We here at Dan’s Papers are constantly coming up with new ideas. Most won’t work. We thought of baseball cards with pictures of real estate brokers on them. We thought of a story telling contest. Most recently, we’ve been considering publishing a book of works of literature by Hampton authors.
This presents a problem. Although many well-known authors live in the Hamptons, there are also many well-known authors tucked away on the North Fork. What would you call a book that contained the works of authors from both the North Fork and the Hamptons? The North Fork and Hamptons Literary Review? Doesn’t quite roll off your tongue, does it.
You could call it The East End Literary Review, I think, but that is kind of flat. You need the word Hamptons in it. That’s the dazzling word. E. L. Doctorow might be tempted to submit something to The Hampton Review. He probably wouldn’t submit something to The East End Review. Isn’t quite up there. I mean there’s The Paris Review. The Hampton Review would work too.
All this has led me to the conclusion that in this matter and other matters like it, the North Fork needs to consider itself a Hampton. That would make us all one. The North Fork has earned its stripes in recent years, I think. I hereby, as King of the Hamptons, make the offer to the North Fork. Consider yourself part of the Hamptons.
Now I know there are going to be objections to this. The North Fork has fought long and hard to consider itself the North Fork. It’s an old revered name. It long looked up to the Hamptons, was jealous of the Hamptons, felt superior and more normal than the plastic Hamptons. It glories in its separation from the Hamptons. And, in fact, it’s on the North Fork.
I think all of this will be solved by the North Fork becoming swallowed up by the Hamptons. And I think it can be done without ruffling the feathers as I’ve described above by not having to have the name North Fork sent down the laundry chute to oblivion.
Consider this for a moment. Here in the Hamptons, there are a whole lot of communities that do not have the word “Hampton” it them. They include Amagansett, Sagaponack, Quogue and Noyac. And yet they are all Hamptons.
My idea is that to make the North Fork part of the Hamptons, the North Fork needs only to have just one village change its name to include the word Hampton. That’s all it would take. Now, with a “Hamptons” on the North Fork, you could legally say that North Fork is part of the Hamptons just as the South Fork is part of the Hamptons.
I should point out that there are towns on the outskirts of the Hamptons that have been so eager to become Hamptons that they have tried to change their names to include the word “Hampton” in them. Parts of Calverton tried to call themselves North Hampton and failed. Mastic tried to change its name to Hampton Harbor and failed. Years ago—and many people don’t know this—a thriving village petitioned the State of New York to allow itself to change its name from Good Ground to Hampton Bays and succeeded. That’s why you never heard of Good Ground.
But back to the North Fork. Which village or hamlet on the North Fork should be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice? There are many to choose from. Thirteen in all.
Start with Orient at the eastern end of the North Fork. Orient is a great name. You orient yourself there at the tip of the North Fork, at the very end. You can’t change Orient.
Heading west from Orient is East Marion. This guy Marion was a famous Revolutionary War fighter. There is a town called Marion somewhere. I think East Marion was named for when he went east. I think we need to leave that alone.
Greenport is the big fishing village and tourist resort on the North Fork. It already has a reputation. We can’t change that.
Southold is locked in endless combat with Southampton on the South Fork, er, Hamptons, over which town was the first town in the State of New York. Both claim 1640 so it comes down to which month. We can’t mess with that.
Peconic comes after Southold. It’s kind of a boring name, although it bears the same name as the proposed new county we have all been fighting for out here. Kinda confusing having it named like that. We should set it aside for future consideration.
Cutchogue could be a candidate, but I’m inclined to accept the fact that all the Indian names on eastern Long Island— Quogue, Amagansett, Sagaponack, Quiogue in the Hamptons, and all the other Indian-named towns on the North Fork— should be left alone. The Indians deserve all the credit we could give them.
Next comes New Suffolk. New Suffolk is a dumb name, but it has a sort of uplifting spirit to it. There is Suffolk which is the name of the county we want to split from and Suffolk in England, which is where many of the people doing the naming came from. Also, New Suffolk was the home of one of the first Submarine Bases in America. This was around 1899. I think New Suffolk has earned its stripes. I give it a pass.
Mattituck is exempt. It also is an Indian name.
After Mattituck is Laurel, named after the tree I think, or some woman by that name or maybe by a hurricane. I think “Laurel Hampton” has a nice ring to it. I think we should set it aside for later consideration.
Next up is Jamesport, followed by South Jamesport. This is surely a confusing business. If James is a port, then why is Jamesport inland while South Jamesport is the port? Or at least there’s a few docks where boats tie up there. I think these two are both up for the ultimate sacrifice.
Northville comes next. This is a place rather than a town, a flat place north of Jamesport where a big oil company called Northville Industries built a sprawling series of oil and gas tank warehouses. I think the name came from the name a potato farmer gave to his farm, which he later sold to the oil company. That’s all I know about it, except that today, I think that this part of “Northville Oil” has been bought up by another company, however, and the tanks don’t even have that name on the side of them anymore. Northville, I say, is a perfect candidate for being renamed a Hampton.
And finally, there is Aquebogue, another Indian name, which is excused because of that.
So that’s it. After Aquebogue comes Riverhead, which is where the two fish tails of eastern Long Island, the North Fork and South Fork, come together attached at some sort of crotch or groin into the loins known as the town of Riverhead.
Riverhead, being not on the North Fork, of course, gets a pass.
So where are we here?
I think the sacrificial village will be either Laurel, Peconic, one or the other of the Jamesports, or Northville.
What do you think? I ask that you decide. Vote for one of these three, or any of the other 10, by commenting below. Let me know what you think.
Meanwhile, next week, I’ll tell you how Montauk, most recently, got swallowed up by the Hamptons on the South Fork, without so much as a peep of protest out of the Montaukers.