I was almost run over by a baby carriage propelled by a mother sprinting by The Star the other day as I was walking out of the driveway, and this was well after Labor Day. On that same day, the right-front fender of a delivery truck pulling out came together in front of the building with the passenger-side door of a car whose driver was turning into Edwards Lane. Tumbleweed Tuesday has come and gone, but still we must stay on our toes.
That having been said, I've found virtually all the drivers I've encountered in the past months to be courteous, even to a fault. Only one, who did his damnedest to push me through a clogged intersection near the North Main Street I.G.A., leaning forever on his horn, merited a finger, which, of course, reminded me, once I'd calmed down, of my favorite bumper sticker, "Honk If You Love Peace and Quiet."
You've got to be nimble to live here, and that's probably not a bad thing at my age. You don't want to lapse into somnambulance, which, in the extreme, might prompt someone to summon ambulance.
Zach Zunis, our ad man, asked me the other day just how many years I'd worked at The Star. I told him I was about to begin, in mid-October, my 56th or 57th year. After checking his calculator, he said, "You're about to begin your 57th."
"Obscene, isn't it?" I said. He agreed.
Watchagonnadoo? I don't know. . . . I only know how to misspell names and write in heroic couplets about slow-pitch games. . . . "He dealt the high-arced pitch a mighty blow / A clout befitting Joe Dimaggio. . . ."
My recent cri de coeur having to do with how silent our newsroom has become apparently struck a chord. But I would stop short of insisting everyone come back to The Star three days a week, say, such as Amazon has done. Things, as Russell Bennett pointed out to me, are indeed different. Most of us live at least a half-hour away nowadays, even more in the summer, whereas I have never lived farther away from the office than Amagansett's Main Street, and once as close as a block or two up — or is it down? — East Hampton's Main Street. So, I should not presume, I should not be borne wistfully into the past.
I should keep in mind what Dennis Heaney, at a party honoring Fran Kiernan 21 years ago, said: "Everything you could imagine about a New England town was here . . . the golden leaves, the football games in October in Herrick Park, and the sock hops on Friday nights. . . . But those days are gone, Jack, and they won't be back."