Point of View: The Destroyer

An Armageddon-like roar such as I’d never heard before

   Now I know what these people have been writing about all summer.
    The other night, playing in a doubles league at the East Hampton Indoor-Tennis Club across the street from East Hampton Airport, there was an Armageddon-like roar such as I’d never heard before. I could only liken it to an A-bomb test.
    Living in Springs, I’m not used to hearing a lot of aircraft overhead, and thus, perhaps, have been less sympathetic than I am now with those who built houses in the airport’s environs, knowing, of course, that they knew an airport was there.
    Once home, I thumbed through “American Prometheus,” the biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer written by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, and found the descriptive words I was looking for on page 309 in Oppenheimer’s reaction to the initial mushroom cloud, which he had taken from the Bhagavad-Gita: “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
    I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. . . . That’s how it sounded. Then and there it became clear to me that jets like this should be banned from our airport. Let these destroyers of our world land at Westhampton and be driven the rest of the way in sleek stretch limos as they sip aged Scotch and watch “Wall Street Week.”
    Remember the sports car track in Bridgehampton? Closed down, in part, because the decibel levels on Millstone Road soared to power lawn mower range? The noise at the track was nothing compared to this. Nothing.
    Karl Grossman recently wrote of how these destroyers of our world pay $12,000 to be helicoptered to and fro. “It’s pocket change to them,” a friend of mine said, with a smile.
    “It’s a prime example of how twisted our society has become,” I said. “What is so important that they do on earth that their fellows here should be subjected to such obscenity?”
    They’ve got to do something. . . . Do you think that after re-routing air traffic from Northwest, where some of East Hampton’s politically well-connected live, to a corridor spanning Wainscott and Sag Harbor — whose well-to-do homeowners don’t like it either, and are making noise of their own — they’ll send it over Springs, the Queens and Brooklyn of East Hampton. It seems only right.