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.

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