I was gathering my things in my East Hampton office on Friday night when I heard over the scanner a report of a possible fire at the Cozy Cabins in Wainscott. Before I had put on my coat and grabbed my camera bag, the scanner was squawking away, summoning members of the Bridgehampton Fire Department to what dispatchers call a working structure fire.
It took me about 15 minutes to get to Wainscott, and all I can say is I was impressed to see that many firefighters at the scene that quickly. By then, they had the fire largely under control, with the flames a bystander told me he had seen shooting out from the cabin just a few minutes before already reduced to smoke. Unfortunately, despite that Herculean effort, firefighters were unable to save the life of 78-year-old William Bauer, who was apparently disabled and unable to escape.
I would be remiss if I didn’t offer a shout-out to my son Henry who turns—I can’t believe this!—16 on Monday. Seems like only yesterday that Mom, Olivia, Genevieve and I were driving you home from the hospital. And speaking of driving: Don’t even think about borrowing the car.
My wife and I ventured over to the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton on Sunday night to catch a screening of Buster Keaton’s “The General,” with the capable organ accompaniment of Bernie Anderson. I think I was in college the last time I saw that movie, and I had forgotten what a genius Keaton was. If you are into silent films, you may want to head to Sag Harbor on Friday to see Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” at Bay Street Theatre at 8 p.m. for only $5.
For those of you who get your papers early this week: The Bridgehampton Historical Society will present a curator’s talk by Julie Greene on “The Kiss of Death: An Exhibition on Death and Mourning in Victorian America,” at the Corwith House museum, today, February 16, at 11 a.m. Her talk marks the end of the society’s winter exhibit on the mourning practices of that period. (Sorry, folks, but this notice slipped through the cracks last week.)
With Lent beginning next week, the Hampton Library will celebrate “Carnaval—A Brazilian Party” on Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m. In this family event, participants will make masks to wear in a samba parade. Local au pairs from Brazil will tell a few stories and teach Portuguese phrases, share a special chocolate dessert, and lead the parade. There will also be Brazilian food to sample.
Musicologist Prentiss Dunn returns to the library with a three-week series of music appreciation programs starting this Sunday, February 19, at 2 p.m. Unlike past lecture series in which Mr. Dunn focused on a single composer, this year’s series will focus on the works of several composers with DVD concerts. The remaining talks will take place on February 26 and March 4 at the same time. The series is free.
A citizenship class, which will focus on 100 questions you need to become one, will be held at 4 p.m. today, February 16. In the class, a teacher will review the basics of civics with flash cards, a DVD and oral review.
A roundtable discussion on Japanese maples will be hosted by the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, in the horticultural library at the Community House. The program is free. Call 537-2223 for more information.
The Bridgehampton Historical Society will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, February 25, at 10 a.m. at its Archives building at 2539-A Montauk Highway. (That would be the old Marders building on the south side of the highway just east of Ocean Road.) Along with annual reports presented by President Gerrit Vreeland and Executive Director John Eilertsen, there will be the nomination and election of trustees. All members of the society are invited to attend.
The historical society is still collecting applications for its scholarship program. High school seniors who live in Bridgehampton, including Hayground and Sagaponack, have been invited to submit an oral history essay of between 1,000 and 1,500 words based on an interview with a Bridgehampton person. The deadline for submission is March 15. The top prize will be $1,000, awarded on April 30. For more information, visit www.bridgehamptonhistoricalsociety.org, or contact the society at 537-1088 or at email@example.com.
Looking ahead, the Peconic Land Trust will hold its annual Volunteer Orientation and Training session on Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to noon at Bridge Gardens on Mitchell Lane in Bridgehampton. Participants will learn about the many opportunities to volunteer for the Land Trust. Reservations should be made by Wednesday, February 29, with Kathy Kennedy, Outreach Manager, at 631-283-3195, extension 29, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.