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  •     This week the South Fork experienced an abrupt return to bitter weather of the sort that characterized the winter just ended. A sharp downturn in the thermometer was often accompanied by snow and wind, followed by a brief warm-up, then cold again.

  •     So by now we all know about the soccer mom. Allow me to introduce the ballet dad.

        Ballet dads, of which I am one, are hardly a demographic that politicians are going to be chasing in the next national election, and of course there are as many ballet moms as fathers. Allow me to tell you what it’s like.

  • In the beginning there were four men and it was on St. Patrick’s Day 1947 that they decided to march from one end of Montauk’s main drag to the other. They ended up at what is today the Shagwong Tavern, and an institution came to be.
  •     No one really ever liked the kitchen tiles. My wife, Lisa, and I learned this a couple of days ago when my mother stopped by the house and we began talking about our on-again, off-again effort to fix up the house.

  • Nothing declares more definitively that the South Fork winter is really and truly over than the annual Montauk Friends of Erin St. Patrick's Day parade, which will be held this year on March 23, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
  •     Here at The Star, we have a rule about using foul language or problematic material in print: It is okay as long as there is solid justification. This means that profanity is justified if, for example, an elected official drops an f-bomb or other offensive term on someone or something in a public meeting. If it were a gratuitous aside that neither advanced the story nor exposed the official’s antagonistic personality, there would be no reason to use it.

  • For more than a decade, alewives have failed to make their spring migration up a narrow brook in Northwest Woods, East Hampton, where once they teemed. But if all goes as planned, the fish could soon return to one of the South Fork’s storied runs.
  •     An aside in an editorial that appeared on this page last week threw down a challenge of sorts. In explaining why The Star persists in leaving the “s” off Ditch Plain, we said that it was in deference to old maps. Well, a reader saw this as an incoming softball and swung.

        “While you are at it,” David Buda wrote in an email, “why doesn’t The East Hampton Star use the historically correct hamlet name of The Springs, instead of plain old Springs?” Oh boy, here we go.

  •     Tuesday shaped up to be one of those days early on. Shortly after I climbed out of bed, at around 5:45, I noticed a smell like burning plastic. By the time the sun was over the horizon, the odor had gotten stronger, and I had pinpointed the problem to the oil burner, which was shooting raw flame out of one side with exhaust rising not up the chimney but through the house.

  •     There has been good ice here, and I mean really good ice, for the first time in quite a few years. This means that those of us with iceboats tucked away in garages and barns have been busy digging them out and heading for Mecox Bay.

        Because we had set aside Saturday to celebrate our 4-year-old son’s birthday, I did not get to my boat until Sunday morning. The bag containing several key bolts and my foot spikes was in the basement, and the rest, more or less, in the barn in East Hampton behind my mother’s house.

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