Thursday, August 31, 2017

9/2018 … Planning for a 68th year HIGH SCHOOL REUNION !!

I've only been to one of my High School reunions and that was in the year 2000. It was fun and I intended to go to more but life got in the way. So, when I received an email from Bill, our 1950 class President, I was once more drawn back to those amazing years.

Bill wrote that only 40 of us are still alive out of a class of 160 … a sobering statistic. It makes me want to partake in the festivities if I am physically able and I'll bet that's the same for most of my remaining classmates. It also brought back memories of my friend Gayle who, happily, is among the 40 still going strong.

In 1952 Gayle and I spent our summer break from college in California. We traveled there from Massachusetts by Greyhound and I will never forget that l-o-o-o-ng 5 day bus trip. By the time we landed in Los Angeles our ankles had swollen to twice their size and we could hardly walk. An active day or two got us back to our normal selves, however, and we did manage to get jobs as waitresses in the historic Pierpont Inn, in Ventura, overlooking the ocean.

That’s Gayle (on the left) and me in our waitress garb. It was hard work. We were taught to carry the big trays, loaded with food, balanced on our shoulder. By the end of the summer my right arm was actually larger than the left. But, the ambience and the clientele were delightful and the tips were plentiful…enough to enable us to fly home!

That was truly a magical summer and, with a little luck and some planning, I look forward to re-living it with Gayle at our 68th High School reunion in 2018.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Here's an earth shattering idea ...

I read a long article recently explaining what happens when an incoming administration picks Senate or House members to fill their needs. Of course this leaves their positions open and it means that special elections need to be held to elect their replacements.

The article went on in great detail to discuss how this works and the concerns of the candidate … will the President's endorsement help or hinder … do I espouse the strict party line … am I open to having my past exposed … etc, etc. ?

It was an interesting article but, as usual, I found it discouraging. Why do the politicians have to make it so convoluted ? I guess it's because they won't get elected if they simply … horrors ! … TELL THE TRUTH !

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


I watched most of the total eclipse on C-Span today and it was really interesting, especially when day turned into night in many places along the route. I live about 3 hours from where I could have viewed it in person in South Carolina but decided to stay home and hope that I would at least get a partial view.

Our viewing time was 2:33 so, as it neared, I decided to get in my car and go in search of a good spot to watch. I traveled North-East a bit and pulled into a large Church parking lot with a sweeping expanse of sky in front of it. I was the only one there and as the time approached I saw no changes and couldn't help but wonder if I'd been wrong about the time. It was a lovely summer day with an extremely bright sun but no sign of a darkening sky. However, as soon as I put on my special glasses I saw what is pictured in the photo. 

But, here's the strange part. My son Matt lives about 20 minutes South-East of me and, since he is in his own business, he structured his day so that he could lie on his back lawn and view the sky. He saw what I did but he also experienced the day darkening enough to activate his outside garage lights. He said the temperature dropped too and all in all it was an exciting experience.  

Just a few miles apart but, like the line in Frost's “Road Less Traveled” I made my choice and it “made all the difference”. In 2024 I intend to listen to others !!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

It doesn't take a rocket scientist ...

Among our President's latest barrage of tweets is one that states,Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.” Does he not realize that monuments are built to HONOR people or events? Can you imagine the Germany of today displaying and glorifying statues of Hitler?

There is nothing honorable about the Confederate monuments that are being tagged for removal but he fails to see this. His tweet goes on to say, “Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson - who's next, Washington, Jefferson?  So foolish!”

I would attribute this to stupidity but then recall that he is sly as a fox. I realize it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that his ever present ego is working overtime. I'll bet he envisions the day that he's no longer in office and can wander the country admiring statues of himselfa vision that might not be fulfilled if we, as a nation, finally face up to our dark past and pledge to only honor those that truly deserve it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The last HoJos

I've gotten into the habit of listening to “BBC America” and am often surprised by the range of topics they air. Last week they had a segment about the last Howard Johnson store going out of business. I couldn't help but laugh when I heard this. It reminded me of a time when my mother would have been thrilled to hear the news.

My father died in 1960 and a year later my mother's only sister passed away too. She and her husband lived in Vermont but had spent the winter months at their second home in Florida for many years. In the mid 60's our uncle invited mother to join him in Florida. He offered to pick her up in Massachusetts and they would then wend their way South in his big old black Buick.

For those of you too young to know the Howard Johnson chain was THE place to eat in those years. The colorful orange roof and the 28 flavors of ice cream were merely backdrops for the menu of comfort food as mother was to find out. Ho-Jos, as it was known, was everywhere and it was the ONLY place that our Uncle would eat. He was very set in his ways and no amount of coaxing by mother could convince him to eat elsewhere.

Mother finally gave up since he was the one financing the trip but I remember clearly when she told me “If I never hear another word about the sizable portions and the tender-sweet clam strips it will be too soon !” 

Rest in peace Mother … your wish is fulfilled.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

“Liar, liar ...

pants on fire.”  

It's one thing to embellish your rhetoric a bit but to tell an outright lie is never acceptable. This is especially true when those lies come from the President of the United States .

The thing that I find amazing is how the powers that be at the White House spin what he says. They gloss over his tweets and his lies and try to convince us that it's all part of his quirky and endearing personality. I find this frightening.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal recently Trump declared, “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful.” This proved to be an outright lie but when the White House Press Sec. Sanders was questioned about this she replied … “THAT'S A PRETTY BOLD ACCUSATION.” and then went on to say that the conversations took place in person and not over the phone... i.e., excusing the lie and white washing the whole thing as a mere misinterpretation.

But isn't a BOLD ACCUSATION exactly what is needed when a lie is told?  How can we ever trust anything that this administration tells us if they continue to cover up for this ego driven man. His new Chief of Staff General Kelly has made it known that his first loyalty goes to his country ... with number 2 being loyalty to the President.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.

Thursday, August 03, 2017


Here is my 4 yr. old son Matt and my mother. They were great friends and loved to spend time together “fixing the problems of the world”.

When Matt was 7 Mother came to stay for a few weeks and she and Maffy (as we affectionately called him then) set up a daily routine. They would head off to the small stream near our property to go fishing. They would often take a lunch with them as well as their fishing rods and his little creel box complete with hooks and worms and a special place for Grandma’s cigarettes. My husband and I were not smokers and she knew we'd prefer that she smoke away from the house. 

I would love to have been privy to their talks. I’m sure they solved many of the problems of his little world, but I had no idea that they were discussing mother’s world, too. One morning I glanced in to Matt’s creel box just before they headed to the stream and I realized that mother’s cigarettes were missing. When I asked about it Matt just smiled and said “Oh, didn’t we tell you? Grandma doesn’t smoke any more” and then Mother went on to explain that Maffy had tactfully and persistently kept after her until she had no excuses left !

I have to admit that I wondered if it would last since we had tried tactfully over the years to rid her of the habit, but it did !  She was to live for 31 more years and near the end of her life I asked her if she’d ever smoked again. She seemed really taken aback by my question. “Of course not”, she said, “I made a promise to Maffy, didn’t I ?”