Water Mill Community Notes

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The holidays officially arrive in our hamlet with the appearance of Santa at the Corwith Windmill. He’ll be there on Sunday, December 14, around 2:30 p.m., but warm cider and delicious Milk Pail donuts will be served up starting at 2 p.m. If it rains, just head on over to the Community House for cover.

Filmmaker Gary Beeber, who lives in Water Mill, had his latest film “Bally-Master” screened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Tulsa United Film Festival. He could not be there, but Jason Connell, the director of the festival, came up with something really cool to connect Gary with the attendees. After the film screened, he did an iChat with Gary, who was in his studio in Water Mill, so he could interact with the audience. The first question, they asked was “Where are you?” and, of course, he told them Water Mill—as well as on the big screen in the theater. It did not cost the festival or Gary anything additional, plus they reduced their carbon footprint. Too cool. This is the future, commented Gary.

Susan Sherry Clark sent word that Preservation Note, the newsletter of the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities included the Halsey House on Davids Lane in Water Mill on its short list of “endangered” properties. According to Susan, who talked with Charles Bellows, chairman of the Southampton Town Landmarks and Historic Districts Committee, who visited the site this past summer, the committee was quite impressed with the old farmhouse, which they (and others) believe actually dates back to the 1750s or 1760s, more than 100 years earlier than stated on the demolition permit application. This past summer two small and dilapidated buildings were demolished, but the main barn and house have been left intact—so far.

Genevieve (Sherry) Szczepankowski, who once lived in that old farmhouse that is facing demolition on Halsey Lane and worked at the Tea Shoppe in Water Mill in the 1930s, celebrated her 94th birthday on December 6. After owning the Old Boarding House in Sagaponack for nearly 60 years, she has recently moved back to Water Mill. Happy birthday!

If you’ve got a unique gift idea, please send it along to Grist for an upcoming column. My e-mail address is listed above. Thanks!

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