Getting Away


Frequently books can be a passport to escape from our daily routine. They can transport us to new shores, new adventures.  We meet people that don’t live next door or around the corner.  I’m drawn to books that describe “escapes” made by their authors.  Journeys, travel logs, memoirs.  Brought “On Whale Island : notes from a place I never meant to leave,” by Daniel Hays to Cape Cod this week. Finished reading it this rainy, overcast day.

Hays and his father built a twenty-five sail boat and sailed it around Cape Horn. That’s the bottom of South America; not an easy sail if I recall correctly.  He shared their sail in “My Old Man and the Sea (1995).  Hays grew up in New York CIty, went to a Vermont boarding school, with money inherited from a grandmother he bought a 50 acre island off the coast of Nova Scotia, you guessed, Whale Island.    A place to escape in the summer; he and his father built a small house there.  After the Cape Horn sail and book, he returns to graduate school and an internship in Idaho as a guide to troubled kids. There he meets Wendy, and her son Stephan (about 10).  Marriage.

Hays yearned to “get away,” “pack it up,” “escape civilization,” “get off the grid.”  He dreamed of following in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau.  With the book royalties in hand, he convinced Wendy and Stephan, to move to Whale Island. It’s remote, cold, isolated, basic, primitive.  They last one year.


“On Whale Island” is the story of that year.  It’s written as a diary, Day 1, Day 25, Day 200; most entries are in Daniel’s voice but Wendy and Stephan contribute some.  It’s not an easy life; cutting wood for heat and cooking (how much is needed); fixing or enduring house leaks (some won’t go away); creating, repairing, a water and sewage system (can be disgusting).  They seem to buy most of their food, with a boat trip into town.  Daniel has a gun (part of being a man in the culture and for him) shoots a few ducks; helps Lobster men and gets a few of the catch.  But no mention of gardening.

Wendy longs for a more civilized life.  While Dan is satisfied with a whalebone sink, plywood and foam rubber bed, Wendy wants a house that doesn’t leak and store bought furniture.  She ocassionally gets a package from mail order.  Daniel records their frequent outbursts, arguments, blow ups; usually followed with some humor and promises.  I found this very real, how couples can manage or work through different perspectives, dreams?

Daniel worries about a lot of things.  Survival,  being an accepted man with the local boys, his relationship with Wendy, and relationship with Stephan.  He writes frequently about his ability to be a good father.  He also admits to medications he takes for depression, mood control.  And he likes his rum.


The environmental “escape” part of the story are the glimpses into life in Nova Scotia, on a remote island; the weather; daily chores; contacts with locals (some interesting characters).  Chapters are introduced by quotes, many from “Walden.”  “I should not talk so much about myself if there was anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.”


Hays’ own writing contains quite a few quotable lines. I liked, “I want to stay forever. I want to become a professional scrounger, find a way to make seaweed taste good, trade labor for outboard-engine gas — better yet, trade the boat in for an old sailboat . . . Grow potatoes, set out fish traps, hunt, grow a beard, forget my social security number.”  No TV or internet on Whale Island.

For the past few days, I traveled with Daniel to the wilderness, to an island in Nova Scotia.  In fact, we both escaped.  But after a year Daniel and family returned to Idaho and I’m back in Cape Cod, in ten days, Yardley.  I’ll read another book; take another trip. Explore, experience, enjoy.  There are different ways of “getting away.”  I need to keep searching.



Moving on

I was born July 24, 1947 at Nazareth Hospital in northeast Philadelphia, twelve miles from Bristol where my parents lived and where I would grow up.  I was a baby boomer, my father was in the Navy during the war; mom worked and waited for him.  They were married in 1946.  Since they were the first their group to have a child, my father was sometimes called “father” by friends.  I doubt if many care about the details of my life but after 70, 71 to be exact, years, I find the need to reflect and record.

My life history is one fairly typical American. No Tom Jones or Ishmeal here.  Immigrant grandparents, religious family (Roman Catholic), small town, self-employed parents (father, Vince, an appliance store, mother, Cis, a dress shop), four sisters (Cissi, Vicky, Marylee, Liz), college, married young, Peace Corps, one child (Jenny), two grand children (Eli and Viv), single family home, 40 plus years in high school and college teaching and administration, political and community involvement, local and international travel, hobbies (reading, writing, photography), 67 at retirement, too quickly followed by major medical issues.  My life in under 100 words.

This morning at six I am sitting in a screened porch on Ayers Pond, Orleans, Cape Cod, MA.  The sun is up and beginning to reflect the sailboats in the marina.  I have a cup of coffee and blueberry muffin from a great local bakery, yogurt and blueberries.  The bird feeder needs to be filled.  In the next two hours the rest of the house will get up, Jen, Rob, Eli and Viv, my wife of 50 years, Diane.  It’s our third year in this house; six consecutive years with the Kwait’s on the Cape and decades of spending summertime in New England.  Life is good, still.

Last year we had to leave Orleans after one week — what do they say, “getting old . . . you can fill in the blank.  At home in Yardley, I ended up in St. Mary’s Hospital for ten days.  Then months recovering. In 2015 I was hospitalized for months.  Last night I got into the kayak, paddled around the Pond.  Although I needed help getting out, I proclaimed a second recovery, back to what is now normal.  My birthday wish is that I can ride a bike sometime today.  It’s been two years, but I thought it was something you never forgot.  I remember getting my 80 year old father on a bike in Nantucket.

Recently I’ve heard echoes of my mother’s admonitions,  “Can’t means I won’t”  or “It’s the little things that count.”  “Haste makes waste.”  On parents: Tim Russert, “The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.” And then there was Twain, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”  Took me till 71?

My new tagline’ slogan, is “reflect, recharge, renew,” seen on a church in CN while driving to the Cape.   I could add “relax” and make it the four “Rs.”  Blog and journal writing documents my reflection.  I constantly look at the present through the past.  Our personal history flows from all that we’ve experienced and done.  Our present is  also influenced by our world, economics, politics, social trends, technology, war and peace. John Muir, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” It’s  frightening but the current administration in Washington is influencing who I am today.


For months I’ve been in overdrive recharging.  Now that time has passed,  I need shorter periods of recharge.  It may be an afternoon nap; a shower, a day alone at home, two weeks on Cape Cod, anyone. It’s a constant process; always has been; but more critical as we age.  A long walk this morning along the bay shore was refreshing (another “R” word.  Lunch was a lobster roll and clam chowder from Young’s at Rock Harbor.  This afternoon I’ll rest and recharge before a Birthday  dinner, hopefully at the Marshside in Dennis.

The task of “renewal” has been more difficult for me.  I want to have some plans, goals, dreams, something new in the final period of my life.  At the Smithsonian, retirement year one, I bought a small journal with a historic world globe on the cover.  It was to be for my dreams, aspirations, a bucket list if our will.  It’s still pretty blank.  For most of my life, photography has been a creative outlet.  I’d planned on a new more professional camera and lenses.  But I haven’t bought it yet; just take many pictures with my phone.  I thought about volunteer work.  More traveling.  Writing a book.  Change. Renew?

My mother again, “For good ideas to be worthwhile; they must be put into action.”  I’m not worried.  Life is good, remember.  And I know I’m “moving on.”



Morning in Orleans



Yesterday we left Yardley at 9:30, the Highlander loaded with kayak, beach chairs, umbrella, kids toys, fishing poles and everything else needed for a two weeks trip to Orleans. It was a nice sunny, not too hot day but traffic was heavy. We took the NJ turnpike, NYC route. After the George Washington, we got on the shaded Merritt Parkway to Milford, CN. The Merritt was part of the route to Boston College in the 1960s. Memories.

We stopped at the Guilford Lobster Landing to have a roll ($17) and officially mark our return to New England.  Not much else on the menu, we did have a few stuffed clams and chips.  No inside seating; no credit cards.   At the same dock area there are two other seafood choices, Guilford Mooring, a fancier sit down restaurant which we haven’t tried, and  Pa’s Place, another small breakfast, lunch stop. A larger menu than the “Landing” but also known for their lobster rolls.  Last year we tried a Lobster “shack” in another town but didn’t like the atmosphere as much as Guilford.


Traffic was surprisingly light going over the canal.  We took the Bourne bridge and headed to 6A since we needed gas.  Although it’s slower than Route 6, it’s more interesting, studios, restaurants, shops, B and Bs.   In Barnstable we stopped at a market for beer (Alagash White), prepared lasagna, and oh so tasty oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  In recent years we haven’t explored 6A very much.  We decided it would be an activity this trip.


This is our sixth consecutive year in Orleans, sharing a house with the Kwait’s.  For the first years we stayed on Pilgrim Lake.  It was a nice place, secluded, large deck,  the kids could kayak to a small beach across the pond. Fishing was good; the snappers were huge.  But there’s always greener grass.  Diane found another three bedroom about 10 minutes from Pilgrim Lake.  The new cottage was on Ayers Pond, connected to the Namequoit River that empties into Little Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic.  A major difference in the setting, Ayers is a marina where wooden boats are built. So the Pond is filled with sail and motor boats.  When we arrived yesterday, there was a group taking paddle board lessons.  We could probably take sailing lessons.  The fishing hasn’t been as good as Pilgrim.   Theoretically we could kayak to the ocean at Chatham.  The best feature of the house (8 Peck’s Way) is a screened in porch with a Pond view. My place to sit, reflect, read, write, watch birds, feel the breeze, listen to the wind.  I need  chimes like we always had in Nantucket.

For ten years we rented a cottage on Nantucket.  Usually  two weeks.  I’ve previously written about our golden years there.  Unfortunately, the owner, John sold the property for about 2 million. Maybe in 2006.  The price wasn’t the cottage which was moved but the property which was on the edge of preserved moors.  We couldn’t find anything like it.  The following year we rented on Cape May Point, then tried Orleans, when Eli was about two years old.  Another year we were with Eli and Viv at Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island.  But then for several years when Eli was being treated for neuroblastoma, there were only weekend jaunts.  Finally we went to Pilgrim Lake, as close as we could get to our Nantucket experience.

Diane and I have had many other Cape adventures.  Her family vacationed here regularly. My first visit was September in my sophomore year, several of us rented a house for a few days.  No memories.  The most memorable visit with Diane was a day trip on Easter Sunday, probably in 1968.  We were married, had a gray British Sunbeam, c. 1959?  Great, fun car.  We drove to the new National Seashore (a Kennedy initiative), and cavorted on the sand dunes.  I’m sure a no-no today.  When we returned to the car, late afternoon, we discovered that our car keys were lost in the sand.  What to do?  A fireman came to our rescue (amazing, ten cents in a pay phone call).  The Sunbeam had a crank start if you wanted. Our rescuer crossed some wires, turned the crank and we were on our way back to Boston.  Several months later a car thief did the same thing and we lost our hot rod.

For most of the years that we rented on Nantucket, we spent several nights in a B and B on the Cape.  Usually nights before we took the ferry.  Usually it was along Route 6A, the road we traveled yesterday.  On the little time we had, we explored craft and art studios, especially the many potteries, had several favorite restaurants, The Impudent Oyster (still there) was one; Christine’s (gone); both in Chatham. We stayed in the Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster, nice location near restaurants and a busy general store.  Another was the Nauset House Inn in Orleans.  We remember riding our bikes from there to Nauset Beach.  There were others; names forgotten.  On these trips, we’d lunch and shop in Hyannis before boarding the ferry.   Although we thought of ourselves as Nantucket people, we got a taste of the Cape.

Yesterday we passed a church with signage, “reflect, recharge, renew.”  It captured my current thoughts on life but particularly travel, especially in retirement.  On Nantucket and now on the Cape we’re in no big hurry.  It’s not new territory we’re compelled to explore.  This morning I filled the bird feeder and this evening I sit with squalking Blue Jays, a Mourning Dove and variety of smaller birds.  Chipmunks and small brown squirrels scurry around the porch.


Today we had showers off and on.  A walk along the river in a small preserve near the house was cut short due to bugs.  So we drove outside of town to a dead end on the Bay.  Thankfully the town allows several cars to park and access the beach.  An easy peaceful walk.  While out about, we stopped at Nauset Market, wine and a sandwich for lunch; Cottage Street Bakery for muffins and macaroons; a local farm for corn.  All familiar spots.

In the afternoon, we organized the house.  Kwait’s will arrive tonight.  We read; took a short nap.  I’m listening to the rain. We’re on Cape Cod. “Reflect, recharge, renew.”













70 years old!

Celebrating 70 years anniversary retro label with red ribbon, ve

About 2 weeks ago on July 24, I turned 70 years old. Lot of people wrote wishing me Happy Birthday, hoping I had a great day. Sorry to write, but I didn’t. Several weeks earlier I returned from a visit to Jerry and Kate Alonzo in Geneseo, NY and a few Finger Lakes days in Ithaca. I developed an intestinal bowel infection? It didn’t end the trip but I was uncomfortable. A trip to my GP, resulted in an antibiotic and tests which came up negative. But my stomach remained upset, I had limited appetite and sat in my recliner much of many days. Ten days later a second doc suggested the stomach may be off due to the antibiotics. A week later it’s almost normal. I mean I had a lobster roll for lunch today. But it’s not 100%. Can the Cape be my tonic?

I need what for years I called “Nantucket Time.” Turn off the news. Trump’s constant twitter and crazy domination of the news which I almost always disagree with takes its psychological toll. I need to forget the consistently growing list of what I need to do — doctor appointments, house projects, getting rid of  stuff. Retirement shouldn’t be stressful. The days are numbered till we reach September.

I spent a quiet Sunday at the house on Ayer’s Pond in Orleans at the elbow on the Cape. It’s secluded. Quiet. Small boats sway in a gentle breeze. Stronger wind creates halyard chimes. As the day proceeds a few make their way in sailboats, kayaks, and motor boats out the Namequoit River to Little Pleasant Bay, the Atlantic a possibility. I watch red-headed chipping sparrows hop from bushes to the feeder. They seem to be the bird of the day. Bright sun filters through pines that surround the house. I sit inside and with the breeze it gets chilly, so I move outside immediately warmed by the sun. This a the tonic I need.


I read “A Fish Caught in Time: the search for the coelacanth” by Samantha Weinberg. Coelacanth fossils 200 million or more years old had been around for years; but a live one was caught, amazing the scientific community, in the late 1930s, in the Comoros Islands off of South Africa. Identified, partially preserved, the find sparked decades of searching for live coelacanths. Millions of dollars and dozens of expeditions failed to keep a specimen alive in captivity. Museums throughout the world did eventually obtain a specimen for their collection. Missing link, evolution, pre-historic fish fired the imagination. I found it interesting that in the late 1940s, coelacanth fossils were discovered in a Triassic strata on the campus of Princeton NJ.

Environmentalists warned that over fishing might push the fish into extension. Imagine it. In a few decades, we wipe out a fish species older than dinosaurs? Fortunately this hasn’t happened. Continuing with the fish theme, I also watched a Front Line documentary,”The fish on my plate” based on the writings of Paul Greenberg. He wrote “Four Fish” and “American Catch.” Greenberg spent a year exploring the sustainability of the fishing industry giving up a land based diet for an Omega 3 based diet from the sea. Although he learns a lot about fish farming and enjoyed  many seafood meals throughout the world, his doctors found no immediate health benefits but he concluded with a plan to continue to enjoy sustainable seafood with an ocassional hamburger.

I ate small portions during the day, drank lots of water thought I was doing well but the symptoms of my intestinal disorder seemed to return at night and early morning. Nantucket time and Cape May tonic may take some time.


Cape Cod Sunday Slowing Down


Sunday morning. Overcast but no rain yet.  Arey’s Pond is quiet.  It is a sheet of glass.  No activity in or from the boatyard. Even the feeder is quiet (but needs filling).  We’ve had a small flock of Blue Jays, cardinals, mourning doves, chickadees, goldfinch, titmice, and nuthatch; Downy and Red Bellied Woodpeckers feeding the past few days. Chipmunks scurry beneath the feeder; and I’ve seen one gray squirrel.   Osprey have flown overhead; maybe a marsh hawk.   A swan makes its home across the water; sharing space with at least one seal.  It’s not hard to find solitude and peace here.

I am reading “The Salt House: a summer on the dunes of Cape Cod” by Cynthia Huntington.  She writes, “I wished quickly for what I always wish: to be given another summer after this one, to be able to come here all our lives, to keep making this our home.”  Cynthia (a writer) and her husband Bert (a sculptor) were fortunate.  Hazel Hawthorne Werner, as part of a small artistic group,  had spent her summers in the dunes near Race Point Proviencerown from the 20’s into the 1060s.  Her group included Agnes and Eugene O’Neill who lived in beach shacks that had been built around the Peaked Hills Life Saving Station.  Hazel now was in her 80s, would Cynthia and Bert like to live in her shack, Euphoria?  “We said yes without taking a breath, ” Cynthia wrote.


“8 Peck’s Way” on Arey’s Pond or “Rattlesnake Bank” on Nantucket where we stayed  for over 10 years aren’t quite as isolated as the Cape dune beach shacks, but the Peaked Hill shacks are now owned by the National Seashore and a lottery determines who can reside there for a period of time. We need a different address but I should explore the lottery.

Arey’s Lane is a dirt road off of route 28.  “8 Peck’s Way” is just beyond the Arey’s  boat yard (beautiful custom boats, check out their website).  Driving to and from, both Rob and Diane have taken to coming in from the other direction off  Monument Road which leads to a maze of private dirt roads between Pilgrim Lake and the Namequoit River.  It’s dusty single lanes and its not unusual that cars need to pull aside for others to pass.  One party pulls aside, and as the cars pass, both drivers wave.  Time for slow and neighbors.  I love the posted sign on Arey’s’s:  “drive wicked slow, 15 mph.”  IAnnoyed at first, I eventually decided that this approach contributed to my-our sense of seclusion — we are hidden in the woods.

Although I like the idea of serendipity and spontaneous activity. Some planning is necessary when 6 people of different ages are traveling/vacationing together.  Can we satisfy all; can we come up with a mix of the planned and unplanned?  This morning, Jenny called a family meeting.  There are so many option of what we can do in the coming week.  And we all have our likes and dislikes.  Some activities are weather related.  Some get sold out if you don’t get advance tickets.

Most years we take a boat trip and we came to a decision.  Mass Audubon 2 hour Thursday explore (buckets and nets on a sand bar or island) out of Hyannis.  Another decision: lobster dinner tentatively scheduled for Tuesday; in the morning we have a National Seashore ranger led nature explore and there is an evening lecture on whales.

But not everything is agreed on and planned.  Diane wants to try some clamming and she bought an official pail. But it involves open areas, tides, and a day permit.  All vary from town to town.  More research is needed for a commitment.  “Grease” would be fun to see but tickets we placed tickets  on hold.  How would it impact beach time and dinner?  Today we may walk at the National Seashore, Skacket Beach at low tide around 4, Rob and Eli going to a baseball game, probably pizza for dinner.

Shore life, in general,  tends to be slow.  Most serious boaters (I’m not talking speedboats and jet skis) move slow.  Their rhythms follow winds and tides.  Right now in front of me on the pond is a sailboat coming in to dock, they cut the engine and slowly drift-motor to a mooring. Another boater is rowing  (slowly) to dock.  Canoeing, kayaking and rowing usually follow a peaceful rhythm. There may be times when energy and fast motion are desired or needed but it’s not a constant commute on an Interstate highway.


Activity on the beach also tends to go slow.  Some just sit in the sun, or hide under an umbrella, nap, read; others walk along the shore stopping to watch sanderlings, gulls and terns.  There are beachcombers collecting shells or whatever else may wash up their way.  A few swim and there are a more active groups of surfers (usually young).  But for the most part the beach, sand, and sun contribute to a quiet slow, relaxed time.

Most fishing tends to be a quiet peaceful activity, frequently solitary, a waiting communion between fish and fisherman. Think “Old Man in the Sea.”  I also see images of individuals casting long, staring out to sea. Casting and waiting.  In late afternoon, sipping from a can of beer.  Or there in the row boat — one, no two, it’s a father and son — poles dipping into the water.  Waiting, reflecting, relaxing.  Even fishing from a boat in bay or ocean can involve slow, quiet time punctuated with the back and forth pull of a catch.  The bigger the fish; the more strain and fight.  Reeling in requires a measured, calculated pace.

This evening I’m watching the sun set over Arey’s.  According to plan, Rob and Eli are off to an Orleans Firebirds game.  Hundreds turn out to watch college players representing different towns.  It’s been happening 100 years!  Baseball isn’t your fastest sport.  There is some running but a lot of watching and waiting. A perfect Cape Cod sport.   I enjoyed my time at a game a few nights back; wouldn’t even have considered watching a game in Yardley.  Diane, Viv and Jenny have just returned from several hours at Skaket Beach — low tide.  Viv netting crabs, alive and dead; walking slowly through the sand and low water.  Jen meets and talks to a oyster farmer. They clean up, no rush.

Tonight we’ll have take-out pizza for dinner. Cooking takes time and planning.  And tonight we all move “wicked slow.”




Traveling; Vacationing


Why do we travel?  Why are vacations so important?  Sometimes it may be just a weekend, field trip or night away. I’m sure there are many reasons. Some of us enjoy seeing and exploring new places. Having new experiences.  New or favorite foods.  It’s usually a change of pace. We may get to spend more (or less) time with family.  Our daily life traveling, on vacation is different.  Usually no work or as many (if any) house chores.  I’m pretty sure a recurring reason is “to recharge.”  This was certainly always heard in the faculty room justifying teachers’ summer vacation.

Last summer Diane and I spent two weeks in Cape Cod with Jen, Rob, Eli and Viv.  My surgeries started in September, then March and May.  For a year there was no travel or vacation, few field trips.  Now a year later we are back on Cape Cod for two weeks.


Our rental is different this year but both are waterfront.  Right now I sit on our screened in porch looking out on Arey’s  Pond.  To the right is a boatyard.  The pond is about a third as big as the Pilgrim Lake cottage ( 5 minutes away) where we rented for three years.  The big difference is the Arey’s leads into the Namequoit River, Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Pilgrim Lake was a kettle pond, formed by a melting block of glacier ice. Kettle ponds are freshwater; Arey’s is salt.  Fishing is different.  Arey’s is tidal and we can walk along the low water shore line to a conservation area with a trail.  Nice for a short walk.


Each house has some special features. I like that we have some history of 8 Peck Way (three sisters, owners name) on Arey’s.   In the 1950s, the girls parents,  Samuel and Marion Peck bought 16 acres of woods on Arey’s Lane with a quarter mile of shoreline along Arey’s Pond and the Namequoit River (what the girls called “The Creek.” Other family members had a cabin across the pond.  In 1951, a small cabin (still on the property) was trucked from Sharon, MA.  Sam’s father was a house mover.  Sam was a teacher and for the next few years, the family spent summer vacations in the cabin and a tent.

In  1954, house construction began and was interrupted and destroyed by hurricane Carol.  The house was finished over the next dozen years as finances permitted.  Sam believed in an efficient, classic Cape camp preserving the habitat surrounding the house.  In 2006, some of the property was sold to the town of Orleans creating the Samuel W. and Marion Hadley Peck Conservation Area. The nice short walk.

We like dealing directly with the owners who wrote in the house history I just shared. In updating the house, they wrote  “our goal while trying to make the house convenient and comfortable, is for it still to feel like a classic Cape summer home that features the natural surroundings we come to the Cape to enjoy — the breezes, the Salt air, the sand, the pine trees, the water — and the wonderful wildlife whose habitat we share.”


For me this year on the Cape is about recharging and testing limits.  I am still weak and have some permanent medical issues. The question isn’t just what do I want to do but what can I do?  Today, in the near future.  I’ve been walking for several hours a day, starting to do a little upper body exercise.  One big guestion until this morning was kayaking. I bought an LL Bean kayak when I retired.  We traveled so much year one, that I never used it.  Rather than bring it to the Cape last summer, we rented a canoe.  This year we bought a rack and have the kayak.  This morning I carefully lowered myself in, Rob pushed me off, and I spent an hour plus exploring Arey’s Pond.  The seat was totally comfortable, the paddling felt good.  I enjoyed the breeze, the splash of jumping fish, clanging halyards, and ocassional shout or laugh of kids in row boats or paddle boards.  The current was gentle easing the kyack through the maze of sailboats. Of the many interesting or fun names, I voted for the green hulled, “Spinach.”  Getting out was difficult but I did it,  only falling once.

Eli and Rob are fishing.  Diane followed me in the kayak. Viv is working on a craft project.  Jen unfortunately has some free lance.  In our two weeks here, we will enjoy some familiar beaches, trails and restaurants. We will eat a lot of seafood and  Eli will continue to try clam chowders.  We will explore new places and activities. Parents, grandparents and kids will spend some special moments together.  And I know we will  all recharge.


I smell some bacon frying for lunch BLTs.  Not sure what will happen this afternoon.  But i’m not worried; I’m on Nantucket time.




Cape Stories – Politicians?


My first story takes place in Nantucket.  It’s not Cape Cod but one of several off shore islands associated with the Cape.  We vacationed there for over ten years until our rental cottage was sold for 2 million (well the land, not so much the cottage).  That’s when we started to spend more time on the Cape.  The story also seems quite appropriate in this election year.

“During the summer, Nantucket harbor is filled with more than a thousand boats, doubtless many times what the whaling fleet was in its glory days.  For an overnight stay (in the 90s) at the marina, a forty-foot boat pays $90, for a full season $10,000.  On only one occasion has a yachtsman found the harbor inadequate.  That was when Donald Trump learned that the channel, now dredged to seventeen feet, was too shallow for his Princess. Trump sailed away, I was told, promising to return the next summer with his own dredge.  Before that could happen, however, Trump himself ran aground on financial shoals and the Princess was put up for sale.”  From “The Coast” by Joseph Thorndike

Since we started with a story about a Republican politician, I should share a story about a Democratic politician.

Elizabeth Warren Former Students Refuse Comment   by Bill Carson
(Mattapoisett Massachusetts)

Elizabeth Warren Former Students Refuse Comment

Imagine taking a college course and having Elizabeth Warren as your professor ? In hundreds of pictures in the news she always looks mad at the world ! It’s hard to picture Elizabeth Warren as a teacher with that plastic sardonic smile on her face.

Are there any former students of Elizabeth Warren? Did she actually ever teach a college course? While teaching what did her students think of her teaching methods ? Did she mock her students and talk to them in a sarcastic way to put her students down ?

The professor had said recently with a scowl she has always been a teacher and worked hard at that job.

It has been reported that the professor won awards from her students.Who, What ,Where and When and How were these awards given to Elizabeth Warren ?

We need to hear from of the former students of the professor ! Why hasn’t Elizabeth brought a few students up to talk about the great job she did as a teacher ?

John Kennedy is the President most associated with Cape Cod, walking on the beach, sailing, playing touch football on the lawn of the family compound in Hyannis. Here’s one tale.

HYANNIS — John F. Kennedy learned he had won the tight 1960 presidential election at his summer home in Hyannis Port when, as the story goes, his 3-year-old daughter Caroline woke him up the morning after Election Day by saying, “Good morning, Mr. President.”

1961 – John F. Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States and the youngest president ever elected. Hyannisport and Hyannis are put on the map and his family compound becomes a new haven for tourists. Tourism on Cape Cod increases by 40%

In my experience, Democrats are frequently associated with the Cape, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.  The Clinton’s and the Obama’s have vacation on the Vineyard.  I photographed Hillary in downtown Nantucket while Bill played golf.  When John Kerry was running for President, I watched a woman driving a car with a “Heinz” license plate  daily on a dirt road across the street from our rental house.  There was construction work on a bay side house.  Theresa Heinz Kerry had a house downtown.  Could the Kerry’s be planning a summer White House out of town?  I wrote her.  She responded that it was someone on her staff using the car, the house wasn’t for the Kerry’s.  I like to think if John won the election, we’d vacation across the street from the President.

A more recent story. This time Hillary.

WaveProvincetown Welcomes Hillary

There was a large flag with Hillary’s campaign logo of an H-with-an-arrow logo flying off a house in the West End. And way down at the private house where the event was held, there was a long line of people waiting to cash in on their donation and get into the tent to see Clinton in person.

The symbolism of her timing and the message of her visit seemed unmistakable.

Flying the flag.
Flying the flag.
“It’s such a propitious time for her to be here, with the Supreme Court decision (in favor of gay marriage) just being released,” said Mark Wisneski of Provincetown and New York, as he was waiting in line. “She has an important voting base here in Provincetown.”

Wisneski said, “I doubt I’ll get close to her, but if I did I’d ask how will you work to move gay, lesbian and transgender rights forward.”

Here is the remarkable thing: The odds-on favorite candidate for President of the United States Of America visited Provincetown, known as one of the top gay destinations in the world.

Ponder that for a moment.

It shouldn’t and should never have been ponder-able except for the fact that Provincetown is a really small town. It sure must be an important small town, huh?

Richard Hanson of Provincetown said, “I think she is the first presidential candidate that ever showed any interest or pride in our community.”

Hillary“I think it’s great that she’s paying attention to this community and to issues of gay and lesbian equality,” said Adam Welch of New York. “It’s a political tactic for anyone. But it’s fantastic that she’s being bold.”

And Joe Bolduc of Provincetown said, “As a gay man, I’m thankful that she’s coming to Provincetown. Provincetown is a great place for her to be.”

This blog started with Trump, so we will end with another Trump story.  I’m not sure if he ever visited Cape Cod but he has spent time on Martha’s Vineyard.  Once upon a time, not so long ago.

“Back  in the summer of 1988 while Donald Trump was publicly basking in the success of his book, The Art of the Deal, he quietly came to the Vineyard with a little known blonde model, and former Resaca Beach Poster Girl from Dalton, Ga., with whom he was having an extra-marital affair later dubbed “one of the biggest sex scandals of the 1990s that triggered the divorce of the century.”

At the time, rumors of his “seismic marital rift” whipped around the social circuit. An Atlantic city photographer had already threatened to release photos of Mr. Trump’s clandestine partner. Yet despite speculation in the tabloids and gossip press, the identity of the Donald’s paramour still remained a mystery.

It would be another 18 months before New York columnist Liz Smith broke the story of his season of infidelity. When Marla Maples was finally tagged as the other woman, the liaison had been four years running. The winter after her husband’s Vineyard escapade, Ivana Trump learned of the pair’s affair and confronted Marla at a ski resort in Aspen with her famous line: “You bitch. Leave my husband alone!”

Mr. Trump soon announced the end of his 12-year marriage and subsequently married Marla following the news of her pregnancy with their daughter, Tiffany.

In the past three decades, the events of Mr. Trump’s tryst with Marla have been reported ad nauseam. Curiously absent from all the coverage, however, is any mention of the fact that the Donald and Marla had a secret liaison on July 4, 1988 right in the heart of downtown Edgartown amidst the crowds gathered for the Island’s annual Independence Day parade.”  (From : Vineyard Affair, the Donald, Marla and Me by John Rosenmiller)

It seems that politicians have many different types of associations with the Cape, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.