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.
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.
A friend sent an email to me and a slew of others this week, using Gmail, that warned against opening any email that might arrive from her Hotmail account, which had been hacked. I don’t know what can happen if you open a hacked email, and I don’t plan to find out, but I do know something about my friend that she hadn’t intended: the email addresses — and many of the names — of her friends, acquaintances, and business connections, some 350 of them.
Because I like reading the real estate section in the Sunday New York Times, it was no surprise when I saw a headline on Aug. 24 that began “Full of Character for a Lot Less. . . .” But when I read the rest of it, I let out a loud “Wow.” The full headline was “Full of Character for a Lot Less in Bayonne, N.J.”
The year was 1971. Nelson A. Rockefeller was Governor. Having three young children and living in a place that felt remote, I had not been particularly involved in the civil rights movement of the '60s. Now, an uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in western New York State and its aftermath gave me a chance to be counted.
It’s been at least 10 years since people started asking me if I had retired. Even habitual readers seem surprised when I tell them I work a whole lot, and that the boss, my son David, finds plenty of jobs to assign me. I guess my title of publisher doesn’t make that clear.