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Archive for the ‘Long Island’ Category

All he wanted was $2.

The guy standing outside the Dunkin’ Donuts in North Babylon asked for money to buy a cup of coffee. I had little doubt that he had little desire to go inside and order, and so I instinctively pulled back and told him I didn’t have any cash on hand. I generally don’t. That’s what the debit card is for.

But the truth is I had plenty in my wallet, having just stopped at the local credit union to withdraw money for the weekend, and for coffee, munchkins and whatever else I felt like buying.

So I reached into my pocket, and gave him $3. I suppose the extra $1 was a surcharge for questioning another man’s motives for no good reason.

We exchanged pleasantries. I asked him if he was a Giants fan. The winter hat with the team’s NY logo should have given it away.

But he answered anyway, tugging on the blue cap.

“Yeah, man. That was a tough loss this week.”

I asked if he watched. His answer was inaudible. By then he had started to make his way away from Dunkin’ Donuts.

I opened my car door as he turned around to wish me a Merry Christmas. I nodded and slowly drove off. Perhaps he turned around and bought his cup of coffee. Maybe he pocketed the money to pay for food later. It really doesn’t matter.

Here is hoping he has a Merry Christmas, and that he never has to ask me for $2 again.

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Behind me is Barrister’s, and an old Masonic Building that now houses some sort of woman’s clothing store. They’re having a “polka dot” sale. Looks cute. If you’re one of the hundreds walking behind me in downtown Southampton this July 4th, stop by.

Me? I’m just sitting on a wooden bench, donated by Old Town Lodge No. 908. Come to think of it, that’s tied to the Masons. That will be my homework tonight. On this Independence Day, there’s nothing wrong with a little American history lesson, and on eastern Long Island, there’s plenty of it to learn. I won’t forget. None of us should.

I’m not a patriotic sort. Most journalists, wired to be cynics at heart, aren’t. While the rest of my family will wear some combination of red, white and blue, and my little girl, at least, will wave her American flag, the most American I’ll be is my baseball hat. If I’m feeling especially proud of the USA, I’ll wear a Philadelphia Eagles hat. Come on, it’s the Eagle, the American symbol of freedom.

You can stop rolling your eyes now.

Fine, how is this for being positively American: The iPhone is pumping only U.S. artists into me as I write this. Bruce Springsteen is a 4th of July tradition, and as I contemplate ruining dinner by buying a scoop of ice cream at 4 p.m, Green Day, Lou Reed, Eva Cassidy, Keith Jarrett, John Mellencamp and the New Pornographers also play on. Come to think of it, the last of those artists is a Canadian band. That’s alright, I love that country’s ability to keep guns off streets. I’ll let “Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk,” continue.

It’s a great song. We are a great country. Seems reasonable.

Have a great holiday. Be safe. I’m going to go see a friend’s artwork at a local gallery.

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