A shovel brigade was summoned to East Hampton High this past Saturday morning to clear snow from the track, the turf field, and from the baseball field and tennis courts too — a mass masked gathering whose work, it was hoped, would speed the fall sports season, which is to begin Monday.
Assuming things go according to plan, 11 teams are to turn out that day — football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross-country, golf, girls tennis, girls swimming, field hockey, and boys and girls volleyball — promising the most athletic activity seen here in virtually a year, a joyous prospect for a sportswriter who has been relatively inactive professionally since last March 19.
I wrote then: “All of a sudden, it seems everything is off-limits. It’s hard to distance oneself socially if socializing within six feet is one’s job and has been for the past half-century.”
“With no high school sports for three weeks — and who knows for however long after that — I am at loose ends. . . . So, if you do know of anything of even a vaguely sporting nature, please inform. For, in contradistinction to what my answering machine at the office says, I’ll not, in the near future at any rate, be either at a game, going to a game, or coming from a game.”
The plague year went rather well, as it turned out. Though furloughed from the end of June to the beginning of December, I put together 280 or so columns for a book Kathy Kovach, our former production manager, suggested, became a passable and frequent cook, read a lot, histories mainly, amused my wife, chiefly by losing a lot in backgammon, and followed O’en’s lead on our walks, the night ones inclining us toward thoughts about our place in the universe.
And now, it seems, life as I had been accustomed to know it may be about to begin again, starting with the shovel brigade.