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Long closed Boston and Cambridge Restuarants

When I was a MIT student I lived in a dorm, Baker House, that served food only on weekdays. So for weekends we went out a lot. This June for MIT reunion week there was an open house in Baker House to commenorate its 75th anniversary and I went there. I saw each of the 3 rooms I lived in. The place hadn't changed much. Room furniture was the same - perhaps replicas.

Saturday lunch was usually Durgin Park - recently closed. If you got there early enough the line was short. I usually got a big burger. The water pitchers were collosal - you could hardly lift them. And the waitpersons were habitually rude.

Saturday or Sunday evenings it was sometimes Simiones - a nearby Italian restuarant - that was distinguished by their shouting out the order numbers when they were ready.

Jack and Marions in Brookline was a great place - and they closed at 3am so it was good for late-night snacks. They had a Sjyscraper Special - $3 - which was a collosal sandwich and if you ate the whole thing you got your name on the wall. My name was there.

Ken's at Copley menu was similar to Jack and Marions - but you didn't get your name on the wall and it was hard to park there so we dodn't go much.

The English Room at 29 Newbury Street was good. And they set their prices so that when you added the meals tax no pennies were needed to pay the bill.

For late night snacks there was a trip to Elsie's in Harvard Square which had great roast beef sandwiches. Usually one or two people made the trip there and brought back a few sandwiches.

Just up Memorial Drive from the dorm there was the Smith House, and a bit further a Howard Johnson. We rearely went there.


The tractor from many years ago

When I was about 12 years old my parents bought a country place in Stormville, NY. It was called Hidden Brook Farm for obvious reasons. It was about 150 acres - mostly woods, but there were some large fields - including some blueberry fields. It was summer only - but there was a second house and a caretaker lived there.

So we got a tractor: a Massey-Harris Pony - it was a small one; it had cultivators, a plow, a trailor hitch, a sickle bar mower, a disk harrow and a snow plow. And this how I learned to drive and operate farm machinery. It was a lot of work changing implements.

This is not our particular one (maybe somewhere I have some pictures):

moi 1946

Flag raising

When I was a kid - 7 yrs old or so - as in the icon in this post I had a summer job to raise and lower a neighbor's flag - folding it correctly and stowing it in the designated place.. This was at our summer house in Deal, NJ. I was very conscientious about this task and did it even if I wasn't feeling well. I think my pay was 50 cents a week.

Us May 09

Our Breakfast "system"

We have a set pattern for meals preparation and menus. And who does what.

Our weekday breakfast is orange juice, cold cereal with fruit and milk, coffee for Robert rsc, tea for me. Milk is poured from Gertrude in Gloucester, Hildegard in Cambridge. We rotate between corn flakes, cheerios, bite-size shredded wheat, and "flakes" (some other kind of flakes). Take from the left put back on the right. Note that it is 4 kinds of cereal so a particular kind doesn't get eaten on the same day which would happen if there were 5 types. I rotate between tea types and always have green tea on Monday.

Occasionally when it is cold we have porridge (oatmeal) instead of cold cereal. And for this Rutherford, our Wooly Mammoth, comes down to supervise.

On Saturday it is blintzes. I make them from scratch - a batch yields about 10 - we cook 4 and freeze the rest, and the second Saturday which uses up the Ricotta and the other Neufchatel yields another 10 so we have usully 3 more weeks worth in the freezer. Blintzes are served with yoghurt and fruit and cinnamon and sugar. Robert makes the filling the night before. Saturday tea is Rooibos

Sundays rotate between pancakes, waffles, and french toast - all served with maple syrup and fruit with yogurt - also cinnamon and sugar. The pancakes are made with corn, rice, and soy flour, wheat germ and the liquid is fruit juice. Waffles are wheat, rice, and soy flour with wheat germ; milk is the liquid. Baking powder of course. Grated orange rind is often also added to these. The eggs for pancakes and waffles are separated and the whites are beaten and folded in. Sunday tea is some kind of spiced tea. The coffee has cinnamon and sometimes something else added. We make more than enough pancakes and waffles and the extras are wrapped in waxed (not wax) paper and are used for evening snacks with ice cream on them.

I am the one who officially pours the pancake or waffle batter into the pan or waffle iron. Once when Robert did it he got this Certificate of Excellence which is posted on our bulletin board in the kitchen. Note the signature.

For weekday holidays we make an egg dish - a frittata, omelet, occasionally poached, fried, or scrambled, and very rarely eggs Benedict. Today it was a frittata. And then my tea is Earl Grey.

The general rule is that who ever gets up first does the cooking and the other person washes the dishes which sometimes includes some of the previous day's dishes. When we cook an elaborate dinner or there are too many dishes we wash them after dinner. Dishes are left in the dishrack to dry. We don't have a dish washer.

The general rule about oranges is: "I don't squeeze Oranges". The exception is on the first of the month when I do them. When we have grapefruit instead of oranges I am the one that sections them. Whenever we buy a batch of oranges we buy a grapefruit - so that is about every 5 days.

Having a system like this makes everything easy. No dithering or deciding about what to have or who does what.


My First Car

Looking some of my old pictures I found this one taken in May 1956. It was my first car, a 1940 Chevy. Standing with me is my aunt Ruth (my Father's sister).

I did lots of mainbtenance work on it - painted it, tuneups, did a brake job. Tuineups in those days were easy - idle speed adjustment, and idle mixure adjustment screws on the carburator, and point gap.

I took auto mechanics in High school. A side effect of auto meqchincs was that yuou could park your car on the school lot instead of the street a block away. And we occasionally snuck out there to smoke a cigarette. They allowed smoking foin the lunch room near then end - when they flicked the lights to say iot was OK, but nowhere else and you weren't allowed to leave the campus and thus couldn't go out . Fortunately, a few years later I stopped for good.

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Our recent trip to Guana Island

We've been home for several days after a wonderful trip to Guana Island, a fabulous resort in the British Virgin Islands. This was our 24th trip there - the first one in 1983. It is a private island of 850 acres with a ~800ft peak (Sugar Loaf) and a 450ft peak (Pyramid). The dining room and dwelling houses are at about 250 ft and higher. There is a gorgeous beach - close to 1/2 mile long with white sand where you swim, etc - it is called White Beach. It has a coral reef that is no longer in good shape. There are several other beaches at various points. Lots of trails - many of which we have hiked. They will drive you up and down the hill to and from the beach, but we always walk on various routes.

View from the terrace in front of dining room

There are usually between 20-40 guests, many of who have been there before. The dining tables seat 8 - there are private opportunities - and we were mostly with 3 other couples who we have been there at the same time as us.

The food is excellent - there is an orchard and the orchard keeper and the chef cordinate their work.

It was devestated by Hurricane Irma and was closed in 2018. Roofs destroyed, furniture blown out to sea, much of the vegitation messed up. But restoral has been done and much of it looks like it did before. A big tree near the dining area is gone and the tree at the beach that provides shade is much smaller. The owner is a wealthy person whio is really committed to keeping the place thriving for guests, staff, and wild-life so he made sure the funds and other resources were available for restoral - many other BVI resorts are still not open. In October there is Scientist's month.

There is a salt pond near White Beach which has flamingos - there used to be 7 or 8, but this year we counted as many as 38. It is hard to count accurately since they are often clustered in the distance.

There are also some Rock Iguanas roaming around; they are almost extinct - only 100 of them according to the placemats and some are on another nearby islands.

And lots of pelicans - I love watching them dive.


My indirect connection Martin Luther King

This picture has the the late Rev. Ira Blalock on the left, MLK in the center and Rev. Gordon Gibson on the right. It was taken shortly after they were released from the Selma jail.

Ira Blalock was the minister of a UU church in Wellesley that I used to go to. One of my housemates had been in the Appalachian Mountain TrailCrew and another member was the organist and choir director there. A bunch of used to go regularly and then meet in our apartment in Belmont for lunch.

He was a very interesting and moving minister. At the end of the service he would step down off the pulpit and engage congregation members in brief conversations. Then we went to the Parish Hall for refreshments.

For my first marriage we wanted Ira to be the minister, but he had moved away and suggested Gordon Gibson who had a local parish. So we had the ceremony in the MIT chapel and then retreated to our apartment (now our house) for the reception.


2094 Headline: Amazon goes out of business

As I read about Sears stores closing I remember the old days when you got a Sears catalog in the mail every few months. It was a big fat book with just about everything you might need: clothes, tools, household appliances,... You could order by phone if you had a Sears card or mail in an order form with a check. And the stuff would get delivered in a few days or you could go pickup the stuff at one of their centers.

So I anticipate the above headline in 75 years from now. The article explains that no-one has enough money to buy much and delivery by boat over flooded streets to houses that sometime vanish between the time the order is placed and when it is delivered is too difficult and costly.


Where I slept in 2018

In our houses in Cambridge and Gloucester
7 nights at Sugar Beach in St Croix for Tropical Dance Week
2 nights at Saratoga Hilton in Saratoga Springs for the Dance Flurry
4 nights at Parc 55 in San Francisco
2 nights in Monte Toyon in Aptos, CA for Queer dance Camp
1 night in the Dylan near SFO
2 nights at YMCA Camp Woodstock in Woodstock, CT for LCFD Spring Dance Camp
1 night in Turkish Airline Fl 382 from Boston to Istanbul
3 nights in Ambassador Hotel in Istanbul
10 nights at Orien-Royal Hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia
2 nights at ?? hotel in Yerevan, Armenia
4 nights at Hotel St Andre in Montreal for the Motss Con XXXI
2 nights at YMCA Chimney Corners Camp in Becket, MA for LCFD Fall Dance Camp
3 nights at Dan and Gretta's house in Philadelphia


Where and When I danced in 2018

18 nights at JP Gender Free Contra
19 nights at JP Gender Free English
15 nights at BIDA in Cambridge
1 night at BIDA Spark in the Dark in Somerville
6 nights at Thursday Night Scout House in Concord, MA
6 nights at Challenging Contra at Scout House
3 nights / day at Scout House Special events (incl New Years eve)
1 night at Cape Ann Contra in Gloucester
7 days at Tropical Dance Vacation in St Croix
3 days at Queer Dance Camp at Monte Toyon in Aptos, CA
1 day at Peterborough Snowball in Peterborough, NH
3 days at Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs, NY
3 days at NEFFA
3 days at LCFD Spring Dance Camp in Woodstock, CT
3 days at LCFD Fall dance Camp in Becket, MA
2 nights at Harvard Square English (I thought there were more but not in my calendar)
1 night at WAGLY (LGBTQ youth group who requested a dance) in Wellesley Hills

95 in total - a bit higher than usual