Paradise

P A R A D I S E

Return with us now to those days of yesteryore, before September 20, 1938. The place, Marks Cove. Around the bend from Swifts Beach. Otherwise known as paradise.

It's easy to get there. Just go to Swifts beach, face Buzzards Bay and turn right.

That will set you on a course due West, walking along the edge of the marsh, which will give way to swarths of eel grass.

To the right is a stand of mostly pine and oak. Keep going until you reach the end of the woods on the right. Turn left and Marks Cove is right in front of you.

There is an island with a big boulder at its Eastern end, your left as you look out onto Marks Cove. It is called Cedar Island. You can wade out to Cedar Island at low tide. Wear beach or water shoes as there are many stray, empty shells from Quahogs and other shellfish that can cut your feet.

There are lots of Blue crabs in the cove, but don't worry; I have never been bitten by one crawling around on the bottom.

My father took us crabbing. You go at low tide when there is no or little wind. He would stand in the bow of the rowboat with a long handled net as I manned the oars, slowly rowing. When he caught a crab, it would be placed in a bucket. They all scuttled around tring to get out.

One day, my bother, Bruce, stuck his hand in the bucket. A crab latched onto his little finger and he let out a howl. Our Dad got the crab off, but his finger was pretty sore for a couple of days. And he kept his hands out of the crab bucket from then on.

You see, my Mother's family built a cottage on the Cove around the turn of the century; that's the 20th century starting in 1900. It belonged to my Mother's Aunt Mable Spurr, nee Schultz.

Every summer, we would leave our home in Braintree and head down Route 28 to Wareham and the family cottage at Swifts Beach on Marks Cove.

There was a community there made up of several summer cottages.

I always thought it was paradise. Still do even though it was all smashed to smithereens during the hurricane of 1938, commonly known as the '38 Hurricane.

In those days there was no National Weather Service to warn people of impending doom. In fact, when the '38 struck, there were people swimming in the bays and beaches. It caught the entire Eastern shore from New Jersey to Chatham by surprise. No one was prepared. Over 600 people died and it destroyed 100s of millions of dollars worth of property. Thousands of boats were lost, from row boats to huge steamers. I'm sure the cost today would be in the billions.

My Mother, me and my brother, usually stayed at the cottage until October, especially if it was a nice Indian summer. But in 1938, I had to go to school, so we left early in September and returned to our home in Braintree. Lucky us for the '38 hit around the 20th of September. The experts estimated the surge or tidal wave was over 20 feet high; that's two stories tall. Every cottage near the beach was destroyed except for one. It was right on the beach at the end of Bay View street. They opened all the doors and windows and the surge swept through leaving the house intact.  Its still there.

And of course,our cottage was washed away along with all of the cottages in our little community on Marks Cove.

The wake of the hurricane converted all the wood in those cottages to a melange of broken two by fours, novelty siding, toppled chimneys, upended cars and many rooftops.

Floating rooftops saved many people's lives along the coast as the surge subsided.

Here are some photographs of summer fun at our cottage on the Cove.







My Dad, Irving Hudson Brown, throwing horseshoes at the Swifts Beach, garters and all, 1930s, just before I, Walter, was born. The car in the background looks too new to be a 1931 car as the date on the picture says.

My brother, Bruce, and I on the beach in front of our cottage with our grandmother Brown, Nana, and my grandfather Brown, Gaga. Bruce is in the rowboat. I look bored and would rather be sailing. Out cottage would be beyond the boat at the edge of the woods, directly on the marsh. A full moon tide would creep up to our cottage and go under it. Early Global Warming?

View from cottage porch. Bruce and Walter behaving.

Not sure who this is; Walter, I think. Looks like our rowboat.

This is me submerging. Our trusty rowboat with the Sea Witch engine is to the right while a large boat has been put on a dolly and winched up the marine railway that was on the beach. The railroad tracks can still be seen at low tide.

My mother is giving me a ride on het back. I can't ever remember not knowing how to swim. Bathing caps, like my mother is wearing were de riguer during the 1930s. Rowboat in background with Sea Witch outboard engine.

My brother Bruce sitting in the bow of our rowboat. Looks like a large Cape Cod Catboat in the background hauled up on the marine railway.

Jane McDonald, myself, and brother Bruce enjoy a sandwich by the picnic fire across Marks Cove on Cromeset. It was largely unsettled in the 1930s.

This is the picnic party on the beach at Cromeset. Our little community would row or motor across the cove and land on Cromeset and have picniks.

This is our dog Blitson at the beach.

My Aunt Erma bought us a little dinghy. Notice the paddle wheels to make it go. The paddle wheels fit into the oarlocks. Aunt Erma was my Dad's big sister. I am manning the paddle wheel with Jane and Bruce in the stern. We called the dinghy, WALBRU, after the first three letters of Walter and Bruce.

WALBRU under way. Dad on right. To turn the dinghy, we leaned leftor right, raising one paddle wheel out of the water.

Ain't I cute! Jane and Bruce think so. Cromeset, in background, has no cottages yet. Whoopee boat in back of WALBRU leaked like a seive and was usually half submerged. It must have just been bailed!

Our garage is in the background. Me, Beth Bigelow and my bro, Bruce.

Here I am steering the rowboat with the Sea Witch outboard engine. Two hands for beginners. I was seven years old.  I think my grandmother Brown (Nana) bought it for my Dad at Sears, Roebuck. If you look close, my vaccination scar is visible on my upper left arm.

The Sea Witch met an untimely demise at my hands. Several years after the '38 Hurricane, we were living in Braintree; on Talbot Road, a dead end street.  I gathered my friends together and we put the Sea Witch in a wagon and took it to Sunset Lake where we rented a boat, attached the Sea Witch to the transom (back of the boat) and took off for a joy ride around the Lake.  I was making the boat do some sharp turns and on one sharp turn,  the engine tore loose from the transom and fell off the back of the boat and sunk into the the deepest part of the lake. We tried diving down but it was too deep and dark so we gave up, returned the boat to the dock and went home.  That weekend my father and I went to the lake and  rented a rowboat.  He asked some big kids to help find the engine.  They dove down, but could not find the Sea Witch.  I was very sad and mad at myself.  My Dad consoled me and said it was not a very good engine and he was thinking about getting a new one.  We ended up with a new 5hp Johnson and from then on I made sure it was securely clamped to the transom of whatever boat we rented from the Weweantic to the North River in Scituate for my Dad loved to fish. 

Once again on the road,

From Orlando we went north to the Florida town that is farthest to the west, so far west it is in the next time zone, which is central. With Patty retired we are both now on a fixed limited income so to save money we decided to stay in government quarters. Our first try is with the Navy and I must say it is very nice, both clean and comfortable. We are located on the Naval Air Station, of Pensacola, Florida (www.dodlodging.net) ; we reserved three days using the Navy Gateway, Inns and Suites. What is great about this base is the location is right on Pensacola Bay so we have a beach. It is home to the Naval Air Museum, and a lighthouse. Another great thing is the Navy’s Blue Angels practice here probably twice a week. I will need to take a few pictures and Patty wants to get some autographs for the grand kids.

Last night we went into the city of Pensacola to eat at one of America’s great steakhouses, McGuire’s Irish Pub. Many of my friends would like this place as many drinks are in the $3 to $4 range. The walls were covered with money; my estimate is over 1 million, every square inch of the ceiling and walls down to about 3 feet. The money is not flat on a flat surface but hung perpendicular. There is so much money that sound does not carry and the Irish music is muted. They make all their beer and I had a red lager named, McGuire’s Irish Red. Patty drank something called an Emory Chenoweth, not sure what it contains but probably 10 inches high and only $3.50. My taste of it was delicious. There was a drink with a limit of 3 per person, served in an old fashion quart size Mason jar from the local cemetery, called “The Irish Wake” at a cost of $9.99. The seating capacity of this place was very close to 800 or 900 people. The parking lot was perhaps five acres. Many pictures of famous people are on the walls, more than one can imagine.

Day two: We went to the Naval Air Museum. It is huge and extensive, over 150,000 square feet and four stories high. One day is not enough, as there is so much history from WW1, through today. If I was going to say which is bigger the USAF or the USN, I would go to the USAF at Wright Patterson AFB.  Pensacola trains most of the Naval Aviators if not all, some became very famous and some were our past presidents. Their planes and log books will be enshrined here forever.

There is a lighthouse on the base which posed nicely for some pictures. You can look up http://www.pensacolalighthouse.org/  there is also a museum attached. This is still a working lighthouse kept up by the Coast Guard.

The last day was a visit to a fort. It was Fort Pickens National Park. From the fort we watched the Blue Angels practice maneuvers, our very own private air show. There were six planes and they kept passing over and around the fort then back to the base and up into the sky. A great day especially after we left the fort for a nearby beach that gets 4.9 stars out of five. It was not crowded at all and many have said it is the best beach in the Eastern United States, Langdon Beach. If I return to Pensacola, I would stay at the Naval Lodge as it is closer to the museum and lighthouse with its own private beach. The beach used by the Inn I was in although also on base but perhaps two miles away, without the seclusion afforded by the lodge.

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The next day we are off to stay on Joint Base Charleston, currently commanded by the A.F... We are staying at an Air Force Inn once again; it will be the least expensive nights of our trip. Unlike the old days when there were many clubs, the military has sort of made drinking out of vogue. Only one club on base now and this one had Bingo on the evening we arrived, however our arrival was an hour late to catch the entire evening’s game. There were two guaranteed $1,000 prizes included this evening along with all their normal prizes. We just ate in the Grill portion of the club, ran to the commissary and then back to our room. If anything was funny, we saw many open parking spaces in front of the club. Only trouble was the first 2 were for General Officers, the next 4 were for Colonels, then a few for Commanders of local units and the club manager. There was a group set aside for the E-9 enlisted also.  I parked in the back.

We made our reservation again by using www.dodlodging.net  for those active or retired military members with proper identification.  I tried to read the regulation (AFI 37-135 24 September 2014) to see if DoD Civilian guests are authorized, as in the past I have stayed with DoD Civilians with Temporary Duty Orders while we were having required environmental training and could not decipher the policy.  There are so many exceptions and rules I feel DoD Civilians with DoD ID cards might be eligible.

I did notice that rule 39 includes: Other DoD ID card holders not on official business to include disabled veterans.

It almost looks like many people are authorized so probably the best thing is just check and confirm eligibility.

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Ok, off to Fort Sumter, the place where the American Civil War Began. Decades of growing strife between north and south erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back. You can’t drive to it so we took a ferry. The place where the ferry started there were two naval ships the USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. I did not catch the name of the destroyer.

This is a National Park so once again I got to use my park pass. If you are 62 or over you should spend the $10 for one of the passes. Once you pay the fee all National Parks are free for life, this includes the National Seashore on the Cape. I have got my $10 back many times over already and I bought it 3 or 4 years ago.

This is also the area my father went to college, he attended the U.S. military Academy called, “The Citadel.” His study was chemical engineering. This was also the start to get his commission and join the army’s, 101st Screaming Eagles and become a paratrooper during WWII. I did not have time to visit the Citadel museum so I might have to return on another trip.

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I am not sure if I can call these vacations anymore. Where we are retired now I would say they are just trips, excursions or adventures.

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Many of my friends know I was once a Democrat who was a McGovern supporter. While I was stationed in Texas I shook McGovern’s hand by the Alamo, in San Antonio , during a rally. This particular political party left me behind many years ago.

Great Orators of the Democrat Party – PAST:

"One man with courage makes a majority." ~ Andrew Jackson

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The buck stops here." ~ Harry S. Truman

"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for country." ~ John F. Kennedy

AND NOW...

Great Orators of the Democratic Party today:

"It depends what your definition of 'is' is?'' President William Jefferson Clinton

"Those rumors are false. I believe in the sanctity of marriage." ~ John Edwards

"What difference does it make?" (Re: Benghazi) ~ Hillary Clinton

"I invented the Internet." ~ Al Gore (he did however vote to provide tax payer money for it’s startup)

"America is, is no longer, uh, what it, uh, could be, uh, what it was once was, uh, and I say to myself, uh, I don't want that future, uh, for my children." ~ Barack Obama

"I have campaigned in all 57 states." ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2008)

"You don't need God anymore; you have us Democrats." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted 2006) (A really, really stupid remark.)

"Paying taxes is voluntary." ~ Sen. Harry Reid

"Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true, and honest than he is." ~ Hillary Rodham Clinton (Quoted1998)

"You have a business. You didn't build that. Someone else did!" ~ Barack Obama (Quoted 2012)

And the most ridiculous gem of wisdom, from the "Mother Superior Moron": "We just have to pass the Healthcare Bill to see what's in it." ~ Nancy Pelosi (Quoted March, 2010)

(As one Doctor said: “That is also the perfect definition of a stool sample.”)

A Great Republican: "Life is tough! It's even tougher when you are stupid.'' ~ John Wayne

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Now I am on the Delmarva Peninsula and staying with a Navy Inn again. The internet and password are the same so my computer is happy. We drove all day (8 hours), had breakfast when we left but decided to have a nice dinner after we checked into Wallops Island, home of Surface Combat System Center (SCSC). It is located on a 6 square mile island with NASA.  There are so few people around it is weird.  The gate guard would open the gate electronically from his guard shack to let us in and out.  The gate was roughly a 10 foot high fence on rollers.  On my arrival there were about 8 men cooking on a bar-b-cue grill before they disappeared.  This was the most people I saw during my entire stay.  No base exchange, no club, no gas station, no commissary, just 3 or 4 buildings, a parking lot and a guard shack. The big building being what looked like a school for Navy training of Combat Systems.  The gate guard could jog around all the buildings in probably 5 minutes.

One funny thing, other than the ghost base item above.  A room is $70 and a suite is $70.  I took the suite, being the bargain hunter, penny pincher that I am.  All suites are on the second floor and all rooms on first floor.  The furniture in the rooms was sort of early Virginian, which was ornately carved cherry wood, no fiber board here, not even plywood.  Much better furniture than I have in my own house and those of the people I know.  The bed was a sleigh bed also cherry and carved.  I counted the drawers in the room in the 4 rooms of the suite, there were 21.  I was only sleeping there for two nights, our arrival and the one night after our day of exploring, so I did not unpack my suitcase as we would be leaving in the morning.  Not using all these drawers made me feel guilty so I put my glasses and wallet in one just before I went to sleep.  The Air Force would say we would be leaving at zero dark thirty.  There were probably only 4 or 5 other people and/or couples staying at the Inn but I did not see any of them, just their vehicles.

We had dinner at Ray’s Shanty on Chincoteague Road. If you drive the coast heading south after using the Cape May ferry this restaurant would be well worth the stop. https://www.raysshanty.com/ I had ½ pound of steamed shrimp from North Carolina; it came with fries, slaw, and hush puppies. This meal was incredible and only $17.95. Patty had 2 crab cakes made in the facility with the same sides that I had for $21.95. Just an FYI my shrimp size was XL, probably 16 – 20 per pound. Another thing I noticed was this place also sells fresh seafood; the sign said uncooked North Carolina  shrimp the size I just ate, goes for $35 for 10 pounds (head and shell on). In New England we pay way too much for seafood and it is not as fresh. Patty and I were taken on a tour of the restaurant/facility while waiting for our table by the owner’s wife,.  The owner, her husband, Captain Ray Twiford we met on our way out of the restaurant.

Adjacent to this base is a NASA installation that commands the oldest rocket launch range in the U.S. This might be interesting as they do offer tours, but we are visiting Chincoteague National Park tomorrow to visit and photograph the wild horses on nearby islands.

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We did get to go to the NASA museum on our way back from Chincoteague. I was becoming paranoid with all of the “Restricted Area,” signs on this base, plus those of the NASA and was wondering what they were hiding. There were probably nine parabolic dishes pointed toward the sky, some at least five stories high. More rockets are shot from this base then Cape Canaveral, Kennedy’s Space Station, approximately 30 per year. The next one is May 31. If you are an engineer in the field this would be the place to be. https://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/home . Why might you ask, great food, low cost homes, incredible ocean views and parks and beaches everywhere.

I have always thought that buying a home on the Delaware portion of this three state peninsula as the state of DE has the 46th lowest tax rate of the lower 48 states. I guess taxes are most important to me anyway.

I did learn that the next full solar eclipse of the sun will be on August 21, 2017. A total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. Let us hope for good weather and no clouds as this phenomenon does not happen very often.

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Having returned to my home once again I can return to my writing about inventions that changed mankind.  This week we will talk about the Stethoscope.

Many people have heard their stomach growling or listened to their heartbeat in the middle of the night.  But few know that inside the human body is a cacophony of sounds– from the gurgle of the intestines to the whisper of the lungs to the rush of the arteries and low rumble of other organs.  Doctors can draw conclusions about patient’s health depending upon the sounds they hear through a stethoscope.  The word “stethoscope” comes from the Greek words stehos, meaning “chest,” and skopein, meaning “to explore.”

Modern stethoscopes feature a round chest piece containing a hollow cup (bell) with a plastic disk, or diaphragm, inside it.  When the piece is placed on the patient’s chest, body sounds vibrate the diaphragm, creating sound waves that travel up hollow rubber tubes to the listener’s ears.  The bell transmits low-frequency sounds, while the diaphragm transmits higher-frequency sounds.

Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope in France in 1816.  Reportedly, while walking in Paris, Laennec saw two children sending signals to each other using a long piece of solid wood and a pin.  With an ear to one end, the child received an amplified sound of the pin scratching the opposite end of the stick.  After much experimentation, Laennec came up with the first stethoscope.  It consisted of a wooden tube and was connected to one ear only.  The tool was very similar to the ear trumpet, a device used by the hard-of-hearing to listen to conversations.

Flexible-tube stethoscopes for one ear arrived in 1840.  They were called ”snake ear trumpets.” In 1851 Irish physician Arthur Leared invented a binaural (two-eared) stethoscope which greatly improved the ability of a doctor to hear internal bodily sounds.

Today, physicians use many types of stethoscopes.  The acoustic stethoscope is the most familiar, but there are also electronic stethoscopes (stethophones) that electronically amplify body sounds.  They use a PC-based software that converts the sound into visual graphs that can be transmitted for remote diagnosis.

The invention of the stethoscope marked a major step in the redefinition of disease.  Formerly identified as a bundle of symptoms, disease in the current sense is considered a bodily problem even if there are no noticeable symptoms.  Using a stethoscope, a doctor can quickly tell the health of the lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines even if the patient notices no pain.

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Here is another summer crockpot recipe. . .

Roasted Summer Squash with Pine Nuts and Romano Cheese

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium red bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 medium zucchini, cut into ½ -inch slices
3 medium summer squash, cut into ½ -inch slices
½ cup chopped pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
Springs of fresh basil (optional

1.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 10 minutes or until onion is translucent and soft.  Remove to Crockpot slow cooker.  Add zucchini and summer squash; toss lightly.

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I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, and I have even done it myself a couple times unintentionally... but this one is real, and it's important. So please send this warning to everyone on your e- mail list.

If someone comes to your front door saying they are checking for ticks due to the warm weather and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up

DO NOT DO IT!! THIS IS A SCAM!!

They only want to see you in your birthday suit.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid.

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Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.

As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.

"You know" he said, "I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?"

The driver said, "No problem. Have at it."

Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway.

A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.

The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.

The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure.

The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving. He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.

He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law...But I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."

The supervisor asked, "Is it the Governor?"

The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."

The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the President."

The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."

The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?"

The young trooper said, "I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!"

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Two nuns were shopping in a food store and happened to be passing the beer and liquor section.

One nun asks the other if she would like a beer.

The other nun answered that would be good, but that she would be queasy about purchasing it.

The first nun said that she would handle it and picked up a six pack and took it to the cashier.

The cashier had a surprised look and the first nun said, "This is for washing our hair."

The cashier without blinking an eye, reached under the counter and put a package of pretzel sticks in the bag with the beer saying, "Here, don't forget the curlers."

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Sorry had to finish up with the jokes as it is Monday night and I have been very busy.

See some of you at exercise.....  George

for a copy with your morning coffee, put letter in subject line and email grucker@capecod.net

older copies available with Walters additions as he thinks it makes the letter easier to read.

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