Sunday, August 28, 2011

No Sense

I have been watching some real dummies here in the last few minutes.

One guy was texting as his daughter kept skirting toward the waves.  He was not paying anything like attention.

Another couple took their dog a third of the way out on the Jetty. She had flip flops on.  On Friday I had to call 911 when a gentleman took a fall out there on a perfect day.  He had New Balance on. Just a dumb move on her part to event think about being there. If either one of them had gone in there was nothing to be done.

Lots of cameras have arrived.  The wind is making focusing impossible but they are trying.  The surf is starting to go sideways and more of it is airborne than before.  Parents continue to walk up with 45 pound children.  Not the best of ideas today.

Peaking at Irene

The web cams are working. There is a limit to how many people can be viewing them at one time though so you may have to check back.  Right now the Harbor does not look all that stirred up and the Jetty is where the action is.  I may go up and make an adjustment to them to get more of the show on camera.

We are several hours from the big wind.  There are people all around the Light and the parking lot.  I have seen at least two kids in their pajamas and one lady who nearly had her dress whipping up like a reversed umbrella. It was not Marilyn Monroe and the Subway from Seven Year Itch; it was more like Karen Allen fighting her way through the cob webs and the mummies in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I am sure I will see more like it and I am waiting for the TV trucks to return.

Channel 5 gathered a crowd in front of the Tower last night.  I was working at the desk when I noticed all sorts of people stopped and milling around on the seawall in front.  Haley had gone out to retrieve the cat (one of these days I need to write about the cat)(Inexplicably, I have a cat.) and she filled me in when she got inside.

Not as many cameras as I expected from the crowd gathered now.  A few holding on to their hats and their families as they navigate the sidewalk.  I have  reporter in the the little courtyard taking notes with a mother and daughter and he is getting a few frames.  Former Selectmen Andy Zilonis just went up and back too.  Julie tells me the parking lot is pretty full.  A red hat just came flying back towards this window from the area of the Tower.  And there is the guy who was wearing it scuttling along trying to catch it.  High Tide is about 90 minutes away.  I'll be back later to report.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another First

Thanks go out to the many callers and guests who have expressed concern during the last few days about the upcoming storm and our prospects here.  We are prepared.

The flags came down two days ago and the lightest of the furniture in the yard has joined the grill in the runway.  Water and batteries and a new crank flashlight/radio (with an alarm button Haley seems to enjoy) have been stock piled.  Anything that needs to be charged up has been charged up, phones, computers, Ipods, electric screwdriver. I have planks if I need planks.  We are good to go.

An usual twist has been that there is a great big storage container in the driveway for the household items that normally are wedged into the Utility Room.  That came in handy for rafts and the like. The renovation of that room began this week and so far so good is the summary.  The archaeology of the project has revealed a painted on dart board with the names of Belz and Igge, a bottle cap from a LaSalle Club Orange Soda, several pieces of old leather and a boot heal nailed to the wall above.  The other items are pictured below.

I had never heard a word about the Utility Room being used as a cobbler shop, until Monday morning when plumber extraordinaire Tom Galligan threw it out as a given. He said one of his brothers told him. We did know of it being a store and I went to Town Hall Wednesday and tracked down all the store licenses from 1925 to 1939. The 1928 license is below.

Notice the list:  "Ice Cream, confectionary, soda water & fruit."  Bernice Cushman held the license until 1937 when Cora Cobbett took it over until 1939.

Another story confirmed is that the wing once took fire.  At several points charring was discovered and this confirmed a story told to me only a few weeks ago.  A one time neighbor, Joe Arena, shared that his father once got Jamie and Jesse Turner out of the Cottage after a lightning strike.  The boards are on the floor behind me as I write.  Between that and the old wire in place, and countless other opportunities for the match to have struck,  it is a flat out miracle that we are having this birthday.

One last note on being prepared for the storm ahead while construction is taking place.  Tonight, in what was a first for me,  I used ratchet straps to lash a Porta Potty to the Storage Container to offer some protection against it tipping over in the wind.  Ratchet straps and Porta Potty; I never dreamed I would ever use them in the same sentence.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What the Web Cam Might be

Check out this panorama. I am wondering if I could place the web cams in such a way that you see this angle. It would fantastic to have this view of a storm.  Maybe on the weekend I will fool around once again.

Tickets are on sale now for the Lighthouse Anniversary Dinner to be held on September 30, at the Barker Tavern.  Head over to the Little Red Schoolhouse for yours.  It is going to be a fun night paying tribute to the families who have cared for the place and remembering the many vicissitudes of life on Cedar Point.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recharging the Batteries

The week has run away from me.

Last weekend more than 400 were welcomed here for the two day Open House. Aided by Peter and Barbara Whitfield, Lee Coscia, and Nancy Fay, Julie and I put the best foot forward and had a good time doing it.  I saw many familiar faces and the recurrent theme was enthusiasm to be out of the rain (on Sunday) and to hear a story or two. Guests who had already been to Lawson Tower wanted to know how many steps to the top of the Light.  They were pooped from climbing the hundred plus at Lawson.

Friday night saw the annual Luminaria. Haley and I pitched in with the placing and the lighting of the candles on both jetties.  There was a less frantic feeling than in the past two years.  People walked the Point and out on the breakwaters but the buzz was subdued.  I took a different approach to the photography this year too.  I decided to be creative with the camera and abandoned the conventional. Some of the results are below.

It was great fun to fool around with the lights; a twist here and a slide there and the red and green of the navigation lights along with the candles and the moon were mixed up like a highway scene. I got the one below entirely by accident. A young man was walking by as I was chatting at the fence and his toy created this flare across the screen.

Another twist to the weekend was the question of where to fly our signal flags. "Don't Give Up the Ship" has become a mania here on Cedar Point, and all across Scituate. I couldn't take that flag off the pole and with it there the signal flags would end up in the bushes. Improvisation was called for and that is a school teacher's strength.

Hanging them off the Tower has shown off the colors and prompted question after question. It is always good to get people talking.

Preparations continue for the reconstruction of the utility room. A storage pod will be arriving next week for the furniture and appliances we have in there. In the middle of this week I was finally able to confirm the date for the building of that wing. In an 1838 Report Naval officer Edward Carpender writes the the (then current keeper) had built the wing for a tenant. Others had written this but I never knew how they knew. Thanks to Jeremy D'Entremont and to Dave Ball who helped out in that search. The binders are bulging with documents and with pictures. All that remains is to discover a picture of the store that operated out of that wing in the 20's and 30's. C'mon, I know its out there!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Heritage Days 2011

The Big Weekend arrives.

Tonight the Heritage Days kick off with the annual Luminaria up and down the coast.  Haley will be out there helping the cause and I am eager to see what we can get from the web cams.

Tomorrow all the historical sites are open from 1:00 to 4:00 for tours. I have been researching over the past few days and I have found a few new things to share.  Never mind the brickabrack for sale in the harbor - visit a historic site and put the Heritage back into Heritage Days.

Local historian David Corbin will be speaking tomorrow night at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall. Tickets are still available.  David has a wealth of knowledge and weaves together the neighborhoods of Scituate as well as anyone can. On August 19th Bob Chessia will speak on Thomas Lawson, drawing from his deep supply of stories and slides.  That event will also be at the GAR Hall.

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 ...