The Hampton Subway: Week of January 6-12, 2012

Riders this week: 10,622

Rider miles this week: 91,713


Award winning author Walter Isaccson was seen on the subway heading from Sag Harbor to Bridgehampton chatting with Madonna. After Isaacson’s smash bestseller Steve Jobs, is he now working on a book about the Material Girl?


The Hampton Subway Newsletter did not appear in Dan’s Papers last week because last week Dan’s Papers did not come out due to the paper shutting down for the New Year’s weekend so all the staff could take a well-deserved vacation. If you needed to read the newsletter last week, you had to pick one up at one of the token booths or in our executive office in Hampton Bays, which is where you can find it every week, even when Dan’s Papers publishes. Usually about 140 people pick up the newsletter in the subway locations, and last week, 204 people did, apparently because there was no Dan’s Papers, but this was a far cry from the tens of thousands of you who read the newsletter in Dan’s Papers when it appears there. Now, as we said, it is back in Dan’s Papers available everywhere, so go pick one up and read it there. [expand]


(Joanna, put this paragraph in the newsletter going to Dan’s Papers.)

Too bad everybody who reads Dan’s Papers missed out on all the excitement on the Hampton Subway last week. Here’s a recap. Two trains collided and 14 people were injured but not seriously and the two front cars of the trains were destroyed. A deranged man was arrested for firing a shotgun at the ceiling lights in one of the stations. Police came down to one of the stations to break up a fight between two men arguing over a woman. A boiler on one of the cars exploded, shutting the system down for two days.


As promised, this past New Year’s Eve for the first time, the Subway system stayed open all night so revelers could “party on” in the privacy of our railroad cars. Usually, the system closes for maintenance at 2 a.m. and then reopens to accommodate the early commuters at 5 a.m., but on this night, unlike all other nights, there was no maintenance or cleanup of the trash or anything, so we say to all those early next day straphangers who had to step over the party hats and paper cups and all the people who had passed out, all we can say is you missed it.


We’ve kept this secret while our investigation has been ongoing, but you need to know now that the subway system has suffered for months from a thief randomly stealing the antique brass shields on the fronts of some of our railroad cars. You may never have noticed there were shields missing. They are 12 inches by 18, feature a bas relief of a subway car coming at you (with its own tiny shield on it), with the word HAMPTON above it and the word SUBWAY below it. They also feature a garland of holly above the word HAMPTON.

The shields were originally placed on all our railroad cars when the system was built in 1932. The designer and manufacturer of the shields are unknown. They weigh four pounds each and are attached to the fronts of the trains with screws but apparently the screws did not deter this thief.

We determined early on in the investigation that the thefts could not have been done in the Montauk Yards. Four German Shepherds patrol the yards 24/7 and in the past two months while the thief was operating, there was no angry barking or growling from these sentries.

Then, last Monday, there was a break in the case. A man was found, shouting out for help, on the front of one of our trains between Water Mill and Southampton. He had gotten on the front somehow and had lost his footing, but we stopped the train and rescued him, then arrested him. He was carrying a backpack containing two large screwdrivers, a crowbar and seven brass plaques, which is the exact number of plaques that have been stolen.

Tuesday morning, the man, Louis Frothingham-Goldberg, age 29, appeared at an arraignment in Southampton and pled Not Guilty to burglary, his court-appointed lawyer arguing that he was not the man on the front of the train, had found the backpack on a street corner and hoped to return it to whoever left it there, was in the business of selling screwdrivers and was planning to sue Hampton Subway for the fright caused by their starting up the train while he was pinned to the front of the lead car. The judge ordered him released on his own recognizance and all the court papers sealed, but not before we were able to obtain a copy of them.


The charge leveled against me by Bubbles LaRue, that I made a sexual advance toward her in 1987, which she declined, is not true. I’ve ordered her banned from using Hampton Subway.

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