Recent Stories: Columnists

Jack Graves
November 19, 2014

After interviewing Cory Lillie and Kyle Solomon about the soon-to-be East End Sharks, a nascent high school ice hockey team that ought to be fun to write about this winter and in winters to come, I went onto the last court open to play that remained, the hard court, to practice my serve, which had been tweaked the day before at an adult clinic at the East Hampton Indoor Club.

Christopher Walsh
November 19, 2014

The weekend had been beautiful, Saturday morning typically lazy. Slow to arise, the leisurely making of fresh juice before stepping into the light and crisp November air and into the village, where steaming coffee would be poured at Mary’s and carried to the Square, where a park bench and laughter and fond reminiscence awaited.

Everything was different on Sunday — or it wasn’t, until it was. Suspicion, accusation and recrimination, the dull ache in the gut as another glass of wine was drained.

David E. Rattray
November 19, 2014

Just after sunrise on Sunday, with a first cup of coffee down the hatch and another getting ready on the stove, I went down to the beach for a walk with the dogs. It was a cold morning; a strong northwest wind had blown itself out overnight, but the chill lingered. The sand underfoot was hard, as if getting ready for the freeze to come.

Helen S. Rattray
November 12, 2014

What sort of person willingly goes into harm’s way to help others? What makes a doctor or nurse fly to West Africa to do what they can in the Ebola crisis? What drives a journalist like the late James Foley, who was beheaded, into the heart of darkness to unveil things the world should know? How does a female reporter in the Middle East find the courage of her convictions? What balance of ideals and personal interest makes some folks willing to tempt fate for what they would call the greater good?

Jack Graves
November 12, 2014

Election night for us was the night of the living dread, and on the morrow (even our night sweats have achieved a certain simultaneity) we awoke to baleful reality in a bed next to which a George McGovern poster hangs.

Frankly, and naively, I had thought ideas were pivotal when it came to electoral politics, but, as we’ve seen, it mainly comes down to money and the sound bites money — no matter the party — buys.

Carissa Katz
November 12, 2014

“What is God?” my daughter asked me a few months ago. Not, “Does God exist?” Not, “Do you believe in God?” More like, “What is this God that people speak of?” Since then, the questions have tumbled in like waves breaking on the shore.

David E. Rattray
November 12, 2014

As the driver of an electric car, it was exciting to learn this week that the Town of East Hampton had installed its first charging station. An open house of sorts is planned for tomorrow morning at 9 to introduce it to the public. Buzz Chew Chevrolet and Tesla Motors are expected to send vehicles over and representatives ready to answer questions.

Helen S. Rattray
November 5, 2014

The New York Times had an eyesore of a typo in a front-page headline recently, and — while it’s not very nice to take pleasure in someone else’s mistakes — I couldn’t help but feel a certain secret satisfaction. If the old reliable Times, with its large and talented staff, can put out an edition with such a glaring mistake (“Panic Were Ebola Risk Is Tiny,” it read, “Stoicism Where It’s Real”), then we at the humble East Hampton Star can ease up a bit. 

Jack Graves
November 5, 2014

Mary has a most marvelous moth-eaten gray sweater that she loves. I’ve felt it and I know why, the tatters be damned.

The paint stains speak to me of the universe, the tear, resembling a hara-kiri cut, of the vagaries of life — in short of wonder, joy, and woe.

I told her recently as she sat reading on the deck that I envied her that sweater. Mine by contrast are not nearly as fine. I have one that is in the running, a dark blue cashmere one with a collar that is worn through at the elbows. It’s my favorite.

Jennifer Landes
November 5, 2014

If you’ve ever wondered who sits in the big bay window on the second floor of The Star’s office building, that would be me. It is a great perch to witness the life of the village throughout the seasons. Up in the treetops there are leaves budding, blooming, changing, and falling, sparrows peeping in, and the occasional cardinal.

David E. Rattray
November 5, 2014

On Tuesday morning while we were on our way to school, Adelia announced that she would have picked Lee Zeldin for Congress had she been old enough to vote. Adelia is in the eighth grade and not yet 14. “Mmm-hmm,” I said, “Why’s that?”

“Tim Bishop is being investigated,” she replied.

“Oh. Where’d you hear that?” I asked.

“YouTube,” she said. “And Hulu.”

Helen S. Rattray
October 29, 2014

Two houses, huge ones, are going up just south of the Ross Lower School on Butter Lane in Bridgehampton, but even pondering the fact that they are on what was supposed to be protected farmland did not dispel my happy mood as I drove away from the school’s field house after a yoga class. 

Sunday morning was bright and beautiful, with the temperature heading into the 60s. The roads were empty, the wind hadn’t kicked up yet, and I was propelled back to simpler times. 

Jack Graves
October 29, 2014

Returning from an ever so brief visit to D.C., where we — Mary, I should say — baby-sat two grandchildren, and I tended largely to the basic needs of a pug who had a heavily bandaged foot (the result of a torn, bleeding toenail), we listened with fascination to NPR’s “TED Radio Hour” as scientists traced (ever so briefly) what’s been going on for the past 13.8 billion years.

Janis Hewitt
October 29, 2014

Over the years on Halloween I’ve been the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz,” a princess, of course, and a giant face, a mask that covered everything except my shoes. But I’ve never been a ghost, because I’m afraid of ghosts. As luck would have it, I’m pretty sure one has moved in with my husband and me.

David E. Rattray
October 29, 2014

The Devil House was not haunted. At least my friends and I did not think it was. Still, that did not keep us from being so terrified of it that we teenagers were scared to walk past it on a dark night, and even going by it during the day might bring a shiver down the spine.

Helen S. Rattray
October 22, 2014

Thinking of having a yard sale? Don’t. At least that’s what my friend Maggie said. What she didn’t forecast was that it would take three, four, and five days out of my life, even with incredible help by members of the family, a pair of friends who are yard-sale aficionados, and three muscle men.

Jack Graves
October 22, 2014

I thought briefly of saying, “On my backhand” when asked the other day during our weekly editorial conference what I was working on, but demurred.

Christopher Walsh
October 22, 2014

The dark comes so early now. I shudder to think of the end of daylight saving time, barely a week away. But Tuesday was so mild and biking up Further Lane after work has become something of a mild exercise habit as I try to hold onto these great outdoors until the frost comes. So it was already getting dark as I pedaled east, then south, then west.

David E. Rattray
October 22, 2014

A friend from an inland state, a very inland state, is due to leave for the Gulf of Mexico in the next couple of weeks for a course in boat handling, sailing, and navigation. He is taking a leave of absence from his job working for the State of New Mexico in anticipation of buying a boat and seeing the world.

Helen S. Rattray
October 15, 2014

The holidays aren’t here yet, not by a long shot, but my mailbox is already stuffed with letters seeking big and small gifts. Many of the requests come from institutions I am familiar with and wish I could do more to support, but I also seem to have gotten on the mailing lists of tons of organizations that I know little or nothing about. I guess donor lists are shared and shared again, until your address has been reproduced exponentially. 

T.E. McMorrow
October 15, 2014

Bunky was a real writer’s cat. When I would sit down at my laptop, he would jump onto the desk and circle around my workspace. He was of the belief that the keyboard was the perfect resting place. I would gently dissuade him from lying on the keys. He would eventually give in, moving to the side or the back of my laptop, and lie down. Sometimes he would watch me, and sometimes he would sleep.

David E. Rattray
October 15, 2014

With the film festival in town last week and into this, an unusual number of people walked back and forth in front of our office. I counted myself among them, as a late addition to the festival’s documentary jury, which meant, among other things, that I spent quite a considerable bit of time on foot between the office and town, as we call it, and then hustling back south to Guild Hall, and back again.

Helen S. Rattray
October 8, 2014

The permit I picked up at East Hampton Village Hall this week makes it official: We’re going to have a yard sale! I’ve talked about one for so many years — decades, even — that saying so has become a joke around our household. 

Jack Graves
October 8, 2014

Were victory and defeat becoming the imposters they are, I wondered the other morning as I told Mary how I’d perhaps arrived at long last at the threshold of wisdom, to wit, that being calm was the key to winning tennis, if not to life itself.

“That’s why meditation’s so big, why yoga’s so big — everyone wants to be calm — mental toughness is simply to be calm,” I said, recalling that I had been cast out of the only meditation session I’d ever attended because I couldn’t sit still.