February 7th, 2006


Oct 7, 1972

from an old journal
Conques: Sat, 7 Oct: Sunny! Walk up into the village - prune tart, "coffee cake", baguette - post cards - into the church. The sun through the stained glass was casting colored splotches all over the place. Then to the trésor - all that gold and silver and jewels - tapestries - the super cross with the apostles or epistles on the sides of the cross.

Walked up the hill behind the village up d7? to the top ridge. A farm up there with no-one present except a bunch of chickens. A nice sleep in the sun - could hear chansons de bonheur over the loud speakers from the church,

At night after a delicious supper (veg soup - thick with veg) Gerard, the brother of le patron brought over a bottle of pear liquor with a pear inside and talked with us for 2 hours. He works in a tube (pipe) factory in Decazeville. His mother came from Argentina before 1940. le patron's husband is a "functionaire". He owns the new house next door to the kitchen house. He never heard of Boston or Majorca. Never went to Paris... He "puhed" everything in the establishment and ridiculed his sister and her airs with great motions.

the photo is from 2000 - I haven't gotten around to dealing with my old slide collection...

a memorial service

On Saturday rsc and I attended a memorial service in Gloucester for Louise Loud, a local resident that we knew. In the case of Robert, attended is the wrong word since part of the service included a reunion/performance of the Cape Ann Singers who performed parts of the Brahms and Fauré Requiems as well as some Bach. The chorus was led by Barbara Bruns, its only director, who was and again is the assistant director of the Boston Cecilia. Conveniently another of the Cape Ann Singers is an organ repair guy who was able to repair a problem with one of the couplers. The service took place in the Gloucester UU Church, a fine building that is about 200 years old.

Louise had been one of the Cape Ann Singers and also had been in Boston Cecilia when it was called the Cecilia Society. Rehearsals usually took place at her wonderful house on Eastern Point. Louise was a very interesting person with strong musical, public school teaching, gardening, travel, and we learned from some of the speakers tennis interests. She was a very active member of the Gloucester Civic and Garden club (probably not the correct name) and was instrumental in getting plants, trees, and small public garden spots in many parts of Gloucester - apparently being extremely vigilant in seeing that they got installed and properly maintained.

When I go to memorial services I always think about what I would like to have. And I get kind of lost at this point so I guess I should think about this some more. I haven't been to many of them but they have always been good experiences.

Shortly before my mother died in 1997 I had discussed the topic with her. At first she didn't want anything, certainly no funeral as she had prearranged to be cremated and have her ashes scattered at sea by The Neptune Society. She didn't want anything in a synagogue and we recalled the oddity of my father's funeral in a synagogue conducted by a Rabbi that he'd never met and hadn't been in a synagogue for at least 10 years. I suggested her bridge club and she liked the idea and that is where I had it 4 months later. I'll write about this some time.