Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Officially, it’s the day when we remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in that struggle. By the 20th century, Memorial Day was expanded to honor all Americans who died while in military service.For many people, however, Memorial Day simply marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. Certainly, here in the Hamptons, it is typically when the summer season masses start arriving from points west. It seems to me, though, that traffic on our main roads has already been at peak levels for months. Maybe it just seems that way because I’m getting less tolerant of drivers who never use their turn signals or never yield to other drivers under any conditions. Then again, it could just be my old age crankiness acting up.
The annual fundraiser for the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons was held last weekend, and no one got cranky despite the threat of rain all day on Friday. The rain missed the Benefit Preview Party that night and the event was a great success, as was the “Garden Fair,” the Alliance’s 24th annual benefit plant sale, held the next day. I was impressed by both the quality of plants for sale and by the sheer number of worker-bee volunteers HAH gathered during the set-up and the event.
Another group of great volunteers, the members of the Bridgehampton Fire Department’s Ambulance Company successfully hosted their open house last Sunday, and the fire department’s blood drive was scheduled to be held last Monday.
This week a new exhibition is opening up at the Bridgehampton Museum’s Archives Building at 2539-A Montauk Highway. It will run from May 22 through September 22. The exhibit presents the works of members of Plein Air Peconic and features Bridgehampton and Sagaponack landscapes, accompanied by historic photographs from the collections of the museum. There will be a formal opening reception on June 14, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Participating artists include: Casey Chalem Anderson, Susan D’Alessio, Aubrey Grainger, Anita Kusick, Keith Mantell, Michele Margit, Gordon Matheson, Joanne Rosko, Tom Steele and Kathryn Szoka. All works are on sale and a percentage of all sales benefit the Peconic Land Trust and the Bridgehampton Museum. The exhibit is open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m., and on Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. For info call 537-1088.
The South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) will be offering a program titled “Salamander Seining … and Some Frogs Too!” It will be held on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m., and SOFO’s president, Andy Sabin, will be the program leader. Many salamanders breed in water, and this program will offer a chance to see the larval aquatic stage of the endangered Eastern Tiger Salamander before it comes on land to live. You’ll also see some of our local frog tadpoles, as Andy Sabin, “Mr. Salamander,” wades into a freshwater pond and, using a seining net (a large two-person fishing net with weights at the lower edge and floats at the top), brings to the surface the pond-stages of these young animals, members of the class Amphibia. For reservations, call the museum at (631) 537-9735.
Then on Sunday, May 25, at 11 a.m., SOFO’s Executive Director Frank Quevedo will be leading a shorebird migration walk at Shinnecock. In addition to seeing migrating shorebirds, you’ll also be on the lookout for sparrows, rails, grackles, and other specialties of the area. Bring your binoculars, a scope, and a field guide to birds of Eastern North America, if you have one. For adults and children age 12 and up. For reservations and details, call the museum at 537-9735.
Also on Sunday, May 25, Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt will be offering a program entitled “Talking About Art—Gleaning From Nature” with Master Printmaker Dan Welden at 2 p.m. Call 537-0660 for more details.
The Children’s Museum of the East End has announced that it is putting the finishing touches on a new miniature golf course, and a formal announcement about the exhibit’s official opening is forthcoming. CMEE is located at 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike and for more information you can contact them at 537-8250, ext 2111, or via their website at www.cmee.org.
And if you haven’t yet started searching your attic, basement and closets for your forgotten antiques and relics, there’s still time to do so for the “Antique Treasures” appraisal day fundraiser at St. Ann’s Church on Saturday, June 14. The fundraiser is sponsored by Saunders Real Estate, and will feature the talents of several well-known appraisers, two of whom have appeared on the television show “Antiques Roadshow.” Pia Lindström will serve as honorary chair. Tickets for appraisals may be purchased in advance online at www.antiquetreasuresday.com. Admission is $30 and funds raised from the event will benefit East End Hospice, Dominican Sisters and Maureen’s Haven. For additional information or to order tickets, call (631) 353-1489.