Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of February 7–13, 2019

Rear view of painter looking at grey wall to paint. Mature workman with paint bucket and roller looking up at expressively painted Hamptons Subway sign
Guy McPherson was happiest when he could express himself, Photo: rido/123RF

Week of February 7–13, 2019
Riders this past week: 43,913
Rider miles this past week: 99,723

Jennifer Lopez was seen practicing her pole dancing on a westbound train heading from Southampton to Hampton Bays last Friday afternoon at 5:11 p.m. This was in the fourth car from the front. Eli Wilner, the painting and photograph framer par excellence, caused a 10-minute delay on our Montauk service on Monday afternoon struggling to get one of his very large frames, one he said was bound for the Smithsonian, through the subway sliding door.

Guy McPherson, the beloved longtime employee in the Hamptons Subway sign painting division—he headed it up for 30 years—is gone.

It happened last Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Southampton Station. The event was the posting of the first of what will be 24 new signs, to be installed above the edge of every platform on the system. He was on a ladder hooking up the sign over the platform edge, speaking to the assembled crowd about the sign, which read DO NOT LEAN OVER EDGE OF PLATFORM, when he lost his balance. Attending this first posting were Mr. and Mrs. Bill Aspinall, our commissioner, Giuseppi LaSagna, the longtime barber at Hamptons Subway Headquarters, the Hamptons Subway Band and several mayors and town supervisors, plus our state assemblyman and senator. It was a grand occasion, but it was so sad.

As he and the ladder leaned too far over the edge of the platform, the 4:32 came flying out of the tunnel and through the station. It was an express. All the trains were supposed to stop where they were on the system for five minutes to honor this occasion—but the motorman of the 4:32 had not got the message, apparently.

It was said afterwards, when the sign posting ceremony turned into a tribute to Mac, as everybody called him, that he died doing what he wanted to do, and if there’s anything we know about life it’s that if you love doing what you want to do and can figure out a way to do it over and over, which Mac had done, then that’s all there’s to it.

His widow Loretta—actually she was his widow for only a few minutes when the next thing happened—his widow Loretta tearfully tried to follow him over the platform as she shouted, “I can’t live like this anymore,” but she was stopped from doing so. The sign, after all, says DO NOT LEAN OVER THE EDGE OF THE PLATFORM.

A memorial service will be held for Mac one month from today at 4:32 p.m., on the Southampton Platform where he died, at the time he died. A special train, idling just inside the tunnel so as to prevent anything bad from happening again, will fire off 21 toots with its steam whistle for the occasion.

Hamptons Subway has released plans for the events happening on the subway for the year 2020, but after they were released Commissioner Aspinall asked that, using executive privilege, all copies be returned to him so he could review them and redact anything that might have been written by him that would implicate him in something in the future.

This year we will have a special program for tourists. As we have 24 platforms, we discovered it lends itself to featuring two different subway platforms every month during the year. So in the month of February, which is already underway, we are now featuring Montauk, Westhampton Beach and Bridgehampton. Go to the one nearest you and take a selfie. Next month visit the next two, or three, next ones.


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