Monday, August 30, 2010

Sorry about that!

It has been brought to my attention that I have posted the wrong date for the next Open House. The correct date is October 17 from 1:00 to 4:00.

I was on the radio this morning - WATD asked me on to talk about Lighthouse living. Rob, Dave, and Lisa were terrific and made the visit fast and fun. Dave Skill has done a great deal of work telling the stories of local lighthouses and you can hear for yourself at this link It was neat to meet yet another person who was influenced as a young person by the Scituate legend John Y. Brady. The world is only as big around as the edge of a quarter.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Results and more

The people have spoken (or at least clicked.)

I added in the counter on Wednesday and as of this morning it is reading over 160 visits. If you take out the number of times I have checked in to see the progress, over 150 visits have been made to this blog in about 72 hours. I am astonished at the number.

The news this week includes some good and some bad.

The bad is that we have been invaded regularly by adults who are keen on ignoring the five different ways that the driveway and the yard are marked private. Each of them has been older than I am and I am going on 50. Each of these adults was born during FDR's first term. They remember radio as the chief form of popular entertainment. They rationed in the war years. James Michael Curley was either their nemesis or their protector. They rode around in automobiles with back seats that mirror the size of current living rooms. They did not burn anything in the Sixties. They were not at Woodstock. They have been around the block and around again several times. It is perplexing that people with such vast experience can not read the well marked signs that indicate the drive and the yard are private areas. I have been tactful in addressing them but it is a cause for wonder.

Part one of the good news is that we had another busy open house last Sunday with more than 200 guests in the Cottage and the Tower. The Whitfields and my sister Lee chipped in on a rainy day, working with Julie and Haley and our friends Kristen and Paul to bring people out of the cold and into the light and comfort of Old Scituate Light. By 3:30 I was losing my voice, but it was great fun. It is encouraging to see some people returning who had visited earlier in the year or even last year and to hear of their enthusiasm for the work we are doing here and the shape of the grounds. I also heard of the docents at other sites and of the work they are doing. I am told that The Mann House and the Cudworth House are worth a look.

Part two of the good news is that we have had several guests from the United States Coast Guard.

Haley made the acquaintance of a Guardsman this week and asked for the chance to show he and two lovely women accompanying him, the runway and the Tower. Their curiosity was fantastic and their gratitude apparent. It was yet another example of the opportunities she has here to make her world bigger.

A day later we were visited by an old friend who brought with him a member of the Coast Guard. They too were taken by the stories of shipwrecks, storms, and surviving, all described in the panels of the runway to the Light. We are glad to include as our guests those that serve us so well in the Coast Guard.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Look - New Counter

Lets figure something out.

I have been wondering how many people check in to read this blog. I have been hearing anecdotally that I have readers but I don't get all that many comments to get a true sense of it. With each Open House I have been told that guests are reading. Curiosity has the best of me.

I have come up with a new look that makes the pictures jump. I have also added a counter. Let me know what you think of the reworked blog and lets watch that counter jump up as people visit.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Army of Two on the Web

The singer/songwriter Greg Cherone writes that his song, "Army of Two" is now a video available on You Tube - the Lighthouse never looked better. Check it out!

Thank you Tom Sawyer

Julie has been asking me to do a chore

But The Wind needed to be less and it seems it is always, always more

I love a whitewash on a door.

______Before _______and_________ After______

Monday, August 9, 2010

Big Numbers and Hockey Pucks

Heritage Days is history.

Over the weekend thousands came to the Point for the annual Luminaria Friday, and for tours of the Cottage and Light on Saturday and Sunday. Friday saw perfect conditions for the lighting of the coast and there was a feeling of community and gratitude in the crowds that moved all around Lighthouse Park. Up and down Cedar Point the neighborhood was flying the American flag. It was beautiful to see them all. The air was cool, the relentless wind died down and I walked around in the crowds listening to people ooh and ahh while encouraging kids to notice the brilliance of the scene. Folks who don't normally move easily on the rocks were helped over them by strangers and there was grace and humor in the gestures. Scituate had nothing to be embarrassed about on Friday night.

Saturday and Sunday the wind returned and with it music from across the harbor. With a new location for the annual outdoor concert we could hear it quite well here. We had tent trouble on Saturday which led to it being taken down only a few minutes into the tours. My audience took it quite well and headed up to the Tower to see our neighbor Richard Egan who was helping out that day. I took a peek outside to find Julie and four unknown guests holding down the tent turned kite. With that crisis averted it was back to the groups who wanted a look-see inside the Cottage and a chance to hear of its history and especially of Etrusco and The Bates family. Incredibly I heard from Mrs. Majorie Bates Harrington through the post just as we were starting the day. She was writing me from Colorado to offer thanks for a book I had forwarded to her. This is the Mrs. Bates who had recently donated the amazing telescope belonging to her great, great, grandfather. The Bates legacy here is phenomenal.

Sunday the crowds were even larger. There was a group on hand all the time and I got to see some faces from the past. High School classmates dropped in with their kids; old comrades in arms from past jobs were seen smiling across the room; even a babysitter from my youth came in and heard the stories. Several of my past students came and that was a thrill. I heard a great number of good things about this blog and about the South Shore Living article. I had a reason to unload a bunch of cards with the web address. The day flew by and I somehow held onto my voice. All told nearly 600 people came through in the two days.

One topic that came up again and again over the weekend was the debris thrown up by the ocean across the winter storms. I have a tattered dollar framed and on a shelf here, and several youngsters wanted to know the story behind it. I told them of the earlier post where I shared its discovery. I also told them of the strangest thing found in the detritus - two hockey pucks. It was a light hearted break from the heavier history. You could see the wheels turning in their heads considering how two hockey pucks could have washed into this yard.

My thanks go out to Peter and Barbara Whitfield for service beyond the call, to Nancy Fay who made Saturday fun for Julie, to Lee Coscia who manned the T shirt table while hawking books, calendars, and postcards Sunday, to the aforementioned Richard Egan who I hope got home in time for the first pitch of Sox/Yankees Saturday, to Kristin McDermott, Sophia Ferrara, and to Hales. And to keep me off the couch let me remind you that Jules rules.

The next open house date is August 22nd from 1:00 to 4:00. Tell your friends, tell people you don't like, but tell somebody.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Heritage Days 2010

The annual Heritage Days Festival begins tonight with the Luminaria and continues Saturday and Sunday with Lawson Tower, the Cudworth House and Barn, the Maritime & Mossing Museum, the Mann House and the Lighthouse open for tours from 1:00 to 4:00 each day. Take advantage of the Weekend Pass for $8.00 and visit them all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hard Work

Meet the Beach Girls.

As we did last summer, we were fortunate to have a team of students work several mornings a week around the grounds. This year they called themselves the Beach Girls and I share their picture with you. They weeded, watered, painted, picked up, and their efforts went a long way toward making the Cottage and Tower shine. We can not thank them and their supervisor Margaret, enough.

See you next summer!!!

Dream Sequence?

It began with a group gathering outside the Cottage.

I heard mutterings and whispers, there was applause and oohs and ahhs. The crunch of footsteps on the rocks and the click of cameras filled in the brief silence. There were well dressed and well mannered children and adults organized around a center couple and a person dressed in ceremonial garb. Suddenly,the dream turned nightmare.

A wailing began, a keening. I was surprised I didn't hear or see running from the crowd. They somehow stood in place despite the cacophony. I thought of the barrage used to taunt hostage takers into surrender. The noise took on a military aire. All I could think of was this was a twisted version of the Marine Corps Hymn being played by screaming cats as they were swallowed by wolves being chased by hyenas tracked by chain saw rattling zombies intent on mayhem. I heard something like Amazing Grace and I begged for some; for some relief from this ear splitting torture, this screeching plague. I half expected to hear glasses break, eye glasses, windshields, the faces of clocks, glass eyes and seaglass too.

What could I have possibly eaten to spur this type of dream; what was leaking from my sub conscious that could prompt such terrible imaginings? Where in my experience had I been exposed to this facet of Hitchockian horror? In which of Dante's circles had this bruising bedlam been born? Why does this sound like an animal shelter on a carnival ride hit by lightning and an 18 wheeler pulling on its horn at the same time? And don't you have to be asleep to have a dream sequence?

Worst - Bag - Pipe - Player - at a wedding - Ever.


Getting the Work Done

A lot is in place for the summer and that is the result of many having put in some time. Lets start with the boardwalk. It remains a very ...