Keepers of Time

I remember the first time I saw Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” with my own eyes back in college. The Museum of Modern Art had just undergone a renovation, and gave the masterpiece a wall of its own. I was surprised how small and jewel-like that painting of melted clocks and watches against a barren landscape was. In spite of its modest size, the curators recognized the huge statement it made. I’m amazed that I have lived long enough to see that museum renovation once again renovated, and so many decades later, kind of feel I am something of a keeper of time in my role at this paper.Sometimes we are writing about the news of the moment, be it large or small. Our community columnists Bradlee, Hugh, Joey, Barbara and Bob do this diligently every issue. I can’t tell you how often these first accounts are referred back to if we have to write about something they touched on at a later time. Such is the case when Lucie Lagodich wrote about last year’s vandalism of Fire Island Lighthouse. She researched our first reports written in 2020 to give her grounding as she revisited the subject on her own, and found how the story has developed since then.Sometimes we take a look back. Emma Boskovski has done just that in her feature article about founding contributor to our publication, cartoonist Bill Seay. Through fastidious research Mr. Seay gets the long overdue retrospective he deserves. Also in this issue Emma covers a recent presentation by author Christopher Verga recounting the organized resistance that lead to the inception of Fire Island National Seashore. Retelling the story of our local history is not only an essential component of it not being forgotten, it underscores the importance of periodically reexamining its context with a fresh lens.Then there is Lorna Luniewski gathering the acorns of other keepers in her Community Calendar. They include Robert Bonanno of the Fire Island Pines Preservation Society in his quest to keep the unique history of that community preserved and documented; while due west the Ocean Beach Community Fund is on a similar mission on the village centennial, as they jumpstart comprehensive measures to assist the Ocean Beach Historical Society a monumental task. Such efforts are crucial so that the stories we are entrusted with do not to succumb in the heat like Dali’s melting watches – keeping Fire Island’s legacy lush and fruitful.