MV Obsession

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


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My One Vineyard Christmas…

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I’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard around Christmastime many times but to my recollection there is only one time in my life that I actually spent Christmas on the Vineyard. I was probably around 5 or 6 and my mother and I went to MV to be with my godparents.

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Edward and Gertrude Norris (Nana and Pop) were my godparents. They lived part of the year in their house in Oak Bluffs which is where I spent my childhood summers. The other part of the year they lived in Newark, NJ downstairs in the same house we lived in. They were the most important people in my life besides my parents. They never had children of their own and they thought of us as their family. When my mother graduated from high school on MV she moved to Newark, NJ to live with them and to find work.

One Christmas, in the early 1950’s, when Nana and Pop were elderly, having health problems and living year round on the Vineyard and missing us, my mother decided she and I should go and spend Christmas with them. I was too young to realize this might be the last Christmas for one or both of them, all I knew was that I was going to wake up Christmas morning ON THE VINEYARD. How great would that be. The only glitch was that my dad couldn’t get off work to come with us but he insisted we go. Talk about being torn.

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I seem to remember there was a dusting of snow on Christmas morning… even if there wasn’t I like to think there was.  There were presents… one in particular I remember because I asked for it every year. A nurses kit. It was a white square box with a red cross on the side. Inside were band-aids, gauze bandages, a wooden thermomenter and a stethescope, a name tag… and the most important article.. a nurses cap. I spent the most of the morning bandaging people up whether they wanted to be or not.

All of a sudden I heard a faint knock on the front door !! I ran to open it and let out a shriek… it was my dad standing there with a big smile and a shirt box. A shirt box !! Yes indeed that’s all he had with him. No suitcase. No duffle bag. Just a shirt box with a couple of clean shirts and other essentials inside it. He liked to travel light.

It turned out to be one of the most wonderful Christmases of my childhood.

I am blessed to have the memories of that one Christmas on Martha’s Vineyard and of Nana and Pop, two people who were such an important part of my life.

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….and happy holiday memories to all. ❤


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Our Santa…

 

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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 61 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.

My creation

Below is my daughter Patty age 2 and 1/2 in 1966…

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… and then her daughter (my granddaughter) Tiffany age 2 and 1/2 in 1991.

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Here’s to Christmas memories ❤


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Summers On The Vineyard, Part 1…

After arriving on the Vineyard each summer of my childhood one of the first orders of business was going to the Flying Horses the oldest carousel in the United States, they came to the Island in 1884 from Coney Island.DSC_0037

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The Flying Horses are not a carousel, or a merry-go-round, they don’t go up and down just round and round. They are flying horses, like Pegasus, and fly to wherever you can imagine . They don’t actually have wings, but as you make the first circuit you feel like you’re about to fly out the open windows.

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I flew on these beautiful horses every day when I was a little girl. The ticket taker was a young man who would never take my tickets ! We tried everything to get him to take them… we brought him candy and cookies and tried slipping the tickets in with them… nothing work. At the end of the summer I said I wanted to buy him a gift, so off my mom and I went to purchase what I thought was a novel idea .. a tie. I was 5 years old, what did I know about buying gifts for men… he, by the way was about 13 but in my eyes he was a grown up. We put the tie in the box with all of summer’s uncollected tickets. As he came around to NOT collect my ticket I handed him the box. He smiled. Ah ha, success… or so I thought. As we were leaving the Flying Horses he came over and thanked us for the tie and as we turned to leave he handed us the tickets. I won’t say who he is, just that he turned out to be an official in Oak Bluffs in later years… and someone I’ve never forgotten.


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NY State Sheep & Wool Festival 2014 …

… otherwise known in knitting and spinning circles as ‘Rhinebeck’ (no pun intended)

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Saturday, Oct 18…7:30 sunrise…

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9:30 a.m. arrival at Rhinebeck… already a jagillion cars there…

 

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and people…

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even though it was mostly cloudy and even spritzed a few times the foliage as usual was beautiful…

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these friendly looking folk caught my eye…

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My creation

they were in front of the museum which I had never been in …  the exhibits included old milk wagons, baby carriages, wash tubs, and a man making caned seats…

My creation

 

there’s more to the sheep and wool festival than livestock and yarn…there’s a lot of other things to be looked at, admired and coveted..  for years I denied myself the small, orange, felted pumpkins… and then 2 years ago I got one… and then last year another one… and this year a third one….

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but they’re not the only thing I had my eye on… there were these baskets too… my daughter had one, friends had them, almost every third person walking around Rhinebeck had them… they were great to put stashes of wool in, or food, or a small animal even… so this year my first stop… after coffee… was a basket…

here’s my treasures from 2014 Rhinebeck.. 🙂

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the sky on the way home at 4:30 was just as beautiful as the morning sky was…

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NYC Day Trip …

The usual energy of the city is heightened at Christmastime by the sounds and sights of the season.

When I decided to go into New York I thought I’d do the usual… see the Rockefeller Christmas tree, watch the ice skaters, visit St Patrick’s Cathedral.

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I started by walking up 34th St past Macy’s..

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..then over to 5th Ave to Lord & Taylor to see their windows.

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As I walked past the NY Public Library…

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I decided to stop at Bryant Park which is behind the library.  I’ve walked through it once before at Christmastime and didn’t have the time then to look at everything.

There’s an ice skating rink and a huge Christmas tree and tons and tons of pop up kiosks offering all kinds of trinkets and food.  For nearly two hours I wandered happily around and yes, I treated myself to a little trinket.

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I still wanted to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree so I began my trek.  That’s when it happened… a celebrity was walking right in front of me…  not easy for her to blend into the crowd.

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Onward up 5th Avenue and finally…

THE TREE

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By now I was getting tired.

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A few last pictures as I headed back to Penn Station.

This of Radio City from a different angle…

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…and this.

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Bye New York, thanks for a great day.