With the end of summer approaching, I’ve had a rush of activities, including my long-awaited visit from my children and grandchildren, which made this past week one for the memory books.
This is my first summer living through ownership of Dan’s Papers. Previously, my summers were filled with visits to the beach, reading my Kindle and newspapers and my trip home up-island. Now, my life is upside down, filled with excitement nearly every day.
Over the summer, I’ve met so many interesting special people, but nothing topped meeting and spending time with both our great President Bill Clinton and our new charming Governor Kathy Hochul and her husband.
Thanks to Dan Rattiner, founder of Dan’s Papers, we were the sponsors of the 73rd annual Artist & Writers Charity Softball Game last Saturday.
Early that morning, Dan called me to tell me that President Clinton’s people called him to say the president would be at the game. It was quickly decided to make him the umpire! It also gave me the opportunity to convince my grandsons to accompany me to the game to meet one of our greatest presidents.
When I arrived at the ballfield behind the East Hampton Stop & Shop supermarket, the game had already started. Fortunately, my friend Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright directed me to where Dan and the game’s sportscasters were calling out the action over the loudspeakers.
The two teams — one in bright red T-shirts (the artists) and the other in deep navy blue (the writers) — were already on the field. But my eyes were focused on President Clinton, who was standing behind the pitcher in a neon shirt.
I took the microphone and made an announcement saying how proud Dan’s Papers was to sponsor the game and I offered the players a $100 gift certificate to Pierre’s restaurant in Bridgehampton to anyone who hit our Dan’s Papers banner on the outfield fence.
I waited patiently for the appropriate time between innings when I could bring my grandsons onto the field and meet the president.The time came and I corralled 15-year-old Blake and 12-year-old Jonah onto the mound where Clinton was taking a break.
When we got there, my friend Patrick brought a copy of Dan’s Papers and a Dan’s Papers hat that I offered President Clinton — one to wear and one to autograph. He was kind enough to do both!
But my happiest moment was introducing my dearest grandsons to the president. I hope they were impressed with the warm greeting and pictures they got! What a moment!
After the game, Blake asked if he could get a photo with his favorite sports writer Mike Lupica. He did — and Jonah was impressed enough to say he wants to read Mike’s latest book, which was written with James Patterson. Success!
What an afternoon!
The previous night, I had the pleasure of being with our new Governor Kathy Hochul (pronounced Hoe-kell). I’ve met her previously and was always impressed by how knowledgeable, hard-working and down-to-earth she is.
She is warm and friendly and looked me in the eye whenever we were talking. For many years, she has been the governor’s “boots on the ground” as the lieutenant governor. I was honored and pleased to have her several times at my Power events.
But now, as fate will have it, she will lead our state. My feeling, based on our many meetings, is that she will listen and be a compassionate leader. Our state will be in quality hands.
But with all that, my most precious moment of a week filled with many, was to hear the squeals of joy from my grandchildren as they went tubing behind a speedboat out of Hampton Bays. How precious it was to see them all together! Sometimes I wish the clock could stop to hold on to these moments!
Many nights, we barbecued with scrumptious steaks from Justin’s Chop Shop in Westhampton Beach (who won Best Restaurant at our Dan’s Papers GrillHampton competition). But we did get to eat out at LT Burger’s new location in Westhampton. Based on the hour wait for a table, it’s already a success!
We couldn’t resist trying the flavorful shakes topped with rich whipped cream that came in the color of the shake — mine was brown like my chocolate shake, while Sloane had a strawberry shake with pink whipped cream. The shakes were outrageously beautiful and delicious!
And yes, the burgers were big and juicy, only outdone by the extraordinary gouda cheese topping on the crispy crinkle-cut French fries.
Try LT Burger — named for its successful renowned chef Laurent Tourondel — and you will love it, too!
The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center’s concerts on the Great Lawn ended the weekend with a spectacular performance by Jefferson Starship and then my friends Greg and Linda Galdi invited me to see the Bay Street Theater’s superb production of “Camelot.”
It doesn’t get better than that!
What wondrous weeks these have been — I’m so grateful!