The Most Interesting Man in the Hamptons: Clammy Sammy

There has been an altercation at a Hampton Bays barbershop.

I hope this writing does not lead to a police investigation. What I can tell you is that the assault and butchering of hair took place in late April in The Hamlet of Hampton Bays and my barber’s name is Tommy.

I am in the chair and everything is going fine until a commercial comes on the television. It seems that all over America, barbershop discussions have been replaced by a flat screen television, that smartly hangs on the wall in the corner. The commercial is the one for Dos Equis Beer and the guy who is the “Most Interesting Man In The World.” I quote, “The police often question him just because they find him interesting. His blood smells like cologne. He is the most interesting man in the world.”

This prompted me to ask out loud, “I wonder who is the most interesting man with ties to the Hamptons?” And that is where the altercation started.

Sensing that there was going to be a difference of opinion, a man who was waiting for the chair ran out the door faster than a dine and dash at Friendly’s.

That just left the man with the clippers, one older gentleman and me, who didn’t need a haircut, but was hanging around because his television at home was broken.

We all started arguing over the answer. I kept throwing out gems like Jackson Pollock, Theodore Roosevelt, Billy Joel, Telly Savalas, John Coltrane, Tony Danza, Billy Crystal, Matt Lauer and Steven Spielberg. Tommy dismissed all these for various reasons. The old guy kept yelling out “Clammy Sammy.” I’ve never even heard of anyone named Clammy Sammy.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of celebrities, authors, artists, politicians, titans of industry, sports figures, etc. that have spent time in the Hamptons, the old guy just keeps yelling over and over again, “Clammy Sammy.”

After I have offered more than 100 suggestions, Tommy then asserts that he agrees with the idea that Clammy Sammy is indeed the most interesting man. By this time I am furious and I express my distaste with the minimal thought given to a very important question.

This escalated to me calling Tommy stupid and that is when the clippers “accidentally” slipped and I lost a significant amount of hair on the left side of my head.

I got out of the chair and, without paying, left the barbershop in a huff. I remember when barbershops were places where gossip and spirited discussions could take place without consequences. It seems just like the radio, those days are gone as well.

When I got home, I decided to ask my 88-year-old neighbor, who has lived here all his life, who in the hell Clammy Sammy was. He explained that he is a 97-year old clammer who was born and raised in East Hampton. He has been mixing a homemade concoction of cookie dough, clam juice and 90 proof alcohol in his bathtub every day since our boys were sent overseas in WWII. The clam juice keeps the cookies fresh for months and at the same time seals in the alcohol. He then bakes the cookies and sends them as “care packages” to the troops. For some inexplicable reason, the cookies give the soldiers the courage needed to “carry the day.”

“Clammy Sammies” as they are known, were there when the beaches of Normandy were stormed and are attributed to having been a big help in the victory. They have also been present in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems that every Congressional Medal of Honor Winner has attributed their bravery to the Clammy Sammy.

That is pretty damn interesting after all.

Maybe we should have a contest at Dan’s Papers to see who the readers think is the most interesting man in the Hamptons? “Stay thirsty my friends.”

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