That Word: 'Community' - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2049628

That Word: ‘Community’

Tuesday, October 25, at about 1:30, my husband, Eric Fischl, and I were walking down Route 114, about to turn onto our street, Fresh Pond Road, when someone in a pickup truck slammed into me on my left side, broke his right sideview mirror off on my shoulder — and drove away without pausing.

I have a broken elbow and multiple contusions, but not a whole lot else.

I am extremely grateful to be alive.

I never lost consciousness, and one of the first people I saw standing over me was our very fine Sag Harbor police chief, A.J. McGuire, who was gently trying to keep my spirits up and was managing the ambulance, which arrived quickly. The guys at Peerless Marine got a cushion, the EMTs and trauma team were magnificent, Stony Brook Southampton Hospital was great, and I was operated on before midnight.

The aftermath has been just as extraordinary. Friends from all over the East End found out and called or wrote, offered food, sent flowers, and were just absolutely there for Eric and me at this very traumatic time, gradually replacing the feeling of being beat up with the feeling of being held close.

I use the word “community” a lot, partly because I believe in it and also because I’ve always felt it out here on the East End — but this was absolute proof that it’s not just a willful aspiration. In spite of the different directions we’re pulled in, and the different opinions we hold, which often come from trying to preserve what we all hold dear about this place, when it comes to our common humanity and our essential civility, it is really hard to beat this very real community.

Being here is one of the most precious things we’ve ever known. Thank you, so much, for being there.

April Gornik

Sag Harbor