Beachcomber, May 23

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Welcome back, everyone! I cannot believe that the summer season is upon us, and that it’s time to start sending in my weekly book report, as I call it, to my editor. But here we are at the end of May, and this weekend starts the season off.
I hope everyone had a wonderful winter. I spent my off time in Florida, where the weather was warm and, for the most part, sunny. Palm Beach was its usual busy social season, with black tie events almost every night of the week, not to mention all the private cocktail and dinner parties.

I arrived in Southampton on May 13. I tell you this not because it really matters but rather to set a time frame for this week’s column. It is not easy to write a weekly column, since oftentimes the events don’t coincide with the deadline set by the paper. And with this column covering two weeks, it can get confusing without a point of reference.

The week was spent unpacking and settling in for the summer season. I took the time to start several projects around the house and evaluate what needs to be done in the garden. I see many trips to Lynch’s in the coming weeks. It takes a while to get used to the cooler weather: When I left Florida, it was 88 and sunny, but here it was in the 50s and cloudy.

By Thursday night, I was feeling the bug to go out, and a friend had suggested we meet for a drink and a quick bite. We headed over to Little Red, where I was happily greeted by Andy and Martin, the bartenders. The two of them know how to handle the bar and the customers so that everyone enjoys himself or herself.

Friday evening, it was over to Five Chimneys on Hill Street, which is the beautiful home of Thomas Anderson and Marc Shappeall. Many of you may recall that they opened the doors of this wonderful property last year for the Home Tour. This year, Tom and Marc were kind enough to host the Sponsor Party for the Southampton Historical Society’s Tour of Southampton Homes.

Guests gathered around the pool to enjoy cocktails. Seen admiring the beautiful home: Barbara and John Lowy, Regina and George Rich, Margaret and Greg Hedberg, Victoria Amory, Peter Hallock, Ann Madonia, Zita Davison, Gary Lawrance, Debbie and Noel Hare, Jeff Pfeifle, David Granville, Pamela Eldridge (the publisher of HC&G), Maggie and Nick Kirkbride, Sue Madonia, and Henry Koehler. I noticed that Sue and Henry were very busy chatting away. I have a feeling there’s going to be an exhibit of Henry’s work in the near future at Madonia Antiques.

Saturday night, dear friends hosted a small dinner party at their recently renovated home. It was an intimate evening with 13 guests for cocktails and a sit-down dinner. I remember, years ago, a very elegant socialite telling me that she always had either 12 or 14 for dinner parties, but never 13. She was superstitious and felt it would not be a successful evening with that number of guests.

Thankfully, my friends did not follow that adage, as we had a delightful night made possible by each of the 13 guests. Thank you, M and J, for a wonderful evening.

Mother’s Day meant lunch out with my parents, so we decided on Silver’s, which was the perfect spot. I couldn’t wait to order the BLT, which, in my opinion, is the best I have ever had—and since I won’t order it anywhere else, it had been eight months since my last BLT. Lunch was wonderful—thanks, Garrett, for doing such a great job.

My second week home was quiet for the most part. But by the weekend it was time to head out and have some fun. Friday evening, I had the pleasure of being invited for dinner with two very special couples at Shippy’s. Since I hadn’t seen either couple all winter, we spent the evening catching up. What an absolute delight!

I was very grateful to be back early this season so as not to miss a historic evening on Saturday night. It was off to the Meadow Club for a party to honor the Southampton Garden Club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. What an incredible milestone!

Lydia Wallis and a committee of ladies put together an evening to remember. Beautiful centerpieces on the tables, music, dancing, and, of course, cocktails and dinner were the order of the evening. The Garden Club honored those members who have served for 30 years or longer, as well as all the past presidents.

Seen enjoying the evening: K.T. and Alan McFarland, Thea and Bill Hattrick, Melanie and John Wambold, Michelle and Scott Lindsay, Linda (past president) and Arthur Fraser, Nancy Stone (past president), Jean Fitzsimmons, Adrienne White, Gael Wood (past president), Anne Nordeman (past president), Laurie Carson (past president), Marge Sullivan (past president), Linda McLean, Betty Sherrill, Barbara Lord (past president), Pat Munn, Tish (past president) and Orest Bliss, Clelia (past president) and Tom Zacharias, Camille Campbell, Bob and Jane Fear, and Cindy (past president) and Ladd Willis. (On a side note, congrats to the Willises on Haley’s graduation from USC.)

Congratulations to all the ladies of the Garden Club on your 100th anniversary!

It has been interesting to watch the mad dash to finish several “improvement” projects in the village, as well as on County Road 39A, these past two weeks. Street corners finally getting finished, lines for parking and crosswalks are being redone, and the big expansion of County Road 39A from 7-Eleven to Montauk Highway is wrapping up.

Jobs Lane and Main Street have been very active as well, as trucks arrive with merchandise for the stores, display windows get a new look, and the “for rent” signs quickly disappear, as myriad new stores get set to open for Memorial Day weekend. There are a lot of new shops in town—but more on that in future columns.

This weekend is the Designer Showhouse and Sale at the ARF Thrift Shop in Sagaponack. Seven designers have transformed the thrift shop into a series of vignettes inspired from donations and items from the designers’ personal collections. Saturday night, from 5 to 8 p.m., is the kickoff cocktail party, and it is not to be missed. I hope to see you there!

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