This week's assignment is to look for patterns and/or textures along the seashore.
The song is: ‘Never Been Gone’ by Carly Simon.
Every trip I make to Martha’s Vineyard this song plays in my head when I’m on the ferry because I truly feel like I’ve never been gone. Carly Simon actually wrote ‘Never Been Gone’ on the ferry Islander on her way home to the Vineyard 🙂
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.
February 2007, exactly 10 years ago was the last time I sailed on the Islander..
Even though not sleek or graceful, for 57 years the Islander brought her own special beauty to the waters surrounding the Vineyard. The Islander will continue to exist through paintings, photographs and in the memories of those who loved her.
Early morning …
The beloved ferry the Islander plied the waters between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard for 57 years before retiring in the winter of 2007. There was just something about this tub of a boat that endeared her to all who sailed on her… she wasn’t a great beauty but she had a regalness about her.
Her blue plastic outdoor seats certainly weren’t known for their comfort, but comfort wasn’t necessarily what one was after for the 45 minute sail from America to the Vineyard, which was more of a transition from the everyday to the magicalness awaiting you. The Vineyard is many things to many people and in many hearts the Islander was the emotional connection.
I don’t know if any songs have been written about her but I do know that one in particular was written on her. Carly Simon was on the Islander late one night on her way home to the Vineyard when she penned her song “Never Been Gone.” Her words come to mind every time I go back to MV.
80 years ago today on June 27, 1936 my parents Maude Louise Littlefield and Joseph Albert (Al) Freeman were married in Baltimore, MD. They sort of eloped although apparently everyone knew. Sadly there are no wedding pictures although in my minds eye I have created one.
These are my parents on their 25th anniversary in 1961 and their 30th in 1966
And here, for your enjoyment (I hope) the story of my mother’s engagement ring.
This is the beach in Oak Bluffs, this is where we always went when I was growing up. I remember one time in particular when I was there with my parents when I was about three or four years old.
After playing in the water with my dad and digging in the sand with my mom we started gathering up our blanket and things to leave. All of a sudden my mother gasped and yelled for my father… “my diamond ring is gone” she said in alarm. My dad immediately took charge of the situation by telling me NOT to move, just stay put. I quickly rushed over to the people nearby and told them my mother had just lost her ring in the sand and my father was going to find it. So much for listening. They, along with other beach goers who had heard me, started to get up to help my father look for the ring. “No” he said.. “don’t walk on the sand, if the sand is disturbed any further the ring will sink lower, I think I might have only one chance to find it.” We all held our breaths as he surveyed the situation and then after what seemed like an eternity (especially to me who was staying still) he scooped up a handful of sand. Miraculously there, shining out from the sand was my mothers diamond engagement ring.
I’m still amazed that he found it, how did he know where to look, how had my running through the sand not made it sink lower. I’m sure that ring was being watched over somehow.
Believe it or not, no more mansions 🙂 just a little of this and a little of that.
Sunset at Breton Point
And this and that…
This concludes my posts about the trip to Newport, RI … I think 🙂
(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)