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  • What sort of person willingly goes into harm’s way to help others? What makes a doctor or nurse fly to West Africa to do what they can in the Ebola crisis? What drives a journalist like the late James Foley, who was beheaded, into the heart of darkness to unveil things the world should know? How does a female reporter in the Middle East find the courage of her convictions? What balance of ideals and personal interest makes some folks willing to tempt fate for what they would call the greater good?

  • The New York Times had an eyesore of a typo in a front-page headline recently, and — while it’s not very nice to take pleasure in someone else’s mistakes — I couldn’t help but feel a certain secret satisfaction. If the old reliable Times, with its large and talented staff, can put out an edition with such a glaring mistake (“Panic Were Ebola Risk Is Tiny,” it read, “Stoicism Where It’s Real”), then we at the humble East Hampton Star can ease up a bit. 

  • Two houses, huge ones, are going up just south of the Ross Lower School on Butter Lane in Bridgehampton, but even pondering the fact that they are on what was supposed to be protected farmland did not dispel my happy mood as I drove away from the school’s field house after a yoga class. 

    Sunday morning was bright and beautiful, with the temperature heading into the 60s. The roads were empty, the wind hadn’t kicked up yet, and I was propelled back to simpler times. 

  • Thinking of having a yard sale? Don’t. At least that’s what my friend Maggie said. What she didn’t forecast was that it would take three, four, and five days out of my life, even with incredible help by members of the family, a pair of friends who are yard-sale aficionados, and three muscle men.

  • The holidays aren’t here yet, not by a long shot, but my mailbox is already stuffed with letters seeking big and small gifts. Many of the requests come from institutions I am familiar with and wish I could do more to support, but I also seem to have gotten on the mailing lists of tons of organizations that I know little or nothing about. I guess donor lists are shared and shared again, until your address has been reproduced exponentially. 

  • The permit I picked up at East Hampton Village Hall this week makes it official: We’re going to have a yard sale! I’ve talked about one for so many years — decades, even — that saying so has become a joke around our household. 

  • Clichés are usually based on matters of common knowledge, so there has got to be at least some truth in the often heard idea that people revert to childhood as they age. Right? I’m sure this doesn’t pertain to me — at least not yet — but I’m keeping watch.

    I celebrated one of those birthdays this week that people consider a milestone, and I am afraid there’s no hiding my age anymore. Besides, I’ve decided, if people don’t know my age, how can they tell me I don’t look it?

  • It was the early 1980s and everyone at The Star was fed up with the pigeons that perched and nested and chattered on the ledge that runs above the plate-glass windows at the front of the building. The pigeons made a lot of noise and left droppings all over the sidewalk (and, sometimes, all over the heads of customers). They were such a nuisance that we wanted to rid ourselves of them about as much as some people, these days, want to be rid of deer. 

  • Suppose you’re a kid in one of the East Hampton School District’s three schools on a particular day this fall. Suppose you don’t usually get breakfast at home, and you’re hungry when you get on line for lunch. Friends on line are opting for whatever the main offering is, maybe spaghetti or pizza, and some also ask for and get a cookie or other snack.

  • A passel of college kids conjured the back-to-school spirit last weekend when they came to Bridgehampton to sing. Shere Khan, an a cappella ensemble of 12 Princeton students, performed for a group of friends at a private party, while the 45-member Howard University Gospel Choir, accompanied by electric bass, keyboard, and drums, raised the rafters of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church.