Sunday, September 18, 2016

September Saturday

Saturday was perfection. The light just so. Dramatically changing clouds and deep blue sky.
An inquisitive swan at Wooley Pond.
In Southampton, I happened upon the school homecoming parade.
Chas Addams: Family and Friends is currently on view.
The famous drawings of the Addams Family are familiar. There is also a selection of his New Yorker covers. The covers with lighthouse imagery especially drew my eye. The small studies he painted for each cover are inspiring and amazing. I've included close ups of each sketch so that you can get an idea how wonderful they are. The show is up until Halloween, a return visit will be required.
Lighthouse New Year
3 x 2 gouache and watercolor preliminary
Lighthouse New Year
3 x 2 gouache and watercolor preliminary
and New Yorker Magazine cover
01 January 1979
Lighthouse Moth
4 x 3 pencil and watercolor preliminary
Lighthouse Moth
4 x 3 pencil and watercolor preliminary
and New Yorker Magazine cover
23 June 1973
After running errands in Southampton, I drove to Long Beach. 
Wow


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Summer Scenes Southampton

Summer passes in the blink of an eye.
A NYC taxi. Anything to get to the beach.
Pelletreau Silver Shop built 1686
A pretty combination of antiques and art.
Unattributed portrait, circa early 1800s
The son of a local whaling captain?
Mysterious Italianate statue at the Southampton Arts Center.
Classic Hamptons Hydrangea
Main Street traffic
Meadow Lane
Hurricane Hermine Surf
Cool winds swept in this weekend with the storm. I was reminiscing over summer photos. Tempus Fugit.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ghost Hampton

I recently read Ghost Hampton by Ken McGorry. The plot revolves around a haunted Hamptons house.
We do have haunted houses in the Hamptons, or at least ones that look haunted.
This old house in the Sag Harbor historic district has been the subject of disputes and fraud for years. It stands, just barely, right next door to the John Jermain Memorial Library. Years ago the library tried to buy it to incorporate it into its renovation. Now the town just wants it gone.
In McGorry's book, a derelict property is set to be demolished when the main character sees a vision of a ghost there with a warning. The tale includes quirky characters and plot twists in the style of Carl Hiaasen. It was a page turner and guilty pleasure. I especially enjoyed the local references and had no problem picturing a haunted Hamptons house.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lighthouse Dreams

After our visit to Cedar Island Lighthouse I was inspired to create a book on the ZNO photo book site. I had used it before for Hugh's book. Sadly, they have discontinued the board book format, which I liked, but I ordered 10 copies of a soft cover version and hoped for the best.
The books arrived. Upon turning open the front cover there was a blank white page. This looked weird. The space needed something. The paper was grainy kind of like watercolor paper.... Oh, hello ~ a perfect place for a watercolor sketch.
During our recent American Beautify cruise I had my first view of the lighthouse from the water. The harbor view helped me better appreciate the sketch that Tooker did of the lighthouse which was my watercolor sketch inspiration. 
Cedar Lighthouse, 1869 drawing by William Wallace Tooker
collection of Nancy Carlson
Long Island Historical Journal, Vol. 19, Nos. 1-2, pp. 143
William Wallace Tooker sketched the new lighthouse being built on Cedar Island from Cedar Point in 1869 nearly 70 years before the hurricane that would force sand into a bar that would fill in the 200 yard gap between Cedar Island and the mainland. 
1904 map of Shelter Island and Sag Harbor via
I was recently chatting with a third generation Sag Harbor resident about visiting the lighthouse at Cedar Point. I mentioned that it was a shame that vandals had burned the interior of the light house, he said,"That's what they say," with raised eyebrows, he then said,"Locals don't go there." I asked why. His response, "Thousands died in the hurricane of '38. The water came up to the roof of the lighthouse. A huge wave built a sand bar out to the lighthouse from the mainland in less than an hour. The place is haunted." I looked at the story teller with raised brows. He continued, " I didn't really believe it, until I heard that visitors at the Cedar Point camp ground were seeing weird lights around the lighthouse. They say that if you see lights in the lighthouse window, three days later you will die. I know they are trying to restore it, but no local will work there. It IS haunted."
Haunted lighthouse? Wow! When I told Hugh the story, he said, "What ELSE would campers talk about? Ghost stories around the camp fire!" I did have to laugh. The next thing I did was look for information on the 1938 hurricane. Mary Cummings, a curator at the Southampton Historical Society has written a book, "Hurricane in the Hamptons, 1938". I picked it up at Harbor Books in Sag Harbor.

The hurricane of 1938 hit in September, Fifty two souls were lost, mostly residents of West Hampton. West Hampton and Montauk suffered the worst. The Cedar Island Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1934. There was no lighthouse keeper there during the hurricane. 
The fire that forced them to close up the lighthouse? According to the U.S. Lighthouse site, Suffolk county was trying to secure the site in June of 1974 by welding plates onto the doors and windows. A  spark from the welders torch started a fire and due to the isolated location fire department help arrived too late to save the interior of the building and the roof. Afterwards the sad discovery was made that no one at the county insured the property. Boarded up since 1974 it is no wonder that the lighthouse has been the subject of local ghost stories.
At the end of Long Wharf in Sag Harbor there is a coin operated set of binoculars.
For 25 cents you can get a look at Cedar Island Lighthouse without leaving shore.
I put my phone up to one of the eye rests.

Fundraising for the lighthouse restoration is ongoing. New York State recently awarded the project $300 thousand towards an expected $2 million completion cost. Once the lighthouse is restored it is expected to house a bed and breakfast. Income from this would pay for its maintenance. Wouldn't this be a cool place to go on retreat with swimsuit, paints and easel? The Execution Rocks lighthouse in Long Island Sound near Sands Point was renovated as a bed and breakfast and is available here, This renovation gives you an idea how Cedar Point Light night turn out. The Execution Rocks lighthouse is reputed to be haunted and was featured in an episode of Ghost Adventures on the Travel Chanel. 
I haven't read A Light Between Oceans yet by M. L. Stedman, but I think I will need to. The trailer for the new movie coming out with Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander looks very good.

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