Next Summer

Bill Clinton umpires at the 2019 Artists & Writers Game
Bill Clinton umpires at the 2019 Artists & Writers Game

I woke up the other morning, looked out the window, saw the weather was changing and thought, well, this is interesting. Summer must be coming.

It wasn’t, of course. It was September 30. And it occurred to me at that moment that summer had to be coming, because during the last six months, it hadn’t. All we did for all that time was try to stay at home and stare at the four walls. And so now, of course, it would have to be summer that was coming. We’ll have the Memorial Day parade, the annual Rose Show in Southampton, the Fourth of July fireworks, the big summer gala for the hospital, the Dan’s Papers Taste of Two Forks event, Robert Wilson’s Water Mill Gala, the Artist-Writers Softball Game, the Fishermen’s Fair in Springs, the Dan’s Papers Kite Fly, the Shinnecock PowWow, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the East Hampton Library Book Fair, the Southampton College Writers Conference, the U.S. Open at Shinnecock, the Montauk Music Festival and Harborfest at Sag Harbor—all any day now.

And then I realized that winter was coming, the supposed summer months had passed, and so now all we would be getting was winter and the holidays.

This just isn’t right.

What I propose is that next summer, when everything is better and we actually have a summer, we have a doubleheader summer as they have in baseball. When something is postponed, at the very next opportunity they double up on it. And that’s what we have to do for the summer of 2021 when it comes next year.

Here’s what we are going to do.

We’ll have a Memorial Day Preview Parade and then the Memorial Day parade, we’ll double the time for the annual Rose Show in Southampton, the Fourth of July fireworks will be not only for the Fourth of July but also the next night, which was the Sending Out Copies of the Declaration of Independence by Horseback to All the State Governors Day. We’ll have two big galas for the hospital—one in formal dress and the one the next day as a costume party. We’ll have a four-day Dan’s Taste of Two Forks food event instead of it lasting two days, we’ll have one Robert Wilson’s Water Mill Gala on the last day of July and the next one on the first of August, an actual Artist-Writers Softball Game doubleheader in Herrick Park, with each game featuring a different group of players.

We’ll have a two-day Fishermen’s Fair in Springs, a marathon 48-hour Dan’s Papers Kite Fly in Sagaponack, a two-weekend Shinnecock PowWow, a two-week-long Hampton Classic Horse Show with two Grand Prix Events at the end, each with a $100,000 first prize. We’ll have two days of the East Hampton Library Book Fair featuring one set of books on Saturday and another set of books on Sunday, and a two-week-long Stony Brook Southampton Writers Conference. We’ll have a two-week Hamptons International Film Festival rather than just one for a week, we’ll have two U.S. Opens at Shinnecock—one for golf and one for tennis—a Montauk Music Festival that lasts the entire month of August, and Harborfest at Sag Harbor not only for one weekend but two.

Finally, where we usually have the annual tag-team reading of Moby Dick in early August on a Sag Harbor weekend—the book has one entire chapter on Sag Harbor—we’ll follow it up with a second-week-of-August tag-team reading of Peter Benchley’s book Jaws, which Steven Spielberg turned into a movie that, as a special treat next summer, we will show outdoors for three consecutive nights under a tent behind the Sagaponack General Store. (The fictional town of Amity in the book was actually Sagaponack.)

And then summer will be over. And we’ll be so tired, we will have the Polar Bear Plunge the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend, followed by a nice hot shower and then, of course, a second Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day.

Like we always do.

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