Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hardly a Trace

Watching and waiting the morning before Sandy
 ...left of what was Sandy.  We are fortunate here on the island.  Folks farther south had a lot of damage.  On island, there were some trees down and, of course with that, power lines down.  I'm amazed that we had power throughout.  So, with the exception of nature looking a bit untidy (leaves and twigs scattered about), life here goes on as usual.
The surf at Cape Hedge Beach, Monday morning

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Umpteenth Trip to Dogtown

Colors reflected in Granny Day's Swamp

We thought it might be nice to take a morning walk to check out the Fall foliage in Dogtown.  And while Sunday morning was indeed good walking weather, the foliage was a bit lacking in color.  Dogtown has too much birch and beech.  They were yellow.  There are lots of oaks, too.  They are mostly still green and only change color to...brown.
Dogtown Road
It was hard to find anything interesting to shoot.  Harder yet to 'discover' anything.  We need some new trails to explore.  Fortunately, there are plenty of those for other Sundays.
The old sign marker (in stone) for Dogtown Square
The new system...gone digital.
We did happen upon another of the Babson cellar hole numbers.
Cellar hole 34 is behind the boulder
As soon as I got home I checked the list in the book to find that Unknown had lived at number 34.  Like I said, no new discoveries.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


I've been playing phone tag with an out of town restaurateur.  First it was someone calling on his behalf.  They left his cell number. I called it and left a message.  Later yesterday, I had a message on my machine from the person.  I called back this morning and got voice mail...again.  This time though, within 5 minutes, said restaurateur called back. He wants to sell the piano.

The short of it is that I volunteered to do a free (it's kinda local), quick check, prior to this piano being offered for sale, of a year old tuning that had been done by someone else.  I ran over to the restaurant before it opened today.  Yep, very out of tune.  Double checked tuning pin torque on some of the more offensive notes.  All fine with that.  Got back home and called the restaurateur with the promised report.

It went like this...

Me:  The piano needs tuning.  It's totally up to you whether you want to tune prior to selling it or if you want to explain that you've had it looked at and all is satisfactory for tuning after moving to a new location.  (it'll have to be tuned then anyway.)  As I said before, my tuning fee is $$$$.

Him:  Would you tune it for a small cash payment plus gift certificates for a couple dinners?

Me:  No, I'm sorry, I don't do that.  (Honestly, I'd be rich in food coupons, play tickets, etc.  but unable to pay my electrical bill or put gas in my car.)

Not going to tune.

Afterthought.....I tune at a lot of churches.  I can see the offer now....we can pay you a portion of your fee in cash and offer the balance in the promise of salvation!


Sunday, October 14, 2012


This extremely large illustration hangs against the back wall of a defunct drop forge.  It would seem to have been placed in its current location long after the forge ceased operating.
What on earth does it mean?

For more photos of the Cape Ann Tool Company, see my FB page at:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's Next for Haskins?

That's what I'm hoping to clarify when I meet with the Town Administrator.  I emailed her this morning and I'm hoping that I can fit into her schedule within the next month.  G from SBHS wants to be at the meeting, too.

Several items will be on my agenda.

The first is to get the entry walls repaired.  Much needed on the right hand side as you approach the park, and less so (but still needs attention) on the left.
The right side curved wall has been destroyed by snow plows.

Then there is the matter of how to accept the donations of funds for new picnic tables. We have the offer.  We don't have any authority to accept or to expend those potential funds.
These are some of the old decaying picnic tables.

And...from the historic view...we want a large boulder in place, with a plaque that remembers Leander Haskins contributions of the park and other town benefits.  It would also be nice to have a second plaque,  maybe on the back of the stone, that gives a chronological history of the property.  The stone pictured below is located at a park in Newburyport and illustrates what we have in mind.

The memorial boulder and plaque in Newburyport.

I'd also like to discuss the remainder of the phase one clean-up and include in that the planting of a small, self-sustaining garden in the area of the arborvitae.  My plant ideas include day lilies, Queen Anne's lace, and rhododendron.
Maybe the home of the first of several flowering gardens?

There are many other items that will need attention as the project progresses.  But these will get Phase One nearer completion.

Now if I could just get that appointment with the Town Administrator.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A Weighty Subject

You just never know what you may find in the oddest places.

So...do you suppose that Capt. James Babson is indeed interred in the workings of a pipe organ at a church in Lanesville?

"Dev" read on to the Rowe post....

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Another Rowe?

This is a bit off the general train of thought from the last few posts.  However, I received a comment on an older post that got me to thinking...and checking back...and failing to find the ebook documentation that I had found a half year ago.

Anyway, here is a photo of the memorial stone of Major John Rowe of Rockport.

Dev?????  Comment?  Based on everything I have read online and at the Sandy Bay Historical Society, I'm still betting that they are one and the same...that is, Major John Rowe is actually buried in NY but this is the memorial stone in Rockport.  (As I recall, Sr. was a different rank.)

Friday, October 05, 2012

Even In the Fog

Haskins Park is beautiful.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Heberle Week at Haskins Park and Beyond

Foggy and damp at Haskins Park
Wow, where to begin.
With their mother, RH seated, CH standing
These two little boys are now 82 and 83 years old.  The Heberle brothers spent 6 years of their childhood living on the grounds of the Haskins Hospital when their father ran the sanitarium, Restcroft.  This week they have traveled from Florida to Rockport and Gloucester with other family members.  They have spent the week showing off the area to their relatives (7 total of daughters, sons-in-laws, sons, cousins...) and telling them stories of life here back in the 30s and 40s.  Along with a couple trips to Haskins Park and a meeting with the Board of Selectman, they've been antiquing in Essex, toured Hammond Castle, eaten at Sailor Stan's, taken the train to Boston and visited the USS Constitution and a ship that CH served on that's currently in dry dock, and driven past former houses and old haunts. Their visit was the main reason we got to working on the Haskins Park clean-up right away.
Mom and I bought some chrysanthemums to brighten the entrance
Monday afternoon R and I met RH up at the park.  We walked around while he told stories and we showed him the temporary access to the pools that R, T, and I had cut.  RH said that he brought the family up on Sunday afternoon, but it was damp and drizzly so they didn't stay long.  He had looked for the path, but hadn't found it.  After an hour or so, we said byes and that we were looking forward to meeting the entire clan at the Board of Selectmen's meeting Tuesday evening.
The Special Recognition is read...
The BoS decided to present a Heberle Family Recognition at the meeting.  They thought it would be nice to acknowledge the contributions to the community that Dr. Heberle had made.  It was a full house!  First on the agenda, after the Pledge and such, was the Heberle Recognition.  Selectwoman Fleming read the certificate that had been prepared and presented each brother with a copy.
and presented to CH (left) and RH by Selectwoman Fleming
Then she asked if they had any comments.  RH got up in front of the crowd and told a few stories from the hospital years.  The first, I think, was how his father had saved the life of a local farmer who had been gored by a bull.  The second was a very humorous tale about RH nearly being sat upon by one of the hospital nurses while he was 'using the facilities'.  He was about 4 at the time and couldn't reach the pull chain for the light so was in a very narrow WC in the dark.  He hadn't locked the door.  Nurse W evidently was quite an enormous woman who walked in, pulled the light chain and turned not seeing that the WC was occupied, with her back to RH she hiked her skirts and dropped her drawers.  RH screamed and bolted out of the WC with his view of Nurse W imprinted in his young mind, if not on his young body!
RH telling history with flair!
Everyone at the meeting was in stitches as he related the story.

In conclusion, his brother, CH, said that he wished he still lived here.

The meeting continued with a special thank you to the volunteers that have maintained the property over the years and a thank you to those who worked on the clean-up day.  R gave special recognition to TT and TA (who were at the meeting) for all their hard work on clean-up day.

After all those praises and thank yous, the Heberle crowd left the meeting.  My mom invited everyone back to the house for coffee and dessert.  Twelve of us spent more than an hour with stories, photos, and time getting to know each other.

All together a very nice evening.