Old trees have stories to tell, sometimes as much as any book of geography or local history, about the places where they grow and the people who planted or nurtured them.
Take, for example, the magnificent pair of tulip trees that tower over Ocean Avenue between Pudding Hill Lane and Crossways in East Hampton Village. Anyone who has walked or biked along that road on the way to Main Beach has to have noticed them, 20 feet or so apart, each about 125 feet tall and 10 feet around.
I am still angry, from 3,000 miles away, at an old man whom I do not know and will never meet, but who unnerved my daughter Julia to the point where she went on Facebook to tell the story to her friends and ask for their take. This happened in Portland, Ore., but it could have been anywhere.
Here is what she wrote, along with some of the many comments. I know the comments helped her get over it, and I’m betting that rehashing it in this way will do the same for me.
Elly, by the way, is 5 years old. Jeff is my son-in-law.
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.