Back in April at the height of the daffodil season, I wondered in this space whether hijacking your neighbor’s flowers — considering that the neighbor’s lot was just a gritty wasteland waiting for the construction of what would probably be yet another blight on the block — was really such a bad thing.
Growing up Jewish in pre-Hitler Poland with a series of nurses and nannies who sang to him in a Babel of native tongues, Yehuda Nir could read or speak seven languages by the time he was 10. The one that helped save his life, though, he did not learn until he was 11, soon after his father was murdered — Latin, which allowed the blond-haired child not only to pass as a Roman Catholic, but even to serve as an altar boy.
Robert E. Costello, a pioneering producer of classic ’50s television shows who later won a Peabody Award for the PBS series “The Adams Chronicles” and two Emmys for ABC’s daytime serial “Ryan’s Hope,” died of a heart attack on May 30 at his summer house in Amagansett’s Beach Hampton neighborhood. He was 93 and had been diagnosed many years before with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Down the street from where we live is an arid wasteland of a building site, stripped bare not only of the modest house that was once home to a pair of gentleman gardeners but also of the profusion of flowers, shrubs, even trees (the ultimate insult) that they had so carefully tended. There is nothing left but 20-foot mountains of dirt, a broken-down shed off in a brambly corner, whose survival may have been an oversight, and a waiting construction trailer.
“The great thing about working with Life magazine,” John Dominis once said, “was that I was given all the support and money and time, whatever was required, to do almost any kind of work I wanted to do, anywhere in the world. It was like having a grant, a Guggenheim grant, but permanently.”