Islanders “Clam-oring” for Locals’ Museum

The Big Duck—the 20-foot tall white duck in Flanders that is now owned by Suffolk County, is going to have a museum about the history of Long Island duck ranching attached to it. What a great idea! Shelter Island might get inspired by this and try to open up its own museum. We have a nice cultural museum, thanks to the Shelter Island Historic Society, that serves locals and off-island visitors, but what if we had one just for locals…


First we’d need a giant something to house the museum. We could build a giant clam, or giant deer blind or a giant boat. I’ll go for the giant clam because I love them, and I think as giant shapes that could be used for museums go, a clam is a good shape. I wonder if contractors would agree with me.


‘Who the hell thought a giant clam would be an easy build?”

“Who else? The mouth that roared, Flynn.”

“What were the other choices?”

Deer blind, ferry boat, giant bagel, giant Labrador almost won, giant osprey nest…”

“Hey—osprey nest would have been great! We’d just have to gather huge branches and drop them in a pile.”

“Yea, but the osprey would have thought we were building them condos and we’d have 30 couples with eggs nesting there in no time.”

“I guess that’s true. What killed the idea of building a giant Lab? I like that idea. I have two Labs.”

“Okay—would we paint it as a black Lab or golden one?”

Black, of course, like mine.”

“And therein lies the problem. We’d have to have an Island referendum to decide whether to paint the giant Lab black or gold…”

“Damn, you’re right. And clams only come in one color.”

“See the logic now?”

“Yeah, I’m in. The plans call for us to lay down beige deep-plush carpet, what’s with that? Why not tan indoor/outdoor carpet?”

“Because the inside of a clam is soft and squishy.”

“Pardon me, I thought we were just making the building clam shaped, didn’t know we were going for the whole clam experience….”

“The concession area has tables modeled after little tubs of butter and the stools are all shaped like pats of butter. The smell of butter and beer will be pumped in through air vents.”

“And what else? Free Tabasco sauce with every gift shop purchase?”

“Who told you?”

“So what’s this museum going to have in it?”

“A picture of the Islander who owns the Island’s oldest ferry ticket, regardless of north or south ferry. A picture of the hunter with the record-holding buck. Picture of the driver who holds the record for the biggest deer killed by car. Photo of the woman who can accomplish the most errands on her lunch hour. Picture of the video gamer who grew moss on his north side from not moving from the couch in days. And lots of other dramatic things from Island life. It’ll be great!”

“You know, I got a pine cone from my mother, she found it when she was a kid. It’s the biggest pine cone you’ve ever seen.”

“That’s the spirit! Nobody else has covered the pine cone category.”

“My sister collects bird nests…she’s got, like 30 of them, from all kinds of birds.”

“Tell her to contact the Clam committee. If she donates the collection, they’ll give her a form for tax credit on whatever is the legal limit for bird’s nest…see…it’s win, win!”

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