04/25/19 8:00am

The Island has been bursting with the colors of spring and summer thanks to forsythia.

The hands of the Great Powers have painted the Island yellow, with a dash of pink here and there and a lovely sheen overhead of bright spring green. I have to try hard to watch the road, keeping my car in one piece, everything is so lovely to look at. I know it will fade eventually but this first flush of color after the boring sameness of winter feels like a gift.


Featured Story
12/12/14 12:00pm


Making it clear
To the Editor:
Regarding last week’s letter (“Bones to Pick”), Mr. Evangelista either misunderstood my letter or I wasn’t clear.

My non-vote in last November’s election was to protest the Democratic Party strategy of distancing themselves from President Obama. I am against such a strategy that also has racial overtones. (more…)

07/30/13 4:01pm

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Retiring after 25 years as secretary to the Shelter Island Board of Fire Commissioners, Jackie Tuttle admits when she first accepted the job, she had no idea it came with a paycheck.

When Jackie Tuttle accepted an invitation to become secretary to the Shelter Island Board of Fire Commissioners 25 years ago, she didn’t know it was a paid job. She was accustomed to being a community volunteer; it never occurred to her that she would be paid for any of her efforts.

On July 22, Ms. Tuttle let the commissioners know that it’s time for her to enjoy her retirement. She agreed to stay on for six months to help select and train a replacement for the job that pays $8,400 a year. Ms. Tuttle doesn’t recall what the pay was when she started 25 years ago.

But Commission Chairman Andy Steinmuller insisted he wasn’t accepting the resignation. Commissioner Richard Surozenski, when confronted the following day by Ms. Tuttle’s husband, Maurice “Tut” Tuttle, who said, “I hear you’re getting a new secretary,” responded “no.”

Nonetheless, the commissioners are realistic and will be looking to Ms. Tuttle to assist in their selection of a replacement.

“I’ve thought about it,” she told the Reporter in a telephone interview after the meeting. But she hasn’t yet zeroed in on a candidate yet.

“It’s just time to have someone younger come on and be trained,” she said. “Not that I can’t still do the job,” she added.
“It’s nice to be needed. I’ve been at it longer than any of the commissioners.” She estimates that she has seen 25 commissioners come and go through the years while being the unacknowledged historian of the district.

“They all would come and go and I was there,” Ms. Tuttle said.

Volunteering has always come naturally to her. And just a partial list of her giving nature includes being registrar and a board member for the Shelter Island 10K and president of the 10K Community Fund. She’s a member of the session and superintendent of the Sunday School program at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church. She has been an active member of the Garden Club where she is a past president and was named Lions Club Citizen of the Year in 1991.
Ms. Tuttle extended her volunteering to her adopted community of Indiantown, Florida, where she and  Tut spend four months each winter. She teaches a class at  the Baptist church there. She also has been the long-time organizer of semi-annual reunions for her Simmons College Class of 1955. It was that effort that won her the Simmons Golden Shark Award in 2005. In 2010, Simmons presented her with its Alumnae Service Award.

Prior to her retirement in 1995, Ms. Tuttle taught home economics, first in Southampton, then Sag Harbor and on Shelter Island for BOCES.

The couple has long hosted an annual barbecue in Florida for the Navy shipmates who served with Mr. Tuttle aboard the U.S.S. Furse in the 1950s, and other Navy personnel in the area. Ms. Tuttle also organizes annual reunions for her husband’s shipmates all over the country and edited a reunion book. But that’s an activity that she gave up awhile back.
Ever the organizer, Ms. Tuttle has a Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends in St. Martins where the couple spends every November.

Hints of Ms. Tuttle’s impending retirement from the Board of Commissioners came in May when she and her husband decided it was time to “get a little less involved” so they could travel more.

She’ll still continue with other activities on Shelter Island and the will continue to summer here.

“I always have trouble leaving places,” she said. When it’s time to head to Florida, she doesn’t want to leave Shelter Island and when it’s time to return, she doesn’t want to leave Florida, she admitted. But she can’t envision a time when she would opt for one or the other because in both communities, she and Tut have become the center of extended families.

Still, Ms. Tuttle has observed changes on Shelter Island — not all for the better. The traffic is heavier and people tend to be “more clique-y” than they were years ago, she said. When she first came here, she knew everyone on the Island, even the summer people who intermingled with the year-rounders. But now most summer residents tend to stay to themselves or mix with others who have come from wherever they came from, she said.

“The world is busier and people don’t make the time out here for new friends,” she said.

While Mr. Tuttle is a harelegger, Jackie is a descendent of East End families — the Raynors, Squires and Pells — who settled on the North Fork in the 17th century. Tut was a South Ferry captain when they first met, but their schedules weren’t meshing, so after 10 years, he left the ferry service to work for Herricks Hardware in Southampton while she taught in Southampton.

They considered moving there, but their daughter Jill was in the first grade and they decided she would get more individual attention in the Shelter Island School District. Looking back, she believes that was the best decision since Jill got a great education here and became class salutatorian. She went on to Wheaton College in Massachusetts, eventually settling outside of Boston with her three children.

But visits to Jill and the grandchildren aren’t during the summer, Ms. Tuttle said.

“We never leave in the summer,” Ms. Tuttle said about Shelter Island.

04/22/12 3:00pm

The Garden Club’s Youth Division chair, Carol Russell, mounted this display at the Shelter Island Library recently, incorporating cultivars from the Youth Group’s Courtyard Garden as well as from Garden Club members. More than 600 daffodil bulbs were planted by Island Cub Scouts last fall at the club’s gardens around the Island — an activity funded by Elaine and Ralph Crocker.

04/13/11 10:20pm

If you grow your own daffodils and would like to show them in the Garden Club’s Daffodil Show (Horticultural Schedule) this Saturday at the Ram’s Head Inn, here are some hints on how to prepare your exhibits.

• Use a container with 4 to 6 inches of 80-degree water for collecting blooms.

When cutting, choose the longest stems you can find; cut the bloom with a sharp knife mid-afternoon on the day before the show. Label the stem with a waterproof  marker.

Remove all dirt and loose pollen and smooth the petals with a soft brush or Q-tip. Do not remove the sheath.

Keep the stems in 4 inches of warm tap water for a half-hour, then  in 2 inches of cool water.

Don’t crowd flowers in container and store overnight in a dark, cool place, free of drafts.

Entries should be brought to the Ram’s Head on Friday, between 1 and 6 p.m. where Garden Club members will be on hand to help you with the entries.

Then relax on Saturday at the show, take in “a host of golden daffodils” and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea at the Inn.