Thursday, October 21, 2010

Link to Look At

Jessica Bartlett of the Globe visited several of the Historical Society sites this past weekend and posted this photo essay.

I would like to thank her for taking the time and for getting all the names right.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Plus One

Paul Simon had a song lyric that included the phrase, "These are days of miracles and wonders .."

So it is as this week, far from Cedar Point physically, but not in spirit, Jennifer Hynes gave birth to Hope Delaney Gallagher. Ken reports that thus far Hope sleeps like him (that is, like a boat mooring) and that in an effort to conserve water he is waiting for the lawn sprinklers to turn on when he needs to clean her off. (I think I saw that in a Jim Carey movie.)

So it is that a romance once begun in the shadow of the Tower, way back when, comes forward.

A miracle and a wonder in deed.

We all Scream ...

Over the past 6 weeks I have worked diligently trying to assemble a documentary record of the Lighthouse and Cottage over almost two hundred years.

One era that has remained difficult to document to my satisfaction is the period of the late 20's and early 30's. Keeper Cushman was in residence, (at least part of the time) and later Arthur and Nora Cobbett were here the latter running a store and the former serving as "Special Officer for Lighthouse Park." My issue is that there must be photographs of this store or, at least, someone who can describe it in more detail than I currently have. We have the chairs that were used, donated by the Hall family, Cushman relations so we know you could sit down. What I want to know is what was on the menu, who came out on a birthday, or who visited after going fishing.

So, blog readers of far and wide, more than 700 of you at last count, who is going to fill in the blanks for me. Who knows someone who knows someone who has a box in the attic that is a missing link. I need them, the public clamors for them, you will be doing a good deed in finding them and sending me word. You will be as renowned as Howard Carter or Indiana Jones. You can see in this 1935 picture from the Library of Congress that there was phone service and a sign for some kind of soft drink in the window. What else could you get?

So in a paraphrase of the old, annoying, chant of my childhood, I scream, you scream, we all scream for pictures of the Lighthouse Ice Cream and Penny candy store.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reality through a British Lens

This time the Keeper's daughters did not scare them away.

A team from the British Broadcasting Company arrived on the Point Monday morning to film a portion of a science documentary on the nature of reality. Leili, Sam, Toby, Helen and Professor Max used the Tower and the Jetties as their setting to film a segment that will likely air next spring. It could appear on the Discovery Channel, on the BBC, or on PBS as a NOVA episode.

The crew's enthusiasm for the site was apparent from the start. Their intelligence and workmanship emerged over the course of the day. As it was a stunning Columbus Day holiday there were crowds around. Boy Scouts, high schoolers having yearbook portraits taken, fishermen, and the usual dog walkers joined the those getting in their exercise, or the meditations and, in the midst of it, Max was describing reality as mathematics.

It is a very old idea. The Egyptians and the Greeks were looking for the eternal and found it in the relationships we express mathematically. The square of two sides of a right triangle will always equal the square of the longest side. Sine, cosine, and tangent are permanent relationships. A professor at MIT, Max used the Tower windows for his equations and a decahedron for a prop. It was very cool to see.

Toby, Sam, Leili and Helen were relentless workers. They moved around the grounds for angles and light and attitudes and did it all without so much as a single shout. There used two cameras. A more conventional looking, big, battery driven, tape recording camera that wirelessly sent a signal to a monitor that looked very much like a lunch cooler. It took me 90 minutes to figure out that Helen was watching playback rather than checking for an apple. They also used a Canon Digital camera could shift between stills and film and was a help in the cramped quarters of the Tower. All were more than patient with my questions about the gear and about other jobs they had been on. It helped that I had some familiarity with the topic and with the ways light moves around the old place. The time flew by and I was able to get a great number of chores done even as I checked in with them regularly.

There were two mishaps. They lost the footpad to a tripod about half way out on the small jetty. We attempted a recovery but the ocean washed it away. A bigger issue emerged after they left when I got a call from Toby asking if I could check in the yard for a battery pack. Initially I had no luck in the yard or in the Tower, but a 9:30 walk out along side the big jetty with a big flashlight found it, and they sent a courier by that night to pick it up before their Tuesday morning flight to California and Stanford University.

We could not have had more gracious guests. Each had stories and that light behind the eyes that tells you that there is a mix of the creative and the just plain smart going on in there. No need for the Fife and Drum this time; we hope to see them again one day.

Tonight I arrived home to find a bouquet of flowers sent by our British Invasion crew. Very kind, very classy, very them.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sunset October 2

I was just fooling with the camera to see what I might get - dare ya not to like it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Count and the Amount

A quick update -

The statistics engine reports that this blog has been read in eleven different countries now - the latest to be added, Greece. I would love to know why and why Sweden, the Netherlands, and New Zealand too. Know that if you are far from home and this spot on the cyberspace map brings you back, we are more than pleased.

Reviewing, I found the neatest name for a town, Dripping Springs. I believe it is in Texas. Also we can add Germany, Berlin specifically, to the list of countries.


Two weeks ago the silence fell.

As I assessed the lighthouse and cottage last fall I put together a list of projects that I hoped could be addressed over time to better secure the buildings and to improve the quality of life here. There was work to be done in the bathroom and this past February that work was done to my immense satisfaction. Late in the summer that work was complemented by the replacement of the mixing valve in the shower.

Also on the list were things like a rotted board on one of the runway windows that my brother in law took care of for me in a snap. There was the painting of the message board and some green on a wall that gets little sun right in front of this window. Shingles on the front wall as you walk up the driveway, a door for the cabinet under the kitchen sink, the latter fixed, the former still to come.

The top items on my list have arrived however, and have been installed, and have brought with them a hush even in a gale that has arrived tonight. Storm windows have been put in place on every window on the cottage. Only four of the sixteen windows had them in place. The utility room had three wooden storms and the initial thought was to manufacture replicas to match. The cost proved to be prohibitive and a choice was made to mirror the modern storm window that was in place by the kitchen sink. I have taken two of the wooden storms and installed them over the windows in the runway to the Tower.

They are perfect and the quiet is profound. This a new experience and opening the door to the day is much more a surprise than before. You have to check the flag before deciding if you need a jacket or a sweatshirt. Our most humble thanks to Bob Snow and his crew and to the Trustees of the Historical Society for letting me cross this off the list. I had spent some time this summer opening up old, old, old windows to let the breezes waft through. I am every bit as glad to be able to easily close new windows to keep them out.

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 ...