By Robbie Vorhaus
In the spirit of the holidays, the following are a few of my favorite things:
If the treasured Bay Street Theatre is not too obvious or clichéd as my first favorite thing, then allow me to thank Sybil Christopher, Stephen Hamilton and Emma Walton for its founding almost 20 years ago. Relatively new executive director, Tracy Mitchell, brings new life and spirit to Bay Street, attracting one special event and performance after the next. Our precious Bay Street Theatre is a jewel, and if you haven’t been recently, please treat yourself and go.
We are so lucky living here, and another favorite for our family is a walk along Main Street. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like Sag Harbor just keeps getting better and better. If America were to have a hometown, Sag Harbor would be the model.
Just this morning, driving Connor and Molly through the village on the way to school at Pierson, we noticed how pretty Sag Harbor looked this year, all lit up and decorated, a picture-perfect Main Street glowing with season cheer.
Recently, I took a group of high school boys up to Syracuse to watch our awesome Lady Whalers field hockey team clinch the New York State semi-finals, and come within inches of winning state. We left at 2:30 a.m. to be in Syracuse for the game at 9 a.m., and the excitement and team pride was palpable.
After Pierson won the semi-finals on Friday, the word went out and Rich Decker, working with Dr. Gratto and Jeff Nichols, hired a Hampton Jitney bus, which left at 3:00 a.m., Saturday morning, filled with students, parents and administrators, including Dr. Gratto. On the trip home, the girls’ team bus was met outside of town by the Sag Harbor Police and other emergency vehicles, along with countless parents and fans, all excited to welcome our Lady Whalers home. In typical Sag Harbor spirit, our wonderful fire department opened the firehouse doors and sponsored an impromptu welcome home dinner for our champions, a real goose bump experience.
I am also happy the teacher contract is resolved and our focus returned to creating a sustainable, world-class school district. We have the strongest school board in memory, and I am so grateful for their professionalism and dedication.
I also love living in a town with a duck crossing. I’m always rushing, and habitually late, yet driving along Jermain Avenue by Mashashimuet Park and having to stop in the road for the duck parade just makes my day. Although there’s a sign warning us to stop, it’s not needed because the moment a duck steps off the curb, traffic happily stops and lets the duck waddle its way across the road.
Another favorite thing about living here is being able to catch and raise my own food. We have an organic garden, which provides us gorgeous fruit and vegetables from March through December. Yes, December! I just pulled out the last of the dark green and bitter arugula, I still have some carrot stragglers, and this past weekend I found five heavy, yellow potatoes pushing their way through soil, which I used for garlic mashed potatoes.
Just a few other favorite things about Sag Harbor is that we named a bridge for Jordan Haerter, one of our fallen heroes. And thanks to our compassionate community of teens Alex Koehne, although gone, will always remain alive and loved as part of Pierson’s Class of 2010.
Thank you, Jeff Peters for continuing to always volunteer your services in time of need. Thank you Bob Bori for raising the bar for Harbor Masters everywhere. Thank you Ladies Village Improvement Society for continuing to brighten our beautiful village. Thank you, Tom Fabiano, and all your police officers for keeping us safe 24 hours a day, and thank you every Sag Harbor Volunteer Fire Department and Ambulance Corps member for your service.
We always have two choices in every moment. We can either look at what we perceive as wrong and feel bad, or be grateful for what’s good, and experience growing peace, harmony and delight. For me, I’m going to focus on the many wonderful things about our home, and choose to feel good every day. I hope you’ll join me, right here in our town, Sag Harbor.
North Haven resident, Robbie Vorhaus, is a leadership advisor and communications strategist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.vorhaus.com.