I read the article about changing the name of the park with some amusement [“Winter Of Our Discontent: Sag Harbor Committee Ponders Dropping Steinbeck Name From New Park,” sagharborexpress.com, February 26].
Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage Park, really? While Mrs. Sage was a positive force via philanthropy, her connection to Sag Harbor was primarily a four-year period of residence, from 1908 (after building the Huntting House, aka the Whaling Museum) till her abrupt departure in 1912, never to return. It is widely written that she left in a huff, feeling that Sag Harbor Village residents were “unappreciative” of her gifting.
To my math, Mr. Steinbeck’s residency wins by eight years, and the village is immortalized in his work, as appropriately mentioned in your article. But, more than that, Mr. Steinbeck “lived” here and was part of the local fabric, participating personally to lift up the spirit of the village during a weakened economic state.
Personally, this seems more in tune with the spirit in which this park was envisioned and made a reality, through the unselfish and tireless efforts of James Larocca and numerous local residents who worked to get it accomplished.
Now, if some modern-day philanthropist just happens to drop off a bag of cash so that the village can actually pay to have it transformed into the envisioned park — then, hey, what’s in a name? …
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