Archive for the “VA” Category
So today is our last full day in the USA! Hard to believe because in many ways it feels as if we’ve hardly been here. We did get to see some friends for way too little time, missed some altogether, and just raced around like mad half the time (though it felt like racing through mud because too much got left undone.)
In a few minutes we’ll start the horrid packing process. It’s horrid because we always buy books and we’re limited to 2 fifty pound suitcases. Seems impossible to me, but it usually works as we really don’t have 100 pounds of stuff. And more shoes. However this time I’m taking back more winter clothes because we didn’t have enough last year in North Cyprus and Marmaris will be colder and wetter. And when we came from Marmaris we had one big and one small suitcase and I’m not sure the small one will do the trick.
I will have to pack away my computer so this is the last email until we’re back on Doramac. I’m just glad it takes half the time to fly to Turkey as it does to Asia or Malaysia. It’s a 16 hour flight from Roanoke to Izmir where we will arrive about 4:00 pm Thursday Turkish time. The bus ride to Marmaris is 5 hours so we’ll stay overnight in Izmir and return to Marmaris on Friday the 16th. In some ways it’s just easier to travel by boat so you take everything with you, including your own bed.
So till next email,
No Comments »
The election is over. Thank goodness!!!!! Randal and I waited in line for about 45 minutes to cast our votes. Pretty much everyone I know voted and were proud to wear their “I voted” stickers. But I think if we’d taken all of the money spent on this election by both parties and used it to solve some of the needs of the country, we all would have benefited greatly. More so than listening to all of the hoo-ha that all of the candidates had to spout out. They each should have been given X amount of $$$ and that’s that. They should have had more debates with each debate having one question only. AND THEY ACTUALLY HAD TO ANSWER IT. It’s no surprise that I’m happy as I’m an admitted liberal Democrat. I like Public Television and so do the millions of people who watch Downton Abbey. And who in his right mind would close Planned Parenthood? Good grief! But that’s enough of that and if things don’t improve, I get some of the blame.
Randal and I will be heading back to Turkey November 14th. Yikes, so soon! It will be terribly hard to say good-bye. And yet, it will be nice to see our Marmaris friends again. We’re already signed up for the Thanksgiving Dinner at Pineapple Restaurant. And Gwen, volunteer “activities director” at the marina, has rounded up some folks who would be in an art group. We’re packing warmer clothes than we’ve needed in past years.
I promised some folks a list of the books I collected this trip, so here it is. If anyone reads any of them, let me know what you think. I’m including both the old Word format for those who have problems with docx documents.
Books bought Fall 2012
I’m Off Then: My Journey Along the Camino De Santiago by Hape Kerkeling
This is the non-fiction book I’m reading now. Hape Kerkeling is a German comedienne who is touted as a cross between Bill Bryson and Paulo Coelho. The Camino De Santiago is a 100 mile hiking/walking trail through Spain that I’d like to so part of some day.
Blue Arabesque: A search for the Sublime by Patricia Hampl
“Blue Arabesque is not only an anecdotal history of this painting (Matisse) and its famous maker, it is also the history of one woman’s relationship to the act of seeing.” LA Times
Instead of a Letter: a memoir by Diana Athill
(Recommended by Nancy Pearl, Librarian and book person for NPR.)
The Guardian, Friday 4 January 2008 “Recalling her life as one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed editors, Diana Athill, who has just turned 90, was a pioneer of the confessional memoir.”
“Brevity, accuracy, lucidity - "the writing shouldn’t come between the reader and what’s being described. It should be as transparent as possible" - these virtues Athill applied to "Instead of a Letter", which she wrote in an intense rush when she was 43. In writing it she found her voice. In attempting to "get to the bottom of things, so I understood them better", in thinking bravely and unself-pityingly about premarital sex, and abortion, and depression, she inadvertently pioneered a kind of confessional memoir that would not, properly, take hold for another 30 years, and even then often would not match her.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/jan/05/fiction
The Leopard Hat: A Daughter’s Story by Valerie Steiker
“Valerie Steiker’s Belgian Jewish mother, Gisèle—who, as a child in Antwerp, was hidden from the Nazis—wasn’t a typical American mom. She spoke with throaty Belgian Rs and wore only high heels. Before her marriage, she had studied acting with Lee Strasburg and been a model in Mexico. With her vitality and elegance, she created a joyous childhood for Valerie and her sister. Together they tangoed through their vibrant Manhattan apartment, took in great art, and shared “women’s hidden secrets.” Gisèle’s premature death left Valerie (at the time a junior at Harvard) unmoored, but in grieving and in finding her own path to womanhood, Valerie would ultimately grow to understand Gisèle more profoundly than she ever had as a child. Beautifully evocative of a glamourous and now-vanished world, The Leopard Hat is an extraordinary memoir about the warm and indelible bond between mother and daughter.” http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Leopard_Hat.html?id=tkZGT5ZywiQC
The Know-It-All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacob
(He reads the entire Britannica and shares what he learns.) http://www.ajjacobs.com/books/kia.asp
Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice by Janet Malcolm
“How had the pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis?” Janet Malcolm asks at the beginning of this extraordinary work of literary biography…” Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France: A Memoir by Karen Wheeler
In the same vein as Eat Pray Love.
Warm Springs:Traces of a childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven by Susan Richards Shreeve
“During Shreve’s two-year stay, the Salk vaccine would be discovered, ensuring that she would be among the last Americans to have suffered childhood polio.”
“In 1950, just after her 11th birthday, Susan Richards Shreve was sent to FDR’s polio rehabilitation hospital for a series of surgeries and physical therapies to reconstruct her disease-damaged right side. In Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven (Houghton Mifflin), Shreve works strands of memory the way, all those years ago, she must have worked her dormant muscles—coaxing them back to life. There is her first love, Joey Buckley, paralyzed from the waist down and determined to play football for the University of Alabama, and her first brush with Catholicism, ignited by the electric charm of the resident Irish priest and by the possibility of "a God like the wind, with sufficient force to lift a small girl into the air until she was weightless." Also, the dawning realization of how hard she strove to hide her sadness from her fragile mother, and the even more powerful recognition "in the empty vat of my chest [of] something like substance, as if I were in the process of becoming someone familiar, my own best friend traveling always at my side." Part memoir, part confession, part meditation on both polio and the president who made it a national cause, Warm Springs unflinchingly illuminates an iconic moment in American history and the ageless psychic corridors of denial, disappointment, and hope.”
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/
The Guyund: a Scottish journal by Belinda Rathbone
“It is difficult to remain unseduced by this winsome account of a misalliance between a New England woman of literary taste and architectural sophistication and a frugal Scottish laird in his dilapidated ancestral home.”
http://www.nytimes.com/ is a follow-up to the book.
Kaddish by Leon Wieseltier
“Beside his father’s grave, a diligent but doubting son begins the mourner’s Kaddish and realizes he needs to know more about the prayer……to recite three times daily for a year…”
http://www.robertfulford.com/Wieseltier.html has a good review.
Etchings in an Hourglass by Kate Simon
In the 1980s, Kate Simon published three volumes of memoirs of her remarkable life as an immigrant, Yiddish leftist, bohemian, travel writer, and sexual adventurer. Told from a uniquely ironic and feminist perspective, these volumes together form what Doris Grumbach in the New York Times Book Review called “a classic of autobiography.” http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/simon-kate
ONE drawing A DAY by Veronica Lawlor
Because I now have “an art group” back at the marina I got this book of art exercises.
http://onedrawingaday.com/ is the website that goes along with the book.
The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom
Dervishes by Beth Helms (set in 1975 Ankara, Turkey.
Halide’s Gift by Frances Kazan (Set in Constantinople, now Istanbul, in the last days of the Ottoman
Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish …..just for fun!
Fatal fixer-upper, mortar and Murder, plaster and Poison, spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley
All fun mysteries revolving around home renovation ….for fun and maybe I’ll learn something.
And on my Kindle..
Miss Hargreaves by Frank Barker ( fiction also recommended by Nancy Pearl.)
http://nancypearlbooks.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/miss-hargreaves/ is her review.
World War One: History in an Hour by Rupert Colley www.historyinanhour.com
32 other titles are on my Kindle, most of them unread so far.
While here in the U.S. I’ve hardly read anything; no time!
The fiction book I’m reading now is Educating Waverly by Laura Kalpakian. I’d seen it in a bookstore but came home and checked it out from my library.
I have read…..
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
“Elizabeth Strout’s most recent work, Olive Kitteridge, a novel in stories, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was a New York Times Bestseller. She is the author of two previous novels, Abide With Me, a national bestseller, and Amy and Isabelle, also a New York Times Bestseller.” http://elizabethstrout.com/books/olive-kitteridge/ I found it a bit too long, but I prefer non-fiction in general.
Growing up on the chocolate diet: A memoir with recipes by Lora Brody
She lives in Newton, MA and is a huge Red Sox fan as well as cookbook writer. http://lorabrodywritingonair.blogspot.com/
A dog named Slugger: the true story of a service dog that changed my life by Leigh Brill www.leighbrill.com
It’s a lovely story. My friend Sarah has a great service dog named Drake. I get to take him for walks when he’s off duty.
In the car while driving to Massachusetts and back we listened to three audio books. All were well done and entertaining though we did skip some of the 19 CDs of Birds Without Wings. The descriptions of the battles of WWI were just too graphic. But it was interesting for us as we know something of Turkey and will spend more time there. De Bernieres is able to make some profound statements about human behavior with wry humor which added to the impact of his thoughts.
The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric, read by Katie Couric and several “readers.” It was well done, made us think, and actually was quite entertaining. It and made me like Couric more than I had in the past.
“In this inspiring book, Katie Couric distills the ingenious, hard-won insights of such leaders and visionaries as Maya Angelou, Jimmy Carter, Michael J. Fox, and Ken Burns, who offer advice about life, success, and happiness—how to take chances, follow one’s passions, overcome adversity and inertia, commit to something greater than ourselves, and more. Along the way, Katie Couric reflects on her own life, and on the shared wisdom, and occasional missteps, that have guided her from her early days as a desk assistant at ABC to her groundbreaking work as a broadcast journalist.” http://www.randomhouse.com/book/212421/the-best-advice-i-ever-got-by-katie-couric
Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres set in Turkey and recommended by our friend Elizabeth of the sailing yacht Labarque. It was also well done and the reader was very entertaining.
“Our man in Boston talks with author Louis de Bernières about his most recent book, Birds Without Wings, during a fascinating discussion about the Ottoman Empire, how good people go astray in crowds, and the richness of Arab proverbs.” http://www.themorningnews.org/article/birnbaum-v.-louis-de-bernires
Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe & Beyond 10-CD set bought at the Yiddish Book Center
The series includes about 13 hours of stories by such great Jewish writers as Sholom Aleichem, I.L. Peretz, Isaac Babel and Isaac Bashevis Singer read by Leonard Nimoy, Elliot Gould, Jerry Stiller, Alan Alda, Rhea Perlman, Walter Matthau, Lauren Bacall among others.
(When we were kids my sister and I went to Camp Tikvah. On Friday afternoons the Rabbi would gather everyone together and we would sing songs and he would tell stories. I still remember those stories and now I know where they came from.)
No Comments »
Hi Y’all and Happy Halloween!
I’m sending this just in the nick of time. Randal and I went to a Halloween party this past Saturday. Here are some of the photos. It is really a fun holiday though the price of candy has gotten astronomical and is terrible for your teeth. Actually candy isn’t good for much of you at all except for maybe your soul! I certainly loved Halloween as a kid when it was safe to go out around the neighborhood and no one worried about anything other than kids eating too much of their loot at one time. I also thought it was fun handing out candy; at least to kids who were shorter than I am.
So it goes…
Our friends Lois and Gerry really know how to throw a party. They go all out and Halloween is a favorite. I’ve written about their parties in the past. This year I took photos when I could stop talking or eating long enough to actually pick up my camera.
Welcome to the party!
My favorites were the Poison Toadstools and the Vampire Ribs.
The candles stayed put and didn’t burn down the house
A friendly witch and Snookie from Jersey Shore
Bobbie and Luke dressed as tourist to celebrate their RV and sailboat lifestyles.
On October 27, 2006 Lois and Gerry hosted a party with a “sailing theme” in our honor. Everyone was given a “sailor cap.” I had folks sign the cap in 2006. We still have those hats so wore them as our costume and folks re-signed them again this year, October 27, 2012.
Gerry stayed in the kitchen cooking and Lois raced around seeing to everyone and everything.
We had roasted potatoes, chili, salad, muffins, wonderful ribs. And that was after the Witches fingers and Poison Toadstools. Then there was the Pumpkin Cheesecake and pies and cakes and…….well, you saw the menu.
Chatting and enjoying the pre-dinner nibbles: Poison Toadstools, Gnarly Witches Fingers, and Monster Eyeballs were some of the treats with the less gruesome names.
The party’s almost over
Andrew, Helen, Lois, Randal, and Gerry The Skelton has energy but I’m all done in.
Gerry is Randal’s inspiration for his ponytail!
Gerry and Lois
No Comments »
So this is the last of the emails about our adventure “up north.” We’re lucky we got back when we did and hope everyone we know in the path of Sandy is safe and sound. I have already heard from our Massachusetts friends and they were quite lucky that mostly Sandy missed them. Our time here in the US is getting short. Friends in Turkey, at the marina have emailed us to make a plan for the big Thanksgiving Dinner that is being organized. So though we will be sad to leave Roanoke, we do have lots to look forward to when we return to DoraMac.
The very last stop of our “up north” travels was a visit with my cousin Lisa and her husband Richard and also a visit with my first college roommate Eileen and her husband George. Luckily for us they both now live in McLean, VA. We gave them each about a 2 minute warning that we were in town and happily they could arrange time to see us.
Richard and Lisa with me and Rey in the middle.
Rey has a rather odd doggy expression on his face, but he is really very sweet and friendly. We (but not Rey) went off for a lovely Italian dinner. It was a really nice evening and wonderful visit.
The next day Randal and I spent toodling around Washington DC.
The White House
Various groups of tourist on a variety of tours.
Renwick Gallery http://americanart.si.edu/
We stopped in the Renwick Gallery which is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
The best part of the Smithsonian Museums is that they are free! We saw the “40 under 40” exhibit: sorry no photos were allowed of that exhibit. I think my favorite was the glass window blown up to look like interlocking bed pillows. You could take photos in the rest of the museum.
“40 under 40: Craft Futures features forty artists born since 1972, the year the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s contemporary craft and decorative arts program was established at its branch museum, the Renwick Gallery. The exhibition investigates evolving notions of craft within traditional media such as ceramics and metalwork, as well as in fields as varied as sculpture, industrial design, installation art, fashion design, sustainable manufacturing, and mathematics. The range of disciplines represented illustrates new avenues for the handmade in contemporary culture.
All of the artworks selected for display in the exhibition were created since Sept. 11, 2001. This new work reflects the changed world that exists today, which poses new challenges and considerations for artists. These 40 artists are united by philosophies for living differently in modern society with an emphasis on sustainability, a return to valuing the hand-made and what it means to live in a state of persistent conflict and unease.” http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/renwick40/
The United States Capitol Building in the distance….and flags along a street
I have no idea what it is but I love the architecture.
Same here with the round windows and “non-square” shapes.
From D.C. we drove back to McLean to visit with Eileen, George, Saadia, and Rambo. Eileen and I first met in our door room in the John Quincy Adams Tower in Southwest on the campus of UMass. Between us we knew every Chad Mitchell Trio song. We had some crazy times. Eileen, Sheila, my other roommate at UMass, and I could tell some stories. (It was Sheila who drove with me from Poughkeepsie, New York to Tallahassee Florida when I went off to library school. I had to say that because the article in the Roanoke Times when I retired said it was my sister and Sheila thought I’d forgotten. I didn’t forget, Joe Kennedy, the author, just got confused.” Anyway…..
Eileen and their adopted family member Saadia made dinner and we washed it down with a bit of booze. So the photo I took of Eileen and George is a bit blurry for several reasons. I did get one of Eileen the next day when we were all back to normal. I tried to get one of Saadia and Rambo but he licked her face as I snapped the photo so they’re both a blur. I hadn’t realized that I’d gotten such lousy photos until we got home so these will have to do. And I can’t blame the botched job on the camera, just the photographer!
Eileen bright eyed at her desk and Saadia giving Rambo a “dog cookie” from the jar.
Eileen retired from her government job and, rather than be bored, went to law school and now has her own law practice.
No Comments »
Looks like Randal and I left not only eastern Massachusetts just in the nick of time, but also the Washington DC area where we stopped for 2 days to visit folks. We certainly are thinking about our pals there and our friend Carol who lives in New Jersey just where Sandy is looking to hit! I checked the New Bedford paper’s website and read that the Hurricane Barrier that we visited would close the gates today. Hope they do everything they need to do. As for the story about the HMS Bounty that was lost at sea, Randal and I visited it while it was being refurbished in Boothbay Harbor, Maine several years ago. I only hope that they find the two crew who are still missing. Being on land for a storm is really bad; being on a boat is freakin awful!
When we left New Bedford, we decided to head north-west to drive the Mass Pike stopping at Quabbin Reservoir where I’d never been and maybe Amherst where I’d spent 4 years at the University of Massachusetts. The Yiddish Book Center, Emily Dickinson’s home and the Eric Carle Museum are all located in the area. I haven’t been back to Amherst or UMass for at least 35 years. Well, I still haven’t been back to Amherst town or UMass. We didn’t make it to the Eric Carle Museum or Emily Dickinson’s house. (So Beth that’s why we didn’t call, we really just zipped on through.) I think we were really feeling the need to get back to Roanoke. We did make a 10 minute stop at Quabbin Reservoir where the visitor center was pretty well closed to anyone other than the 50 or so school kids there for a special program. It was noon; we were hungry; so visited the restrooms, took a photo, and headed off for lunch.
Randal at Quabbin
“The Quabbin Reservoir, located in central Massachusetts, was built in the 1930’s to provide clean drinking water for the Boston region. Over 2500 people in the towns of Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, Prescott, and parts of seven other towns, were forced to give up their homes in the Swift River Valley to make this project possible. Today, Quabbin is recognized as one of the largest drinking-water reservoirs in the world, a remarkable feat of engineering, an "accidental wilderness" that is home to an impressive variety of wildlife, and a place that brings bittersweet memories to many who once lived here.”
Friends of Quabbin, Inc. • 485 Ware Road • Belchertown, MA 01007
(413) 323-7221, E-mail: email Friends of Quabbin
Copyright � 2005 Friends of Quabbin, Inc. http://www.foquabbin.org/
We drove from Quabbin heading towards the campus of Hampshire College where the Yiddish Book Center is located. (The Eric Carle Museum is located nearby, but it is closed on Mondays and this was a Monday.) We passed a cute little Café so turned around and went back. We like to eat local rather than chains when possible; way more fun.
The Roadhouse Café http://www.roadhousecafe.net/
We both ate the Tuscan Sandwich which was cheese and veggies on their homemade sundried tomato bread. If you’re on the road between Quabbin and Amherst it’s on the right just before you turn left towards Amherst. 176 Federal St. Belchertown, MA
We let Gertrude Bell, our GPS, lead us to Hampshire College but then I had to figure out where the Center was as the signage didn’t make it so obvious. If you go, turn into the campus and make your first left and follow the road a bit and there it is.
What is Yiddish?
“Yiddish was the vernacular language of most Jews in Eastern and Central Europe before World War II. Today, it is spoken by descendants of those Jews living in the United States, Israel, and other parts of the world.
The basic grammar and vocabulary of Yiddish, which is written in the Hebrew alphabet, is Germanic. Yiddish, however, is not a dialect of German but a complete language—one of a family of Western Germanic languages, that includes English, Dutch, and Afrikaans. Yiddish words often have meanings that are different from similar words in German.
The term "Yiddish" is derived from the German word for "Jewish." The most accepted (but not the only) theory of the origin of Yiddish is that it began to take shape by the 10th century as Jews from France and Italy migrated to the German Rhine Valley. They developed a language that included elements of Hebrew, Jewish-French, Jewish-Italian, and various German dialects. In the late Middle Ages, when Jews settled in Eastern Europe, Slavic elements were incorporated into Yiddish.”
40 Yiddish words you might already know!
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/the-yiddish-handbook-40-words-you-should-know/ I recognized most of these words because they have become part of our everyday “American” language.
Yiddish Book Center
The Center is housed in a building designed to look like a 19th-century shtetl, a cluster of wooden buildings surrounding a synagogue.
“The Yiddish Book Center is a non-profit organization working to tell the whole Jewish story by rescuing, translating and disseminating Yiddish books and presenting innovative educational programs that broaden understanding of modern Jewish identity. Saving a million Yiddish books was just the beginning. Our priority now is to advance knowledge of the content and literary and cultural progeny of the books we’ve saved. We offer fellowships and courses for high school students, college students and adults. We translate Yiddish literature into English. We record oral histories and contemporary stories.
After three decades, we’ve emerged as one of the world’s largest, liveliest and most original Jewish organizations. Read our story http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/our-story and watch
A Bridge of Books, a brief documentary about the Center’s work.”
I don’t know when I first learned about the Yiddish Book Center, but it was shortly after the 2004 publication of Outwitting History written by Aaron Lansky the founder of the Center. Aaron grew up in New Bedford and my mom had taught him in Sunday School. Their relationship was, let us say, interesting. After reading the book I sent a donation in her name. Now maybe she would call him a “mentsh”.
“Yiddish didn’t die a natural death,” he asserted. Yiddish culture and literature has been systematically destroyed by the Holocaust, which took the lives of half the population of Yiddish speaking people; Soviet purges and persecution; Zionist attempts to suppress the language and diasporic culture; and pressures of American assimilationism.
He insists that there is no divide between literature and culture of the Jewish people. “Literature is what’s left of the culture,” he said. “They didn’t have a country, so books became sort of a cultural homeland for Jews.” If you save the books, you simultaneously save the history of which they are born.”
Jewish homes typically had books piled up everywhere which sounds much like our car and our boat!
Randal and I stopped at about a dozen used book stores and never walked away empty handed, well just once. Our car was filled with bags of them. Now we’ll have to fill our suitcases and then add them to the collection that is already overflowing in our boat. One day many will find a home in the Netsel Marina library. Kindles are great, but they just can’t compete with browsing around a used bookstore.
I like the phrase “Unquiet Pages.” Boxes of books waiting to be processed.
There are books stored everywhere, some in storage buildings and some in university libraries around the world. Many are being digitized so they can be shared more easily and preserved in a non-paper format.
The story of the Center told in the display that overlooks the bookshelves. Yiddish uses the Hebrew alphabet.
Almost every shelf has a dedication.
Yiddish Printing Presses
The original “Dear Abbey.”
The newspaper, The Jewish Daily Forward, was popular with new Jewish immigrants to America. One of its columns was “Bintel Brief” (Bundle of Letters) an advice column for new Jewish immigrants. The new immigrants, unfamiliar with “American ways” would write to and read the advice just as people today read “Dear Abby” and similar columns.
Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library
I think Spielberg should think about making a movie about the Center’s creation as the short documentary was really very entertaining and it’s a great “feel good” story.
The reading area set up in the manner of a traditional study table and now the electronic version.
You can watch old Yiddish language movies and listen to old Yiddish music.
This display illustrates how Yiddish words were, and still are used at the dinner table.
These answers make you shake your head almost as much as the answers during the Presidential debates!
The children’s area.
The Center Library
Some interesting articles related to the Yiddish Book Center concerning copyright issues and what direction the Center should take at this stage of its development.
No Comments »
We’re back south so now it’s y’all instead of “you guys.” This is the last of my “Massachusetts” pals story. There are still some folks we missed but I’ll visit them with some snail mail before we leave.
As you’ll see in this email, we spent some time across the river from New Bedford in Fairhaven. Never went there when we were kids; well not very often anyway. My father grew up in New Bedford and he and my mom, and my sister Harriet lived in an apartment building, The Huddleston, in Fairhaven until I was born a few years after my sister. Then we moved way across the Acushnet River to New Bedford. http://www.millicentlibrary.org/mrktn&ml.htm is a really interesting link telling of Henry Huddleston Roger’s relationship to Mark Twain and also to Helen Keller. Who knew? Actually I knew the link to Twain as there is a “story” that the Huddleston Apartment building was once a home built to accommodate Twain as Roger’s wife couldn’t stand him. Don’t quote me; that might only be Lipnik family lore. (Lipnik is my maiden name.)
As I researched places in Fairhaven, I learned more than I’d known about the history of the area. So it’s here for you to read also, if you want. There are no tests. You can skip it all and just look at the photos. It was interesting to me. I’m amazed it took this long for me to know it.
From Har’s we started our drive back to Roanoke. We spent one afternoon in the Amherst area stopping for 2 minutes at Quabbin Reservoir and about an hour at the Yiddish Book Center. I have stories about both. We actually then spent the night in New Paltz, New York. From there we visited folks in McLean, VA but that’s getting way ahead of myself. So I’ll stop now.
Saturday we drove to Fairhaven to eat in Pumpernickel, which USED TO BE Randal’s and my favorite lunch spot in town where we would stop every year on our way to Har’s house. (This year we’d stopped there on our way to Har’s from Julia’s, at noon Friday only to be told they closed at noon on Fridays.) Har, Randal and I drove there on Saturday only to be told they closed at 1 pm on Saturdays. It was about 1:05. Who knew? We’d never had a problem before. So we found a new favorite place to eat, Simmy’s https://www.facebook.com/SimmysFairhaven
Simmy’s where you can have breakfast all day. I had tuna “on pumpernickel.”
New Bedford Hurricane Barrier
The Fairhaven side of the Hurricane Barrier
The gates are kept open unless bad weather calls for the gates to be closed. While open ships can easily pass through. You can see across the Acushnet River to the New Bedford side.
The protected inner harbor of Fairhaven.
May 21, 1966: HARBOR SECURED
By Charles Buffum Standard-Times Staff Writer
“It cost $1,000 a foot, is long enough to span the 3.5 mile width of New Bedford, is as high (and wider ) than The Great Wall of China, and has enough steel in it to build a Navy destroyer. Its two huge steel navigational-sector gates weigh 400 tons apiece-each 35 tons heavier than the biggest locomotive ever built-and each as tall as a six-story house.” http://www.westislandweather.com/thehurricanebarrier.htm
June 09, 2011 12:00 AM http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110609/NEWS/106090345
“It is said to be the largest stone structure on the East Coast and the largest hurricane barrier in the world. Properly presented, it could be one of the biggest attractions in the city of New Bedford.
The New Bedford Hurricane Barrier, built in the early 1960s to protect the city after the devastating hurricanes of 1938 and 1954, could provide a panoramic 3-mile-plus-long walk high above the city harbor.
With views of downtown New Bedford and Fairhaven, Palmer’s Island, Forts Tabor/Rodman and Phoenix along with the outer harbor, the rocky granite top of the hurricane barrier has the potential to be one of the city’s prime recreational sites.
Imagine a hurricane barrier with a paved walkway — park benches for more than a mile lining the views north, south, east and west — and period lighting that would be a grand welcome to New Bedford Harbor itself.
It would be more than sublime.
Unlike the hurricane barrier walkway that’s always been located on the Fairhaven side of the Acushnet River, the New Bedford barrier has never been enjoyed to its fullest by city residents and visitors. It’s a utilitarian rocky top, forbidding to all but the young and spry as far as a leisurely summer walk is concerned. But now that the Army Corps of Engineers has said the barrier can be recertified for hurricane protection, Mayor Scott Lang wants to move ahead with a plan to build a lighted walkway on top of the barrier with benches where everyone in the city could enjoy the million-dollar views of Buzzards Bay on a sultry afternoon like Wednesday.
The plan would be to join the barrier walkway to a conservation boardwalk on the adjacent pastoral outcrop of Palmer’s Island, which sits smack in the middle of the harbor just north of the barrier. The plan would also be to tie the barrier walkway to a more parklike environment at the Gifford Street boat ramp on the shoreline. If these plans were ever realized, the city of New Bedford, for a relatively minimal investment, could create a harbor parkway as grand in its own way as either Buttonwood or Brooklawn parks. "It makes all the sense in the world," said Lang, explaining that a hurricane barrier walkway could revitalize a long-neglected area of the city.
Lang and I first walked the hurricane barrier together three years ago. I’d had the idea that a walkway on top of the structure had a lot of potential for helping city residents better connect to their river. Lang, however, told me the city was already on top of the idea and had applied for a grant and the Army Corps’ permission to build the walkway. Lang originally thought the walkway could be realized in a year or two, but then Hurricane Katrina struck and the Army Corps decided the barrier’s structure needed to be re-evaluated. But all that’s done now.
Here’s the problem.
Three years ago, there was plenty of state and federal money around for urban revitalization projects like a parkway on top of the hurricane barrier. But now, with the country in the throes of the greatest economic slowdown since the Great Depression, there’s said to be no more money. That’s a shame because a recreational upgrade of the hurricane barrier seems like the kind of natural government works project that you would want to undertake during a time of economic slowdown. Sort of like 2011 New Bedford’s version of the Cape Cod Canal bridges. Ron Labelle, the savvy head of the city’s Public Infrastructure department, thinks an initial hurricane barrier parkway could be built for $250,000 to $350,000.
The city has a little money coming its way on July 1 when the new fiscal year will make $50,000 available from the Seaport Advisory Council for the initial stages of a hurricane barrier walkway pilot project.
The original plan was to match that money with something called "urban self-help" grants to construct the pilot section of walkway, but that money probably won’t be available now.
But Labelle, Lang and Kristin Decas, executive director of the Harbor Development commission, are not easily deterred. They hope to go forward with some sort of pilot section of the walkway anyway.
Labelle said the city once again can use its own Public Infrastructure department to do the construction work for the pilot sections — maybe it won’t yet have the park benches or the lighting, but it’s a start.
It would have to be constructed in roughly 20-foot sections, Labelle said, so the concrete structure could cure, but it could be completed over time, maybe a little bit each year, he said. "We could continue to look for funding sources, but at least we could get the thing started," he said.
I’d like to see the city move a lot faster than that. I just think a hurricane barrier walkway has enormous potential for the city, both from a tourist and recreational perspective.
There are some impediments, to be sure.
New Bedford has evidently committed to using the Gifford Street boat ramp area as a staging location for the Cape Wind project. And as that project continues to be tied up in court and with other bureaucratic delays, it seems like it’s going to be like commuter rail — taking longer rather than shorter.
I’d like Economic Development Council director Matt Morrissey to see if there’s another possible staging area, or at least preserve a portion of a boat ramp park and parking area for the walkway.
Also in the works is said to be a Palmer’s Island earmark from the last round of the Harbor Trustee Council money. Maybe there are some possibilities to link hurricane barrier walkway work to that project.
Of course, it’s all the political rage right now to proclaim that the country has to stop spending money in order to pay down the massive federal deficit. But that seems exactly wrong to me — as in the Great Depression, now may be exactly the time to do this kind of great public works project. Can you spell Franklin Roosevelt?
The truth is that this grand New Bedford hurricane barrier is an architectural wonder that many communities would be ecstatic to possess. It’s an engineering marvel that, besides its massive gates, actually includes a tunnel, seven stories underground, that weaves its way along the barrier.
Never yet tested by the kind of big hurricanes it was designed to endure, the barrier gates take a full 12 minutes to close just one side.
This edifice itself has enormous potential as a tourist attraction.
It’s one of a kind, New Bedford’s own little Hoover Dam.
It’s just a matter of us, and the rest of the world, coming to realize it.
Contact Jack Spillane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Phoenix, Fairhaven, Massachusetts
Guarding the Harbor of Fairhaven & New Bedford since 1777.
On May 13-14, 1775, the first naval battle of the American Revolution took place off our shore when the local militia, under the command of Nathaniel Pope and Daniel Egery, captured two British sloops in Buzzard’s Bay.
Shortly afterward, the town petitioned for the construction of a fort at Nolscot Point for the protection of the harbor. The original fort was built by Capt. Benjamin Dillingham and Eleazer Hathaway between 1775 and 1777. It was outfitted with eleven cannon, several of which had been captured in the Bahamas by John Paul Jones.
The fort was attacked and destroyed when the British raided the harbor on September 5-6, 1778, landing 4,000 troops in New Bedford. The troops marched inland along the west shore of the Acushnet River to Acushnet, then came south through Fairhaven to Sconticut Neck. At this time the British drove a group of 34 local militiamen under the command of Timothy Ingraham from the fort, burned the barracks, broke up the gun platforms and smashed all but one of the cannons.
When the fort was rebuilt following the 1778 attack, it was named Fort Phoenix after the mythical bird which rose from its own ashes.
Shortly before the War of 1812, Fort Phoenix was enlarged under the supervision of Sylvanus Thayer, who later became the "Father of the Military Academy" at West Point. In June of 1814, the fort helped repel an early morning attack by British in landing boats from the HMS Nimrod.
Fort Phoenix was manned throughout the Civil War by troops who rotated duty between the Fairhaven fort and the newer Fort Taber in New Bedford. Eight 24-pound cannon were installed at the beginning of the war, five of which remain at the fort today.
Fort Phoenix went out of service in 1876. In 1926, it was purchased for the town by Lady Fairhaven, Mrs. Urban H. Broughton of England, a daughter of the town’s benefactor Henry Huttleston Rogers. Since then it has been maintained by the town as a public park.
In 1973, Fort Phoenix was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The guns of Fort Phoenix
Remember the grade school game: Duck Duck Goose?
I like seagulls and cormorants and most shore/ocean birds
Randal and Harriet at Har’s apartment and the view from the patio. What a great place to be: overlooking Padanaram Harbor. http://www.padanaramvillage.net/ is the website for Padanaram Village with lovely music to listen to while you read about the area.
We have another tradition while in Dartmouth and that’s helping get these guys’ sailboat covered up for the winter. It had been pulled from the water and was on a hardstand but needs to be covered with tarps. Last year we all worked on that task. This year it was divide and conquer. The sails also needed to be washed so Eileen, Har and I worked on the sails and Randal helped Bill gets the tarps in place on the boat. It was a perfect day for both tasks.
The lovely front garden at Eileen and Bill’s house.
The naughty sisters….or so they are described; but so cute.
Har, Eileen, Randal and Bill Eileen, Randal, Ru and Bill
Someday I’ll figure out how to use the timer everyone can be in one photo.
We also had to make our traditional visit to Horseneck Beach. (Lots of traditions here in Massachusetts.) Last year it was so warm that I actually went swimming with Har just so I could say that I’d done it. Too cold for me, but Har really enjoyed it. This year it was not so warm and a little too late in the day so we just enjoyed a walk on the beach.
Horseneck Beach: not just for summer swimming. It’s a great place all year round.
We stepped aside to let the horses pass and someone called out hello to Har. Har teaches kindergarten and one of the riders was the mom of a former student!
It’s a great place with lots of sandy beach and dunes; my idea of what living near the water should be.
I have no idea what Randal is doing; maybe playing some kind of shadow game.
In my honor, as opposed to the honor of the Red Sox, Har wore her Red Sox sweatshirt. I’m wearing the lovely warm neck scarf (or hat in a pinch) Julia bought for me while we were in Hyannis. It’s made from recycled water bottles. I think I mentioned it before?
Moon photo original and then autocorrected to show more detail.
Marian, whom you met in Martha’s Art Group, knows lots about cameras. She told me that if I caught the moon at the right time I could get great pictures of the craters. I took this photo with my zoom and cropped it, but didn’t zoom it any more than that. I did also “autocorrect” it which made the sky darker. She also taught me this little fact about the moon in a way easy to remember: the older the moon the
later it rises. She sent an email October 24th to remind me suggesting that I try about 4pm. I had taken my moon photos the day before, the 23rd about 5:30pm because I’d remembered her suggestion from Art Group. Really pretty neat. I don’t know when the moon will change so you’d better try soon if you want to make some moon photos. My zoom is 42x optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens (24mm-1,000mm). But I can’t zoom it all the way out and hold it steady, yet. And I don’t know the best setting for zooming out. More to learn.
No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2013.0.2742 / Virus Database: 2617/5853 - Release Date: 10/25/12
No Comments »
Posted by: Ruth in Roanoke, USA, VA
I haven’t been writing much because for the past week we "cat sat" for my sister and stayed at her house where there are 3 TVs. It’s amazing how much time you can spend watching television: not reading or writing or whatever…. I got hooked on Once Upon A Time because I have always loved fairy tales and this one is rather cleverly done. And I like the Good Wife. And oddly, if I miss most of the "TV season" I can still catch up watching just a few episodes when we’re home. At least we listen to Public Radio in the car. I love public radio: you can really learn a lot.
Our time is growing short. We head on back to the boat next Wednesday. That’s so hard to believe. It feels as if we just got here and certainly haven’t spent nearly enough time with family and friends. We still face the daunting task of packing boat parts and books into the suitcases. Even with the Kindle, I still want my books and with odd taste, I can’t be sure what I want will have been ordered in the electronic format by the library (with its book budget) or Amazon with its Popular Taste perspective. Right now I’m reading The Search for God at Havard by Ari L. Goldman to prepare for our trip to Israel and the Middle East. Not only do I know too little about other religions, but I remember much too little about my own. One doesn’t have to be religious to be knowledgeable about religions and respectful of other people who believe differently. Freedom of religion is the best kind of religion. Anyway, here is the rest of my "preachy" email about democracy, voting and libraries.
Voting November 8, 2011 and Libraries Everyday
November 8th was Election Day in the United States. Randal and I voted. I have to admit ignorance in most of the races, but one was important to me and I wanted to support the candidate. To encourage citizens to vote, polls are located in neighborhoods where people live so Randal and I were able to walk to the Oakland School as part of our daily walk around the neighborhood. This is an off-year ( no Presidential, Senate or House elections) when we only voted for state and local officials and local and state issues. But since all politics is local these elections are important too. Some people ran unopposed and I voted for them because at least they were willing to do the job and pay attention to water issues and the like. Not fancy titles and no glory but they were willing to do it so I put a check next to their names even though they’d already won just by being on the ballot.
We voted at the Noel C. Taylor Learning Academy at Oakland on Williamson Road.
Not many folks voting but there was lots of enthusiasm by this poll watcher.
That afternoon I visited the other bastion of democracy, the public library! The 419 HQ Branch of the Roanoke County Public Library System where I worked for 26 years. Of course I went to visit friends and say hello to the library patrons who were kind enough to still remember me. I took my new Kindle Reader and laptop so the Reference staff could show me how to download FREE LIBRARY BOOKS to the Kindle device. Yippeee!!!! I had been reluctant to bother with my new Kindle but now that I can borrow library books I most certainly will use it. It’s the greatest thing since getting to borrow hard copy books from the library FOR FREE!!!!. Did I mention that just about everything you get from your library is FREE!!!! I have said many times before that after family and friends, what I miss most when we travel is access to a Public Library where I can borrow books! Even when we travel I can use my library card to access online library databases. But now I can read books online too. I could have done so in the past but I would have had to read them on my computer and I didn’t want to do that. But now I can read them on my Kindle. Yippee!!! Alan and Cid helped me and I’m all set.
I made the rounds and visited Diana, My library director and many other folks who I’d worked with for many years. I hope to make one more visit before we leave for Cyprus. And when we return next year I can visit them all in the brand new South County Library that is under construction.
Alan in the blue shirt, Cid at the desk helping some patrons….in a very cramped library building.
The Reference and everything else that has no other place office….Sarah is the Young Adult Librarian. Penny, the PR person and JoAnne, the “many titled” person also seem to have desks here. A new library is definitely needed.
Here are some views of the new building.
Downstairs will be a coffee shop and a Friends of the Library shop and lots of other things but I especially will enjoy coffee and the Friends used books shop! And, of course, seeing all my old pals every visit. Below is a link to the library site if you want to see photos and plans of the new library
No Comments »
Posted by: Ruth in Roanoke, USA, VA
We celebrated Halloween last night at the home of our friends Lois and Gerry and it was all "treats." And though you can’t tell it from my photos there was a very lively full house!
Halloween at Lois and Gerry’s
Lois and Gerry are masters at creating a holiday party atmosphere. They threw a wonderful nautically themed party for Randal and me back in 2006 when we headed off to China. Their Christmas parties are a wonderland of decorations. But Halloween might be when they go all out turning their huge farmhouse in Boones Mill into a scary delight. The hors d’euvre table featured such temptations as a human brain, eyeballs, severed fingers and toadstools. Cocktail shrimp, hard cooked eggs, hotdog pieces and mushrooms, arranged, coated, decorated, and stuffed to play their rolls as Halloween fare; all edible and all wonderful. I however saved my calories for the ribs Gerry had cooked up for dinner. My camera and I must have fallen under some kind of Gerry and Lois spell because after a few initial photos I started eating and chatting and chatting and eating and chatting which is exactly what they mean for you to do. Every now and then I’d take a few photos and then fall under that eating and chatting spell again.
The “front parlor” with its coffin and mourners….and the dining room with another dearly departed being embalmed.
Family Zombie photos!
These photos changed from charming to creepy as you walked by.
The carapace (I had to look that up!) was cute but kept getting in the way as Lois raced madly around making sure everyone was eating and chatting! So after a bit she ditched the bottom half for pants but kept the extra arms to help out.
There were biscuits, salad, baked beans, fried potatoes, and tons of ribs.
Food and Drink
That empty tray was just the first tray of ribs! I had ribs for starters, main course and dessert. I can take a pass on filet mignon, but I just love ribs! And because it was a Halloween party for adults we had booze rather than Kool Aid!
Lois arranging the desserts….and this was as close as I could get to take a photo.
Pumpkin everything and cupcakes. If I had cut into the line, even just to take a photo, I would have joined the embalmed guy.
Brokeback something? A cowboy and a “horny” scarecrow. Randal and “good” witch Bobbie.
There were tables of people everywhere eating and chatting…all under the spell cast by Lois and Gerry.
We renewed old acquaintances, made new friends and had a thoroughly wonderful time.
No Comments »
Posted by: Ruth in Roanoke, USA, VA
I’ve mixed feelings about this final trip email. Relief that I’ve finally caught up; sadness that the trip is really over. I get to relive everything writing about it and reading the comments folks send in as comments. When we left Roanoke, it seemed as if the trip would last forever; and then all too soon, it was over. And even though we have Skype and email and cell phones, there’s nothing that compares with actually being with people. I want to live "down the street" from everyone, not half way across the country or half way around the world. I especially hate to be so far away that no one can call me and say, "I need you to do this for me." Being away if someone might need me to be there is the hardest part of being so far away. But, somewhat selfishly, I also miss our life in Cyprus with its smaller pace of life, amazingly beautiful desert scenery, ancient ruins and simple healthy food. (Not that we haven’t eaten wonderful food here and I have a few additional pounds around my middle to prove it!)
We’ll be here in Roanoke about 3 more weeks. It will take us that long to pack up books, boat supplies, and the odds and ends. Luckily we each get to bring back a 50 pound suitcase and a carry on. But I don’t want to think about that now so I’m not Scarlett.
Lake Sharbot Hike and visit to Westport, Canada
The weather cooperated so one day we went “off island” to hike one of the trails overlooking Lake Sharbot. We were a bit late for peak leaf color, but it was a lovely day.
For women who had biked the world and trekked the Himalayas, this was just a walk in the park.
The trail was easy, well marked and we had a really nice time.
After our hike we ate at one of the restaurants in town because Randal wanted to take Charmaine and Linda out for lunch and give them a break from cooking for us. And it’s always fun to eat in local restaurants.
Then it was off on a drive to Westport to visit an art gallery Linda and Charmaine wanted to see and to find yet one more used book store which Randal and I always like to do. Westport, a stop along the Rideau Canal is a lovely small town that really appears to cater to tourists. There were shops selling high end clothes, decorative items for your home, items representative of a visit to Canada, but alas, no used book store.
“The Rideau Canal is one of 36 natural and cultural sites included on the World Heritage List. Those of us who live, work or play in the Westport and Rideau Lakes area know how unique the waterway is. Over 200 kilometers of lakes and rivers joined by manmade canals and locks make their way through a diverse Canadian terrain and unveils an authentic holiday get-away destination. The canal is North America’s oldest continuously operating waterway and was built between 1826 and 1832.”
Westport is a “tourist town” but also a real community.
I liked the contrast of the white steeple against the sky and the last of the colored leaves.
This photo doesn’t capture the intense red of the red leaves against the red brick.
Remember Lily Tomlin’s character Edith Ann?
My college roommate Eileen, who after a long career with the Federal Government, retired and went to law school and now practices law in Virginia. I need you to know that before I tell you that in college she used to entertain both of us with her perfect “Edith Ann” imitations. As soon as I saw this huge oversized Adirondack chair, I knew what we had to do.
Randal, Charmaine and Linda eye the huge Adirondak chair, but probably not for the same reasons I did. Even though Randal knows Eileen, he’s never seen her Edith Ann imitation.
It wasn’t easy but Randal climbed up the front of the chair. How to feel like a little kid again!
I used my Outward Bound problem solving skills, walked around and climbed in from the much lower side.
THIS IS FOR YOU EILEEN!!!
No Comments »
Posted by: Ruth in Roanoke, USA, VA
The Canadian adventure continues with this email. (Warning, food photos! Don’t read if hungry!!)
Charmaine and Linda are world travelers. To bring them something unique we had to think “close to home.” We brought wine from Chateau Morrisette, a winery down the road in Floyd just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 171.5. There are other nearby wineries, but Randal really likes their Sweet Mountain Laurel which really goes well with salty Virginia ham. I forget what the other bottle was, but both certainly got finished off. I know I filled my glass a few times. We also brought peanuts from Emporia, Virginia, home of the annual Peanut Tour bicycle ride that we’ve done too many times to remember. The ham was a spur of the moment decision and we bought it on our way into Chincoteague, our last stop before we crossed the border into Maryland. (Virginia ham bought in Maryland wouldn’t have been the same.) We just hoped the ham would make it across the border into Canada! It did; no problem probably because it was cured or whatever it was that made it not need refrigeration. I don’t have a really good sense of “cured ham” as ham was definitely something else my mother didn’t make. Actually probably no one’s mother made it since we were Jewish and so were most of the families in the neighborhood.
The ham was cured with salt so overnight soaking was necessary and then rinsing before it could be cooked. Randal rinsed and Charmaine did the cooking. Here Charmaine is testing the temperature of the cooked ham to check if it was done. It actually took less time than we had calculated.
Getting the ham out of the pot and finally onto a cutting board. You can see the soap resting and setting up on the counter in front of the ham so it was a really busy morning with both soap and ham projects going on.
Ready for dinner that evening.
A huge bowl of salad, scalloped potatoes and rolls made for a wonderful dinner…And there was ham for lunch the next day, and, and, and then we received this email from Charmaine after our visit.
“I made split pea soup with the ham hock (bone) yesterday; it is fantastic!
Up here, we call it "French Canadian Pea Soup" - I am not sure why.”
Bet it was really good too! Everything Charmaine made was really good and I insisted on getting Linda’s recipe for the salad dressing.
Charmaine had made a spicy tomato soup for a lunch one day. Salmon was dinner our last night.
Potatoes, salmon, garlic green beans and also a huge bowl of cauliflower with Hollandaise sauce. It tasted as good as it looked on the beautiful platter.
I must say here that our friends Har and Julia each also made salmon while we visited and it was wonderful, and wonderfully different, each place we went. Truly, we had great food everywhere and I still say that the best food you get is served at the home of friends!
After dinner games. Charmaine and Randal were the winning partners. Every night we played different games and Randal kept winning until the very last game which I had no clue how to play but won, I think!
Our last afternoon Randal and Linda got out their guitars and both played and sang. I worked on arranging and resizing photos to use for our emails and Charmaine relaxed and read. It was a perfect afternoon with Virginia peanuts and wine for snacks!
Lots of smiling in these photos!
Charmaine relaxes from her cooking with a book. The painting is by Linda.
Lovely and comfortable as it was, we didn’t just stay in the house the whole time. We went off for walks, lunch in Lake Sharbot and a drive to the nearby town of Westport all the time keeping an eye on the weather because of its impact on the dinghy ride back to the island.
The next, and sadly final email from Canada, (and our “road trip north,”) will be “off island” adventures.
No Comments »