At least that was what the locals used to call today, the day after Labor Day. The day when all the summer visitors, owners and renters alike, would take to the highway and return to their urban lives and lifestyles, leaving the East End in semi-rural peace. I suppose it was once like that, and I know a few people who used to make a ritual of lining up on the Montauk Highway on this day to wave goodbye to our seasonal visitors. But today much of this has disappeared into mythology. Although traffic was lighter and more polite, there remained a disproportionate surfeit of Mercedes and auto brands above, enough to suggest that our city cultural investors were delaying their departure. Last minute, it seems, for some. Typing this I can hear the noise of private aircraft warming up at East Hampton airport as the last of the crachach (a graphic Welsh word, a thousand times older in years than even the families of America’s oldest money) leave environmentally for their next stage. God bless.
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Today was a good day to clear out my office, and that I did. With rubbish bags standing by I delved into corners of closets and drawers that had remained untouched even during my time, and unearthed some remarkable trash. Predominantly paperwork, forms and minutes. Huge files of dated diocesan and national church dictates and discussion documents. Instructions on parochial business practice. Reporting policy, and the correct format for doing so in 1989. Needless to say I filled all my bags, even with parish vestry minutes of ten years. Let’s face it – who reads them? Who needs them?
Consequently there are wonderful gaps in my shelves that I am already filling with books and carefully filed study papers. It is a change that ought to have taken place a long time ago. The business of administration belongs to staff and vestry, not the priest. What was the Rector’s office is now to be known as the Study.