I grew up on Gardiner’s Avenue in Springs, and as I got older I ran into Tim Lee. Tim is a well known character in Springs, and you can tell just by looking into his eyes that he sees life differently than most people.
Tim has this weird little outdoor shop in Springs that sits on an abandoned gas station outside of the Springs General Store. About five years ago or so, I was renting an apartment in East Hampton, and I hated the dresser that came with it. I asked the owner if I could throw it out and he agreed to it, but not before I made sure to have Tim look at it. Maybe he could sell it.
Tim followed me to my apartment in a beat-up pickup truck, his long Native American hair tied up with a rubber band. He took one look at the dresser, laughed and then announced in a quiet but powerful voice, “I’m sorry, I don’t think that I’m going to be able to sell this.”
“Why not?” I protested.
“There is just no way. I’m sorry.”
Tim Lee reminds me kind of “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. He’s ridiculously laid-back.
He also has cancer. And Springs, as a community, is rallying to support his fight against the disease.
Nancy Atlas and many other locals have helped organize a fundraiser on Wednesday, October 24, for Mr. Lee. For reasons unknown, there was a mistaken perception that the fundraiser was at the Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, but Nancy made it clear on her Facebook page when and where it is:
“Tim Lee benefit at ASHAWAGH HALL (NOT Talkhouse) tomorrow, Wednesday Oct 24th. $20 at the door. Lots of bands, amazing art, the community is really coming out for this one. 6pm start. I will be MC’ing and playing with NAP. Little head thinks, Dalton Portella, Gene Casey… the list goes on. Tim is suffering from esophageal cancer and lost his insurance half way through his treatments. He shot our cover for Matador and is an all around Artists Artist. Please support.”
Yes, please support.
Tim is supported widely by the artistic community in Springs, including wood sculptor Randy Rosenthal, who has been honored by the Smithsonian. Randy is auctioning off a hand-carved, hand-painted JFK yellow pad at the fundraiser (yes, it looks like a real note pad, but is has been carved from a block of wood), with a starting bid of just $500. That’s a steal for his work—especially for such a worthy cause.