And climb the stairs to the beach...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Morning Folks 04 10 07

In one of my blogs last week I mentioned an incident in which my cousin Liz and I drove a scale model gas engine Tin Lizzie through the screened porch of my childhood home on Pokonoket. My recollection of the event was that it happened when we were about 10 or 11 years old.

However, my cousin Liz corrected me and reminded me that we were more like 15 and 16 and certainly of an age when we should have known better. This could explain why I postponed getting a driver's license until I was 20.

To confirm her data, I looked in an old scrapbook. Remembering Liz's family was stateside (Navy people) and that she was at the airport to see me off to CA when I went to visit relatives (the Hammack family) with my grandmother that summer, I thought it would set the record straight. I did find these pictures confirming it was 1967. It was July of 1967, actually, making me just shy of 16. Oh well, so much for being an innocent little kid driving through the screened-in porch. It still was funny, although Dad might not remember it quite that way, having to repair the porch and all.

The pictures I found are not the best quality. They are now about 40 years old and probably taken on my Brownie, or maybe we had Instamatics by then. I hope you can see them enough to make out some interesting details.

Gram and I were the only ones flying. Here we are at the gate, in Logan, back when we couldgo right to the gate to say goodbye. It wasn't so long ago, really. But, if you will notice, everybody is dressed up for a trip into Boston to the airport. From the left, Becky, me, Cousin Liz, Gram and Mom. Dad must have taken the picture.

Becky was there to see us off, too. She would have been almost 7. Gram and I actually wore corsages for the flight. Gram in her white gloves and hat, as any good New Yorker would wear while traveling. I was wearing a skirt and even nylons. Matching white purse, lovely hairdo-going for the Twiggy LuLu look, probably. I begged my mother to let me get my ears pierced because EVERYONE in California would have pierced ears and I wanted to be hip like my west coast cousin Valerie. She finally gave in.

Here is a picture of me with my Aunt Edith, Gram and Uncle John in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. They are all gone now. Gram died in 1983. I was lucky to have one last visit with my aunt and uncle in the late 90s. They died just a few years later.

We went to visit friends of the family in Carson City and then went to Disneyland. These two guys from the Carson City people took my cousin Valerie and I around in Disneyland. We wore dresses to Disneyland! By the way, Valerie's ears weren't pierced.

So, there you have it. I guess my internal chronology is a little messed up. I might not have been as innocent as I thought I was when it comes to that porch incident. And having pierced ears back then, according to Mom, meant I was a little on the cheap side. Thank goodness I was traveling with my Grandmother. I hate to think what might have happened if I was out there on my own in San Francisco during the summer of Love!

Actually, there was this little trip cousin Valerie and I took to Haight- Ashbury one night. We missed the last bus home and had to hitchhike back to their house. A hippy couple picked us up in a VW bus that was painted with psychadelic flowers. But that's a story for another time!

Have a great day.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Morning Folks 04 06 07

Happy Birthday to Doug!

My son is 31 years old today. Hard to believe that. Harder to believe I have a son that age, don't you think? (Shamelessly fishing for compliments.)

Doug about 6 weeks old

(remember, clicking on the photos should enlarge them)

At our wedding in May with his brother Bill.

Doug's toast to Ed and I. He made me so proud that day as he toasted us and welcomed Ed and his family into ours.

At our wedding and again in August, my boys got to know their two new brothers John and Joe. And, their new niece Arabella and nephew Zeppelin are very fond of their new uncles. Zeppelin is Doug's biggest fan and Doug is now a member in his spy club. (Zeppelin's spy club, not Doug's.)

Bil, Kim, Ed, me, Becky and the Birthday Boy.
This was taken the last time we were together last October. I miss him and his brother very much but will be seeing them in a couple of weeks.

My two boys , as kids they were typical bickering bros. Now they are great friends and a support for one another.

It is tough being so far away on Doug's special day, but I know his brother and friends will help him celebrate.
He has grown up into a fine young man of whom I am very proud.


Have a great day everyone!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Morning Folks April 4 2007

Before I moved from Massachusetts last fall, I took a trip around town and took pictures of all the homes that I have lived in in Sudbury. I am just now getting around to posting them. Most of you won't remember these homes, but some of you might. Some of them don't look anything like they did when I lived there. Others are similar. When you consider that I lived within 8 miles of my first home up until I was into my 50s, I really didn't get very far away until Ed came and swept me off to TN.

This is the first house I ever lived in. It was my paternal grandparents' home. We lived in a room off the breezeway. The red section is the original house that I remember. It has been added on to over the years, but started out as the milk house for a farm on King Philip Road. A retired Sudbury teacher,Nancy Lewis, lives there now.

The second home I lived in was across the driveway from the first one, still on King Philip Road. I believe this was originally the farmhouse that went with the milkhouse. It was a two family house when we lived there. We lived on the bottom floor and the Baldwins lived upstairs. Stevie was their little boy, on whom I believe I had my first crush. I was only 3 when we moved out of this house, but I do remember his mother and Stevie with his cowboy hat. He is now in his 50s and his wife works with my sister Becky. After 50 years of wondering whatever happened to the Hall family and me wondering what happened to little Stevie Baldwin, it was a nice little bit of closure when Becky and his wife put 2 and 2 together. Becky arranged a meeting a few years ago at a concert.
This was also the house in which we lived when my crib caught on fire. So for my parents it probably brings up some difficult memories. I was only 5 months old so for me, except for the scars, it could have happened to a total stranger.

This is my Grandparent's second home on King Philip just down the driveway from the milkhouse. They built this house shortly after we moved from the two family house up to Pokonoket Ave. Growing up, I spent almost as much time here as at my own home. It was gray with black shutters then, and I think it was much prettier in those days.

Less than a quarter mile away is our third house, the house I really grew up in. It was 50 Pokonoket Avenue. Dad built this house,an expandable 2 bedroom cape in 1954. I remember visiting it while it was being built and bouncing up and down on the plank that spanned the trench around the foundation into the kitchen door. Later, Dad finished off 3 bedrooms and a bath upstairs and built a new kitchen and a 2 car garage with a family room above it.

Now it is still owned by the Melick family who bought it from Dad and Mom in 1969. Mr. Melick passed away a couple of years ago, but his son and his family live in the main house and the mother lives in a new mother-in-law apartment added onto the left end of the house. That apartment was built where we had a screened-in porch. When I was about 11, my cousin Liz and I were driving this 1/2 scale model Tin Lizzie. It had a gas powered engine and went pretty fast if you let it. Anyway, we drove right through one side of that porch and out the other, probably because I grabbed the wheel when I thought she was heading for the bushes. I still laugh thinking about that. But we did get into trouble. The house looks quite a bit different now, but the landscaping still has some of the elements I remember.
Dad built the stone walls and stairs. I remember the inside of this house like I lived there yesterday. I remember talking to Ed sitting right there on the stonewall when we were kids. It was the only time he came to Sudbury from the Cape. He had hitch hiked all the way there just to see his sweetheart. That was quite a feat for a kid back then. He was determined I guess. And 40 years later, I finally gave in!
My best friend Sue MacKinnon and her family lived just two houses up the hill from us in this house at 60 Pokonoket. She moved in when she was 3 or 4. (Sue just celebrated her birthday last week and I included her picture in my blog for March 31.)

My senior year in high school we moved to this house at 85 Pokonoket. I left this house when I got married for the first time in 1972. It still looks almost exactly as it did when my folks sold it in 1984. I lived there for about 3 years, I guess before getting married.

Sue and her family moved up the hill and across the street from us a year after we moved into this house at 86 Pokonoket. We both left home the same year when we were married just 3 weeks apart that summer of 72. We both came back to visit our families after being married and as adults whenever we were both visiting at the same time, we could just run across the street to show off our kids and catch up. I have a very clear recollection of bringing my babies across the street for Sue and her mother to meet.

This is the first house I ever owned, purchased in 1974 for $36,000. It was only a couple of streets away from Pokonoket on Massasoit Ave. When we lived there it was an adorable red cape with white trim and shutters. The outside yard was very pretty and the interior had lots of special touches. I brought both of my babies home to this house when they were born. Massasoit was a 2 bedroom expandable Cape. We sold it in 1986 having added 2 more bedrooms and a bath for $230,000!

(If any of you have read the book The Mayflower, you will recognize all of these street names as Indians and locations during that time in history.)

From Massasoit Ave we moved to a large 5 bedroom home on Moore Road. We put in a beautiful pool and enjoyed the outside of this house as much as the inside with its porch and deck and great perennial gardens. We lived here for 12 years and it was a wonderful neighborhood for the boys. Big yard, kids, cats, dog, you know, the whole American dream thing. It was a great house. These pictures of the back yard are taken from a blog the new owner has on blogspot.

The new owners have done extensive renovations and the fellow, Paul Greenspan, has a website showing the remodeling.

If you go to the website, you can see the old kitchen. The pool is still there. But they did an extensive remodel and you'd never recognize the house. I don't know why I didn't take any pictures of the front of the house. If I was at home I could have found one in my archives.
And from there I moved to my house about 8 miles away on Vinal Street in Hudson. I thought it would be a temporary place on my way to 'I didn't know where' after my divorce. I hardly expected to stay there for 10 years, but it served me well while I was there.

Now my wonderful Ed and I are happy as clams in our new home in Ooltewah. It is only the 4th town I have ever lived in, kind of unusual in this day and age, I guess. Next, I will post some new pix of the interior of our new home. We have changed it quite a bit since I posted the last pictures. So, stay tuned...

If you have pictures of your homes you'd like to share with me, please feel free to send them along. I'd love to see them and post some of them here.

Have a great day,



Monday, April 02, 2007

Morning Folks 04 02 07

Morning from Norman OK. Happy April everyone. I am embarrassed to admit that I did not remember to say Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit yesterday, despite several reminders from family and friends. I don't know what that means for me for the new month, but so far it's been great!

Saturday Ed and I headed out for a visit to Broken Arrow, just outside of Tulsa to see Ed's nephew Mark and his wife Judy.

Before leaving Norman we stopped to see the James Garner statue erected last year in honor of the favorite son, actor, war hero, philanthropist, etc.

He was born James Baumgarner and was the first person from OK drafted into the Korean War. He had been in the National Guard. He received 2 Purple Hearts while in Korea. The statue is just across the street from The Sooner Theater and in a park called James Garner Plaza on James Garner Avenue and Main Street. Private donations were used to erect the park and the statue.

I always liked him. The statue shows him as the character of Bret Maverick. Some of you youngsters won't remember him in that role but will remember him as Jim Rockford in the Rockford files or various movie roles, like the Notebook. Do you guys remember the Maverick theme song?

Who is the tall dark stranger there?
Maverick is his name.
Riding the trail to who-knows-where
Luck is his companion
Gamblin' is his game.

Smooth as the handle on a gun.
Maverick is his name.
Wild as the wind in Oregon
Blowin' up a canyon/
Easier to tame.

Riverboat ring your bell.
Fare-thee-well Annabelle.
Luck is the lady that he loves the best.
Natchez to New Orleans.
Livin' on jacks and queens.
Maverick is the legend of the west.

Downtown Norman reminds me of the towns you see in movies where they cars park diagonally in front of stores on both sides of main street.

Not far from the statue is the oldest train depot in OK, the Santa Fe station.

When we arrived in Broken Arrow, the sun was shining and there was an occasional cloud in the bluest of skies. This was a far cry from the tornado warnings just 24 hours earlier in Norman. Judy and Mark drove us through an area in Tulsa where there were huge mansions, many built from old oil money. The landscaping was breathtaking and some of these homes were reminiscent of Newport. I was very disappointed that I didn't have my camera. The whole Tulsa area was beautiful with flowering trees and wisteria in bloom. It was lovely.

We had a wonderful dinner at PF Changs, then went back to Mark and Judy's to watch the movie Office Space, which I know Mark enjoyed. Then we played Catch Phrase, a really fun game. We had girls team against the boys and the boys won 2 out of 3. I still can't believe they won, but they did.

The next day Judy went off to early Mass to their church where she is the Cantor.We hung around until the 11:00. Judy has a beautiful voice and it made the service very special.

We had a real nice breakfast then a nice visit before heading back to Norman. Unfortunately the only pictures I took while I was there were of Ed and their dog Bandit.

Bandit is a love and such a sweet dog, and he loves his Uncle Eddie. But wouldn't you think I would have taken a few pictures of the people who welcomed us into their home? Well, next time I promise I will. Thanks for a wonderful visit, Mark and Judy. Hope to see you again soon.

Have a great day everybody,

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