Pines people- Doris Taussig
Doris Madeline Smadbeck (Taussig) was the oldest daughter of Warren Sr. and Madeline and was born December 26, 1911 in New York City. She was described as a ‘debutante daughter of millionaire Warren Sr.’ in the New York newspapers and traveled to Cuba on family vacations. When she was 21 she was swept off her feet by ‘a Latin charmer with actor ‘Ronald Coleman’ good looks’.
His name was Count Augitin Miguel Jose Mario Abalo Bartlett from Cuba. They married 23 June,1933 and had their honeymoon cut short by another New York socialite claiming that the Count had married her previously. It made multiple – 15- front page news stories with full length pictures of the two very attractive women taking it to court for months. The ‘groom’ was arrested, tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide and then left for Cuba. Warren stood by his daughter and helped her get an annulment a couple of months later. The following year, 1934, sadly her mother, Madeline died. After a few years, Doris then married on Sept 21st, 1939 Theodore “Ted’ Taussig .
Doris Taussig arrived in the Pines in 1939. Her father was a dentist who never got to practice his dentistry because landholdings and real estate. The then valueless land between that was between Lone Hill and Talisman was owned by Doris’s father Dr. Warren Smadbeck . Doris spent many days on beaches in her life , having lived a few seasons in Havana Cuba , because the family’s Hotel Presidente was home for awhile.
In 1952 her fathers company Home Guardian of NY started selling Pines plots.
Her husband Ted Taussig was hired to be the realtor. They rented a place in Kismet for $700 for a 5 month season, and would walk to the Pines everyday with their lunch as there were no homes at that point. On the way back they would stop in Cherry Grove for dinner. The first to buy the plots were the Sayville straights. Originally buying in Cherry Grove they would move to the Pines. HGC would dredge the harbor making the Pines the only community with a safe harbor. Not until 1953 would small residences rise on Cedar and Lone Hill Walks. Early Pines settlers were not pleased with any Gay influence. During that time Doris spoke at a FIPPOA meeting held in front of the General Store where an officer in charge made it known gay people were not welcome. The liberal well educated Mrs. Taussig spoke of her frustration she felt for the new community. “The best thing that happened to the the Pines was the Gay influence” she said.
Feeling differently she and her husband were happy to see the gays buying. Much of her life was spent entertaining the Pines population. Her husband did not want her to work, so she would stay home at their house on the ocean and entertain. Architect Felix Augenfeld.
Fire Island artist Lester Gaba, painted a wooden panel with 30 carrots (read: 30 carat) as a gift to the Taussig’s. Included was a cast metal leaf and a notation on the back.
1958. At the Pines Yacht club.
In 1975 Doris’s husband Ted died suddenly on a bus ride out to the Pines. He was 64 and she was 63, and had four months to get her broker’s license to hold onto their business. She did it and soon was working seven days a week running the Real Estate office.
As a widow Doris came into her own then opening a bar called “Crews Quarters” 1982-1992 with three partners. She loved to Play pool every afternoon with 15 friends. Her regular drink: A Gin & Tonic at 5pm. Soon they would be all gone along with her business partners to the plague now known as AIDS. It would change the world, and Doris along with it.
She would walk away from her Real Estate business and sell the bar to devote her life to helping those with AIDS. She would be part of the creators of the GMHC Morning party holding annual fundraisers in the Pines. This was to be her life.
She never lost her sense of fun.
Eventually she would start having those affected with AIDS and homeless to her home to spend time much to the dismay of some around her. She would sell the house on the ocean for something smaller on Midway Walk still volunteering. She devoted the last years of her life to the Pines and AIDS. In 1995 she was honored by SAGE.
August 29, 1993 New York Times
In her later years on left with a friend…
Early photo’s donated by Amanda Nemec.