01/28/17 6:00am
01/28/2017 6:00 AM

Donald Trump

After two days of non-stop politics I was extra fired up to watch the AFC and NFC championship games Sunday.

But a little before the first game started, I had a visitor. It was that same nasty guy who’d been dropping in on various friends, family and colleagues last week. You know, the guy who has everyone running to the bathroom, their butts on the toilet seats and faces in a garbage pail. I like to call him Flu Diamond Phillips, but maybe you know him as Flu Reed or Captain Flu Albano?

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07/04/14 2:00pm
07/04/2014 2:00 PM
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Jen Becker making hats for newborns and preemies at her home in Southold this week.

At 4 a.m. the morning after my son was born, a nurse ducked into the room as my wife and I were falling asleep and gave him his first bath. When she was done, she swaddled him up tight and placed a red, green and white knit cap on his tiny bald head.

It was two days before Christmas and baby Jackson had his first hat. Even with a dresser drawer full of infant caps, the hospital freebie kept his skull warm long after the holidays.

Perhaps it’s because it was made by hand, or maybe just because it was sturdier than the others, but we loved that darn hat. While we realize he’ll never wear it again, there’s no way we’re tossing it in the garbage any time soon.

It turns out we’re not alone. (more…)

06/20/14 10:00am
06/20/2014 10:00 AM
The bright portion of this photo of the outside of what is now Claudio's in Greenport shows the antique mailbox the Post Office plans to remove. Southold Historical Society director Geoffrey Fleming estimated the photo was taken sometime around 1915. (Credit: Claudio family archives)

The bright portion of this photo — you can click to enlarge it — of the outside of what is now Claudio’s in Greenport shows the antique mailbox the Post Office plans to remove. (Credit: Claudio family archives)

I have a friend who loves to write letters. Several years ago, he was in the habit of sending me one every day. I wrote him back once.

My friend’s letters were all part of an experiment in which several writers from around the country — he was working as a sports reporter in Seattle at the time — would send each other handwritten musings on journalism and feedback on side projects. (more…)

01/11/14 8:00am
01/11/2014 8:00 AM

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Times/Review babies Jackson Parpan (left) and Abigail White with moms Vera and Suzanne were both recently delivered into the world with help from Mattituck nurse and loyal Suffolk Times reader Douglas Massey.

When you’re an editor of a local newspaper, you expect to meet readers in all sorts of places; the grocery store, schools and libraries are the most common among them.

The hospital delivery room is not the sort of place you’d expect to make that connection — especially at a hospital more than a half-hour outside your coverage area.

But Stony Brook University Medical Center is exactly where I — and Times/Review editor Michael White three months before me — recently met Douglas Massey.

Yes, Mr. Massey, a nurse from Mattituck who happens to be a loyal Suffolk Times reader, coincidentally played a role in the delivery of the two most recent Times/Review babies.

In dealing with patients, Doug, a 52-year-old father of three, is quick to acknowledge that he’s a man in a field traditionally associated with females. It’s all part of a bedside routine he uses to put patients at ease during stressful times. It’s no secret that there’s usually anxiety in a hospital room and it helps if the professionals there treat the patient with compassion and know how to turn a tense moment into a positive experience.

Mr. Massey’s bedside manner was so natural, he gave both Mike and me the initial impression he’d been working as a nurse for decades. That’s not the case.

A laid-off construction project manager, he graduated from nursing school in May 2011, which is when The Suffolk Times first shared his story. While his journey sounds like it could have been a ’90s TV sitcom starring Tim Allen, Doug doesn’t exactly play it for laughs. He’s serious about his calling and it’s clear he cares deeply about helping others.

“If a person is caring, has the intellectual capacity to make it through nursing school and can apply that knowledge on the job, then that is what really matters,” he told the paper in 2011. “If you are empathetic and not afraid to show it, then nursing is the right profession for you.

“I love doing this,” he added. “I love helping people. There’s nothing better. Helping people get back to full function is as good as it can get. I’m a lucky guy to have fallen into it,” he said.

For Mike and me, having someone like him hold our wives’ hands during the most important day of our lives was a blessing.

What made the editor-reader connection even more unusual was that Mr. Massey does not typically work in the maternity ward. While his regular shifts are scheduled in an intensive care unit, he happened to be picking up overtime hours when he found himself in our delivery rooms.

One regret Mike and I both had after the deliveries was that shift changes prevented Doug from seeing our children enter the world. When my son was born at 11:35 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22, Mr. Massey had left the room 45 minutes earlier for an overnight ICU shift. I felt disappointed when it was time for him to leave, and sad I hadn’t gotten the chance to properly thank him for all the help he — and all the other great nurses — gave us on the big day.

But reflecting on the delivery experience this past week, I imagined the great care Doug was able to give the ICU patients, who I’m sure needed him more that night than we did. They were lucky to have such a pro at their side.

Mr. Parpan is the executive editor of Times/Review Newsgroup. He can be reached at [email protected] or 631-354-8046.

01/01/14 2:30pm
01/01/2014 2:30 PM
AMC COURTESY PHOTO  |  The cast of Breaking Bad.

AMC COURTESY PHOTO | The cast of Breaking Bad.

Editor’s note: Due to space constraints, this list was chopped down to just nine things the author liked about 2013. We also eliminated any reference to Sean Walter, weather events, EPCAL, Common Core and any of the other things we’ve written about on a dozen pages in this issue.

No. 2,013 — Finishing this list. It took me 11 days and I poured my heart and soul into this. I hope nobody chops it down to fill a small hole on page 8 or flips it upside down to make it one of those lame year-in-review countdowns.

Grant Parpan

Grant Parpan

No. 1,841 — The $20.13 Thursday night prix fixe at ALure Restaurant in Southold. As a chubby fella who likes seafood and great restaurants with affordable prices, this was the best thing that ever happened to my digestive system. And I have a good outside-the-box suggestion for chef Tom Schaudel and restaurateur Adam Lovett that’s so cutting edge they probably haven’t thought of it yet: Do the same thing next year, but charge $20.14.

No. 1,611 — Purchasing a Prius C from Riverhead Toyota. At 6-foot-4, I look ridiculous in it, but I’m the only one laughing when the gas meter reads 52 miles per gallon.

No. 1,202 — The moment when I realized shortly after Primary Day that I may never hear the name Anthony Weiner again.

No. 1,057 — Seeing “Gravity” in IMAX 3D. Two hours of floating through space with Sandra Bullock in spandex shorts was nothing short of an amazing experience. When I try to figure out which film deserves best picture each year, originality is among the biggest factors for me. I’ve never seen a movie that looks and sounds anything like “Gravity.” It’s easily my choice for Best Picture of the Year.

No. 729 — Completing my 34th year on Earth without playing Monopoly. About a dozen years ago I realized I’d never played the game. Now I do everything I can to avoid it. It’s a stubborn Irish guy thing.

No. 434 — Great friends. I read all the time about the brain drain on Long Island and particularly the East End. I’ve been fortunate to have most of my friends stay close by. It’s the biggest reason I’ll never leave Long Island.

No. 216 — Two words: “Breaking Bad.” One more word: Wow.

No. 1 — The moment I realized I was going to be a dad and that my son will top each list moving forward. It wasn’t until that first sonogram that it set in as reality. Hearing his heart beat a million times per minute made me realize he was not only healthy, but as hyperactive as his mom. My favorite thing about him is that he’ll always be half her.

Happy New Year, everyone. Looking forward to another year of bringing you the news when 2014 finally begins.

Mr. Parpan is the executive editor of Times/Review Newsgroup. He can be reached at [email protected] or 631-354-8046.