Just what the Village needs - II

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Just what the Village needs - II

OtBB was all over the bookstores thing mid-May, and while it garnered some comments and a note of appreciation from The Open Book owner Terry Lucas, life progressed apace in downtown Westhampton Beach.

I thought of it again earlier this week when I spotted what looks to be a P.R. firm's release in The Wall Street Journal.

(A précis mirrors at Hamptons.Curbed.)

One excerpt from that puff profile attracted special attention, an assertion from Books and Books' Jack McKeown:

"We saw a stretch from Huntington to Southampton that was under supplied...."

Presumably then, Mr. McKeown's strategy is to over supply that stretch from Remsenburg to Quiogue.

It put me in a frame of mind to revisit the subject, but, quite frankly, I didn't want to be accused of being inhospitable to the new guy.

Then my old chum Glenn Dorskind took on the issue in a soft but pointed letter in the cur­rent Southampton Press Western Edition, one which concluded:

Perhaps the defining difference between The Open Book and Books and Books can be seen in the pictures they present. While the tinted glass win­dows of Books and Books are lined with photos of celebrity authors, the bright inner walls of The Open Book are cushioned with pictures of local kids.

Just so, Glenn... nicely presented.

And an observation based on 24 years in busi­ness on Westhampton Beach's Main Street, I wonder if Mr. McKeown is fully prepared for the drop-off which occurs in our off-season?

I'm not talking about January and February, but the ear-popping decompression which happens the Tuesday after Labor Day.

I'm confident that Terry Lucas is.


1. Kathie Williamson said...

In that photo, Jack McKeown bears a striking resemblance to Scots actor Ian Buchanan, "Dr. James Warwick" in The Bold and the Beautiful.

You're right, but not being a suds aficionado, I remember Buchanan better as "Dick Tremayne" in Twin Peaks.

2. Michael Jacobs said...

For the life of me I could not fathom why Books and Books would pick our fair Village as a hopeful location. We are not underserved. We are adequately served in a very gracious fashion by Terry and the Open Book. The Open Book has survived (I don't know about prospered) for about as long as I can remember.

No question, a Main Street location is more visible and valuable any time of the year but you pay to play on the main drag. That particular Main Street locantion has been host to several different businesses, each of whom have relocated or stolen off in the off season never to re-open.

Books and Books location will, of course, draw our summer visitors who may not be aware of the charming (and local) operation just around the corner. I am hopeful that those of us who still appreciate local ownership and a commitment to year 'round service will continue to patronize Ms. Lucas. She has, thus far, survived Amazon, Borders, B&N, the Kindle, etc. Hopefully she will survive Books and Books.

Kudos to Glenn for his thoughtful, sensitive and well-written missive to The Press.

Again, as a rationalist, I tend to seek the "why" of a happenstance, and I am reminded that I need to one day relate the true and astounding narrative of how a series of TV spots for The San Antonio Light came to be shot in Westhampton Beach in 1987.

In short, there is probably more to be known about why Books and Books landed in Westhampton Beach.
– Dean

3. HDHouse said...

We are also well served by a $6 million free library.

This is a nice store. What is the beef with someone opening a nice store?

While there is probably "more to be known" there probably is also "more to be known" as to why the passive agressive nature of this thread.

You've already demonstrated that either you don't read well or you just like to blather, so please provide a copy of your head-shrinking credentials before you proceed.

(Psssst! It's an $8 million, and counting, not-so-free library.)
– Dean

4. Carrie said...

As someone who as been happily 'well served' by The Open Book for over a decade, I agree with Glenn's sentiment.

5. HDHouse said...

You are a funny fellow.

Yeah, well....

6. Jeanne Speir said...

That not-so-free Library is going to cost the taxpayers and generations after them almost TWELVE MILLION dollars. That doesn't include their pumped up, exorbitant operating costs, either.

Holy Cash Hemorrhage! DO let's talk real numbers and the truth here.

7. HDHouse said...

By all means.

Let no man stand in the way of truth as someone else sees it.

8. Tugboat Bertha said...

One wonders why HD House bothers to read this blog if he finds it so odious. Hopefully he will tire of using you as a sparring partner and return to the place from which he sprung.

Possibly because he understands that he'll get more exposure here than on his own blogspot, but you realize that your comment will only encourage him to respond with further uncomplimentary speculations.

9. Ray Overton said...

I hate to be a stick in the mud, but it was only a year or two ago that Terry Lucas announced to tremendous publicity she was selling The Open Book to one of her employees. That sale, obviously, fell through and she is still operating the store, only at a different (presumably less expensive) location. The Open Book seems to have served the community well over a number of years and if the loyal clientele of that business continue to frequent it, that will probably continue. However, by publicizing a sale prior to it actually closing is a bad business practice. When the sale does not go through, competitors will question the commitment of the owner to the business, presenting a business opportunity. For those who use The Open Book and want to see it remain, I would frequent the shop and spend some $$$ and encourage your friends to do the same. Don't, however, denigrate the owners of the new store as they may be good people who you come to depend upon somewhere down the line.

Now Ray, we know you love to be a "stick in the mud," so, please, no insincere apologies.

I do not recall the lady's "sell" announcement, so I have only your characterization of it ("to tremendous publicity").

What I "denigrate" is not the new guys so much as the insultingly witless rationale they offer, "We saw a stretch from Huntington to Southampton that was under supplied...." That sets my teeth on edge almost as much as attorney William Keahon's post-Kabot DWI arrest blather.

The Libertarian in me takes the laisez faire stance that competition only improves the breed. In this instance, I note Ms. Lucas' demonstrable commitment to the Village, and am less inclined to take a "wait 'n' see" approach on the new guys.

But I still appreciate your information and opinion, Ray, and thank you for offering them.
– Dean

10. Ray Overton said...

Go to 27East.com and search for "Open Book To Sell." You will see the article to which I refer. I believe it appeared in the former Hampton Comical in January 2009.

Found it: "The Open Book reopens in Westhampton Beach."

Don't think it alters my opinion, though, but yes, "The Hampton Comical" was a grand ole weekly.

11. HDHouse said...

hooHaaa... the linked traffic to my blog from here (all eight of you) for the last amounted to .5102% of my unique visitors.

Thanks so much for the visibility, Dean.

[shrug] Imagine what it would be if you didn't persist in being such a richard.

12. HDHouse said...

Imagine what it would have been if

  1. you had a following and
  2. you weren't such a richard
Geeze... you are such a rented mule.
  1. Don't have to "imagine."
  2. Run out of originality?
I believe you're in a better position to discuss "rented" than I.

13. HDHouse said...

I wasn't snarky in my last comment. Imagine what it would be if anyone cared about your blog... gasp! Oh the hummanity{sic}.

My work is done here. Alas and farewell oh infintile{sic} one.

Don't you have a solitary acquaintance who'll tell you that you're out of your depths with this?

14. HDHouse said...

"upright richard"..

You funny guy. the rest of village simply refers to you as the Upright guy..when we refer to you at all that is.

So then your last "goodbye cruel OtBB" message was fraudulent?

Since you cannot control yourself, then I'll have to enforce that upon you.

15. Kathie Williamson said...

I hope your last remark means that House is out of here.

Reluctantly, that step had to be taken. He had become tiresome, and had nothing to offer beyond schoolyard taunts.

He now becomes one of a very select group of two pngs.

16. Scarlett said...

With his spelling and grammatical expertise, I do hope he's not a WHB grad....

It's irrelevant now... he's taking the OtBB dirt nap.

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