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Tales of the sometimes rich, sometimes famous, but always quirky residents of one of America’s best-known summer colonies, as told by the editor and publisher of Dan’s Papers, the area’s free weekly newspaper.
As the editor and publisher of Dan’s Papers, the area’s popular free newspaper, Dan Rattiner has been living in and covering the Hamptons for over fifty years, and has watched it change from a sleepy backwater of fishing villages and potato farms to a playground for the rich and famous. In this follow-up to his popular book In the Hamptons, Rattiner continues to regale us with tales of the people who live, work, and play in one of America’s best-known summer colonies, ranging from colorful locals like former East Hampton Town Supervisor Richard T. Gilmartin and marine patrol policeman Ralph George, to more well-known figures like Kurt Vonnegut, Betty Friedan, Alger Hiss, and Martha Stewart. Sometimes amused, sometimes appalled, but always observant, Rattiner tells these stories of the Hamptons as only he can tell them: with dry wit, unassuming language, and as keen an awareness of his own quirks and foibles as he is of those of his fellow human beings.
“If you pick up the East Hampton Star, you’ll learn the who, what, and where. The why and how are more likely found in the pages of Dan’s Papers … If you want to understand the crazy quilt of art, sand, money, farmland, literature, golf clubs, divorces, sea spray, and the area’s remarkable blend of ego, generosity, and dedication to historic preservation, read Dan’s book, In the Hamptons, and its sequel, In the Hamptons Too, which you hold in your hands.” — from the Foreword by Alec Baldwin
“Nothing and no one escapes the roving eye of Dan. Here they all are: the old guard with their stately homes; the Bonackers, locals whose farms, shops, and small country roads are disappearing with each passing season; and the successive wave of newcomers, the artists, writers, and weary city folk yearning for the sea. And of course here are the seekers of the Scene, the newly rich and restless, demented with the mania of owning things. Not a particle of this passing parade is less than fascinating to Dan, who serves it up in prose that is simple and direct, yet subtly inflected with his signature combination of whimsy, wryness, and delight. A wonderful read.” — Mercedes Ruehl, award-winning actress and area resident
“…Entertaining beach read In the Hamptons Too collects Dan Rattiner’s folksy anecdotes about encounters with the celebrities, farmers, and fishermen of Long Island’s gilded South Fork.” — National Geographic Traveler
“…an insightful look at the 20th century luminaries with whom he crossed paths on the East End, all in their twilight years. In the Hamptons Too offers a lively recounting of the Hamptons’ growth over time, as well.” — AntonNews.com
“For the fortunate and fancy, Memorial Day weekend means the Hamptons. Those of us without beach houses can read about such folks in Dan Rattiner’s In the Hamptons Too … here Rattiner intersperses bits of memoir with tales of regular locals as well as gossipy recollections.” — Tablet Magazine
“…tells colorful stories from the exclusive summer retreat.” — Hamptons.com
“Rattiner authored In the Hamptons and In the Hamptons Too to shed light on the town’s natives and its history.” — Sacramento Book Review
“If there was an honorary mayor of the Hamptons it would have to be Dan Rattiner … a raconteur with a wicked sense of humor and an eye for detail.” — Long Island History Journal
Praise for In the Hamptons
“Mr. Rattiner pays tribute to the local figures, famous and otherwise, who have weaved themselves into his personal mythology over the last fifty years. Each portrait is written in unassuming language, with emotional punch, telling detail, and impressive recall … To find as many memorable characters gathered between two covers, you’d have to look back to Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel.” — New York Times
“Rattiner, longtime publisher of the locally beloved weekly newspaper Dan’s Papers, provides a beach-chair view of New York’s storied swath of spot-lit sand in his new memoir … as refreshing as a dip in the ocean at Main Beach … His charming vignettes about the area’s residents and guests mostly reach deep into the archives.” — USA Today
“A great read! Rattiner has done a terrific job with Dan’s Papers, and his book, In the Hamptons, is as colorful and engrossing as you would expect. He describes the coming-of-age of the Hamptons with insight and affection.” — Donald J. Trump
“A long love poem to the area and the extraordinary people who have occupied and, more often than not, helped to preserve its character … If I write here that I cannot imagine a chronicle more inclusive and revealing, fascinating and objective, yet for the greater part affectionate, I am not piling it on too thick. This book is damn good work.” — Edward Albee
“An intrepid guide to native life in the fabled Long Island utopia offers a memoir of a half century spent tracking its inhabitants as proprietor of the Hamptons’ newspaper of record … redolent of saltwater and printers’ ink—perfectly suited for comfortable days at the beach.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Rattiner knows his territory and shares a collection of charming early memories of the people among whom he lived and worked … such as the lovely daughter of Harrison Tweed III, Babette; the drinkers at Jungle Pete’s, tightlipped about their dead crony Jackson Pollock; artist Balcomb Greene; the sun-bathing lady proprietors of the Memory Motel; reclusive John Steinbeck.” — Publishers Weekly
“A folksy and often irreverent take on all points east of Riverhead. Some of Rattiner’s East End exploits—from an ill-fated midnight rendezvous with an heiress to his temporary banishment by legendary barman Bobby Van—are chronicled in this book.
“Rattiner [finds] his way to the beach most every day, past the area cordoned off for the ‘saber-tooth plovers,’ to face the surf and type on his Dell laptop. The pristine sand, the sting of salt, the feeling that you are on the cusp of the world—that never changes.” — Newsday
“Rattiner’s tales have the flavor of oral history, the passing along of stories from friend to friend—the time Rattiner shrugged off a chance to interview a young Richard Nixon, the day de Kooning toppled from his stool, that softball game where Bill ‘Bubba’ Clinton umpired with a silly grin. In these narratives, the evidence of a life well lived on a well-carved shore, Rattiner bottles the spirit of a rural enclave turned glamorous destination.” — The Hampton Sheet
“Now, bookshelves and beach bags alike must make room for Dan Rattiner’s In the Hamptons, which is rich in both local anthropology and easy reading. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The author is, after all, the Dan of Dan’s Papers, that ubiquitous, fine art covered, puckishly written, free, weekly, Truthiness and Advertising-filled newspaper-slash magazine you see blooming like flats of pansies wherever trades are plied on either Fork.” — East Hampton Star
“Whether Rattiner is writing about well-known people or local notables, he presents his material in entertaining fashion, holding the readers’ interest. His unusual vantage point enables him to trace a half-century of changes ‘In the Hamptons.’” — Jewish Journal
“Dan Rattiner has been chronicling the people and events of the Hamptons for as long as I’ve been going there (since the sixties). If anyone wanted some insight into what made this area such an interesting place, all they’d need was a copy of In the Hamptons. It’s as close to rubbing elbows as you can get. Enjoy!” — Billy Joel
“If a guy says it happened in the Hamptons, and Dan Rattiner doesn’t know about it, it didn’t. Welcome to the high stool at the bar in the Memory Motel.” — Tom Wolfe
“Dan Rattiner, a first-rate observer of life, has been observing the life of the Hamptons for nearly fifty years. In the Hamptons, the result of all that clear-eyed observation, gives us every facet of the place—the strange and ridiculous, the artistic, the funny, the lovable and beautiful. Fifty years from now when people ask, ‘What were the Hamptons?’ they will need only to pick up this rich, sparkling book.” — Roger Rosenblatt, author of Lapham Rising
Dan Rattiner is an award-winning writer and the editor and publisher of Dan’s Papers, the free newspaper he founded in 1960 when he was twenty years old. He is the author of In the Hamptons: My Fifty Years with Farmers, Fishermen, Artists, Billionaires, and Celebrities. He lives on Long Island, New York.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Alec Baldwin
Richard T. Gilmartin
William Power Maloney Sr.
The Free Life
Clifford Irving (and Howard Hughes)
The Montauk Project
Major Bill Cruickshank
President Bill Clinton