This man is trying to paint Southold blue

Ron Rothman discusses Pacific Northwest issues with a potential voter from Coos Bay, Oregon.
Ron Rothman discusses Pacific Northwest issues with a potential voter from Coos Bay, Oregon.

There’s only one thing to do in Southold on a quiet Friday morning after Labor Day, and that’s to take your out-of-state relatives down to Rothman’s Department Store to visit the aisles where Albert Einstein searched for sandals while summering in Cutchogue in 1939.

This Friday, though, there was something different in the air at Rothman’s: the smell of wet paint. See, Ron Rothman, the grandson of Einstein pal David Rothman, who now runs the shop, is running for Southold Town Board and he says he needs all the help he can get.

We wanted to get pictures of Mr. Rothman’s grandfather’s pictures of Einstein, but those are all copyrighted images, available if you buy a copy of Mr. Rothman’s book, “My Grandfather and Albert Einstein.”

We settled instead for watching Mr. Rothman recycle some “Obama 2012” campaign posters by painting over Mr. Obama’s name in blue paint and then painting “Ron” over the blue paint with more blue paint, in the yard next door to his shop.

“I need all the help I can get,” said Mr. Rothman as he proffered paintbrushes our way. We demurred.

Mr. Rothman wanted us to make sure he complied with FEC campaign finance disclosures by taking this picture.
Mr. Rothman wanted us to make sure he complied with FEC campaign finance disclosure regulations by taking this picture.

Mr. Rothman told us there’s not much going on in terms of Southold politics or hot button issues right now, except for a fundraiser he’s having Sept. 28, which will include an art exhibit by his Peter Max-inspired pal Mike Stanko and a concert by Caroline Doctorow and the Steamrollers. It will likely prove to be a highly psychedelic affair, which may or may not include a performance by Mr. Rothman’s idiosyncratic rhythm section, comprised of the candidate himself on the bass guitar. You can make a $15 donation if you like Democrats or politics or would like to help Mr. Rothman buy his own campaign signs. If you don’t like any of those things, admission is free.

Mr. Rothman said he’s been encouraged in politics by fellow musician Job Potter, a former East Hampton Town councilman who is running again for his old seat this year.

“I’m having fun,” he said. “Job said whether you win or lose, you’ll have a great time.”

The Down Home Store in Cutchogue, where Albert Einstein mailed a letter to President Roosevelt urging him to use the atom bomb before the Nazis could. You can touch the doorknob Einstein touched any time for free.
The Down Home Store in Cutchogue, formerly the Cutchogue Post Office, where Albert Einstein purportedly mailed a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging him to develop the atom bomb before the Nazis could. You can touch the doorknob Einstein touched any time for free.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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