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  •     Howard Wood, after having lowered himself somewhat painfully into a chair — “back trouble,” he explained — smiled as he checked the scorebook following the East Hampton-Mount Sinai girls basketball game here on Jan. 7.

        “Ah, that’s what I like to see,” said the former pro, relishing the balanced scoring: Jackie Messemer and Ali Harned, each with 12 points, Merissa Gilbert with 10, and Sophia DePasquale with 8.

  •     The East Hampton High School boys swimming team, which, while strong, must yield up to 13 points in away meets to teams that have divers, lost twice last week, at Hauppauge and at West Islip, though both meets, said East Hampton’s coach, Craig Brierley, were exciting.

        The Bonackers lost 109-74 to Hauppauge, and 52-49 to West Islip. Absent the diving points, East Hampton would still have lost to Hauppauge, but would have bested West Islip.

  •     Borrowing from one of the books I’ve been reading lately (though not in the order presented), I would say that purgatory would best describe how it was getting to the small town of San Pancho, in Mexico; that being there was paradise, and that coming back was hell.

        Flying is such an ordeal these days that your destination damn well better be paradisiacal in order to justify the great annoyances you’ve got to undergo.

  •     Saturday was as beautiful a day as you’d want for skating, and consequently the Buckskill Winter Club’s rink was bustling.

        As Tim Luzadre and several assistants ran a surprisingly skilled group of 9-and-under boys through junior hockey drills, Joanne Doran, who also oversees tennis there from April through early November, spoke of the club’s winter programs.

  •     Paul Frediani, an advocate of long-distance open water swimming and a trainer for the past 25 years who, before that, became a highly paid model after winning a Golden Gloves title in California, was happy to hear during a conversation at his home in Springs the other day that his visitor, while pushing 74, remained physically active.

  •     As it neared 8:30 p.m. on a recent Sunday night, Mary and I, as is our wont these days, talked of the time that remains to us, and she wondered, in that connection, what places I might really like to see and what things I might really want to do.

        “What do I really want to do now? Or in the future?” I said.

        “Both,” she said, “but let’s begin with now.”

  •     The sporting year just past was perhaps more characterized by losses than wins — the rugby team, for instance, went 0-6 in divisional play, a rarity, and, for the first time in his long career, a softball team coached by Lou Reale did not make the playoffs, not to mention the Boston Marathon where the family of Jim Stewart, East Hampton High’s former wrestling and boys soccer coach, and Shelter Island’s Frank and Mary Ellen Adipietro, the race director of the popular 10K there, found themselves almost within the deadly radius of the bombs near the finish

  •     An 82-67 win over Mattituck in the consolation game of Center Moriches’s invitational boys basketball tournament last weekend was viewed as “a breakthrough” by East Hampton’s coach, Bill McKee, and his assistant, Bob Vacca.

        “We got cremated by Westhampton,” Vacca said of the Bonackers’ 53-36 loss in that tournament’s first round.

  •     During its most arduous workout of the season, a series of timed intervals totaling 2,200 yards, at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter’s pool Friday, Craig Brierley, who coaches East Hampton High’s boys swimming team, said he thought his 31-strong squad had a legitimate chance to win a first-ever league championship.

        “What I’m trying to teach them,” said Brierley, “is how to stay engaged mentally [and thus to retain their form] when they’re in a race and haven’t anything left.”

  •     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.

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