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What Our Readers Think: What it Means to be Bonac

Keep the conversation going by adding your thoughts to the comment section below.

In a recent photo blog, East Hampton native Tara Israel said that there is no one definition of what a 'Bonacker' is; that everyone has a different idea on what it means to be an true East Hampton local.

On Tuesday, East Hampton Patch put that question to our readers and the following is a round-up of their thoughts on what it means to be Bonac. Feel free to keep the conversation going by adding your thoughts to the comment section below.

Ben Reichart "Can't say as I ever thought of myself as a Bonacker anymore than a native american thought he was an Indian. A Bonacker ain't a thing to be defined. Now, Grandfather Horace Bennett and his father and his father before him was born down to springs. Does that qualify as a Bonacker? Could be and it is as good a definition as any. If you have to question it, then I'd say you ain't it."

Linda Whitis Brothers: "As long as you are descended from a Bonacker and guess if ya know wheyah Freetown was, by God, you are a Bonacker too."

Jillian M Calderon: "I come from a family of true bonackers... Bennetts, Havens... and so on my grandfather was the only one born in the hospital cause he was to big the rest of his siblings were born at home in springs my mother was a bonacker born in Southampton hospital raised in springs and yes, I am so proud to say that I am a daughter and granddaughter and so on of TRUE bonackers... I love it"

Spero Alexio: "My first girlfriend was a Bonacker name Cherie Meyer...I can still remember her say in her best Bonac accent, "Well, I guess so Bub."

Spero Alexio: "Bonackers are an endangers species and should be protected like the Spotted Owl and the Platypus..."

Marina McCreery: "Thinking it's someone who's born here on East End, parents and grandparents - great grand parents even better. educated, married and continues to live in, be active part of his community here."

Lois Watts: "In the old days you were a Bonacker if YOU WERE BORN in the SPRINGS or in EH! Not in Southampton hospital! There are lots of peeps running around saying they are Bonackers that are not! Just like there are those who say they are LOCAL! I've lived here oner 44 years and I'm as local as you'll get without being born here! My daughter is a local but since she was born in the hospital she's not a Bonacker!"

Barbara Borsack August 20, 2013 at 01:26 PM
A Bonacker was always someone that was born in Springs, or "Bonac" - the area around Accabonac Harbor. Way back "when", it was considered a bit of a slur to be called a Bonacker - not a compliment. However, back in the late '40s (I think) the local high school began using "Bonackers" as their school nickname and suddenly everyone born here thought of themselves as a Bonacker and proud of it! I was born and raised here but have never called myself a Bonacker (outside the high school setting) because I think that is a right that belongs to those descendants of the original Bonackers - the Bennetts and Lesters et al. In terms of being born in Southampton Hospital, all natives after the mid-1940s were born at the hospital so when the Lost Tribe of Accabonac was formed in the 1980s, Southampton Hospital became an acceptable birthplace for membership! I think true Bonackers should be proud of their heritage and thankfully it is no longer a derogatory term, but one to celebrate. It means those who lived off the land and survived here for hundreds of years doing the hard work of the land and sea...
Jimbo August 21, 2013 at 07:53 AM
You got it right! Yes, yes bub!
Conservative Underground August 21, 2013 at 08:07 AM
When I was in school our team would play against other schools, teams with names like Mariners, the Blue Waves, Whalers, the Baymen..you had a good idea what people were talking about. People would ask me what a Bone-ack-er was and I would just shrug, point to the stupid logo and say 'a fisherman in waders'. Not exactly the most inspiring thing, understandable when you look at that depressing brown box we called a a high school.
"Pride of Bonac" August 21, 2013 at 09:01 PM
How about your family in this town going back over 350 years - -Does that qualify me? I remember Albie Cavaganro saying to me "You Ain't No Bonacker" ha ha
Jimbo August 21, 2013 at 09:51 PM
My family goes back to 1600's in fact they founded a village out in NW woods by the the peach farm that has a cemetary full of Rangers the village is gone and I don't consider myself a Bonacer bub because I was born in SH hospital!

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