Letters to the Editor: February 27, 2020

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Fond Memories

I really enjoyed Jim Marquardt’s article on the Watchcase factory saving Sag Harbor [“Looking Back: When the Watchcase Saved Sag Harbor,” sagharborexpress.com, January 3]. The history of Fahys and Bulova were very informative. The part about Fahys recruiters hiring engravers on Ellis Island and sending them directly to Sag Harbor was interesting, considering the current feelings about immigrants today.

My father began working for Bulova in the summer of 1940 as an apprentice tool and die maker. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1942 and returned to Bulova in 1946. Dad worked for Bulova for 42 years and retired with a nice pension.

I worked in the shop two summers during high school and two summers during college. I have very fond memories of the many wonderful people who worked for Bulova (Miss Hall, Olive Pharaoh and Mr. Carney).

My dad brought home a wooden box one time that was marked “proximity fuses.” The Navy gunners brought down a lot of Japanese fighters and bombers during World War II with Bulova-manufactured proximity fuses.

Bill Adam, Sag Harbor

Never Be Silent

Dear Vered [“Freedom Of Speech,” Letters, February 20]: While I agree with you that every American, under the First Amendment, has the right of free speech, and that the action of the police, from what I saw on the video, was way out of line, this did not give you the right to interfere with the other paying moviegoers. After making your point, you were asked to leave — which is what you should have done. There are legal means at hand, with which you could address this problem at a later date.

I am also of the Jewish faith, and I share with you the pain our people have endured over the past 2,000 years. This does not give us the right to be silent or trivialize the suffering of others.

When the Jewish people were being tortured and murdered in Spain, during the Inquisition, so too were the indigenous natives of the Western Hemisphere. Unfortunately, the “privileged lifestyle” of Native Americans that you envision does not now nor has ever existed.

The late Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, writer, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and recipient of both the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom, wrote: “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victims. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Stephen Ring, Hampton Bays

Dolls And Love

Since I am away from Bridgehampton in my South Carolina home, I will miss the exhibition of Sam Johnson’s collection of black memorabilia, including the 15 dolls at the Rogers Memorial Library [“African American Rag Dolls On Display At Rogers Memorial Library In Southampton For Black History Month,” 27east.com, February 4].

My most cherished possession of my childhood was a doll purchased by my mother, to shut me up, on a train trip from Penn Station to Clearwater Beach in 1948.

At a brief stop in Georgia, mother bolted off the train and bought my doll from a peddler at the station. Boysie, as I named him, was a soft brown boy wearing overalls. He went everywhere with me and comforted me through my early years of constant parental correction for my misbehavior.

I stupidly told mother, when I was 8, that I sucked my thumb because Boysie told me to do so. The next day, Maud, our housekeeper, was ordered by mother to discard that “old rag.” I never held Boysie again — and I have often hoped Maud took him to her home. Simply, Boysie was my friend.

I am appalled that connotations are placed on items, perhaps unfairly, perhaps with justification. However, sensitive and intelligent individuals should be able to embrace, historically, the good and the bad, and refuse to negate something simply because it is uncomfortable or perceived as evil.

All African American art and craft should be celebrated, regardless of the circumstances in which it was produced. The pottery designed and made by slaves is currently auctioned for large sums. The sweet grass baskets still made by Gullah people on the islands off Georgia and South Carolina sell at a premium in Charleston markets.

My doll Boysie should not be negated — I loved him, and whatever evil he currently may carry never occurred to me.

Patsy Topping, Bridgehampton

Look At The Map

I would like to respond to a recent letter to editor from Terry Carnes [“Don’t Chase Them Away,” Letters, February 13].

I live in Northville, which is over 20 miles away from East Hampton Airport (HTO), and where over 95 percent of helicopters and seaplanes transition to arrive to HTO. Mr. Carnes may not know that the Federal Aviation Administration held a workshop in Riverhead on a late October night in 2018. That workshop was called a “dog-and-pony show” by the Riverhead Town supervisor. It was a cold and windy night, and over 140 people came to speak and give written comments to the FAA.

Two weeks later, the Riverhead Town Council had a press conference with State Senator Ken LaValle, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, a representative from U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin’s office, Steve Bellone’s office, and Southampton Town officials, and many others, to say what a pathetic presentation the FAA had at this workshop dealing with the North Shore route to HTO.

Move ahead one year, and the Riverhead supervisor was able to get Jeff Smith from Eastern Region Helicopter Council to come to a Q&A. Town Hall was standing room only for this event, and every person who spoke that night was asking for a quality of life back that they had not seen nor heard for over 10 years, as business at HTO has grown year after year.

I’m not sure where you came up with the 100 people in your letter, but you are dead wrong. Both these meetings were held in the offseason and at night; they were held over 20 miles away from HTO.

The writer really needs to take a chair and sit underneath the flight path to HTO. May I suggest a Thursday, Friday or Sunday afternoon during prime time, and look at the map and see how many thousands of people’s lives below are being disrupted by helicopters and seaplanes arriving at HTO.

John Cullen, Northville

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