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.