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 🙂
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.
The Breakers – if you only have time to see one mansion/summer cottage, this the THE one to visit.
From wikipedia: ” The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion located on Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island. The Breakers was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The Breakers is the architectural and social archetype of the ‘Gilded Age’ a period when members of the Vanderbilt family were among the major industrialists of America. Vanderbilt was the President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad, and was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Commodore made the family fortune in the steamship and railroad industries.In 1895, the year of its completion, The Breakers was the largest, most opulent house in the Newport area.”
CLICK HERE to read more….
This was the original Breakers which was destroyed by fire in 1892. A modest summer cottage…
Vanderbilt commissioned famed architect Richard Morris Hunt to rebuild it and insisted that the building be made as fireproof as possible and as such, the structure of the building used steel trusses and no wooden parts.
And this is the Breakers in 1895… somewhat different from the original, wouldn’t you say.
Great hall …
Around the ‘cottage’… 2 sitting rooms – music room – library – bathroom – dining room.
In the library the fireplace, taken from a 16th-century French chateau bears the inscription “I laugh at great wealth, and never miss it; nothing but wisdom matters in the end.”
‘The kitchen, unlike others in the time period, was situated on the first floor away from the main house to prevent the possibility of fires and cooking smells reaching the main parts of the house.’ You can understand why after the original Breakers burned down that they’d want the kitchen further away. This kitchen is gorgeous, it could even tempt me to whip up a cake or something. Maybe.
The grounds … you never know what you might see out there 🙂
The Breakers is amazing… not just in its beauty and opulence but in the thought and foresight that went into building it.
Just a few more pictures, really, just a few 🙂
If you haven’t been to the Breakers I hope you get to go. In the mean time CLICK HERE for the Breakers and HERE to find out more about Cornelius Vanderbilt II.
Coming next … what mansion came within weeks of being torn down !!
(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)
I’ve been to Martha’s Vineyard in February and I love it. I love it any time but February is as different from summer on the Vineyard as you can possibly get.
There’s a cold crispness in the air, the colors are more vivid, the Island is quiet and yet speaks volumes to those who take the time to look, listen and drink in the beauty and wonder that is the soul of Martha’s Vineyard.
February 1989… a light dusting of snow made everything look like powdered sugar had fallen all over the Island.
February 1995… no snow that trip but bitter cold. Did not stop me from visiting the Gay Head cliffs in Aquinnah on the western most tip of the Vineyard… or hiking through the woods of Christiantown to visit the tiny chapel there.
I also experimented a bit with black and white film. From top left… Edgartown harbor, Christiantown stone wall..Sengekontacket Pond and South Beach.
February 2007… bitter cold, dusting of over night snow, icy ponds and harbors… and brilliant sunsets.
My birthday is in February and sadly the only one I’ve ever spent on the Vineyard was in 1950 when my beloved godmother, Gertrude Norris passed away. But I’m not anywhere near done having birthdays so who knows what the future will bring 🙂
(the above photo is from Google, all others are mine)
The walkway is in Poughkeepsie, New York… it was a former railroad bridge built in 1889, the bridge deck stands 212 feet above the river’s surface and is 1.28 miles long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The day we were there was sunny, cloudy, breezy, windy and as you can see still lots of beautiful foliage. Here we go…
down river towards NYC which is approximately 85 miles away…
barge coming up river…
This was so much fun and if it were closer than almost 2 hours from where I live I’d walk it more often.
Here are links to Walkway Over the Hudson:
I repost this post almost every year as it touches me deeply.
My daughter Deb is a twin. Sadly her sister Susan was only here for a few hours.
One of my favorite pictures of Debbie (age 3)
Katy (Katama) was Deb’s first Boykin Spaniel. She was the first dog to go on vacation with Deb and me, no big surprise that it was to MV. Katy left us after 20 months and we feel that she’s now with Susan. Here’s Deb with Katy at Sengekontacket Pond on Martha’s Vineyard.
Chappy (Chappaquiddick) was Deb’s next Boykin Spaniel. Here they are enjoying the window seat at the inn we were staying at in Oak Bluffs.
We took lots of pictures of Chappy’s first trip to the Vineyard, especially on the beach and in the water. He really enjoyed splashing about and barking at waves. These pictures show a little of his fun at the beach.
And then there’s this picture:
Is this a double exposure, or is it Deb and Chappy with Susan and Katy ? You be the judge. Just let me say that my camera, not a digital one, had never, until that day, taken a double exposure and never did so afterwards.
Happy Halloween !!!