375 Years of Southampton History Shot to Hell
DISCLAIMER: In the normal course of my writing, I am usually compelled to issue a disclaimer at the end of a piece. (reference– Hamptons Apocalypse Redux)( a shameless self- promotion) However, in this instance, it is necessary that I begin with one, to defend the issue or whether or not this is a work of non-fiction. It is my contention that in today’s media, one only need read several different newspapers or watch different news channels to conclude that if a story has a modicum of truth, it can be woven into almost any scenario, and presented as fact. It is with this modern definition of nonfiction in mind that I submit to you:
375 Years of Southampton History Shot to Hell
A very recent archeological dig in the Village of Southampton, has rocked its history to the very core. During the renovation of an old house near Main Street, which was raised to reconstruct its crumbling foundation, it was discovered that it was built on odd shaped bundle-like blocks approximately 10 inches by 14 inches, and had curious designs on the tops. Upon further inspection by historians, it was determined that these bundles were, in fact, the first issues of Dan’s Papers carbon dated to 1639 .Their conclusion was validated by Mr. Rattiner’s memoir in which he admits to being in the Hamptons 4 ever.
Of course, now Southampton history has its own eyewitness, Dan Rattiner, whose reputation for accuracy and straightforward reporting has never been beyond reproach. He talks fondly of the early hardships of that first edition, since the only known artwork was either on cave walls or stone slabs. But those early travails made him the man he is today, which is to say, very, very, very, very, very old. He goes on to explain why those first bundles of papers were left mostly unopened. He claims it was because the locals didn’t read and were somewhat fearful, since they showed up in the middle of the night and many tripped over them as they exited their Tee-pees in the morning. The real reason was because he tried to charge for them, but being ever adaptable, he quickly learned the best way to have a circulation, was to print the word free on the cover, as everyone understands the value of free. Through extensive reconstruction and careful restoration that first headline was uncovered. “The Tourists are coming, the end is near”. But no one heeded his words of warning to head for the hills, hither and yon, which led to the naming of Hither hills in Montauk, which even then was known as “the end”.
In 1640, Dan was there to greet the first tourists, with the second edition of Dan’s Papers. He reported on the first controversy, which was what to name their landing place. Plymouth was out of the question, since no one in Southampton would know what a Plymouth was, and besides, it was copyrighted by the Pilgrims. They bandied about several different names, like Ferrari Rock, Bentley Boulder, but decided they sounded too foreign, so being settlers, they settled on Conscience Point. They were thinking of their future legacy, they could look back and say that at one point, the white settlers had a conscience. The only real mystery was how they ever found it in the first place, as they must have passed hundreds of other landing places. But if history tells us anything it tells us many discoveries were made by accident, take Columbus and America for example. So finding Conscience Point must have been one hell of an accident, which also explains how centuries later, Lizzy Grubman was able to find it.
Up until now, it was believed those first visitors came from Lynn, Massachusetts. Such was not the case. The real story is they were fleeing Cape Cod and Hyannisport as it was overrun by a very exclusive tribe, known as the Kennedy clan. They came here seeking refuge from political correctness and to establish an exclusive sanctuary of their own, that, and to get cheap tobacco. Dan was there handing out copies of his paper, which began the tradition that exists to this day, that being the first thing visitors do is go to the smoke shops for tax-free cigarettes and a copy of Dan’s Papers.
The big news story that year was reflected in the headline THE DONALDO BUYS MANHATTAN
The first celebrity interview was with Donaldo Trumpez, ancestor of the modern day Trump brand, which went as follows:
DONALDO: “This is a HUUUGE DEAL, I am going to make America Great!!!!”
He then proceeded to bash the Spanish Conquistadores as being “rapists, murderers” and closed the first deal with China to build a great wall, South of the Border, in North Carolina, which happened to be the site of his first motel chain catering to snow birds going to Florida. That was before he realized the big money was in fancy hotels and gambling casinos. His book, The Art of the Steal was also the first to be reviewed, as it went on the best seller list although the locals never read that either.
Of course I could go on and on about the minutia of early life back then, but its 5:30 on Saturday, August 15, 2015 and I’m getting tired of thinking up puns, cheap shots and the Coors Lights are turning blue, as is my ass, since I’ve been sitting here typing for 3 hours. So, I’ll get to the highlights.
The first big event that summer was the POW-WOW. Unbeknownst to the settlers, the Shinnecocks invented the rain dance in hopes a rainy Labor day weekend would chase them away. Now, because my ass is really blue, I will skip to the First Thanksgiving. It was not for the reasons most Americans have come to accept, that it was a celebration of a bountiful harvest, and featured turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. It was the native people giving thanks because the settlers told them they were going to Manhattan for the winter. As far as the meal itself, Edible East End described it as an“AMAIZING” Meal. Which consisted of corn chowder, corn salad, corned beef, buffalo wings and corn bread. If I wasn’t so tired I could probably think of a few more corny jokes, but enough is enough and it is now 6:30.
To sum up, we all owe a debt of gratitude to MR.DAN RATTINER for (all kidding aside) he has truly contributed to recording the history of Southampton in an entertaining, often humorous vein.
I must admit my only regret in sucking up to him in such a pandering way, is that he is not part of the panel of judges picking the winners and losers.
Now I can get a cold one and wait for the phone call from Dan.