It’s that time of year when the mailbag gets very light and most of the organized events celebrating the season are done, so there is little to report on in Grist. But a lot happened throughout the year so here’s a quick recap of some of the memorable news of the hamlet in 2013:Talk show host Matt Lauer purchased the old Deerfield Nursery to build a horse “farm.” Throughout the winter, trucks, machines and people made Matt’s family’s dream come true on land for which the town had, years ago, purchased the development rights.
Basketball celebrity Jason Kidd, who has a second home in Water Mill, crashed into a utility pole just around the corner from his house. He was charged with DWI and did penance recently by talking to students at Southampton High School.
Wildlife was big in the news. Earlier in the year, the osprey nest on a perch on the polo field next to Zaluskis on Deerfield Road blew off in a storm with strong winds; a coyote was spotted in the fields between Deerfield and Blank Lane; and a turkey set up home on the hamlet green. After some joker taped together the turkey’s legs, it was rehabilitated and relocated to Sag Harbor.
Before it opened for the season, the Halsey farm stand on Deerfield Road regraded and repaved its parking lot, fixing, it seems, the recurring flooding problem.
The Water Mill Community Club redid its tennis courts and still offers membership to anyone in the community at an unbeatable price.
J-Lo had a birthday party at her Water Mill home and later a stalker was found in her poolhouse.
Several complaints were filed against wealthy Water Mill homeowner Marc Leder for raucous parties. He made amends in a dubious arrangement brokered by his lawyer, in which he made a donation to a local charity.
The community rallied when it heard that Dan Birdsall’s son, Drew, was diagnosed with leukemia. The family is now living in Memphis to be near St. Jude’s where he is still receiving treatment. More than 350 turned out for a fundraiser for him earlier this year.
Officially, the hit and run of Sister Jackie, who was struck while walking on Rose Hill Road, remains an unresolved crime. Her memory lives on with the unofficial naming of the road as “Sister Jackie’s Way.”
It’s hard to miss the big red barn that went up at Hank’s Pumpkintown. Now the Kraszewskis have the space they need to safely run the operation that has grown to be a huge attraction for people near and far.
The tail shaft finally snapped off the windmill on the hamlet green. It’s still in need of fixing and the Water Mill Village Improvement Association is still in need of money to accomplish that. Donations may be sent to Water Mill Village Improvement Association, Box 351, Water Mill, NY 11976.
Over Labor Day weekend many wondered what the huge spotlights in a field on Deerfield Road were for. The intrigue was further enhanced when lines of “sailors” were seen boarding busses. That was people waiting to board the shuttle to a party at the home of Ivan Wilzig.
The wall of sand between the ocean and Mecox Bay is a new idea being tried by the Southampton Town Trustees to help control the cut and erosion of the beaches to the west.
Kiteboarders were a popular sight in the late summer and early fall at Flying Point Beach, many of them jumping over the wall of sand.
Dredging is now under way at Water Mill beaches to renourish them after several storms took away miles of sand.
Dave Hawke was deservedly honored at the 39th annual Suffolk County Police Athletic League Golf Classic at Island Hills Country Club. His generosity to this community is well known.
The Water Mill branch of Suffolk County National Bank closed, as did Foody’s.
Grace Presbyterian Church bought the building in which they’ve been gathering for years. That was good news for Mark Middlekauff and his flock, but when they lost the lease on their home in Water Mill, many of us were crushed to see them leave the neighborhood.
Next week, readers, you’re in for a treat. I handed my talented husband a list of the Water Mill news from the last year, some of which is included above, and he put it together into a poem, a la “Twas The Night Before Christmas.”