Last June I was working at Black Swan Antiques in Sag Harbor while the owner enjoyed his birthday and the U.S. Open with his family, and when he treasure hunted and purchased Black Swan Meadows in Brimfield, Mass.
I relished the chance to get dressed up and interact with others after being barefoot and secluded in Florida writing my memoirs. I absolutely LOVE vintage and antique finds, as well as the chance to rearrange furniture and home decor.
Thrilled to play in the Sag Harbor Main Street storefront window, I bonded with Pierre, a solid wood French manniquin, named and even written about over the years. Pierre’s outfit changes were no easy feat, and I even got socked in the eye once.
With the U.S. Open bringing clientele and yachts beyond the usual into the waterfront village, including Tiger Woods, the owner suggested a fitting blazer he had at home for Pierre.
“My wife won’t let me wear it, it has been called ‘the douchey jacket,'” he said.
Exhausted from the day of international visitors and dumb heels, I stayed open late for dinner strollers, and returned to my rental around 10:30 p.m.
I barely moved in yet but I had a futon mattress and a dreamy new comforter I couldn’t wait to wrap myself in. I went to turn off my phone, and it rang. It was the shop owner, and my friend.
“Hey Carrie, I am out in my boat with my cousin from Utah and we ran out of gas. Can you come get us?” Randy asked.
Fast forward to next morning, I was running late and it was taking forever to turn left onto 114 so I called my coworker, James.
“I am here. It is unlocked. I got you,” he said.
Then he called back in five minutes.
“There is a guy here wanting the jacket in the window,” he said.
“The douchey jacket?” I confirmed.
He laughed, restrained.
“He is here now, he climbed up into the window, got it off the mannequin and put it on,” he said.
I was not entirely surprised, but I didn’t think it was for sale.
“It is Randy’s. He loves it. You have to call him,” I said.
I was now pulling into the back parking lot for employees, where the man had parked, and I saw James out there with him. He was wearing the jacket. He had dark sunglasses on, too. My goal was to scoot by and get into the bathroom to finish my hair. It was still wet.
“You’re a woman. Can you tell me if these sleeves can be taken out?” the man asked with a distinctive Brooklyn, New York accent.
“Well I AM a woman, but I am not a tailor,” I said.
“I know one, her name is Nancy, and she could answer that question. She is in Southampton,” I told the man.
“Well I am from New York City,” he said curtly.
“Well okay then” I said, excusing myself into the bathroom to primp.
A few minutes later, I heard him looking for me.
“Where did she go?” he asked.
He started to sound very familiar. I assumed it was because he sounded a lot like my father. It was Father’s Day weekend and I missed him.
My father also loved vintage and antique memorabilia, and there was a framed bus roll that had “Coney Island” and “Kings Highway” stops. It made me feel like he was around. My family members rode that bus.
I showed the artwork to the bold man from New York City.
“That’s wrong, Kings Highway is not in Coney Island” he said, not realizing that it was a bus roll, and it was two different spots. I explained and he thought it was cool.
“Would the tailor come here and alter this jacket for me?” he asked, when Randy agreed via telephone to sell it.
“Well, J-Lo has someone come to her yacht for a blow out, so anything is possible,” I told him, as James swiped his card. He made a comment I won’t repeat, and then told James that his coworker liked to talk, as he did.
“Can you come along in my car and show me the way?” he then asked me.
“That’s not happening,” I said, thinking it crazy for a ‘woman’ to consider going off with a demanding stranger while I was supposed to be minding a store. I suggested James as a suitable option, since there were two of us, and no other customers.
I also noted that it was a good possiblity Nancy was busy, on a Saturday morning during Father’s Day weekend, the U.S. Open, and the beginning of summer for those with children.
“Can we call her?” he asked, and I found her number and started talking.
“Can I talk?” he asked, and I handed him the phone gladly.
“Hi Nancy, this is Harvey Keitel,” he said, and I felt like a total moron for not realizing.
“I saw this jacket in the window last night, and I would like to surprise my wife with it. Would you be able to take care of it this morning for me?” he asked.
“I don’t know my way around here,” he said, looking down at his flip phone which had no map app. I tried to explain, but it really was tricky to find.
So I went with him, and the Gemini sun and moon chatted away on the ride.
As we drove over his Sag Harbor bridge, I told Harvey about Jordan Haerter. Then, at the traffic circle I told him about Joey Theinert, pointing to Shelter Island, where a ferry is named for him. I poured my heart out about my memoir, my ex and my father. I told him how it was so hard to live in the Hamptons where people seem to have no idea we are at war. I told him how I cut a lot out of my memoirs.
“Tell the truth” advised the acclaimed actor and former Marine.
He had his jacket altered in superwoman timing and I shared a secret smoothie spot and local tips on Italian food.
“Carrie Ann, I am grinning ear to ear. This could be a documentary,
Hanging With Harvey,” he said before he took me back to work.
“Let’s get together again,” he said, and I went back to rewrite my memoir.