Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
February 4, 2016
It is Mozart’s birthday as I write this, and that reminds me of what the late Steve Sigler said in an interview I did with him in March 1996, to wit, that Mozart was “all about reconciliation, total reconciliation — no wonder he died at 35.”

It is Mozart’s birthday as I write this, and that reminds me of what the late Steve Sigler said in an interview I did with him in March 1996, to wit, that Mozart was “all about reconciliation, total reconciliation — no wonder he died at 35.”

Christopher Walsh
February 4, 2016
The two women hurried south, coats pressed to bodies as the wind picked up on Third Avenue. “It’s not the end of the world. It’s just. . . .”

The two women hurried south, coats pressed to bodies as the wind picked up on Third Avenue. 

“It’s not the end of the world. It’s just. . . .”

“I know.” 

Helen S. Rattray
January 28, 2016
There’s nothing better than soup when you’re snowed in for two days — or when you expect to be. The weather forecasts were dire on Saturday morning, but the larder was full and I was ready to cook.

There’s nothing better than soup when you’re snowed in for two days — or when you expect to be. The weather forecasts were dire on Saturday morning, but the larder was full and I was ready to cook.

David E. Rattray
January 28, 2016
It is a simple entry in the 1780 town trustee records: “Ned negro to ring the bel for 30/,” and yet it says so much.

It is a simple entry in the 1780 town trustee records: “Ned negro to ring the bel for 30/,” and yet it says so much.  

Jack Graves
January 28, 2016
“Teach me a kick serve,” I said to Lisa Jones, “and it will be the last piece in the jeweled crown that is my doubles tennis game.”

“Teach me a kick serve,” I said to Lisa Jones, “and it will be the last piece in the jeweled crown that is my doubles tennis game.”

Christine Sampson
January 28, 2016
Kind words offered from a genuine place are the best type of words. They are a walking stick on uneven terrain. They are a ladder up from somewhere dark and undesirable.

Kind words offered from a genuine place are the best type of words. They are a walking stick on uneven terrain. They are a ladder up from somewhere dark and undesirable. 

Helen S. Rattray
January 21, 2016
Long ago, when I was about to marry into The East Hampton Star family, I took a course at Columbia University's School of Continuing Education on how to write obituaries. It was prophetic.

Long ago, when I was about to marry into The East Hampton Star family, I took a course at Columbia University's School of Continuing Education  on how to write obituaries. It was prophetic.

Jack Graves
January 21, 2016
The president has asked that we act more in harmony with each other, that we step up to the plate insofar as citizenship goes, that we not give in to antipathy and fear, and that we retain our native optimism.

The president has asked that we act more in harmony with each other, that we step up to the plate insofar as citizenship goes, that we not give in to antipathy and fear, and that we retain our native optimism.

(All this on the eve of the Steelers-Broncos playoff game! But I was listening. My petulance shall be measured, I promise, Gavin, should we lose.)

David E. Rattray
January 21, 2016
On the one hand, I enjoyed it when Stuart Vorpahl phoned the office. On the other, there was usually a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when the front office said he was on the line because he almost never called when he agreed with something we had written.

On the one hand, I enjoyed it when Stuart Vorpahl phoned the office. On the other, there was usually a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when the front office said he was on the line because he almost never called when he agreed with something we had written.

Star Staff
January 20, 2016
How lucky we were that the surf drew Rusty Drumm to Montauk and then to us. His loss leaves The Star diminished, and it is also deeply personal. Even after he decided to give semiretirement a try, he was out there, part of the human landscape we could count on for knowledge, sharp opinion, and advice. He had rare acuity, the capacity to see what struck his eye in profound detail, which made him a superb reporter and writer. Perhaps most of all, he was a passionate and compassionate man who shared the joy he had in life. H.S.R.

How lucky we were that the surf drew Rusty Drumm to Montauk and then to us. His loss leaves The Star diminished, and it is also deeply personal. Even after he decided to give semiretirement a try, he was out there, part of the human landscape we could count on for knowledge, sharp opinion, and advice.

Helen S. Rattray
January 14, 2016
Although I have a good primary-care physician here at home, I am under the care of two other doctors, a podiatrist and an endocrinologist, in New York City. They are as different as different can be and, from my point of view, represent the best that can be found with or without insurance coverage.

Although I have a good primary-care physician here at home, I am under the care of two other doctors, a podiatrist and an endocrinologist, in New York City. They are as different as different can be and, from my point of view, represent the best that can be found with or without insurance coverage.

Jack Graves
January 14, 2016
Near the end of an interview about the Killer Bees, during which I rhapsodized at great length about the school that’s out-Hoosiered the Hoosiers for more than a generation in the old sense of the word, for 30-plus years in short, I was asked if I’d ever seen any of the players cop an attitude on the court, and I said, on reflection, that I never ever had.

Near the end of an interview about the Killer Bees, during which I rhapsodized at great length about the school that’s out-Hoosiered the Hoosiers for more than a generation in the old sense of the word, for 30-plus years in short, I was asked if I’d ever seen any of the players cop an attitude on the court, and I said, on reflection, that I never ever had.

Joanne Pilgrim
January 14, 2016
The other day it was the teddy bear backpack that did me in, aqua blue and sodden with seawater on the shore. “Teddy bear backpacks should not be washing up on beaches,” the caption said.

The other day it was the teddy bear backpack that did me in, aqua blue and sodden with seawater on the shore. “Teddy bear backpacks should not be washing up on beaches,” the caption said. 

David E. Rattray
January 14, 2016
The wind woke me up early Wednesday, which was a good thing. I had gone to sleep the night before setting the alarm on my phone in order to get up and get some work done before the house stirred, but things being what they are, it had run out of battery life sometime during the night.

The wind woke me up early Wednesday, which was a good thing. I had gone to sleep the night before setting the alarm on my phone in order to get up and get some work done before the house stirred, but things being what they are, it had run out of battery life sometime during the night. 

Helen S. Rattray
January 7, 2016
Local note for Dec. 29: On this date, two East Hamptoners were featured in a New York Times story — with photographs — about how they “exploited an esoteric tax loophole that saved them millions in taxes.”

Local note for Dec. 29: On this date, two East Hamptoners were featured in a New York Times story — with photographs — about how they “exploited an esoteric tax loophole that saved them millions in taxes.” 

Jack Graves
January 7, 2016
“We’re going to Emily’s for Thanksgiving next year,” Mary said.

“We’re going to Emily’s for Thanksgiving next year,” Mary said.

“That gives me something to live for,” I said.

“I’ll tell her you said that,” she said.

David E. Rattray
January 7, 2016
The Star’s 130th anniversary, although a milestone, passed almost unnoticed here last week. It was on Dec. 26, 1885, that George Burling first printed 500 copies of what he called The Easthampton Star, only later deciding to separate the East and the Hampton, in keeping with local tradition. Mr. Burling can be forgiven for the error, given that he had started The Southampton Press only the year before.

The Star’s 130th anniversary, although a milestone, passed almost unnoticed here last week. It was on Dec. 26, 1885, that George Burling first printed 500 copies of what he called The Easthampton Star, only later deciding to separate the East and the Hampton, in keeping with local tradition. Mr.

Helen S. Rattray
December 31, 2015
We often say our house is full of too many things, that we are going to get at sorting and deciding what to do with them some day soon, but that day never seems to arrive.

We often say our house is full of too many things, that we are going to get at sorting and deciding what to do with them some day soon, but that day never seems to arrive.

Jack Graves
December 31, 2015

Mary continues to accuse me of cheating in back­gammon, and I tell her, eyes widened, that I simply can’t count as well as she can, and that, moreover, I’m not intelligent enough to cheat.

Morgan McGivern
December 31, 2015
“OMG, I never heard of that,” a 40-something guy says to a lady friend at Starbucks on Main Street in East Hampton. The coffee in question is labeled New Christmas Blend . . . infused with cinnamon and ginger. New items pop up in the Village of East Hampton as never before. Chestnut Praline, Vanilla Bean Crème, Café Misto.

“OMG, I never heard of that,” a 40-something guy says to a lady friend at Starbucks on Main Street in East Hampton. The coffee in question is labeled New Christmas Blend . . . infused with cinnamon and ginger. New items pop up in the Village of East Hampton as never before. Chestnut Praline, Vanilla Bean Crème, Café Misto.

David E. Rattray
December 31, 2015
It’s difficult to say yet whether the electric do-dad that was among the highlights of our middle child’s Christmas and Hanukkah haul was total junk or something really cool. What was clear was that when she lost a tiny and critical metal part at bedtime on Monday, crisis ensued.

It’s difficult to say yet whether the electric do-dad that was among the highlights of our middle child’s Christmas and Hanukkah haul was total junk or something really cool. What was clear was that when she lost a tiny and critical metal part at bedtime on Monday, crisis ensued.

Helen S. Rattray
December 24, 2015
The combined Rattray and Heilbrunn families are celebrating Hanukkah late this year, so late in fact that the festivities will be the day after Christmas, also known as Boxing Day (at least in Great Britain).

The combined Rattray and Heilbrunn families are celebrating Hanukkah late this year, so late in fact that the festivities will be the day after Christmas, also known as Boxing Day (at least in Great Britain).

Jack Graves
December 24, 2015
Ah, I see it’s that time again. I had suggested to Mary the other day that maybe we ought to become Jehovah’s Witnesses to free us from the bondage of mandatory holiday cheer.

Ah, I see it’s that time again. I had suggested to Mary the other day that maybe we ought to become Jehovah’s Witnesses to free us from the bondage of mandatory holiday cheer. This country missed the boat when it came to banning Christians.

Janis Hewitt
December 24, 2015
I finally found myself with a little free time and thought I’d let all our friends and family know what we’ve been up to out here in Montauk.

My goodness, do you believe it’s been three years since I last sent a Christmas letter? I finally found myself with a little free time and thought I’d let all our friends and family know what we’ve been up to out here in Montauk.