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May 25, 2017

I’m just beginning to unwind from our whirl wind trip to Massachusetts. We visited many friends and family over a six day trip. Weather was very nice. We had a great trip. I even saw a thunder and lightning storm. Luckily I didn’t have to go out and drive in the storm. Don’t see that very much out west here.

Many of our friends said to us “Welcome Home”. But here’s the thing. I have spent most of my life living in Mass., including 36 years in Billerica. We have been living in San Pedro now for almost 5 years. Mass. doesn’t feel like home anymore. San Pedro is our home now and it feels like home to me.

Will we ever move back? Don’t know. Probably not. I don’t like moving. We’ll be back again next May.

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Mary

June 6, 2016

01a838c7416f7af69fac2c1d92078b7296d5cb9dafSo it’s been a while since I last wrote. I found out that an old friend of Paula (Chuck) is a faithful reader. Paula was talking to him this evening looking for info on judges running for election in Los Angeles.

So here we go. Saturday, we planned on going to the Summer Fiesta at the OES Senior Living Center in Yorba Linda. We asked Mary if she would like to come. She said yes. We described it to her as a bunch of booths with stuff for sale, food trucks, tours or the SLC. Parking was a challenge and Mary had to walk a bit. Weather was beautiful. We got her inside the center where she sat for about an hour in a comfortable chair.

Meanwhile, Paula and I wander around checking out the many booths and greeting friends. We came back and got Mary up and got her outside. She again sat down in a folding chair in the shade. Still no interest in seeing everything. We got her a coke and that was about it. We tried to interest her in food. Nope, not going to happen.

So Paula and I shared a grilled cheese with bacon, then vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries. Once we finished, we gave in and started taking her to the car to head home. We know when we are licked. We got her into the car and gave her a bottle of water. Well she only finished about three sips of water during the one hour ride home. It’s unbelievable what it takes to get her to drink water. I told her if she liked peace and quiet, the way to get it was to drink water. ie. I was going to nag her all the way home until she drank more water.

So on Sunday, we asked her early whether she would be coming to church. Initially she said yes, but changed her mind after a while. So she spent the rest of the day in bed. So we went to church and did lunch at the Pacific Diner with Theresa and the grand-kids. Little Sarah was none too happy when I gave her some home fries that happened to have some hot sauce on it. Oops, my bad.

Her memory is failing badly. She barely can remember anyone other than Paula and me. When we show her pictures of Harold (even a fairly recent ones), she doesn’t remember him. They were married for over 60 years and she remembers none of it.

Nevertheless, her general health is not too bad. A little bit weak at times. Her walk is pretty slow but she can get around. She tires easily though.

We found some pictures of a trip they took to Alaska. Remember any of it? Not a bit. We continue to dig through old pictures and letters found in her storage locker. I am sure they will help provoke more writings by me.

On occasion, Paula has brought up the subject of funeral planning. Nothing, she doesn’t want to talk about it. I guess we are on our own. Sigh.

By the way, we had a great trip back to Mass. in May. It was so nice to see many of our friends back there. We had caregivers taking care of Mary 24/7 while we were gone. There’s just no way now that we can leave her alone.

TTFN,

Joe

 

 

 

Trip Report

May 23, 2016

Whenever I travelled on business, I had to write a trip report. I’m sitting in the departure lounge for Delta Airlines. Had lunch at Legal Sea Food. We both had a cup of clam chowder. So good. Had Sam Adams Summer Ale. Also, good. 

We visited our old friend Candee up the street from where we used to live. Drove by our old house  to see what they had done. Added a fence. Lawn needs mowing and weeding. Dogwood and Japanese maple in full bloom. 


We filled the tank on the rental car and headed for Logan. Turned in the car and got to terminal. Through security. Now time to wait. I’ll get one last DD coffee. 

Later,

Spotlight

January 27, 2016

SpotlightNormally on Tuesday evenings, we have our family over for dinner. But yesterday, Mike and his family had another engagement. So we had an opening in our social schedule. So we decided to go to the movies again. We have been trying to catch up on our Oscar nominated films. So this time we decided to go see “Spotlight

So it was still playing at one of the AMC theaters in Torrance. Cost was $9.60 each for seniors. We went to an early show (4:55) and not a big crowd. There was maybe about a dozen people in the theater. I don’t think the subject matter (Catholic Church and Pediophilia) was a big draw to the 20-somethings out there.

It got Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Tom McCarthy), Best Supporting actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Supporting actress (Rachel McAdams), Best Screenplay (McCarthy and Josh Singer) and Best Editing (Tom McArdle).

The film stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci and Rachel McAdams. Directed by Tom McCarthy. The film tells the true story of the Spotlight investigative journalism team at the Boston Globe that uncovered systemic involvement of the Boston Archdiocese in hiding child molesters and moving the child molesting priests from parish to parish in hopes that they would not be discovered.

This was a really good film. There was no shooting, car chases or fights. It showed the hard work in uncovering the truth. One result of the articles that were published in 2002 was the resignation Cardinal Bernard Law who was the Archbishop of Boston. The Pope moved Law to a cushy job in Rome where he could live out his life in comfort. My feeling was Law should have been indicted and brought to trial for something or other. (Accessory to rape or assault maybe). He should be sitting in a jail cell in Cedar Junction Prison in Walpole rather than living the good life in Rome.

There were lots of great exterior shots of Boston and its neighborhoods. It felt like I was home again. There was even a shot of the T station on the Red Line. Now it’s called UMass station. When I was a lad, it was Columbia station (named after Columbia Rd). Brought back the memories of getting off the T (or MBTA as it was called back in the 60’s) and trudging in the dead of winter from the station to the school. Damn, it was cold.

In the film, the reporters are seen digging through archdiocese directories that listed the priests and what parishes they were assigned to. They found some priest were listed as being on sick leave. They then discovered a host of categories that they used when a priest wasn’t quite working every day as a priest. In that fashion they discovered almost 90 potential child molesters. Back in those days one had to look information the hard way. No Google.

Also mentioned was Boston College High School (BC High). BC High is a Jesuit high school that is right across from the Boston Globe building on Morrissey Blvd in Dorchester. Here’s a pointer to several articles in the Boston Globe about the scandal and the making of the movie.

So my two brothers and I all attended BC High but before the time that the incidents were said to have happened. Also, one of my nephews attended BC High and graduated circa 2008. So every time that the word BC High was mentioned in the film, my wife gives me an elbow to the midsection. My midsection was getting sore.

One of our friends from our senior bible study at Ocean View asked me if it was the child sex scandal that caused me to leave the Catholic church. I told him that not really. I was already fed up with the church long before the sex scandal went down.  It was just another nail in the coffin.

This was a great film. Go see it. We stopped to see the Colonel (KFC) for some fried chicken on the way home. We got a bucket of chicken, cole slaw and mac & cheese. Home by 7:30. We woke Mary up for a fine dinner. Paula had a beer and I had a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Blizzard of 1978

January 23, 2016

Somewhere on rte 128

   So I am reading about the activities back east tonight about people getting stuck in the snow. It brought to mind the great blizzard of 1978. The blizzard formed on February 5, 1978 (a Sunday). Everyone who lived through the that blizzard has a story. Here’s mine.

My Monday morning started off with my going to work at DEC in my office in the Mill in Maynard. By about 10 am, my boss was telling everyone to head home before we would be stuck for the duration. This was of course long before the concept of working from home.

So before I left the Mill, I called (my then) girlfriend Paula. I talked to Paula’s room mate Joan. Joan told me that Paula had just gone to bed after working the overnight shift at Children’s Hospital. Wake her up, I told her. Joan says to me, “You sure you want to do that, Joe”. Yes, I am sure. If she doesn’t get up. She won’t see me for at least 4-5 days.

So Paula comes to the phone. Remember this is long before cell phones. I tell her that I will be by in about 45 minutes to pick her up. I told her about the pending storm. She agreed. And I picked her up about 45 minutes later and we headed for my place in Newton Highlands. We managed to make to Newton from Brookline without getting stuck. I pulled into the garage and we headed inside (and stayed inside).

Needless to say we had a wonderful time. We snuggled in my warm king size water bed. Then at about 2am, the phone rings. I answer and say “Hello?”.  The phone replies, “This is Harold Stanley, is Paula there?” I roll over and hand the phone to Paula and say it’s your Dad. Paula eventually talked to her mother. I don’t think that Harold ever told Mary where he found Paula. Apparently he had called her apartment and Joan gave him my phone number. Paula convinced her father that she was safe and warm.

Eventually, the [er] honeymoon was over and Paula had to go back to work. She had luckily been on a two day off period. So we had to figure out how to get her from Newton to Children’s Hospital. We made a sign for her and she managed to hitch a ride from nice folks who were out riding around. Then after about another couple of days I had to go back to work.

Peter Stuyvesant at Pier 4

 One other event of note that happened that week was the sinking of the “Peter Stuyvesant”. This was ship was once a famed Hudson River riverboat that was moored next to Anthony’s Pier Four in South Boston. The “Peter Sturvesant” was used for wedding receptions and other big parties. It was where the reception for my brother Rich’s wedding to Mary back in 1973. That was way before Paula’s time. But it was one hell of a party.

Here’s a pointer to the Wiki entry on the blizzard of 1978. And here’s a pointer to some pictures in the Boston Globe.