Never had the right challenge to use my favorite picture of my Uncle Steve for, until today. This picture describes him perfectly, a bit of a comic and a mischief maker. All kids loved him because he was pretty much always one himself.
Sculptures on a bench at Grounds for Sculpture – Hamilton, NJ
Row of benches at Lake Mohawk in Sparta, NJ
Top photo is Route 80 in New Jersey heading west to Pennsylvania and the Delaware Water Gap.
Bottom photo is Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts
Below are photos from the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.
My daughter Deb and I go out for coffee every Saturday, we’ve been doing this for almost 20 years. Sometimes we stay local, sometimes travel to different state to meet a friend like in the upper right hand corner picture or choose a place in NJ where we can enjoy the NYC skyline. Sometimes Deb takes her writing along and I bring a crossword puzzle book or a small coloring book with me. Even though we live together these Saturday morning outings are a special time for us.
What’s it like to finally meet someone you’ve admired for years, someone you have come close to meeting through mutual friends but didn’t for one reason or another, and so you resigned yourself to the fact that it would never happen! Carly Simon has always been an inspiration to me through her song lyrics and through her written words, and to meet her, although for only a few minutes…. well, it was down right awesome, nerve wracking and surreal and all I hoped it would be.
After 40 years of being a fan and admirer of Carly Simon – 5 concerts (MV with Harry Connick Jr, NJ art center, Lincoln Center, the Apollo and Joe’s Pub in NYC)…
After a lifetime of both of us having a connection to Martha’s Vineyard and never ever meeting each other it finally happened on Oct 24th here in NJ at Carly’s book signing for her new book ‘Touched By The Sun’ about her long time friend ship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
How did this come to be after all these years? Carly has done signings of CD’s and books over the years in NYC but I’ve never been able to make them, but when it was announced she was going to be on this side of the Hudson River in New Jersey and not far from where I live, and an early evening appearance… we knew it had to be now or possibly never.
My daughter got off from work early and we left around 3 for the 6 o’clock signing. We got to Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ around 4. There were already maybe 7 people in line outside, we went into the book store to purchase our reserved copies of the book which were our tickets into the event, got a refreshment and then got in line which had swelled to about 12 people by then. I was so relieved to be near the front, and my daughter could relax knowing she had delivered me bright and early to the event. I tend to get anxious sometimes and this was absolutely one of those times. The final estimate was between 250-300 people. Around 5 they led us into the bookstore and downstairs into a large room where they had a sort of roped off maze of lanes which led up to the front of the room where there was a desk. My description is horrible but the concept was great as it kept everyone orderly and in order of how you first got in line. As in most cases when you’re in a line for awhile for something you begin chatting with those around you, some were sitting on the floor already reading Carly’s book, my daughter was knitting socks, everyone was friendly, happy and anxious for 6pm to roll around.
A little after 6 we were all led back upstairs where Carly was seated behind a desk waiting for her eager fans.
Carly looked gorgeous, she was charming, gracious and warm, she didn’t rush anyone and spoke to you like the two of you were the only ones in the room. I was afraid I would turn out to be one of those ‘gushy’ fans that says the same things she’s heard a zillion times so I practiced in my head what I wanted to say in the short amount of time I had. I did not gush, I did not blather, I did not forget my name, or hers, I was my version of cool.
I wonder if we were both thinking the same thing…
If you’re wondering why the pictures show the back of the jacket I have on, it’s from Carly’s tour in 1978 when her ‘Boys In The Trees’ album came out. I came into possession of the jacket through two mutual friends of mine and Carly’s and thought she might get a kick out of seeing it. She did.
Thank you Carly for all the years of your incredible music,your heart felt lyrics (there’s a Carly song for every emotion), and for books, you are truly an inspiration.
My dad was a police officer in Newark, NJ. For many of his years on the force he worked in the Emergency Squad division. During the long hours between calls the guys would keep themselves busy in various ways like cooking. Near the Christmas holidays they always came up with a special project, like candle making for instance.
In 1956 they made Santas. I still have ours. Santa stands about 3 and 1/2 feet tall and is made from press board. After the outline was drawn the guys cut out the Santas and my dad set to work drawing the features, clothing and bag of toys. At that point our Santa came home and my mother and I painted him. I’m not sure how many coats of paint we used but Santa was spread out on our kitchen table for about a week before he was completely dry. I don’t know what kind of paint we used either but here it is 59 years later and he’s not chipped or faded. This was the only time I ever remember the three of us doing a family project together.
I love everything about this Santa, even the buttons being on the wrong side… but the thing I love the most is that he looks like my dad… a self portrait so to speak.
Below is my daughter Patty age 2 and 1/2 in 1966…… and her daughter (my granddaughter) Tiffany age 2 and 1/2 in 1991.
Here’s to Christmas memories, old and new. ❤
Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.In 1971, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May and as a federal holiday.
On my mother’s side of the family, my paternal great grandfather, Joseph Littlefield fought in the Civil War and died because of his wounds. He was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864. He was sent home to Maine to die. He died of typhoidal pnemonia on Sep 30, 1864, he is buried in Rome, Maine. Unfortunately his wife and his 3 oldest children died of the same thing shortly thereafter, leaving my grandfather, Charles Littlefield at age 10 the oldest of the four remaining children.
Below is a photo of the veteran’s section in the Fairmont Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey, where, on my father’s side of the family my great great paternal grandfather, Stephen Freeman is buried. Stephen did not die in the Civil War but was wounded in the battle of Antietam in 1862. He was sent home, lived another 29 years and died on May 30, 1891, which ironically was Memorial Day.
Take a moment to remember the original reason for Memorial Day and the men and women who fought for, and gave their lives for our country.
Have a great Memorial Day and enjoy the weekend whatever you’re doing.