September 1, 1994
Before a doubleheader matching the Maidstoners with a Mercury Lounge/2A team, Billy Hofmann, a Maidstoner who used to play for Max's, said, "I want you to meet John Holtzmann -- he's our Zen master."
"He didn't play often for us, but when he did a hush would fall over the crowd. I remember seeing a hot grounder come his way. It skipped on by, but he went through the motions of gathering the ball into his glove and throwing to first so well that the ump said, 'Yer out!' "
"Winning is losing and losing isn't everything, and time is money," said Holtzmann, who took up a position on the bleachers near first base. As the Mercury Lounge pitcher, Duane Zaloudek, the eldest player on the field, snagged a line drive hit close to his head, Holtzmann exclaimed, "Who said Duane's dead? It's amazing how the hand acts completely independently of everything else."
Health Hampton, the on again, off again tennis and fitness club that Scott Rubenstein first planned for property near the East Hampton Airport in 1985, is on again.
Rubenstein said this week that he hopes to have 16 Har-Tru tennis courts built on the 24-acre site off Daniel's Hole Road by next spring. A 32,000-square-foot fitness center would follow, probably by the winter of 1996, he said.
. . . Five of the tennis courts would, if all goes according to plan, be covered by a bubble for play in the winter of '95-96, said Rubenstein. "I think a lot of people who don't come out here in the winter would if they could play indoor tennis. All there is for them now is the movies, bowling, and walking on Newtown Lane and Main Street."
This week, the East Hampton Youth Alliance began an effort to raise $4 million to build a Charles Gwathmey-designed youth center on Lumber Lane, complete with fitness equipment, snack bar, and a pool with walls that will slide open to let the sun in. After two years of planning, which included finding land and designing the building, the Alliance faces what its president, David Silver, said would be the biggest challenge -- raising the money to build it.
William Hartwell, who has a foothold in the Southampton, Bridgehampton, and East Hampton communities through coaching and peer mediation, could well know more South Fork youngsters than anyone around.
. . . The change in the attitudes and values of young people is traceable in part, Hartwell thinks, to the steady decline since the turn of the century in two-parent families, to too much TV, to too little reading and the reflection it demands, to too weak a link between present and past -- he doesn't think enough African-American history is being taught, for example -- and to the disconnection and disaffection from society to which the above can lead.
From the get-go, "Kids have to feel good about themselves," said Hartwell, who, among his numerous "hats," oversees very popular youth basketball clinics at the East Hampton Town Youth Park.
Helping children to feel good about themselves, he added, lay not so much in feeding egos as it did in "demanding respect from kids and giving them respect in turn. They have to trust and be trusted, love and be loved. If a person doesn't like himself, and looks at you and sees himself, he'll hurt you. So, I feel my purpose is to get kids to feel good about who they are."