Why is it so hard for me to give things away? My friend Myrna says it’s because, like her, I was a Depression baby. Our parents held on to worn-out, broken, or tattered things, believing they could never be replaced. Balls of string in her parents’ case, Myrna said; old screws and nails in mine. Who really needs a drawerful of cheesecloth and canning-jar wax that predates the Vietnam War?
Ever since I joined the staff of The Star decades ago, I have adhered to the old-fashioned journalists’ prohibition against public expressions of support for one political position or another: I do not sign petitions, attend meetings to either advocate for or oppose matters of controversy, and I do not usually participate in polls. This week, however, I broke with the last of these standards.
The East Hampton Star has offered, and helped pay for, its employees’ health insurance for as long as anyone can remember. As premiums have soared, what it has cost to do so has increased every year, as has the amount employees pay toward their coverage. Nevertheless, I am proud that, as a small company in an industry undergoing its own changes, The Star’s contributions to employees’ health insurance have stayed at the same level since 2007.
Bad news accumulates in my wire basket. It will make me feel better if I share it.
There's a clipping about two sisters charged in Nassau County in January with endangering the welfare of their three children because they had lived without electricity in a shared apartment for about a year. The case was to come up tomorrow.
A single batch of daffodils, in a tight cluster near the sun porch in my backyard, is almost in bloom. They seem to be saying “thank goodness” for this week’s sun and warmth. Before long, I will see which other plants survived the long, cold winter (and survived the ravages of the famished deer).
That said, he hopes to grow the economy from day one. At the end of the day, it’s gaining traction and — going forward — some people will be pleased. Others? Not so much.
The paragraph above contains seven of the many jargon-y turns of phrase that get my dander up. I’m proud of being a stick-in-the-mud where American English is concerned. I’m not entirely sure what my problem is, but I simply loathe trendy, overused words and phrases.
Jeannette Edwards Rattray, who wrote “One of Ours,” the longest-standing personal column ever to run in The Star, used to say “the world comes to our door.” That was eons and eons ago (or at least it feels like it to me). Would she still say that — that the world comes to our door? I think she might not. These days, the world is already here . . . if perhaps only on weekends.
John de Poo, a man whose zest for life attracted many friends and drew him to master diverse skills, died in Key West, Fla., on Feb. 20. He had been stricken by West Nile encephalitis, but his death was caused by an aortic aneurism. He was 89 years old.