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My parents met in New York City while working for the same accounting firm. I always thought theirs was a boring story: meeting at one of the most notoriously dull jobs, getting married six years later, having three kids, and living happily ever after.
Those of us who have been around awhile remember when there were no Hamptons. The South Fork was composed of towns and villages and hamlets that had singular characteristics — unique histories, unique environments (both natural and manmade), unique social characters.
A treasure as July slips into August is that the shorebirds arrive as suddenly as the calendar’s turn. Shorebirds, for those unfamiliar with the term, are the thin-legged birds that make their living along the water’s edge or on flats at low tide, at least around here.
Richard Barons was leading a historical tour group late in the afternoon on a recent day. I was inside The Star reading in The New Yorker about Joe Gould, whose oral history really did exist, waiting for some interviewees who were not to show, and invited them in, unlocking and drawing back the weighty door.
Few people know that I moonlight as a longshoreman, occasionally helping to unload lobster boats in Montauk, or, in the early morning, packing shipments of same, thousands of them boxed, iced, and trucked to restaurants and markets near and far.
“May you live in interesting times,” a familiar and ironic way of wishing bad news to descend on others, is not the ancient Chinese curse it has been purported to be, but more likely a 20th-century construction, whose popularity has sometimes been attributed to Robert Kennedy.
I like Jay Schneiderman. We go way back. I first met him when he was chairman of the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals and I was assigned to the beat. We have kids roughly the same age. I figure his heart is in the right place. But if there is any other local politician now who slings as much jive, I don’t know who that is.
“The fields are alive with the sound of athletes,” I sang, in my best Julie Andrews imitation, to Mary, who was happy the other day to hear it.
I imagine few people end their summers in the Hamptons without at least a couple of good tales to tell. My own stories started in 1989 when I was 8 years old and my family began taking summer trips to the South Fork.