Monday, August 08, 2011

Fire Island Then and Now

Fire Island has a storied modern history, once the reputed home of smugglers and pirates. It grew, slowly, beginning in Cherry Grove - to become an artist enclave.  The "hamlet" of Fire Island Pines became a homo haven over the wishes of its earlier inhabitants, who were not happy about the influx - putting up signs like: "Welcome to Fire Island Pines: A Family Community". I think they should put a sign back up today: "Welcome to Fire Island Pine: A Family Community of Smugglers and Pirates!

Learn more about the history, legend and lore of Fire Island from this well researched blog post by my friend Elisa Rolle. She talks about the early influences and notables such as Auden and Isherwood and artist collectives - including notable experts in the lost art of egg tempera paint (with egg yolks!) such as Jared French and Paul Cadmus.
Point of View, Paul Cadmus, 1945
It makes me want to know more - about the arrival by sea plane of Halston (which I read about in the hauntingly poignant novel, Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran), or what it was like on the island during the early 80's AIDS decimation as was touched on in the powerful must-read And the Band Played On, or the history of Water Island - at the end of the island - without any store, just a few homes and accessible to only a select few, or even the storied legend that continues today of the men's only castle known as Belvedere Guest House, still successfully run by my pals in Cherry Grove. 

Elisa shares a few books to read up on the island, and (on a lighter note!) she ends with (thanks, Elisa) our comedy pilot, Half-Share, which is making its LA debut on Tuesday at the ITVfest! Get tix here!


3 comments:

elisa-rolle said...

Your selection of books to read is probably better than mine ;-) Thanks for the link! Elisa

Jesse Archer said...

Thanks for all you do, Elisa!

Anonymous said...

Jesse,
I received the DVD from Sean. It was very well written and put me in a good mood. Hope we can sell it and make a bundle, it would help greatly since I'm currently unemployed.

Your Friend Jimmy