anybody who hasn’t suffered as have I.”

Russell Drumm
March 12, 2014

    I played lacrosse when sticks were made of wood, gut, and rawhide. During the three years I played for Colgate we scrimmaged with Syracuse University several times during the season. We did well against them, although they were in a more challenging league.

David E. Rattray
March 12, 2014

    No one really ever liked the kitchen tiles. My wife, Lisa, and I learned this a couple of days ago when my mother stopped by the house and we began talking about our on-again, off-again effort to fix up the house.

Helen S. Rattray
March 5, 2014

    Because I have been a writer, editor, and eventually publisher for The Star over the course of more than 50 years, hundreds and hundreds of obituaries have crossed my desk. Sometimes, naturally, they have been obituaries of relatives or friends.