South O’ the Highway

A Look Back Through the First 10 Years of South O’ the Highway

See what Spielberg, Brinkley and McCartney were up to way back when.

Dan’s Papers’ South O’ the Highway column has always been a favorite with readers, especially those who have found their own names among the celebrity news. Originating as “The Good Life,” South O’ the Highway started its illustrious run in the May 25, 1990 issue and has become the must-read, unofficial chronicle of bold-faced happenings in the Hamptons, building its following with fun, glamorous items, such as these highlights from the first 10 years.

5/25/1990
Will Marty Eichards be living at that beautiful house on Gin Lane this summer? With the passing of his wife, Mary Lee Johnson, friends wondered if legal squabbling over the house would flare up between Marty and his late wife’s lawyer-son and her five other children. Marty says he’s in the house this year. A friend of the lawyer-son says…maybe. Jerry Finklestein, who owned the house before Mary Lee did, will again be back on Gin Lane this summer.

Are Cablevision executives out here starting to worry after the brouhaha involving Time-Warner’s Manhattan operation and the NYC officials? A warning to watch service and pricing.

Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe, Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN

The New York Times’ “Week in Review” section has an article headlined “For Some Authors Book Publishers Pay Millions Without a Word.” Cited are Tom Wolfe, of Southampton, to whom Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Bantam have offered from $5 to $7 million, and Tom Harris, of Sag Harbor (just returned from 6 months in Miami), whose contract with Dell Publishing Co. calls for $5.2 million for his next two books.

Edward Rice, who lives quietly in Sagaponack, and is often seen bicycling around these parts, has written Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton—The Secret Agent Who Made the Pilgrimage to Mecca, Discovered the Kama Sutra, and Brought the Arabian Knights to the West (Charles Scribner’s Sons $35). Anthony Burgess reviewed as The Lead One in The Times Book Review last Sunday. “Mr. Rice’s telling of the tales,” says the tough-minded Burgess, “is first class.” Good work, Ed!

Composer/conductor Lukas Foss and his artist wife, Cornelia, will not be spending the summer in their Bridgehampton house, so composer-singer Betty Comden has rented it. Lukas has been invited back as artist-in-residence in the Berkshires.

Stella Adler, the favorite acting coach of Marlon Brando, Shelley Winters, Farley Granger, and dozens of others who made it big, says this is her last summer teaching Hollywood types in L.A. She will be spending much more time in the future in her Water Mill pad.

Billy Joel
Billy Joel, Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN

6/1/1990
Billy Joel, resident of East Hampton, is suing his ex-agent for $90,000,000 for mismanagement of funds. That’s big-time mismanagement!

9/27/1991
Author Kurt Vonnegut, of Sagaponack, is off to Italy for a couple of weeks. His new book, a compilation of articles and essays, is getting good reviews.

11/8/1991
Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney of East Hampton is starring in a new movie, Get Back, directed by Richard Lester, now at Baronet Theatre. Wife Linda (nee Eastman, as in Lily Pond Lane) is in it, natch, along with some folks named Hamish, Stuart, Robbie McIntosh, Wix Wickens and Chris Witten.

3/6/1992
Sybil Christopher of Sag Harbor, one-time wife of the late Richard Burton, and entrepreneur of the political nightclub Arthur’s, is one of the forces behind the burgeoning Bay Street Theatre Festival, an ambitious new undertaking. Emma Walton (daughter of Julie Andrews and set designer Tony Walton), joins her as artistic director. A benefit performance of “Death and the Maiden” starring Glenn Close, Richard Dreyfuss and Gene Hackman, directed by Mike Nichols, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, with a pre-theatre reception at the Tavern on the Green. For tickets call 212-932-9045. Guild Hall has a benefit for the same show scheduled on April 8, with a pre-theatre dinner at “21.”

Isaac Mizrahi
Isaac Mizrahi, Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN

3/13/1992
Fashion buffs in the know caught Isaac Mizrahi on his bike… Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg was at the King Kullen in Bridgehampton last Saturday with her two adorable daughters. This week Dan’s Papers colleague Hannah Dinkel got a glimpse of Southampton Supervisor Fred Thiele jogging (probably a good time to think through some of those tough problems of Town management).

3/20/1992
That big kid Steven Spielberg has become a daddy again. Kate Capshaw and he were married in East Hampton in October, you may remember. Now they have produced their second child, an 8-pound, 3-ounce son named Sawyer, already. Spielberg also has a 6-year-old, Max, from his marriage to actress Amy Irving, and actress Capshaw has a 15-year-old daughter from an earlier marriage.

Alan Alda of Water Mill stars in the new Neil Simon play, Jake’s Women, directed as usual, by the brilliant Gene Saks of East Hampton.

Where Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel will send their daughter, Alexa, to school next season was the subject of a front page article in the New York Observer last week. Will she continue at the Waterfront School? Will she go over to the Hampton Day School or end up at the nearby grammar school in Amagansett? Should anyone, except the Joel family, care?

7/9/1993
ARF (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons) has a potpourri of benefit events this season. A tennis tournament, headed by chairman Dick Cavett of Montauk, offers players a chance to compete against such sports as Chuck Scarborough, Eli Wallach, Dina Merrill and Judy Licht (and maybe Mayor Dinkins). A donation of $175 buys you a player’s package. Call 212-751-3672 for info.

7/16/1993
Prince Albert and Princess Caroline of Monaco will be in Southampton around the middle of August following the Red Cross Ball in Monte Carlo on August 6. Already planned for their arrival is a party at the Old Stove Pub in Bridgehampton. Princess Caroline is planning on moving to New York this fall and will be taking on duties as Monaco’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Monaco was admitted to the United Nations this spring.

8/6/1993
Another Barbra Streisand sighting: She was the guest of Donna Karan in the Hamptons over the weekend. Or so says the Beverly Hills magazine called 213.

9/30/1994
Hard to tell that it was off-season based on the big turnout at the James Van Der Zee opening at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller on Newtown Lane last weekend. The new book by the legendary Harlem photographer and Horowitz’s collection of African-American memorabilia, including James Baldwin’s letters home predicting doom in Birmingham, books signed by Martin Luther King and treatises on slavery from 1808, had the room packed all afternoon. The only other no-show was Mrs. Horowitz—Newsday cartoonist and writer M.G. Lord—who was out buying her husband a birthday present.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Photo: ©PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM

11/11/1994
Edward Albee of Montauk, whose play, Three Tall Women, is still towering over other off-Broadway shows with its hot tickets in big demand, is not planning to bring the show to Broadway. Producers plan to keep the show just where it is at the Promenade Theater. Stellar audience members Faye Dunaway, Tom Cruise and Stephen Sondheim didn’t seem to mind the trip.

9/15/1995
Was that Harrison Ford, his wife and two children at Gurney’s Inn Resort and Spa in Montauk this past weekend? They couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful place for a getaway.

9/1/2000
Hamptonites Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall of Sex in the City, joined Sarah’s husband Matthew Broderick and Cynthia Nixon at the home of producer Darren Star for a party in East Hampton. Star produces the program. Among those attending were Rob Thomas and his wife Marisol, Ralph Macchio, Adam Goldberg, Sean Maher, Christian Campbell and Rick Hoffman, also writer Candace Bushnell, ICM agent Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Instyle editor Martha Nelson who co-hosted the party.

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