With this being the second to last—the very last, not just of the year but forever—Grist, I thought it would be fun to go back to its beginning. So last week, I went to the basement of The Press office in Southampton where we keep our “morgue” of old issues of the paper bound into big books. It took some time; also searching the morgue with me was former Southampton Press editor Peter Boody, who was looking for the very first Spyglass, the column he’s been writing about Sag Harbor for several years. He was the editor when Grist for the Mill was added to the paper, joining columns about other hamlets in the area.I finally found it in the July 18, 1991 edition. That very first Grist, written by Marlene Haresign, got right down to business, informing readers of the annual meeting of the Water Mill Village Improvement Association. Also noted was building activity at Villa Maria (the addition of a one-story meeting room), the success of the Water Mill Community Club’s Beach and Blanket Party, the new road being constructed west of the winery, which at the time was, I believe, La Reve, and the names of the scholarship recipients (Michael Collins, Thomas Stengel, Kristin Donaldson, Valerie Pillsworth and William Squires).
The column ends with “Grist for the Mill is a new column devoted to events happening in the smallest but one of the nicest hamlets in the town …” and Marlene’s contact information. I’d have to say I still think it’s the nicest hamlet!
Marlene continued to write the column, always with her watchful eye on things happening in Water Mill, until I took it over around 1994.
Next week, I’ll dig up my very first Grist column and see what was going on in the nicest hamlet on the East End at the time.
The Water Mill Community Club sent some news in just under the wire. At the recent annual meeting, a slate of officers was elected. Pat Sliwienski continues as the club’s president. Cindy Corwith is first vice president, Eileen Noonan is second vice president of membership, Terri Kiernan is treasurer, Doreen Corwith Eckert is corresponding secretary, Jamie Wilson is recording secretary, and Jill Raynor is the rental secretary. The club’s trustees are Tim Maran, Tom White and Dave Corwith.
Also at the meeting, Marlene Haresign was honored for her many years of dedicated service on the executive board of the Water Mill Community Club. During her tenure on the board, Marlene has served as the rental secretary, membership coordinator and corresponding secretary. To use the words of the board: “Marlene is a wonderful example of the volunteerism and community spirit on which the club is founded. She volunteered her time freely to work on many successful club sponsored events over the years and always loved to share her passion for the history of Water Mill with the community. We will miss her on the board and wish her the best of luck as she retires to spend time with her family.”