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  •     In Nelson Mandela and, closer to home, in Lee Hayes we have examples of moral authority, a persistent strength in the face of injustice, made all the more notable for their refusals to succumb to bitterness.

        There are very few humans who exhibit that charity, that superior strength, which can come out of suffering, but which, in many more instances, can result in resignation or a lust for vengeance.

  •     Valinda Miller Valcich, when told during a recent conversation that she’s known as the best golfer, man or woman, at Montauk Downs, said she was “humbled,” though her golf bona fides, which include a 3-handicap rating, three holes-in-one, and, most recently, a double eagle (or albatross) on the Downs’s par-5 seventh hole, make a strong case in her favor.

  •     The Montauk Rugby Club and the Old Montauk Athletic Club celebrated some of their own at holiday dinners in Sag Harbor — in the rugby team’s case — and at the South Fork Country Club in Amagansett.

  •     Garth Wakeford, the South African-born number-eight man of the Montauk Rugby Club, spoke movingly at the club’s holiday dinner in Sag Harbor recently of the late Nelson Mandela, who united his country, and who became a heroic symbol for courage and justice worldwide.

        Wakeford said he had been led to believe as he grew up that Mandela was a terrorist, but came to realize that his struggle against apartheid had been justified.

  •     If all went well, we’re in San Pancho, Mexico, now, having escaped Christmas, for the first time ever.

        She remonstrated a bit when I told her a few days before we left that I’d gotten her a present (a gold hummingbird pin). I had seen it advertised in The New Yorker after we’d seen a jaw-dropping documentary on these extraordinary birds.

  •     The East Hampton High School wrestling team placed sixth among the eight schools that vied here Saturday in the Sprig Gardner tournament, an all-day tourney that officially opens Bonac’s wrestling season.

        It was expected that Ward Melville and Hauppauge would fight it out for the top spot, and they did, with Hauppauge winding up the winner. Ward Melville, whose Nick Piccininni was voted the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler, placed second.

  •     The East Hampton High School boys basketball team was to have played three games last week, but wound up playing just one, here with Shoreham-Wading River on Dec. 11.

        That game went down to the wire, with East Hampton coming up on the short end of a 49-48 score.

  •     Five East Hampton High School seniors, three of whom play lacrosse, one of whom plays volleyball, and one of whom swims, and their proud parents celebrated at the high school’s library on Dec. 11 the fact that they have been recruited by Division-1 colleges to continue their athletic and academic careers.

  •     I would have been standing on line for an eternity in Chelsea today to experience 45 seconds of it in Yayoi Kusama’s “Mirrored Room,” but forgot, in my anticipated bliss, to get someone to look after our aging Lab, Henry.

  •    If Saturday’s high school boys nonleague basketball game between Pierson and East Hampton was any indication, the gyms here will be warm indeed this winter.

        Following the Bonackers’ 72-69 win, which went down to the wire despite the fact that the Whalers’ star, Forrest Loesch, had to sit out the final four minutes with a foot injury, the coaches — Dan White of Pierson and Bill McKee of East Hampton — heaped praise upon each other.

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