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  •    East Hampton had a major development boom in the 1980s. At least in developers’ dreams: A 400-unit subdivision was planned for Montauk’s Hither Woods, 64 oceanfront house lots were to be carved from Shadmoor in Montauk, the 845-acre Grace Estate in Northwest was to become a community modeled on Hilton Head, S.C., with clustered and single-family houses and a nine-hole golf course, and Barcelona Neck, between Northwest Woods and Sag Harbor, was on the block.

  •    What is going on when 314 lookalike members of a gigantic crowd, and 235 of their spouses or partners, gather under a huge tent and do things like wave big white handkerchiefs around while singing? It’s an Ivy League reunion, of course — at a men’s college.

  •    Like most of us, I get a lot of spam — from politicians I do approve of, from organizations I don’t approve of, and from merchandisers of everything from country-style window treatments to sketchy-sounding laser-hair treatments. They really were annoying this week, however, when I got back from three days out of town.

  •    When Whole Foods and the Red Horse Market both opened in time for Memorial Day, my theory that East Hampton has one too many of everything seemed borne out. I harrumphed when I noticed that Whole Foods, clearly not a farm stand, is calling itself one (I suppose because it does not intend to carry as many groceries as it does elsewhere). Still, I was impressed when word went out of a well-targeted marketing come-on: orchids for sale for $10 apiece.

  •    Almost all the grandparents I know contradict themselves when they talk about their grandchildren. They love them dearly, of course, and say they don’t see them enough. But, almost as reliably, they complain to anyone who will listen about how absolutely the kids wear them out.

  •     The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  I bet that’s a truly ancient proverb: People have been coveting what their neighbors have since the dawn of time. But when the phrase pops into my own mind, it’s usually because I’m looking not at grass but at pictures of gardens.

  •    Perhaps more disturbing than the hazing death itself — on Nov. 19, of a 26-year-old Florida A&M University student who was a drum major in its marching band — is the knowledge that brutality is ingrained in the culture of certain collegiate activities and Greek letter societies . . . and accepted by adults who should know better. It turns out, according to press reports, that a gauntlet of punches and kicks, called Crossing Bus C, was routine among band members, and that they felt it proved their strength and instilled pride.  

  •    So many things were so comically awful at the restaurant we chose for Saturday night dinner in Pittsburgh last weekend that the consensus among our foursome was to give it the award for the worst restaurant we had ever been in — and the most pretentious.

  •     The Clearwater Beach Property Owners Association is a formidable organization. Unlike many homeowners groups, which tend to evaporate after their first few years, the Clearwater association spread its wings, taking under them what was originally known as Lion Head and the neighborhood farther east.
        There are 870 homeowners who are eligible to be members, and 550 have paid their dues! When they do, they have first dibs on a 119-slip marina at Hog Creek and access to a gated and protected bayfront beach and a barbecue and picnic area.

  •    Even though the “Mast-Head” this week is about the editor’s household and backyard pets (see below), I can’t help but get in a few words about how I wound up with a 23-pound cat named White Boots.