Archive for the ‘Boston’ category

Deep Dive #3

March 27, 2017

So I have finished curating the last batch of slides from Harold. The box contained 10 slide trays and each slide tray had up to 100 slides. Some were full some were less than full but never less than 75 slides. The slides were taken from as early as 1974 and as recent as 1980. Most were circa 1977 and 1978. Much of the pictures were of wilderness. There were two trays from a trip to Alaska in 1974.

There were pictures from Harold and Mary’s visit after our first son Mike was born in 1980.

Here are some samples of the better stuff. 

Mary Stanley, Paula and Joe


During the visit, I took Harold and Mary for a ride in my airplane. (I don’t know what caused the yellowing of the white areas of the slide.) I first got my private pilot’s license in 1974. By the time this picture was taken I had become IFR (Instrument) rated. Not long after this picture was taken the plane was sold and I stopped flying. Price of fuel was going up and I no longer had the time to spend flying. I once took my mother for a ride in the airplane. She was scared silly. (That wasn’t the word I wanted to use, but this is a family blog.) She couldn’t get on the ground soon enough.

New Dad with Baby Michael


This was the other reason that I stopped flying. In this picture, I think Mike was a couple of weeks old.

Harold in front of US Capitol


This is one of the rare pictures of my father-in-law Harold. Harold was always the one behind the camera. The trip to Washing ton was in 1977. In the load of about 1000 slides there are probably less than 10 pictures with Harold in the picture. We all miss Harold a lot. He was a great guy.

Mary K., Mimi-Mary, Uncle Jack, Aunt Donna (dec) and Maurice/James

This picture was taken in 1977 during one Harold & Mary’s many visits to New Orleans. Mary’s brother Jack lives outside of New Orleans. The family was together that day to tour some antebellum mansion. I don’t know how people could survive living during a summer in one of those mansions. So everyone was in the picture except for Harold.


This picture is the rear of our house at 90 Gray Street in Billerica, MA. We lived here from 1978-1984.

Mary and Paula circa 1978


We’re not quite sure of the provenance of this picture. Perhaps on the ferry to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyeard or maybe a Boston Harbor cruise. I included it because it was a good picture of Paula and Mary.

That’s enough for now. I will be picking up another box to work on from the storage locker.

TTFN

Joe

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The Blizzard of 1978 #Blizzard

January 28, 2015

So with all the news of the blizzard going on back east, I thought I would write about my experience of living through the infamous Blizzard of 1978. I don’t miss having to endure the current snow in the northeast.

The Blizzard of 1978 occurred from Feb 5-7, 1978. This was just about a month shy of my 30th birthday. I was living in a house in Newton Highlands about a block from Rt 9. I was working for DEC at the Mill in Maynard, MA. Typically on normal days that was about a 30 minute commute.

In the days before the storm, the forecasting didn’t predict the eventual severity of the storm. So many people got stuck, seriously stuck in places they would rather not be.  Here are some pictures.

I guess I was one of the lucky ones. My boss told everyone at about 10 am to get going home. Anyone who waited until 2 or 3 pm to leave got stuck. Somehow, I knew that this was going to be a big one. I decided to give my girl friend Paula (who at the time was my girl friend of about four months) a call. I gave a her a call and reached Paula’s roommate Joan. So Joan tells me that Paula was sleeping after working a midnight shift at Children’s Hospital.

Wake her up I say. I knew I was treading in dangerous ground here. It could be a real test of our relationship don’t you think? I eventually got Paula on the phone. I tell her that I would be by in 45 minutes to pick her up. I explained the storm situation and that if she didn’t get going we wouldn’t see each other for 4-5 days. Okay she says.

So an hour later, I manage to pick her up at her apartment in Brookline and then another hour to my place in Newton. Finally we settle in for the duration.

Later that night with the snow and wind howling outside, we get to bed and keep each other warm. Then at about two am, the phone rings. The phone call was from Paula’s Dad out here in San Pedro. Harold had called Paula’s apartment in Brookline and Joan give him my phone number in Newton. Remember this was long before cell phones, smart phones, flip phones, etc. We just had the land lines.

Harold (Paula’s Dad) already knew about our relationship. Paula had traveled home to San Pedro for the 1977 Christmas holidays. And I called her every day at about 9 am west coast time. And I usually got to talk to Harold before I got to talk to Paula. So I roll over and hand the phone to Paula and tell her it’s your Dad. All Harold cared about that Paula was safe. And she was.

Once the storm had run its course, we started to dig out. No snow blowers or plows. Just shovels. It took a long time to get the driveway shoveled. But it didn’t matter, we couldn’t go anywhere. We were in a state of emergency and cars were forbidden. We took the opportunity to do snow angels in the middle of the east bound lane of RT 9.

By the evening of Feb 7th rolled around we were developing a serious case of cabin fever. So we decided to take the Green Line into Brookline Village to go to an Irish Pub called the Village Coach House. So we had a wonderful time listening to an Irish band and drinking Guinness. So all things have to come to an end, as does this. We staggered home on the Green Line (no designated driver required).

The next day, Paula was scheduled to work the evening shift at Children’s. Somehow she managed to hitch-hike into Brookline to the hospital.

One more story, then I’ll shut up. in the Spring of 1978, DEC was relocating our department from the Mill in Maynard to a new building in Tewksbury. DEC in its generosity was paying for my relocation. Companies don’t do that much anymore.

Paula and I found a house in Billerica. When we were looking at the house in March there was still much unmelted snow from the winter storms. There was so much snow that I didn’t realize until we moved into the house that there was a five foot boulder in the front yard.

So we eventually got married in October of 1978. We lived in Billerica until 2012. A total of 36 years. And no, Mike isn’t 36 years old, but you get the picture.

LA Kings 2 – Boston Bruins 0

December 3, 2014

Last night Paula and I attended a hockey game between the LA Kings and Boston Bruins at the Staples Center in downtown LA.
 
 We got the tickets as part of an alumni get together event from Northeastern University. The event included a pregame get together in a conference room with other NU Alumni. We had a nice buffet dinner and snacks. Non-Alcoholic drinks were free. There was a cash bar with way over priced drinks ($6 for beer and $12 for mixed drink.
 
 We were greeted by Bill Woodman Director of the NU Fund.
 
 Once the pregame get together was done, we headed for our seats. The Staples Center is a huge place and is easy to get lost in it. Our seats were in the nose bleed section, one row down from the top. Here’s our view from our seats,
 


The Bruins seemed to not have any offense to speak of. They kept the game close but couldn’t get anything past the Kings’ Goalie. The score was 1-0 throughout most of the game. Kings added an empty netter late in the third period.
 
 What amused me was the amount of entertainment during timeouts and between periods. Halfway through each period a swarm of scantily clad lady ice crew skated out to fix up the ice. I should have brought my binoculars. You can buy a calendar with pictures of the LA Kings Ice Crew. Such a deal.
 
 Then there was the “Dance Cam”. A camera would spot light many fans up on the jumbotron while they showed all of their moves. Then there was one sad looking guy wearing a Bruins cap shown on the jumbotron who was loudly booed by the partisan crowd.
 
 They also had a gimmick where a fan could win a ride on the Zamboni between periods.
 
 Not only were the seats a long way from the action, but they were small and lacked any leg room. My right knee (the one where I had knee replacement surgery a few years ago.) was in constant pain from lack of room to stretch out. Luckily Paula had some ibuprofen for me.
 
 We had a fun time. Though I really hate driving into downtown LA at rush hour. My thanks to Bill and the rest of the Alumni Office back in Boston for making sure that we all received our tickets and had a good time. Here’s the pointer to the Facebook Page for NU Alumni.
 
 I’m looking forward to baseball season for an Angels-Red Sox game.
 
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

2013 Red Sox

July 26, 2014

Today was the day that I officially gave up on the 2014 Boston Red Sox. You see I get a monthly subscription to MLB.TV so that I can watch Red Sox games on my iPad or PC out here in Los Angeles. It costs me $25 a month. So I get the subscription through iTunes and it auto-renews every month on the 25th unless I decide to put the end to the pain.

I suppose I could start rooting for the LA Dodgers, but I can’t watch Dodger’s games on MLB.TV unless I am out of the area.

There was a little hope with a winning streak of several games. The Red Sox had clawed their way up to 7 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. Then the Red Sox dropped three straight games to the Toronto Blue Jays putting them solidly in last place 9 1/2 games behind the O’s.

So the trading deadline is July 31 and I seriously doubt that the Red Sox will be buyers this time around, Luckily for Red Sox fans, that the Yankees suck too.

About me

November 22, 2013

There has been a FB meme going around lately where one is given a number and the receiver of said number is instructed to write n things about themselves. No one has bothered to send me a number, but I have decided to write about myself anyhow. I’ll let you know the number that I have given myself when I am done.

  1. I play the piano. It seems that I have always played the piano. I first started when I was about 7 years old. I took lessons until I was about 18. I am certainly no Artur Rubinstein, but I can read music and belt out a tune. One of the first things that we bought when we moved to Cal last year was a Piano. When one of our lodge members found out that I played the piano, he asked me how long I had played. I told him that I had picked up a book at Barnes & Noble titled “Piano playing for dummies”. He believed me. There is no such book. Musical instruments are best learned as children. My two brothers and I all took piano lessons as children. I am the only one who still owns a piano and plays.
  2.  Seeing that today is the 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy’s assassination. I was 15 at the time and I learned of the event while I was in religion class at BC High. I remember seeing the afternoon newspapers on the newsstands on the way home from school. Back in the day there were such things as afternoon newspapers.
  3.  And while we are talking about 50 year anniversaries, next year will be my 50th reunion for BC High (Boston College High School). I have no use for high school reunions and have no intention of attending. I have little or no use for the Roman Catholic church, though I like the new Pope. I’ve told a few of my RC friends that I would return to the RC Church when the Pope ordains women and allows priests to marry. Oh yeah, add LGBT weddings too. I doubt that I will see that in my lifetime.
  4. I am active in Masons. I am a member of LA Harbor Lodge F&AM #332 in San Pedro and Thomas Talbot Lodge AF&AM in Billerica, MA. So I am a bi-coastal Mason.
  5.  My wife and I are members of OES (Order of Eastern Star) which is a fraternal organization for men and women. I play the piano for both Lodge and OES.
  6.  I was born in Brighton, MA at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and spent my early years living in Brighton and West Roxbury (parts of Greater Boston).
  7. I taught math for a couple of years at the Junior and Senior high school level in the early 70’sin Boston. I wasn’t very good at it. I have great respect for good teachers, especially good math & science teachers. I was good at math, just not good at teaching it.
  8. I worked for Digital Equipment Corp (DEC), Compaq, and HP before getting laid off in 2008. To this day, the layoff still bugs me. People were being discarded like used junk. Ken Olsen would never have done that. When people asked me what I did at DEC, I tell them that I fixed stuff. The “stuff” that I fixed were complex computer systems.I also worked as a contractor for IBM for a couple of years, once again fixing stuff. I left in 2012 to retire and moved west.
  9. I live in San Pedro with my wife of 35 years along with my mother-in-law. We moved out here to take care of her mother who is 89. I have found that I can make one woman happy. Making two women happy is an extraordinary challenge. So I try to bite my tongue and STFU. Lodge (for a couple of nights a month) gives me a chance to get out without the ladies in my life. I truly don’t understand how the Mormons (and other polygamous cultures) could possibly live with more than one wife. The same goes for a wife and a mistress.
  10. I attend the Ocean View Baptist Church in San Pedro. I would prefer going to a UCC (Congregational) church, but this is the church that our extended family goes to. So I am okay with that. I have started to push back a little bit on LGBT issues. The pastor is good guy and listens to my point of view.
  11. My wife and I are registered Democrats. My Mother-in-law is a Republican. We rarely discuss politics. Explaining why Obamacare is a good thing to my mother-in-law is like explaining algebra to Boomba (Boomba is a chocolate lab retriever). Also, for the same reason we don’t watch Fox News (or MSNBC or CNN) EVER. I would sooner have root canal surgery without anesthesia.
  12. People often ask my wife and I whether or not we met on the San Pedro or Boston. Here’s the story that has been told and retold. We met in Boston at a MIT folk dance. One of Paula’s roommates was dating one of my roommates. That was November of 1976. We were married in October 1978. We lived in Billerica for the next thirty odd years. Paula can embellish the story a bit. She would be happy to do that.
  13. I keep in touch with all of our east and west coast friends by way of Facebook. The move would have been a lot more painful to me without it.

There, that’s enough. 13 it is. That’s a good number.

Location:San Pedro, California

Father Bill’s Place

November 16, 2013

Okay, Joe, two posts in one day? How can that be? This is for all of my friendly followers.
 
 If you are anything like me at this time of year, you might be looking where to spend charitable dollars. We are constantly bombarded with US Mail from many charitable outfits.
 
 I try to find out how much of our donation goes to the actual charity’s operations. High percentage is good, low is bad. Nothing irritates me more than seeing as low as 20% going to operations and the rest to fill the pockets of the CEO.
 
 One of our favorites is Father Bill’s Place in Quincy, MA. Father Bill provides housing for the homeless. Father Bill is committed to ending and preventing homelessness in the South Shore (Mass) area.
 
 Click here for the web site.
 
 Or send a check to:
 
 Father Bill’s Place
 430 Belmont Street
 Brockton, MA 02301
 
 
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Quincy, MA

Red Sox vs Oakland 7-12-13

July 13, 2013

Last night was the first time in a while that I had the time to sit down and score an entire game. This was partly due it being a west coast game with start time of 7:00pm local time and the fact that Paula and her mother were out at an OES meeting. So I had the TV all to myself.

John Lackey was on the mound for the Red Sox. Lackey is really looking so much better this year. Looks like he has slimmed down a good bit. Seven strong innings with 5 strike-outs but 4 BB’s.

Mike Napoli went 2 for 4 with a single and a triple. Dustin Pedroia also 2 for 4 with two singles.

Defense was looking good. The Sox turned three double plays with one particularly sharp play started by Pedroia in the 5th inning.

This road trip is turning into a pretty good trip for the sox especially after a disappointing start against the Angels.

Game was played at the o.co coliseum in Oakland. What is “o.co”?

Here’s the pointer to the scorecard:  Bos vs Oak 07-12-2013