Columnists

Given the plethora of exotic foodstuffs available these days from the five corners of the world — as well as the continual reports about what foods are good for you (or not) — it is understandable that people are changing what they eat.
The summer’s drought ended the last of whatever miracle had been holding up the old beech tree outside my office window. Two weeks before Christmas, Kevin Savastano and his crew arrived early on a cold Friday morning, as promised, to take it away.
Finally, that year is over. But will it ever fade to black and be gone? Or will it prove a harbinger, someday to be known as Year One of the Bad Times?
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama seem to agree that joy springs through suffering, and so, I suppose, it’s appropriate that I’m reading “The Book of Joy” at the moment, while in the throes of a wretched cold.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Leo the pig. Regular readers know all about Leo, a supposed teacup pig that now, at age 4, has grown to what I estimate to be 130 pounds.
The grandchildren were visiting one day last week when one of the boys noticed a large box with a bull’s-eye logo on it, and came running. “Target,” he shouted, “Is it for me?” Yes, I know this is a visual age, but I was still surprised. Thinking he was just too smart for his own good, I grabbed the box and slid it under a bed, out of sight.
My first home of my own after college was an apartment on Sag Harbor’s Main Street, just south of the Sag Harbor Cinema. I lived there for six years in my 20s, watching the village’s daily life unfold through the front windows.
The late boys basketball coach Roger Golden, when I asked what it was he loved about basketball, said, “The gyms are warm.”
In putting The Star together we agree that it benefits not just from a variety of feature and news stories each week but diversity among the opinion pieces. “How about the holidays or a funny anecdote?” I’ve been asked when trying to come up with a topic of late. In recent weeks, though, it has not always been easy to supply the requisite...
Mobutu Sese Seko was by the time I arrived in Africa as a college student in 1985 renowned as one of the globe’s most corrupt leaders. Zaire, as the Congo was then called, had withered under his rule. The story was that you could have driven a Cadillac from the Rift Valley in the east all the way to the Atlantic without hitting a single pothole...
My sister, who has agreed that she was “a basket case” not so long ago, has made a complete turnaround, thanks to an Egyptian-born psychiatrist who utterly revamped her medications with what I would call miraculous results, “and, ultimately, God.”
We’ve heard a lot these days about fake news and know that cyberspace is crowded with misinformation — and disinformation — which often make it hard for anyone to know who and what to believe. But I never expected to find a film on a kids’ TV channel infested with advertising masquerading as a happy holiday production for the whole family.
Having spent most of the past two weeks in bed with what appeared to be the flu, Twitter and I have gotten to know each other well. Not that I tweet, or post, much; instead I have spent hours upon hours following various threads on which the authors express outrage about the election. Twitter is as good a place as any to drive you to despair. But...