A Visit From Ireland
Back in March, I contacted the Sag Harbor Express by email, requesting their assistance in locating the remaining members of the McPartlin family, my cousins.
For lots of reasons we lost touch, including a shift of hemispheres to New Zealand, so when we decided to return to Ireland via the states, I made it a priority to track the ‘McPs’ down.
The late Frank McPartlin, my uncle, was kind enough to host me for six weeks, when, as a 20 year old art student from England, I studied and sketched my way through all of the art galleries in New York City, way back in 1973. Staying with ‘Uncle Frank’ I got to know the village and many of its then-residents and was made to feel thoroughly at home.
I started by contacting the local paper, who kindly passed my inquiry onto Al Brenner, husband of my cousin, Marie. After that the machine started rolling. Unbeknownst to me, there was seemingly no stopping the planning of getting the gang together in anticipation of our visit. We arrived in Sag Harbor on Friday, 28 April and boarded what seemed like a roller-coaster of generous hospitality and kindness from my newly discovered family, the McPartlins.
The red carpet was rolled out in our honour! We were wined and dined, and taken on trips, but best of all, we met the next two generations of the family. Totally awe inspiring. I’m still processing all the new names and info! We all met up at a pizza house and had a great family meal on our second day. What an evening! Thanks to Mary Brenner Thomas for arranging that!
Folks have asked “How do I view Sag Harbor now? Has it changed much?” Heck Yes, and No, at the same time. It has definitely grown both in size and wealth. There is almost no farmland left. The newer houses are all much larger than the homes I visited back then. It has certainly lost the intimacy that a small village holds and now feels much more like the cosmopolitan, weekend, visitor-destination that it has become. The beaches are the same, the old windmill still guards the quay and the Main Street holds semblances of the past; but of course some of the old stores have become gift shops or coffee houses, and the post office has moved. Such a tragedy that the cinema burnt down taking with it the stores either side! It is still a beautifully kept village with the relaxed lifestyle, just with many more people…and a lot more money. For all the changes, there were enough familiar landmarks for me to recognize. I still love Sag Harbor and I will now be a regular visitor.
Many thanks to the staff of the newspaper who passed my initial enquiry onto Al Brenner.
I wish to heartily thank the Sag Harbor Express, especially its editor, for the story of the David Neal Hartman tree in front of the Sag Harbor Cinema. It has brought great supportive response. We all wish it well.
Vote for Aidan
With the Board of Trustees election upon us (Tuesday; please vote), I want to express my enormous support for Aidan Corish, a bright, dedicated husband, father and businessman who loves our village and will, I know, do everything he can to protect what we love about it, while helping us navigate the challenges that come with so many others loving it. I know Aidan well. He will encourage open dialogue and ensure transparency, including all voices in village deliberations.
I also want to make clear that while the signs dotting our streets suggest that this is a race between Corish and Schroeder, it is not. Our mayor is running unopposed. The signs also suggest that one can vote for either Aidan OR Sandra, Ken and Tom. Also not the case. We are voting for two of three candidates: Aidan, Ken and Tom.
Please, get to the polls on Tuesday and cast your vote for Aidan and Ken.
The Trump Stain
In the early dark days of the American War for Independence, the delegates who signed the Declaration of Independence were courageous patriots, as they signed their names below the lines… “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.” The colonists suffered many military setbacks at the hands of the British Army, a super power at that time. Some of the very few early American victories were attributed to the leadership of one of the country’s first “heroes,” General Benedict Arnold. Unlike many signers of the Declaration of Independence, who gave everything for the cause, Benedict Arnold, over a perceived money payment issue, not only attempted to sell out some defense plans, but he also joined the British Army and led attacks on several colonial towns.
The name of Benedict Arnold in American history, will always be synonymous with treachery. The only change to his infamous status is the inclusion in the Halls of Treason, the names: Tump, General Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, or as they are collectively know, “Putin’s Boys.” While the stench of Trump might one day dissipate from the hollow halls of Washington, D.C., the Trump stain on our national honor will never go away.
Lock them up!
Community of Musicians
As the Third Annual Songwriters Share Concert Series comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped to make it a success. This year we raised money to benefit seven local charities: The Retreat, Maureen’s Haven, Project Most, East End Hospice, The Center for Therapeutic Riding of the East End, The Long Pond Greenbelt and the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center. Though many amazing local musicians were part of the series, I would like to thank our headliners: Mariann Megna, Inda Eaton, Fred Raimondo, Caroline Doctorow, Gene Casey and Dan Koontz as well as all of their musical guests. I would also like to thank the members of the concert committee Sue Penny and Margaret Pulkingham and the members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork for the use of their warm and welcoming space and their dedication to the series. Thank you to Channing Daughters for their donation of wine for our receptions….thank you to the Sag Harbor Express and all of the local newspapers for their coverage of the concerts, thank you to WLNG for spreading the word…thank you to the stores and businesses that welcomed our posters for display… and of course a big thank you to all of the concert goers who helped to make the series a success.
Each concert was filled with a wonderful and warm sense of community. Each musician shared their stories and how they approached the art of songwriting. It has evolved into a wonderful evening out for everyone.
I look forward to organizing the Fourth Annual Songwriters Share Concert Series and I hope we can all come together as a community to support our local musicians as well as our local charities.
Thank you everyone!