Sag Harbor Community Notes, November 20


Tickets are on sale now for the popular Friends of the John Jermain Library’s Book and Author Luncheon at the American Hotel. Set for December 7 from noon to 2:30 p.m., this year’s event features authors Susan Scarf Merrell and James McMullan.Ms. Merrell’s new novel “Shirley” is a psychological thriller set at Bennington College in 1964, when novelist and short story writer Shirley Jackson’s literary critic husband Stanley Edgar Hyman was a professor there. A young graduate student and his pregnant wife live as tenants with those literary lights and she begins to sense something amiss, something to do with a long-missing female student.

A resident of Sag Harbor, Ms. Merrell teaches creative writing and literature at Stony Brook Southampton and is fiction editor of The Southampton Review.

James McMullan, also a Sag Harbor resident, is an illustrator, poster designer, teacher and author of the recent memoir, “Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood.” The principal poster artist for Lincoln Center, he is the illustrator with his wife, author Kate McMullan, of 12 children’s books and taught for many years at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Tickets for the luncheon are $50. Contact Chris Tice by email at or call her at (631) 725-3803 to reserve. Make checks payable to Friends of the John Jermain Library and mail them to Chris at 6 Overlook Lane, Sag Harbor 11963. They must be received by December 1.

Another big event just around the corner is the 7th Annual Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival at Bay Street Theater from Thursday, December 4, through Sunday, December 7, during which 32 films will be screened.

The festival’s website at has a full description of films, photos and links for purchasing tickets.

Founded by filmmaker Jacqui Lofaro of Bridgehampton, who serves as executive director, the festival kicks of with “Focus on Local Day” on December 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with four films made by East Enders, including the New York premiere at 8:30 p.m. of Shelter Islander and regular Sag Harbor visitor Joe Lauro’s “The Big Beat,” (90 min.), which chronicles the life of the legendary rhythm and blues singer-songwriter, Antoine “Fats” Domino.

Among the other highlights: On Friday night, December 5, at 8 p.m., “The 50 Year Argument” (96 min.) directed by Martin Scorsese and co-directed by David Tedechi will be screened. The film is a journey through the history of the New York Review of Books, which marked its 50th anniversary in 2013. Participating in the Q&A after the film will be Jason Epstein, co-founder of the New York Review of Books and a Sag Harbor resident.

On Saturday night, December 6, the festival will honor two-time Academy Award-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple with a Lifetime Achievement Award, beginning at 7 p.m. with opening remarks by Susan Lacy, the creator and longtime producer of the PBS American Masters series. After a reception, Ms. Kopple’s 1976 Academy Award-winning documentary “Harlan County USA” (103 min.) will be screened. It’s about the 1973 Brookside coal miner’s strike in Kentucky. Ms. Kopple more recently examined the lives of the three Hemingway sisters in “Running From Crazy.”

The festival concludes on Sunday, December 7, with the screening at 7:30 p.m. of the Filmmaker’s Choice Award, which this year goes to Wendy Keys of Southampton, director of the documentary, “Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight” (73 min.).

Tickets for each film are $15 ($13 for senior citizens, no online sales). Admission to the Saturday night gala, including reception, film and Q&A, is $40. A full festival pass for all four days of films including the gala is $125.

Tickets may be purchased online at; at the Bay Street Theater box office, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; by phone at (631) 725-9500; online at, or at the door.

With weather unfit for man or beast looming in the near future, this is the one time of year when the Sag Harbor Food Pantry asks for donations from the community. A letter from Executive Director Evelyn Ramunno went out last week to postal patrons along with a flyer reporting on the pantry’s good works during the past year.

Located in the basement of the Whalers’ Church, the pantry is open to clients on Tuesdays. Last year it served an average of 250 people a week. Although individuals, organizations and businesses donate food, the bulk of the provisions given to those in need are purchased by the pantry and paid for by tax-deductible donations.

With jobs scarce at this time of year and cold weather adding high heating costs to budgets, the working poor are facing a double squeeze. Send checks, made out to the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry, to P.O. Box 1241, Sag Harbor, N.Y. 11963.

A signpost of the season is the annual Christmas Boutique and Tea Shoppe to be held at Christ Episcopal Church on the corner of East Union and Hampton streets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 6.

There will be fresh evergreen wreaths and centerpieces, Christmas tree ornaments and house decorations, handcrafted items, home baked goodies and Christmas gift baskets. Enjoy a pot of tea, finger sandwiches and pastries at the Tea Shoppe and a special exhibit of Christmas nativities titled “No Room at the Inn.”

Proceeds from the Boutique and Tea Shoppe support programs at Christ Church. Donations for the “No Room at the Inn” exhibit will go to the church’s community outreach programs.

If you’re still stuffed a couple of days after Thanksgiving, get moving and head over to the Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island for a program called “Wild Long Island: A Live Animal Presentation” on Saturday, November 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. Learn all about the mammals, birds and reptiles that can be found on Long Island from a naturalist from the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary.

The first annual holiday cocktail party of the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum is set for Saturday, December 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be offered in Sage Parlor, where artist Sabina Streeter’s collection of charcoal drawings, “Captains, Mates, + Widows,” will be on display. Ms. Streeter convincingly imagines prominent men and women from Sag Harbor’s early history. All proceeds will directly support the museum’s restoration fund. General tickets are $25. Go to the museum website to order them.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” continues this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Bay Street Theater and on Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29. There are matinees on Saturdays, November 22 and 29, at 2 p.m. Adult tickets are $25. Students are admitted free to this production by the theater’s “Literature Alive” program, which every fall brings to the stage a work of literature found on school reading lists. Call the box office at (631) 725-9500 or obtain tickets through Bay Street’s website,

Valerie diLorenzo will show the basics of buying and selling on ebay in a class at the John Jermain Library at 34 Water Street this Friday, November 24. Participants need to know how to get online and how to use WiFi. Registration is required and limited to 15 people so call the library now at (631) 725-0049 or send an email to

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