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For the past five months, I’ve worked for a local Nursery. I spend two, sometimes three days a week as a driver and companion to one of the past owners. For the sake of this blog, I’ll call him HL. This man is the kindest and most pleasant man to spend a day with. I must also mention, he’s quite witty and shares a lot of history with me.
This is not my first rodeo doing this type of thing. Back in the late nineties, I was a driver and aide to the late James Brady and his wife Sarah. Jim was the Press Secretary to President Reagan at the time of the assassination attempt on March 30, 1981. I’ve written a blog in the past of one little tidbit during that time. Jim was another one of those people with a unique wit.
HL’s son is now in charge of the nursery business. In the early twenties HL’s father immigrated to America from the Netherlands as a Bulb salesman. He got this whole nursery thing started. The nursery as it’s known today started in 1962 with the first propagation in one unheated, deep cold frame.
HL loves traveling about the Delmarva Peninsula, looking at land, specifically farmland, as well as historic homes and buildings. We’ve also gone to the Pokomoke Discovery Center, where we learned about River Otters and the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad Historical Site.
A past Thursday found us at a long time employee’s Retirement and Birthday Party. The Company electrician was hanging up his non-conductive Electrical Plyers for a well-deserved cruise in the Carribean with his wife of 64 years, Judy. Kern was also celebrating his 84’th birthday that day and ending his 48’th year at the nursery.
So this old writer is still staying busy, gathering material, as he moves around the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Oh, and did I mention, HL buys lunch each day, there is a story in that process at most every meal. I’m thinking I’ll have to start a Gastro info blog from time to time. Have a great Sunday everyone.
Growing up in the South of New Jersey, Exit # 3 of the NJ Tpk. was my geographical reference point. I was quite familiar with the Jersey Devil. The below is from https://weirdnj.com/
The Jersey Devil
While this one is not a “ghost” story, the tale of the Jersey Devil has withstood the test of time—and for good reason. Stories of the winged beast are truly terrifying. But who or what is the Jersey Devil? According to Weird NJ, the infamous creature haunting the Pine Barrens is the child of Mother Leeds, a Pines resident who conceived her thirteenth child in 1735. At the time, Leeds had no idea how she could care for (let alone afford) another kid and so, in exasperation, she raised her hands to the heavens and proclaimed “Let this one be a devil!” Leeds got her wish. Moments after birth, her healthy baby boy grew horns and claws and bat-like wings. Legend has it the “devil” then killed his mother before attacking onlookers.
This remembrance should have been posted before or on Halloween, once again, however, Life got in the way.
One thought going back many years ago, in the mid-fifties I’d say, is the following:
There were train tracks going through our town back then. These tracks ran the breadth of South Jersey from Camden to Atlantic City, with many spurs running from them in north and south directions. One such spur even went to the north into the Pine Barrens.
On this day I was walking the tracks with a few friends in early fall. Just days prior, it had been reported that a murder had occurred in the area around Chatsworth, a town that is kind of the Capitol of the Pine Barrens.
One of the three or four of us began talking about the incident as we headed back home from Hadden Heights. The sun was setting to our front, and the early fall darkness was setting in. Someone even mentioned the killer could have hopped a freight out of the Barrens. I remember all of our imaginations running a bit on the wild side.
As you come into Audubon, there is a lean-to built to protect commuter passengers in foul weather. Someone surmised that the killer from Chatsworth could be holed out in there. To this day, I can remember passing that lean-to very quickly. Dinner and the safety of home were calling.
Whenever I return to that town of my youth and pass that intersection, E. Atlantic and Chestnut streets, I can still remember that fall day.
I hope you all got a lot of candy and had a fun Halloween.
It’s Christmas Eve put the computer away, is what she said to me. But I have friends out there waiting to hear from me. Well wait until later before you go to bed, unless you hear the bells, on Santa’s sled.
I’ve got to send greetings to those who follow me, this is one day I just can’t let pass. Well right now we’ve got to get ready and, get to Mass, there is someone more important to who we must thank, and before church we need gas in the tank. So I log off the keys and clean up my act. If we don’t hurry, we’ll stand in the back.
We fill up the tank and drive to the church, I’m driving too fast, and we stop with a lurch. We’re greeted by the Priest with a skeptical stare, I’m thinking he saw us, speeding in there. We find us a seat and just settle in, as the priest and the Alter Boy’s march does begin.
The opening prayer is on Christmas and the birth of Christ, it’s the season of Joy and, everyone’s so nice. The theme of the Homily is to go forth and be kind, I turn to the wife and just start to smile, I’ve been kind to the woman for quite a while. Fifty-three years together are we, I shut my eyes and our first Christmas Mass together I see.
It was 1966 in New Jersey, a cold winter’s night when the two of us walked through thunder and snow. It was 8/10 of a mile to the church, the wind gusts were blowing 25 knots or so. There was something so special with everything white, I remember that walk, like it was this Holy Night.
Back at my grandmothers home after Mass, we were offered Mogen David wine, in a fancy cut glass. Joining us there were Aunt Maude and Uncle Jim. When I was little, every time they would depart, he would give me a dime. Those memories way back to a long-ago time, bring genuine joy and, I remember the Homily, Be Kind! theRooster, 2018
There are many great memories of Christmas with our families. While living in Connecticut, we would have Christmas Day at home and then in a day or two drive to New Jersey and Delaware to celebrate with our respective families there. This, of course, was a grand time for the kids when they were young. Santa seemed to always leave a few out of state gifts for our three, what a treat.
That first Christmas Mass together was attended at Holy Maternity Catholic church in Audubon, NJ. We walked the 8/10 of a mile from my grandmother’s house at W. Pine and 4th Ave. You can check the weather at the Wunderground site below. Twas, not a night fit for man or beast, but we were young, so what the hell.
An excellent remembrance for me was a Christmas Eve I had to work many years ago. I was a young State Trooper and my assignment on this eve was I-84 between Rt. 32 and the Massachusetts State Line. It was called the Upper Patrol. On this night I exchanged my big grey Stetson for a red floppy Santa’s hat, big white tassel on end and all.
If my memory serves me correctly, it was a relatively quiet evening. I would make a few stops, give some verbal warnings. I would hand out candy canes to those I came in contact with and wish them a Merry Christmas and ask them to please drive safely as they continued their journey. After the shift was over, I’d enter our home quietly, my lady was waiting up, and we would have a bit of quiet time and last minute wrapping together. Those were the days my friends.
This past week saw us journey North to CT to visit our son and his family. We would take a leisurely route and cross into NY via the Bear MT. bridge.
A stop at the 202 diner in Cortlandt provided nourishment.
It was only a three-day visit, but it was grand to be with those who are near and dear to our hearts. We had a meal at our favorite haunt when visiting Tolland, Camille’s. I got to spend a few hours with an old member of the Thin Blue Line, #467. We drank coffee at Dunkin Donut’s and told war stories for a couple of hours. I spent time with a brother-in-law, talking clocks and wine racks. He’s quite a Woodworker.
Yes, Christmas time is great for bringing us together. I thank the good Lord for giving me and the little women good health to travel and the ability to wish all of you who take a gander at the Blog from time to time a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours.
As I close, remember the theme from the Homily at Mass, BE KIND!
It’s a Saturday, September 1, 2018, and I have to plan my day wisely. I’m going off on a trip. I must ensure that Ben, our two-year-old Standard Poodle will be looked after later today. I shall be off to Philadelphia International Airport, shortly after noon. My wife and daughter will be arriving from their ten-day trip to Germany, via Dublin. I call Granddaughter Abby, she will be around she says, and will tend to Ben’s needs. Dang, she’s a good one, that Abby.
I do all the routine housekeeping chores, dishes, laundry, trash, and load it in the car for deposit at the refuse station on the way out. I dig out the vacuum, use it to clean, all is in order. The bed is made, a beautiful bottle of Chardonnay is on Ice, and the favorite glass is being chilled in the freezer.
Around 12:30 I head over to the daughter and son-in-law’s and swap cars, mine is a bit small, comfort and luggage storage are paramount for these two travelers. I transfer the bag of trash to drop off and head out for PHL at 12:45.
After dropping off the trash, I give a quick check to Flight Aware, a great App if you’ve never used it. You can check on a flight, and it shows you where it is on a map, departure time and ETA. I learn the flight is due to land in exactly three hours, thirty minutes early. I don’t need to fly, no pun intended, but I hope traffic moves well as I go up the road.
It’s smooth sailing up the Delmarva Peninsula to Dover, DE where I get on Route-1, a toll road, and once again traffic is rolling along quite well. Route-1 is a posted 65 mph roadway, and I hang with traffic moving at 75 mph. No problem I think, I’ll arrive in plenty of time.
Route-1 merges with I-95 in Christiana, DE, right at the massive traffic area of the Christiana Mall. There is also a lot of construction going on affecting the merge onto I-95. All northbound traffic comes to a complete stop. A plethora of ramps and roadways ahead and to the right, show bumper to bumper traffic, inching stop and go style.
I check my watch, 35 minutes until the plane is scheduled to touch down. I’m 29 miles from PHL and the GPS, after five minutes of inching long says it will be 35 minutes to PHL. After 5 or 6 minutes of this, I’m now onto the merge ramp for I-95 north; At this junction, there are lane closures to the far right. Things are not looking good.
If driving north, you can pretty much do three things at this location. You can go over the Delaware Memorial Twin Span Bridges to New Jersey, keeping to the right to do so. If you stay center to the next split, the right will take you up I-495 along the Delaware River, and this is what the GPS tells me to do. Being quite familiar with the area I choose to ignore the GPS and take the left fork, thanks, Yogi Berra. I’m going right through the center of Wilmington, Delaware. “Bingo” — I’m flying along once again, I’ll get there in plenty of time.
I-495 and I-95 merge outside of Wilmington at the Pennsylvania state line. The traffic slows down a bit here, and there is a left merge that comes into I-95 and slows things a bit more not too far up the road. I clear this point without incident and arrive at the airport with eight minutes to go. I smile at myself and say “Rooster, you done good.”
I find the well-marked Cell Phone Lot and slip into a Parallel parking spot. This will turn out to have been a good move. I roll the windows down, take out the key and put it into my pocket. I grab a book, I’ve just started to read, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Gramm, and exit the car, a 2013, Honda, Pilot. I do a few exercises to loosen up an ailing Hip. Sitting for the past two-plus hour just did the body no good at all.
My first alert on the phone comes in shortly after exercising, “landed” it says. I send a thumbs up. I check “Find Friends” I’m a Tech addict my wife tells me, she’s right of course. They are still sitting at the gate, and I set the little Who’s-E-Dingy that will alert me when they move. I go back to the book.
“Ding,” they’re moving. I can follow them as they move through Terminal A toward the Baggage Claim area. After a pause at the Lady’s Bathroom, they’re on the move again. It’s another fifteen minutes until I get the “Come get us” notification. I close the book, grab the keys out of my pocket and hop into the driver’s seat. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning; I’m getting my friend of 53 years back.
I fasten the seat belt, put the key into the ignition, put my foot on the brake, turn the key, turn the key, turn the key, Nothing!!!! The car is deader than the last squirrel that tried to make it across the road in front of me. What the? Ok, check everything, nothing on, I’m doing everything right, I know I am. Try again, again nothing. I work the horn, lights, windows and there is no power in the car, The Pilot is Dead, Dead, Dead.
Parked a few slots to my rear is a gentleman in a new Dodge pickup. I approach, ask if he has cables, and can give me a jump. Yes and yes he says. He saddles up inches from the driver’s door. I pull the hood latch, climb over the center console, no small feat for this seventy-five-year-old geriatric and exit the car. I pop the hood, and we hook up. I give it a few minutes to pull some power from the big Dodge. I return to the passenger’s side and once again climb the mountain that is the center console, and I return to the driver’s seat.
Into the ignition goes the key, I say a silent prayer, turn the key, and nothing happens once again. I’m thinking the big guy up above can’t hear me over all the noise from the big jets landing and taking off. I hit the horn, dead as a doornail. I holler out to the kind owner of the Dodge, let’s just let it charge for a few minutes. He gives me a thumbs-up. I sit for what seems a good five minutes. I get a text from the girls, “?”. I ignore it, try the key one more time, still nothing. “Crap,” I say.
I exit over Mount Console once again; I jiggle the hook-up on the Pilot, my new-found friend does the same on the Dodge. We chat a bit with the hope that more time will make things right. I learn he is from Lancaster, PA and picking up friends from the Mid-West. I’m all set to get more info on him when his phone rings. His guests have arrived, he must leave. He tells me he’s sorry, we unhook his cables, and he’s gone.
I call the girls and explain what’s been transpiring. I suggest they grab a cab and join me. They do and are with me in a matter of minutes, and fifteen dollars poorer. We hug, it’s so good to see them. I feel inept. These two have been up since ever, riding in a three-seat across airplane and are now standing in a parking lot in the ninety-degree heat with no promise of getting home any time soon.
I make a useless call to AAA. It’s a holiday weekend you know. Philadelphia is always busy. I’m told, even more so over a holiday. William, very nice, very apologetic, very unhelpful dispatcher tells me the bad news. The best we can do sir is have someone there between 7:00 and 10:30 PM. It is now 5:45. I get an incident number and am told to cancel if something works out.
I call the airport to inquire if roadside help is available. After some cockamamie story, I’m told NO, not to the cell phone lot, sorry. I murmur unprintables under my breath while daughter Kathryn rummages through the storage box under the rear seat. She brings out a set of heavy-duty jumper cables. Now we need to find a savior to hook up with.
The daughter is entertaining the idea of getting a hotel room for the night. I’m going to try one more thing. I call the airport police. The dispatcher says she will check if one of the cars has a set of cables. If so she will send one to my area if they are available. Is this hope, I wonder.
I’m holding the cables, and I see him, a man in “Black.” He is a Black man, with Black Button down shirt, Black Pants, Black belt, shoes, and socks. He has a Black pencil mustache. “Need a jump,” he asks. I explain the previous attempt by the other good samaritan and his having to leave. My new friend says, “let’s give it a shot.”
He returns to his vehicle, a Chevy Suburban, of course it’s Black! Once again as the previous Dodge owner, he pulls within inches of the driver’s door. We hook up the heavy-duty cables, and life once again begins to trickle into the Pilot, I hope. After five-plus minutes I climb once again over Mount Console and assume my position as Pilot of the Pilot. I turn the key, nothing. There is hope though, dashboard lights in all the colors of the rainbow come on, this is a first. I shout out the good news. Let us wait a bit longer my Man in Black says. I exit once again.
We chat, “a member of the cloth,” I ask. He chuckles, “no, Real Estate,” he says. I learn he’s from Pennsauken, NJ just down the road from Willingboro, where I went to High School. I reminisce about days gone by, fifty-six years worth to be precise. Time passes, the girls leaning on the guardrail close-by. After what seems like an eternity we agree to try once more. I’m feeling right about the life-blood that has been flowing into the pilot.
Once again I climb over the console and assume the position, I’m feeling really good about a start this time. I make sure AC, radio and any other electrical draining devices are off. My foot is on the brake; I turn the key,——ignition, it starts! Thank you Lord, there is a Savior, and he is, All Black. There is a Rugby team from New Zealand of the same name, in case you didn’t know. They bought a beer for the wife some years back in Ireland, during the World Cup.
I leave the Pilot running, exit once again, over the mountain and through the door. We unhook, his phone rings, time to go he says, my pick-up is ready. I give this kind sole a massive hug of thanks, and we say good-bye.
Daughter Kathryn returns the cables and loads their luggage to the back. We call the Police and AAA and cancel future service calls. We are off to Eden, how appropriate is that name on this night. Eden, Md, God’s Country on the Eastern Shore, here we come.
Last week the Mrs. and I headed to Connecticut for a visit to our son’s home in Tolland. His family is involved in a supporting role with CLCC, The Creative Living Community of Connecticut. On Saturday evening we would attend CLCC’s 5th Annual Farm to Table Dinner at Arrigoni Winery. 1297 Portland-Cobalt Rd, Portland, CT 06480 This is the 5th dinner and the first we’ve been able to attend.
The festivities begin with a welcome glass of wine, music, and appetizers. Under the big tent on the vineyard’s open grounds, guests will enjoy locally sourced foods, live music, a six-course dinner, and wine served throughout the night! Dessert and a silent auction will complete the evening. The Mrs. has been making Quilts for the event every year. Were I an Arteest of one sort or another I’d make something also. All I can do is write about the event.
It was a great evening, the weather cooperated, and over a hundred guests helped support a group of people who do so much for the Developmentally Disabled. We also got to socialize with our son’s extended Connecticut family. Thanks Dave and Jan for riding along with us. (Son’s in-laws)
I’m guessing wine was the theme for this trip. We made a stop on the way up and purchased wine in good old no-tax Delaware. “Shh,” the Tax Police might be listening. Then on Friday night last, it was the Cassidy Hill Winery with music the feature for two hours by “Take 2.”
It was a trip down memory lane with these two men. The crowd was appreciative, the wine was favorable to the palate and the evening couldn’t have been more pleasurable. Should you ever see them on an upcoming activity billing somewhere, they are worth a visit., especially if you can enjoy them with fine wine.
On their Facebook page, “Take-2” explains their selves like this:
Rick and I have been performing musicians for over four decades. We have done everything from solo work, performing with other collaborations such as “The Tomglen Band”, “Seventh Dawn”, “Big Party”, and “Impressions of Sound” as well as session work with groups such as “Turkey Foot” and “Still Kickin’ & The Big City Horns”. Our latest Hartford based classic rock group is called “In The Groove” and we are still active and performing in CT/MA venues. In 2015, Rick approached me to collaborate on a duo project focusing in the area of classic rock acoustic artists as well as some select contemporary performers. Take 2 was formed.
Take 2 focuses on many of the more acoustic artists of the Classic Rock era including James Taylor, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin and Jim Croce. Through their melody and lyrics, these songs were the “stories” that we grew up to and all know and love. That’s not to say classic rock is the only genre that Take 2 plays. We also include contemporary artists such as Zac Brown, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and some select country material. Take 2 prides itself on musical diversity to bring something for everyone in every performance.
While most of our performances are in public venues through CT and Western MA, we also love to play private events. From casual picnics and club events to weddings and other formal occasions, Take 2 blends music and energy to bring every party to life.
We want to thank you all so much for your support and we look forward to seeing you at our shows… Rick & Glenn
Where in the world is JB
Son-In-Law Jeff is currently on a trip for Dept. of State to Indonesia. Apparently, from his Facebook pictures, it’s not all work and no play. He’ll be off to Aucland, New Zealand after this stop. Jeff and work partner Matt never go anywhere that there isn’t some fish story of one type or another.
Sam and Zed, “The Crazy Davies,” are at Maxwell, AFB in Montgomery attending Squadron Officer’s School and Aunt Rachael is tending the four wee ones. “God Bless that girl!” Granny, Mary Agnes, and G, Kathryn are counting the days till they fly off in “Big Bird’ to meet the family in Germany to help in the transition from Stateside assignment to Foreign assignment. Thanks for your service young’ns.
While in Connecticut my Brother-in-law John entertained us with a cookout. . My brother Richard (Rick), his friend Tina came from Rhode Island, and John’s grandson Tim and girlfriend Lauren came from western Connecticut with their Rhodesian Ridgeback Luna in tow. As always when you live a great distance away, there was much to catch up on. We look forward to them coming south for a visit prior to it being too cold to hit the beach.
So, I’m thinking the Rooster has crowed enough, don’t want to bore y’all. Someone once said, “Brevity, Brevity, Brevity.” It’s an Element of Style” thingy.
“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
with Anu Garg
Luggage? Check. Passport? Check. Travel guide? Check!
Looks like you’re ready for the trip. But we can leave all this behind, because we are traveling to the land of imagination. The land where places such as El Dorado and Xanadu exist.
We’ll visit places that started out in fiction, and live on in the English language.
This week we’ll see five toponyms (from Greek topos: place), words derived after names of fictional places.
Philip Howard; The Lost Words; Robson Press; 2012.
Just as a closing note, if I don’t write this stuff down, at my age I’ll forget it. Thanks again for stopping by. What was today’s word again? Oh yes, grimgribber!
While herself and I were up in Canada, a good friend was traveling in Italy with a group of old friends from Kansas. Yes Dorothy, that Kansas. While I was busy posting our Canadian adventure she was posting her Italian adventure. I asked if it was OK to share her postings and she said yes. Thank you Nancy.
On 4 September, 2016 she posted:
Our flight over went well, although no sleep for the gals. We arrived in Rome, took a cab to our hotel, dropped off bags and hit the streets running.
Our hotel is very nice, rooms big, we took over one section of the building. Changed our clothes and headed to the open market. What fun. Found a curb side restaurant-free percheco while awaiting our table. Delicious pizza. And sat next to couple where hubby works for state department. Got lots of inside scoop re mother Teresa canonization. Then walked to Vatican to meet our guide Valerie. What an experienced docent. Got us by the long lines and our education began. What a wealth of info and art work.
Came back to the hotel and 4 went out to dinner. Some of us stayed in the hotel for dinner of choc chip cookies.
Had a good nights sleep and will meet Valerie again. Hitting the coliseum, forum, Trevi fountain, Bernini fountain of the 4 rivers.
We have filled our days full and will be ready to rest when we take our train tomorrow to Florence.
View from hotel, St. Peter’s, A special group coming into service. I vote nurse nuns
Hi, another great day in this beautiful city. A 7 hour walking tour including the forum, the coliseum, the Spanish steps, trevi fountain, the Jewish city and may other locations.
Gilato for an afternoon snack. Happy hour in our room. Then out for a fabulous pasta dinner. Our carafes of house wine were delicious.
We train to Florence tomorrow where we meet up with Ann, the 7th of our group.
We left from Monterosso and walked to Vernazza. My 60 year old friends and I are in good shape and it was a bear for sure.
We are at cinque terra on the Mediterranean. Quite the entrepreneur we encountered on the trail, gloves and all.
We took an in villa cooking class that resulted in 3 course meal-delicious. We are all going to take naps now
Needless to say, Nance and the girls had a great trip and reunion. Once again thank you for sharing. Your’s is my 101st post on Word Presss Nancy.
Our trip north has ended and we are back home after XXXX number of miles. How many miles did you put on that Subaru of yours you might ask. Well, thats why we’re having a contest and the winner will receive a Maryland Flag “T” Shirt.
Six years ago my brother in-law Bobby and I made a cross country trip together to Colorado, we were delivering a car to my granddaughter at the Air Force Academy. I blogged our trip through the Ohio River Valley, the bread belt of Illinois and Kansas and up to the Rockies of Colorado. We had a T Shirt contest for that adventure as well. Our winner was Della Baird of Wilmington, NC and her photo in her winning T Shirt was posted on a later blog. Uncle Bobby is no longer with us, but whenever we go on a trip his spirit for adventure lives.
So, here we go.
You must email the Rooster @ firstname.lastname@example.org no later than midnight on September 30, 2016 with your guess on the # of miles driven on our trip through, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, NB, PEI, NS and back. The person who comes the closest without going over the actual total mileage is the winner.
Departed Eden/Allen, MD, 21822 on 21 August and drove to Vernon then Tolland, CT. We hung out in CT for six days taking a few side trips to Mystic, CT, Westerly, RI for one and to our daily walking path in Vernon and breakfast there a few times also. We went to Stafford Springs, CT for my State Police Troop “C” reunion also.
Back on the road 28 August we would leave Tolland and head to Bangor, ME. We pretty much drove a direct route to Portland, ME and then the all back roads to Bangor began. We tried to stay parallel to I-95 but we got off the beaten path more than once.
After a nice evening in Bangor, ME we headed out to cross the Canadian border on 29 August at the Calais/St. Stephen crossing and drive to Moncton, NB for the evening. Rt 1 was our road for that trip. We drove around some to see the tide change and have dinner while in Moncton.
On August 30th we arose well rested and after a great breakfast we were off to the home of Lucy Maude Montgomery, the Author of “Anne of Green Gables.” Garmin got us there directly. Now you must do a bit of detective work and locate the site. After some time at Lucy’s homestead we headed to Charlottetown and our hotel. Oops, the rooms not ready. To kill some time we would drive to Brackley Beach and have some great fish and chips. After much it was back to Charlottetown and the hotel right down town.
We arose on the 31st and after some walking about town we drove semi directly to the ferry located at Wood Islands where we would cross to Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax. We would drive directly to Halifax via Garmin and park our car for two days in the garage of the Residence Inn. Our feet would be our transportation for this stop.
We would hop back into the car once again on 2 September and drive via Garmin to Saint John, NB. We did take a side trip to Fundy National Park along the way. More figuring for you readers out there. Once again our feet and a Trolly tour were our transportation while in Saint John for two days.
On Sunday 4 September we departed Saint John, made the border crossing at ST Stephen/Calais once again and followed Garmin’s direction to Bucksport, Me. Once checked into the Bucksport Motor Inn, highly recommend it by the way, we were off on a drive along Route 1 south to Bayside, Belfast and the Young’s Lobster Pound. If ever in Belfast try it out, you will not be sorry, provided you like Lobster that is.
Labor day, September 5 we headed south to Portland, Maine, we ignored Garmin once again and motored along Route 1 south. We saw old haunts along the way, Lincolnville and it’s ferry to Islesboro where we ventured with family for a beachside picnic many years ago. Going through the town of Bath you pass the Bath Iron Works, a neat view as you cross the Kennebec river.
We made a stop in Camden, a must if you ever travel Route 1. Slow down people, get off the Interstate. Entering Camden I had an “Epiphany.” “Wallack” I shouted out as my wife glared at me like I was some crazy man. Ever since heading south from the border I had been trying to remember someone’s name. I’d gone through the alphabet over and over. Have you ever done that? I knew his first name was Mark and when he retired from the CT State Police he had moved to Maine. I had known this man dating back to 1981 when he first applied to the department for a Troopers position. I was working in the Selection Unit back then.
So I remember a name, the man possibly living in Camden from a contact I had back some ten years ago about him retiring to Camden, ME. No address, no phone number and no internet to go searching. “Dang” says I to myself as I ease into a parking spot right in downtown Camden. The little lady want’s to walk the shops, “$$$,” visit the waterfront and just take a nostalgic stroll, we’ve been here numerous times over the past 51 years.
She sees an eclectic souvenir shop and enters. I stroll ahead totally oblivious to her disappearing act which is commonplace. Many times I’m thankful she has her phone with her, “where are you I ask?” On this occasion I recover from the alone feeling quickly and trace her back to the said store. I mean I was a Detective, right?
The Mrs. searches the shelves for something to take to Oklahoma to the great grandkids in October and I think, this place must have a phone book. I borrow the book, peruse the “W’s” list of names and no Mark Wallack, “damn” I mutter to myself. No luck I say to the store owner. “Who are you looking for,” he asks. I explain who, and the connection going back thirty-five years ago. “Mach” he exclaims, “I know Mach.” You see, there are no “R’s” in the Maine vocabulary. The man goes into a lengthy explanation of how he knows him and how much a part of the community he is. I get a phone number and address from him, he lives just one mile out of town. We’re out of the store, $58.95 later, and we head up the street to see an old friend.
We find the house, an adorable Cape on a lake, kayak with fishing rod rigged to the side, (every man’s retirement dream) just waiting at the dock. A feisty Aussie Mini Collie, (could be something else, but that’s close enough) is greeting us on the porch. I find out later the dog’s name is Frisbee. I knock, Mach answers, we recognize each other after all these years and it’s Man Hug Time.
We pass an hour’s plus of time, take a few remembrance photos and say good-by. I shall MACH this epiphany in my journal. It was great seeing you old friend.
We continue south, stop and get a Subway, grinder in hand, New England for Hero, Sub, Italian Sandwich, or what ever. We have ourselves a roadside lunch stop in Rockport and continue south to Freeport, home of L. L. Bean. You can not go through Freeport without stopping at the store, I think it’s a law or something. I have my picture taken in front of the customary boot, spend a few dollars and we’re off again.
We will spend the night in Portland, take a side trip to Windham to have dinner with old friends, Gilbert’s Chowder House was the venue for this last taste test. This time a Bread Bowl of Fish Chowder. Great to see you Shirley and Ray. Shirley and my sister Donna were best of friends, having first met as student nurses back in 1963. Shirley was part of the family at my sisters bedside when she died on July 1st. Thank you Shirley for all you have meant for so many years. The few, the proud, the Pie Maker. Too short a visit, we will make it longer next time. Back to the hotel on Mall Road in Portland for a good nights sleep prior to leaving for Tolland, CT the next AM.
Garmin would be happy with us on Tuesday, September 6. No U-turns were suggested as we cruised the speedy interstates the entire way. We did continue past Tolland to Vernon Pizza for a great Grinder, Capiccola for me, Pastrami for herself.
We lay over one night with the son and family, say good-night and are out the door by 0500 the next morning. Our last day on the road was an easy one, Garmin is not needed at all, I drove this route for the first time 57 years ago. I’ve varied the route countless times, often going far out of the way just to do something different. I’ll keep Garmin on in case a detour is needed at some point but not for directions.
Here you go, last bit of mileage to calculate, Tolland, CT via I-84 to I-684 Brewster, NY to I-287, to Garden State Parkway in NJ. NJ Turnpike, cross into Delaware ( She wore a Yellow Ribbon by the way) Rt. 1 south to Dover, DE to Rt.13 to 21810.
OK you readers out there, get calculating, googling or what ever. Make your best guess and submit it by September 30, 2016 by 2400 hours to email@example.com
If you win and want the shirt, please state size and your mailing address. I shall not flood you with junk mail, only a “T” shirt.
Just a little FYI, we got four new hens last night, 15 weeks old and our first egg this afternoon. Six hens now and one very happy Rooster named Casper. The girls are Mary, Hillary, Donna, Linda, Bobbie and Marie. Hillary by the way is a liar. Always spending time in the layer box, squawking like she just laid an egg and no egg to be found. Liar, Liar, pants on fire.
The Campbell home, that L.M. Montgomery called the “wonder castle of my childhood”, was built in 1872 by her Uncle John and Aunt Annie Campbell. The first Campbells’ settled here in 1776 and it is still in the Campbell family after over two hundred and thirty years. Here, L.M. Montgomery, author of the world-famous novel Anne of Green Gables was inspired to write many novels and it is the setting for Anne’s Lake of Shining Waters. * From the website http://annemuseum.com/
Notice the cat, the Mrs. has always said ” A house without a cat is not a home.”
On Tuesday we broke out the Bucket List and checked off my girl’s #1, PEI and the setting for L.M. Montgomery’s inspiration for “Anne of Green Gables.” I’ve been told we have to purchase the CD of the entire series, 70’s era and watch it. You’ll love it she says. Will not be watching Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays or Monday Nights. My on-going Bucket List of Pigskin frolics (Football) will be on the big screen over the fireplace.
I am quite impressed with our adventure to the Maritime Provinces. It all started when leaving the USA at Calais, ME and being greeted by the Border Security ambassador. The roadways have been wonderful, the scenery superb, the homes well cared for and litter non-existent. The people we have come in contact with are congenial and quite forthcoming when engaged in conversation. And just to let you know, I’m an engager. I have realized I must get a new business card promoting the Rooster and his Blog. I’ve got to hand my contacts something when I approach them and ask, ‘Hi there, do you mind if I ask you a few questions.”
Upon leaving the house that Anne was realized in, we headed to Charlottetown, PEI and our hotel for the night. With the room not ready for a few hours we headed out to explore what PEI had to offer. We headed out to Brackley Beach, a Provincial Park on the Ocean. The entry, much like back home in Assateague, MD was staffed by what I shall call Park Rangers. The fee for Seniors is $6.80 each. However after asking directions off the park for a restaurant, we were granted free access. It seemed that a ways up the beach there were several restaurants, Richard’s being one of them. The Ranger says, and I quote ” free enterprise you know, we can’t charge you for going there.” We had the most tummy filling Fish and Chips meal of fresh caught Cod that morning.
64f, nice breeze, no flys, a glass of Chardonnay and the smell of the ocean. As Uncle Bobby would say, were he here, “Leroy, that’s what he always called me,” It don’t get much better than this.” Of course now he would have had a Coors Lite, which they have up here. Miss you Robert. We talked on the phone almost every day for a lot of years, What’s going on time we called it. They were usually lengthy calls after an Eagles loss.
So this young lad, Ben was his name, eight years of age and a nonstop jump off the bulkhead 10 foot high kind of kid, swim to the beach with a rushing tide and do it over and over again. An amazing young man.
Just a gorgeous place to be on a wonderful trip with my best friend. Good-by PEI.
We made it to Nova Scotia on the Ferry from Wood Islands, PEI.
Thanks for stopping by. We cant wait to see what Thursday brings as we continue our adventure. Dinner tonight at Five Fisherman, it’s a keeper. Mussels, Blacken Halibut for me, Fish Chowder and Lobster Linguine for the lady. It’s like being in Pittsburgh without the bridges.
Thanks for following the Rooster.
Our ride from Bangor to the East was wonderful. The crossing into Canada from Calais, ME to St Stephen, BC was so different of our border crossing two years ago at Niagara Falls. The Canadian border official was so welcoming, some minor chit-chat about Anne of Green Gables,” longest running play in Canada by the way,” he says. We’re fulfilling one check off from the Mrs’ Bucket List,by the way. We were the lone vehicle crossing at the time, far different from the 40 minute bumper to bumper trip at Niagara. I’m awaiting the finish to this experience on the cross back to the USA on the return. That was a disappointing experience two years ago. Our contact that time was a miserable ass and an embarrassment to our border guards.
The ride on Route #1 was a delight. A smooth and beautiful highway with little traffic and wonderful countryside to view. It was one of the most relaxing trips I’ve ever driven. No trash along the roadway either, which is something I’m embarrassed about when people travel to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I wonder what the Canadian’s do to occupy a day with their work-release prisoners.
We checked into our Hotel, a Hampton Inn and I’ll let the pictures speak to the accommodations.
The nicest room we old farts have ever stayed in, a true Honeymoon Suite. We are blessed by some great children who provided this night. Thank you girls. Had a chit-chat with the owner, Mr Murphy at breakfast. When we drove in from the looks of the grounds and building we thought this was a new house, not the case, eight years old. A #1 stay should you ever find yourself in Moncton, BC. Just plan a night or two at the Hampton Inn at 700 Mapleton, Rd. Tell Murph, the Rooster sent you. Don’t pass up breakfast either, first class all the way.
The Mrs. had the best fish chowder she ever had at a place called Skippers. I feasted on Fish Tacos. We shared some great Calimari, washed it all down and headed to watch the water run out of the Moncton downtown.
It’s amazing how the water rushes out so quickly. The Bay of Fundy has the greatest tides in the world. Check out the following web site and learn all the particulars.
After a brief walk, gotta get some steps you know, we walked the isles of Cabelas.
She found her moose, I found my chair.
Thank you all for stopping by, off to Anne of Green Gables next. So glad to greet you all from Canada, à bientôt.