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.

1 comment:

mary said...

Fantastic! You should receive a certificate of commendation as well!

It is exciting to see how your planning became reality - the Heberle family must be thrilled.

Loved seeing the photos of the meeting.