Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Word I was Looking for was Scattershot

If a lack of a unifying theme has seemed the rule in this blog it is because I am living a scattered life of late.

First up, Betty Miesner had a request of me last week and I can't deny her. She was contacted by a friend who's sister has a blog concerning the labor organizers known as the Molly Maguires. I include the link here to that blog. This was a fascinating era in American life and the teacher in me could not resist it. Sometimes you have to go a bit off topic when a healthy curiosity grabs hold.

Moving on, gardens are on my mind in the rain today and I hope to have a new one to share soon. I had written on the work done Memorial Day weekend by the neighbors. Pictures of that work follow below. I got a most generous donation of 12 buckets of compost from Abby Fasanella of Booth Hill Road and created a base of a garden near the handicap parking spots. With luck I will get to some planting by Sunday.

Thanks go again to Bette Kincaid for sharing these photographs and to all the neighbors for pitching in that day. I have added some perennials to the mix and will get some more in place in this new addition to the reservation.

I have been asked a number of time this week about the Jug In the Chimney house right up the street. Some work was done on the chimney and the jug removed. I have it on solid authority that this is temporary. I got to hear a great story about the Jug the other night as I watered the flowers. A High School classmate of mine recounted walking the Point with a young nephew. She was holding him in place with a tall tale of pirates and treasure and the dangers of the rocks. Just as they were passing the Jug she was telling him of this feared pirate and how the Jug would blow when his ghost returned. The Jug blew and the little boy had an accident, started crying and bolted. She said she had never heard the Jug before and has never heard it since.

Last Sunday was the first Open House of the year and we got some ink out of it. Sue Scheible and Gary Higgins offered this article and these photographs on Monday. We are always grateful for the attention. The day went by very quickly with somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 guests coming through the house and more going through the Tower alone. Haley was on duty out there with Julie and Lee at the desk out front. I was very glad to look up to see my uncle and his wife come to visit. We want them to come back and stay a lot longer next time.

In the middle of the day an impromptu parade took place. These pictures tell their own story.

I remember vividly the day the Big Bad Bruins came to Scituate after winning the Cup in 1972. Loads of convertibles converged on Hatherly Country Club and there may not have been a bottle left up there when they got through. This parade was significantly more tame. Good on the real team and good on these fans. It is fun to have a Champion in your area code.

A final note: I am still looking for photographs of the variety store that once was in my current laundry room. Bernice Cushman is listed as the operator in 1926 and Cora Cobbett was granted the license in 1938. Where are these pictures of happy faces eating Plymouth Rock Ice Cream? Ask someone who you think might know and pass the news back this way will ya?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What a Neighborhood!

I have written before about the great people out here on the Point, tonight I owe them big.

On the way to a recognition ceremony for the sixth grade at Jenkins School, I got a flat tire on Rebecca Road. The spare was tough to get off the car; it had rusted to the undercarriage and I had to break it off. Up went the car, off came the flat. As I cranked to get the car up those last fractions of an inch, to put on the donut spare, the jack broke and down came the Old Pontica Montana.

Enter Bette Kincaid. I had borrowed a second jack from Dave Ball and was back to cranking up the car. Bette visits to check on me and gets my explanation. Before I had finished the story, she is offering me her car to get to Jenkins. (Julie had taken Haley over and I had said I would be right over. Then the jack broke.) I borrowed Bette's beautiful Volvo and made it in time for several speeches and the presentation of the certificates.

Back to the roadside I returned. Now Bette has drafted help. Brian has the best possible jack and he steps into the breach. The car goes up, the lug nuts get tightened. Bottom line, the car is in the driveway and I have amazing neighbors. I will do my part when the time allows.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Fire Faster ..."

The days have been jam packed. I hardly know where to start.

It has been more than two weeks since I posted here and the issue has been time. Project after project has presented itself along side the end of the school year culmination of initiatives.

The gardens have been planted. After weeding out several islands and around the flag pole I moved some perennials around to create a base for later annuals. Northern Oak Landscaping was hired by the Cedar Point Association to clean up the islands most damaged by the Boxing Day Blizzard. These were loamed and mulched. The effect was to wipe out the winter in a day. The Association spent nearly $1000 dollars, as they did last year and the year before, to beautify Lighthouse Park and Hart Park.

On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend the neighborhood planted the annuals. Geraniums and Marigolds joined the Seedum, Hosta, and Astilbe already taking root. Bette and John Kincaid organized the clean up and I was especially pleased to see a potential new garden take shape.

In doing research at the Little Red Schoolhouse I found a set of photographs that captured the grounds in peak condition. (Above) The whole of Lighthouse Park was rebuilt in 1989, with new shrubs and a rolled out lawn. Adjacent to the handicap parking spaces was a green patch that has been demolished by storm and rock over time. I had gone out on the prior Wednesday to rake that path out and to try to begin a restoration of what in the 89 photos was a clean border of shrubs. While I was teaching that Saturday, a neighbor recognized the start I had made and improved upon it by placing beach stones to delineate a garden from the path. I will be filling that in as soon as I can and a new garden will be born.

It is enlightening to see that the hope was for trees to be restored to Cedar Point when the work was done in 1989. Those island are covered with beach roses in places and one has a giant Montauk Daisy. The trees never had a chance in the storms that followed.

The 375th anniversary of the Town of Scituate has begun and several events have taken place already. Spearheaded by Ed Covell, the 375th Committee has plans throughout the summer and into the fall to celebrate the charms and the history of my home town. The Fourth of July event scheduled for Cole Parkway looks to be as memorable as last year's was.

A marvelous exhibit of photographs from 1938 were on display at the Grand Army of Republic Hall for the week of May 21st to May 28th. I gave a hand with some of the audio visual needs but the real work was done by Mary Porter with assists from Carol Miles and many other volunteers. Hansel Mieth was a Life photographer, the second woman to be hired for such a job with the Luce empire, and she photographed Scituate in that window when the Depression was a fact and the World War was looming. The photographs were true works of art and were complemented by textiles of the time, commentary on the issues of the day, and up to date photographs taken by a pair of high school students that mimicked the images from 38.

Especially fun was a contest that invited school age kids to submit their photographs of Scituate today. Haley contributed the photograph below. All of the submissions were collected into a book that is available to order by calling or visting the Schoolhouse.

A second event that I got to share in was a talk given by Mat Brown on the Tall Tales of Scituate. This was a laugh from start to finish. Given to help raise funds for the 375th (and if you are feeling generous you can drop by the Treasurer's office at Town Hall and feed that feeling) the talk was very well attended on the first glorious night of the spring. The eccentric, the silly, the irascible, and the incorrigible came to life again in the lower level of the Town Library. Thanks to Kathy Meeker for being a perfect host.

Yet another 375th event took place yesterday at the Scituate Maritime Center on Edward Foster Road. Highlighted by the singing of Kati Sullivan of the Gates School and the Presentation of the Colors by members of the crew of Old Ironsides, the event was the commemoration of a naval battle 198 years ago to the day between the USS Chesapeake and the HMS Shannon in the waters off of Scituate. It was at this battle that the battle cry of the US Navy, "Don't Give Up The Ship" was uttered in the last breaths of Captain Lawrence of the Chesapeake. When his good friend Oliver Hazzard Perry took the phrase as an inspiration during his victory at the Battle of Lake Erie, a greater meaning was born. It was an honor to be included and to be presented with a replica banner by the Captain of the Constitution, Commander Timothy M. Cooper. The banner was proudly flown today.

I jumped ahead a bit to save this story for last. All over the country, one community after another has been challenged by extreme weather and last night we had a sample of the same. A horrific thunderstorm blew through beginning at 9:00 and I was able to set the camera to capture flash after flash as it passed over the Cottage and the Light. I share a couple of these shots below.

Yes, that is a boat on the far left of the bottom picture. Bet they had an interesting couple of hours. Notice too just how calm the ocean was. It was amazing to witness here and horrible to be presented with the loss of life in Springfield this morning. Let us hope that, just as with the battle of the Shannon and the Chesapeake, something better will emerge from the heart ache.

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 ...