MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography.. life in general and this and that…


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Carly and Harry …

That’s Carly Simon and Harry Connick, Jr of course 🙂

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It all began with this little snippet in the Vineyard Gazette 27 years ago in September of 1990. My daughter Deb likes Harry Connick Jr and I’m a huge fan of Carly Simon, I have been even before I knew of her Vineyard connection. This seemed like a perfect weekend getaway for us but how could I manage to get tickets when I live in NJ and they were only on sale on the Vineyard !

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I did it. I was determined and when it involves the Vineyard my determination is un-stoppable. So off we went. There were a few glitches along the way concerning MV accommodations and ferry reservations so we decided to stay in Falmouth on the mainland and just go to the Vineyard for the day of the concert.

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It was a spectacular September Sunday afternoon on the Vineyard, the Campground was filled with happy concertgoers bustling around.

Before the concert began we were talking with a woman sitting next to us who was going on and on about how excited she was to be seeing Carly Simon. She said she had chatted about it with her seat mate on the small plane she had flown over to MV on that afternoon. She told him she had no idea who Harry Connick, Jr was, but that she was mainly there to see Carly.

When Harry stepped onto the stage she gasped and said “oh my god, that’s the young man I was talking to on the plane.”

At 3pm the concert began. Harry’s band was fantastic and Harry’s voice velvety smooth.

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After about an hour or so of great music the lights were turned off. The only illumination was the sun shining through the stained glass windows around the perimeter of the Tabernacle !! And out stepped…..

Carly

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I was beside myself. In actuality though the person beside me was Carly’s mother!! I have seen Carly in concert several times since then but seeing her on the Vineyard and at the Tabernacle was something really special for me.

Harry and Carly sang a few songs together, their voices meshed beautifully. Carly did a few songs alone and then way too soon it was over. What a fantastic day, one we’ll never forget.

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The reviews of the concert were glowing, much like the talents of Carly Simon and Harry Connick Jr. as they stood side by side on the stage of the Tabernacle.

After the concert we had ‘drinks’ with the band at the Oyster Bar in Oak Bluffs… us and about 100 other people and then we headed to Edgartown for dinner.

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Too quickly our lovely day on the Vineyard was coming to an end. We drove back to Oak Bluffs for one last look at the now darkened Tabernacle. We had booked a late ferry and it’s one of the few times I’ve sailed at night. The sky was star filled, a cool breeze was blowing and a young man on board was strumming his guitar and singing softly. Perfect day.

I’ve seen Carly 6 or 7 times but this was the first time and there couldn’t have been a more perfect place.

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(sorry for the graininess of some of the pictures, they are copies of the originals)

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Stitching The Vineyard…

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This is my wall of Vineyard counted cross stitch projects. The Vineyard map in the upper left hand corner was the first one in 1993. Tisbury in the bottom middle was the last one in 2011. There were other non-MV projects done in between the Vineyard ones and I also did eight more of the Vineyard maps during that time too.

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These are not the only Vineyard counted cross stitches I’ve done though. The one closest to my heart is the Tabernacle designed especially for me by my daughter Deb. (please excuse the glare).

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The Tabernacle is my favorite place on the Vineyard for many reasons and so this picture means more to me than I can ever put into words.

This is my counted cross stitch masterpiece. My daughter Deb took a photograph of the Tabernacle… blew it up to an 8×10 and charted it by hand on graph paper. There might have been computer programs for that but this was the early 1990’s and she didn’t have one and I’m not sure we even had a computer!. She also bought the material and my daughter Patty bought the threads and that was my Christmas gift that year. All I had to do was sew it. People always ask how long it takes to do projects so I kept track. Over the course of 3 months I sewed a total of 138 hours… every inch of the picture is counted cross stitches… even all the blue sky… and there seemed like endless amounts of that. After it was finished we took it, along with the original 5×7 photograph and had it framed. For a couple of years I just wasn’t happy with the frame though so when I had my other MV counted cross stitches framed I gave this picture a new one. I also added a little plaque at the bottom that says The Tabernacle, Oak Bluffs – Martha’s Vineyard.

But I had said I couldn’t do it… ever… I would never be able to do counted cross stitch. Too hard. Too boring. I had too many excuses. Then my daughter Deb saw the counted cross stitch of the map of Martha’s Vineyard and the rest is history. We figured if I was ever to do counted cross stitching surely something Vineyard related would get me started. She even said that if I hated doing it she’d finish the map for me. Sounded like a good deal and so I began. One X after another… counting, counting every single stitch… but then it started looking like MV and I was pretty impressed and proud of myself.

We even got written up in the Vineyard Gazette… June 21, 1996

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Collage…

Ah, collages, what to do, what to do !

 

A random assortment of some of my favorite photos….

And of course my beloved Martha’s Vineyard

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/collage/


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Vineyard Friendships…

Vineyard stories about friends…

Let’s begin with the two friends who pretty much started the Vineyard connection in my family.  My mother Maude Freeman (on right) and her best friend Bertha Carter Jones (on left).

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Childhood friends on the Vineyard, they graduated in 1926 from Oak Bluffs High School (pre-regional high school).  After graduation they moved to Newark, NJ and it was there that they met their future husbands.. who were also childhood friends.

My dad Al Freeman on the left, Bill Jones on the right.

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They grew up together in Newark, NJ and remained friends their entire lives.  The best times they had were on the Vineyard when both of our families were there for the entire summer.

For many years Bertha & Bill Jones owned a bowling alley in Oak Bluffs across from the Flying Horses.  They did not have automated pin setters so the pins had to be set by hand, I even did it from time to time myself.

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Then along came Will Jones and me… not only best friends because our parents were but because we knew each other from early childhood.  How early you wonder ?  We were only a few months old when we met,  Will is a month older than me by the way and I never let him forget it… even now 🙂

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The above picture has to be around 1947 or 48, it was during the month or so that I was taller than Will.

 

Will and I were always looking for things to keep us busy and out of trouble.  Someone showed me how to make little flowers by using yarn and forks… I immediately showed Will. We set about our tasks, me at my house, he at his.

The next morning Will’s mom called my mom asking if he was at my house ?  Seems she went looking for a fork and couldn’t find any !!! A few minutes later Will was at my door, and yes, he had all his mother”s forks with him and they were filled with yarn.  Seems I had neglected to show him ow to get the yarn off the forks to make the little flowers.Oopsie.

Will had carried those forks from his house on the other side of Oak Bluffs by the harbor.. up Circuit Ave to my house where we freed his mother’s forks of their yarn.  I have no recollection of what we did with the yarn flowers.

 

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Last but not least, my daughter Deb and her best friend of 42 years, Dawn Green.

 Dawn & Deb, July 1984 (Falmouth, Ma)

                                         Dawn and Deb, May 2017 (Cape May, NJ)

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In July 1984 I took the girls to Martha’s Vineyard, just the three of us.  The trip was a new experience in that I’d never been away alone with two teenagers and I had never driven to MV by myself.

We did a lot of things together but the girls also spent time doing their own things while I did mine.  It was a nice mix to togetherness and apartness (is that even a word)!

 

Aquinnah to see the cliffs.

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Out for fancy dinner one night.

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One incident that sticks out in my mind is dinner one night at the Wharf Pub & Restaurant in Edgartown.  We ate early and the restaurant was almost empty.  We were in the middle of our meal when our waitress came over and said…”you might want to eat slowly as Billy Joel & Christie Brinkley are on their way in and I thought the girls might get a kick out of seeing them!”  THE GIRLS… forget the girls, I was the one getting all excited. So we nibbled and waited and waited and waited and then THEY walked past the window next to our table and entered the restaurant.  As we left the restaurant and walked past their table Billy Joel smiled and waved at us.  We giggled all the way back to the hotel.

Whether with family or friends, Vineyard memories are always extra special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Mothers and Grandmothers…

Happy Mother’s Day

       My mother & grandmother.   Me and my mother.    Me and my girls

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Me with my girls now… Patty and Debbie

Along came grandmahood via Patty with my two grands… Tiffany and Tyler

Tiffany 1989                                 Tyler 1993

Now

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But let’s back track just a bit to my mother who I am remembering on this Mother’s Day, Maude Louise Littlefield Freeman.

Born in Waterville, Maine

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Raised on Martha’s Vineyard

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my mother and grandmother – Oak Bluffs 1924

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After high school she moved to New Jersey and married a Jersey boy…

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and had a Jersey girl (me)…

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The next to the last Mother’s Day I spent with my mom was May 1975. My parents were vacationing on the Cape and she was unaware that we were driving there to surprise her for the weekend. I gave her the book ‘Mostly On Martha’s Vineyard, A Personal Record’ by Henry Beetle Hough, as I knew she’d know some of the people mentioned in the book. I am so glad I did that because after reading the book she decided she wanted to sail over to the Vineyard to visit her mother’s grave. It turned out be her last trip to her beloved Vineyard.

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I never knew my grandmother, my mother’s mother, she died before my parents were married and I was born, but I’ve always felt a closeness to her through stories my mom would tell me about her and also the essence of her I feel when I’m on the Vineyard. She is buried on the Vineyard and I visit her every time I’m there.

Chances are she might have visited me a few years ago !!!!  Read on…

Here’s an excerpt from a post I did about the ‘spirits’ of my mother and grandmother.

100_0175    On the very haunted island of Martha’s Vineyard.. in the town of Oak Bluffs.. in a restored Victorian home was a restaurant called The Sweet Life Cafe.   In this house in the 1930′s lived a daughter and her mother.   In this house the mother passed away.   That woman was my grandmother and the daughter was my mother.

 A few years ago my daughter Deb and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at the Sweet Life Cafe… we’d never eaten there but felt the time was right.   It was around 5 o’clock on a beautiful cloudless and breezeless May evening so we opted to sit on the patio in the garden as it was empty and peaceful.   We had a glass of wine and settled back to talk about our day and enjoy the pretty surroundings.   The tables were beautifully laid out and each had on it a small hurricane lamp with a candle in it.  We looked around and noticed that the candles on all the tables but ours were lit!   Our waitress re-lit ours.   The candle went out.   Again she lit it.  Again it went out.   She came back with a new candle.  Again out it went.   Again she re-lit it to no avail.  My daughter and I joked that our grandmothers were joining us and were definitely in a playful mood.

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Later that evening as my daughter and I were passing by the restaurant we looked in at the patio……   the candle on the table we had been sitting at was burning brightly !!

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