THE HAMPTONS...Secret Lives
Life here in the Hamptons is not all glamour and easy-going lifestyle, as it appears to be in the media and from a celebrity point of view.
As a work of fiction, I am hoping these short stories will open a new way to view this incredible place, without invalidating the resort qualities that are so important to the survival of the local population. I want the real story of the Hamptons to come alive on these pages.
The fictitious narrator of the stories is Holly Heathway, a character loosely based on my own life. The story itself is fiction but is based upon real happenings to real people here in The Hamptons. All names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Ironically, the very first chapter, "The Sled," comes into focus during the hardest winter in recent memory here in the Hamptons. This is, after all, a summer resort of great significance! The winter is a subtle reminder that this is a year-round community as well as a World Class Summer Resort.
My stories begin with the tale of a local man, Fred. He is the son of a farmer, who was himself the son of a farmer. Fred owned and operated his family’s historic two-hundred acre, three-hundred-year-old family farm. His story is one of deep sorrow, of constant struggle through most of his life, of some mystery, and of his own distinctive kind of love,
Fred stood up to life’s onslaught of pain and loss; he won battle after battle, and yet there was always something untold in his story. The discovery of this “missing piece” would be earth-shattering to those who knew and loved him. But it was not so easy to discover just what the missing piece was. In fact, it took many years to uncover.
There is a quiet nature among the families of these earliest settlers; some say it is inherent in their Puritan background. Most of the recent arrivals who have moved here over the last few decades never get to see the richness underlying the history of the locals in this serene and fertile land by the sea!
Today, the summer population comes here to buy oversized, expensive houses with huge yards, and they have little time or interest in finding out about the local population. The original residents’ existence is overlooked, along with the centuries of strife and struggle, of war and peace, growth and demise. The average summer stay of the celebrity homeowner here is three weeks to two months. They will always be newcomers.
Desolation can consume the local lifestyle during the winter months, so much so that lives are ended quickly when bad habits built out of boredom begin to take their toll. Because of the reserved nature of the people who have descended from those early Puritans, there is a tendency to take on a cloak of secrecy about their individual lives
Not, many know that this is the place where battles were won during the Revolutionary War. Most don’t know that the citizens who were the earliest descendants of the first settlers were forced to “move out”—to go by boat across Long Island Sound to the safe shoreline of what is now known as Connecticut. There they lived and struggled to survive until the end of the Revolutionary War and the last of the British occupation of Southampton. The family farm, the fishermen or baymen, and their family structure have endured in some cases, but at great cost
The stories of their struggles must be told, and I want to tell them.
It is my sincere hope that these stories about the South Fork of Long Island and the Hamptons will nourish those who read them. It is also my greatest hope that the families here, the ones who have struggled to farm, fish, live, and survive for over three hundred years, will be remembered and revered in spite of, not because of their hardscrabble lives.
Below are links to four of the stories pulled from the book, "THE HAMPTONS...Secret Lives". Please keep in mind that these stories are first drafts and were published right here on Activerain in 2018; the book itself is projected to be published this year, 2019.