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Sunday, July 23, 2017

(7) IT GOT SO ED WAS SAYING NO BEFORE TIMMY EVEN OPENED HIS MOUTH.


Saturday, September 6, 1958, Cohasset
     “Great day for fishing,” Ed said gloomily, surveying the fog-bound Cove from our bedroom window. By 8:30, though, we could see Minot’s Light, so we told Tim to call his friend Dennis the Menace and get ready to go.
     By the time we left the harbor (10:00), the fog had closed in again. Crawled along for an hour or so, blasting the horn every two or three minutes, unable to see more than a few yards ahead of us. Ed turned on the radio-telephone, and in a conversation with the Gay Blade’s skipper, learned that the visibility was good out at the Stellwagon Ledge. Speeded up and headed for the Ledge.    
     Within half an hour we were completely out of the fog, much to my relief; I could now catch up on my magazines without having my teeth set on edge by the constant bleating of the horn.
     Was embarrassed to find that I hadn’t much in the way of edibles aboard for the young fry. Heated up Ravioli, mixed a can of tuna fish with some mayonnaise--no bread. The boys were hungry enough to eat almost anything without complaint.
     Back to normal, Tim’s main complaint of the day was the lack of good fishing. On our way home he argued and rationalized and tried to persuade us that Vonnie and Margo wouldn’t mind having him along on their trip tomorrow.
     “If the circumstances were reversed, would you want Vonnie?”
     “Well, she doesn’t care as much about the fishing as I do. And anyway, I wouldn’t mind, not if she just came along to watch.”
     “Oh, you’d just watch?”
     “Sure. Unless she caught a fish. Then I’d want a turn.”
     We decided to leave it up to Vonnie. 
     Arrived 5:45.
Sunday, September 17, 1958
    Left harbor with Margo ,Vonnie, and no Timmy at 11:10. Late start today due to ten thousand domestic problems and tribulations. Ted received word yesterday to return to Moses Brown tomorrow for football practice, and he’s about as well prepared as our goat. No shoes, no new suit, no name tags sewed in, but he’s got to admit I tried to be forehanded. It was always manana, Mama. To make matters worse, he has come down with a bug so it’s doubtful he’ll make school tomorrow anyway.
     Ed had to take time to repair a broken kitchen ceiling tile, caused by Nicky Souter when he gave an exuberant bounce as he greeted Kathie. Then I asked him to put in stakes for those of my tomato plants that lacked them. We went out to the garden to take a look and found stakes were hardly necessary. Either a tall rabbit or that low-down goat had neatly pruned the top foliage, and I hope the culprit gets diarrhea.
     I had been in the process of defrosting the freezer for the last two days (it was so encrusted with frost you could have made a toboggan slide out of what I scraped off), and that had to be tended to before we left. Tim was supposed to mow the lawn, but first you have to fix your lawn mower, another chore for poor Dad.
     Along about 10:15, Vonnie accosted me and inquired, “What time did you and Daddy leave with Timmy yesterday?” An innocuous question on the surface, but I got her plaintive message. .
     Ray was tied up at the dock and Ed congratulated him for making at least that much progress on his cruise with the Railsbacks. They have been trying to get under way since last Friday, but what with engine trouble, plus fog and wind today, they’ve not made much headway.  Ed ragged the skipper about his plight; Dottie retaliated with a stream of water from the hose, but he nimbly avoided it.
     “Where are you going?” Ray called, as we started rowing out.
     “No place special,” Ed said. “We’re just running a kind of safety patrol. When you get into trouble, don’t call the Coast Guard, call me first.”
     “If we see you out there,” Ray said, “just make sure you’re not broadside to us because if you are, we’re not going around . . . we’re going through.”
     Too windy offshore to go fishing. The girls were perfectly happy to go into Scituate Harbor where Vonnie promptly put on her suit and plunged into the water. Soon Alden and Florence came alongside in the launch, and we took them up on their invitation to have a beer with them aboard Seabird.
     “Guess what!” Florence said.
     “You got another tuna,” I said.
     “No. Alden won the Predicted Log Race!”
     “Won it!” This was quite an improvement -- from 50th place in the Onset Log Race to 1st place in Scituate. Alden showed us the gold cup he would be privileged to keep for a year and the plaque that was permanently his.
     After our beer we took the launch ashore with the Pinkhams to pick up Wes Marsh’s tuna, which had been cleaned and filleted and was in the Scituate Yacht Club’s freezer.
     “How about a game of tennis?” said Alden.
     “Sure.” Alden and I took on Ed and Lou Tonry, and we won a set apiece. Meanwhile, Vonnie and Margo were swimming and cavorting in the pool.
     Returned to the Happy Days a little after 5:00, had lunch (except for Ed, who continues to diet and is down to the weight he was when I met him), then headed for Cohasset.
[It was for someone else, I surmised 12 years later, that Ed lost the weight. Dottie Remick criticized me for making poor Eddie go on a diet. Dear Dottie—delusional Dottie, who told people I had divorced Ed because he didn’t stand up when I came into a room. We had a prolonged (for weeks) argument about that nonsense, but she insisted this was what I had told her. I believe Dottie got that notion when I remarked one time that the Marshes were such good friends Ed saw no need to stand up when they dropped by. bbm 2000]
May 29, 1960, Scituate Harbor to Cohasset
      Cast off at 10:00, cruise around, see shark, miss shark, return to harbor 1:30 p.m.  The Captain was very very very very DISAGREEABLE because I didn’t fasten the line quickly and efficiently in accordance with instructions.  He yelled at me.  He’s a big bully.   My mutterings about mutiny were ignored.
June 2, 1960
Ed’s memory of the Memorial Day cocktail party is extremely hazy.  I took advantage of this fact to play a naughty practical joke.  We were on our way to the Watsons, who had invited the Hard Core for a drink after the parade, and I said suddenly:
       “I’ll bet I know why my stomach felt upset this morning.  It must have been that shrimp cocktail I had at the Lighthouse.  Remember I told you it tasted a little off?”
      There followed what is known as a pregnant pause, while Ed registered my comment.  Reading his mind (“I can’t remember going out to dinner last night.  Ye gods, I really am slipping.  Should I admit I can’t remember, or should I try to bluff it out?”), I almost gave the plot away by giggling.     
       Ed concluded that honesty was the best policy.  He turned to me, stupefied, and said, “Do you mean to say we went to the Lighthouse last night?”
      “Sure we did.  You and Bill Rogers and I.  Don’t you remember how Sally offered to fix frankfurters and beans and you said not for you, you were going to have a steak?”
      “This is terrible!  This is the worst blackout I’ve ever had.  I have no recollection whatsoever of being inside the Lighthouse.”
      “What’s so terrible?  You’re always telling me you can’t remember things that happened the night before.”
      “Oh, but never like this.  When someone reminds me, I can usually remember, dimly.  But this is awful.  I’ll have to give up drinking!  How did I pay for the dinner?”
       “You charged it,” I said.  “You signed your name to the check and told them to send you a bill.”
      “I don’t believe it.  I’m going to ask Bill Rogers.  You must be kidding me.”
      When we got to the Watsons, I preceded Ed to the terrace and spotting Bill, sais, “Ed doesn’t believe the three of us went to the Lighthouse last night.”  I gave him a big wink.
      “He doesn’t?” Bill exclaimed.  “Ed, how could you put away a steak as big as that and not remember it!”
      Ed tottered to a chair and sat down.
      “Who paid for the dinner?” he asked, hoping to uncover an inconsistency in our stories.
      “Who paid for the dinner?  Why Ed, old boy, you insisted, you wouldn’t take no for an answer.  Why, you were hauling out charge cards by the dozens and signing your name all over the place.”
      “I don’t believe it,” Ed said numbly.
      “Wait till you get the tab,” Bill chuckled.  “Then you’ll believe it all right.  Say Ed, do you remember how you asked John Carzis if you could join his lobster fleet?  And he said you could, and he said he’d have match folders made up with `Happy Days’ on the cover?  Remember that?”
      “No,” said Ed.
      I was afraid I’d gone too far, though, in reporting to Ed that he’d played bridge with Helen Watson.  She was in the kitchen when we first arrived, and as soon as she came out on the terrace, Ed said, “Helen, they tell me you and I played bridge last night.”
      “Why, I never—” Helen began, and I thought, oh-oh, the jig’s up, “—played better in my life.  You said I was the best partner you’d ever had.”
      “If you’ve made this whole thing up,” Ed said, glaring at me, “there’s going to be a divorce in the family.”
      “And if I haven’t,” I replied spiritedly, “maybe there’ll be a divorce anyway!
      Finally Ed’s buddy and friend in need, Blake Thaxter, quietly took him aside and told him he was being snowed.            
July 1960 Cohasset to Scituate
     Wes and Marion Marsh arrived at the house at 6:00 p.m. We drove down to the Yacht Club and found Sturgeon from Elliott, Maine, just drawing up to the dock. The five men aboard wondered if it would be all right to spend the night tied up there. They were on their way to New York, they said, but it was getting pretty thick out, so they ducked into Cohasset.
     Ed told them we were on our way to Scituate Harbor and they were welcome to use our mooring for the night. While Ed and Wes went out to get the Happy Days, Marion and I chatted with the men. They decided they’d follow us to Scituate because they’d be that much closer to New York. Ed warned them he was going to take a short-cut and not to be nervous if they found themselves surrounded by rocks. So they steamed trustingly along behind us and we brought them safely into port.
     After Happy Hour we feasted on four enormous lobsters provided by Marion. We discussed politics. Marion and Wes don’t think much of either Nixon or Kennedy and Wes has half a mind, he said, not to vote at all.  Ed doubted his stand would have much effect on the election result.
Saturday, July 30, 1960, Scituate Harbor to Cohasset
     5:00 p.m. This day has been hardly worth writing about, thanks to tropical storm Brenda. Pelting rain, pattering rain, drizzling rain. Wind. More rain.
     Have late breakfast and scamper back to home port. Sit around in deckhouse, grumble about the weather, and read our books. But wait, is that a ray of sun we see? The rain stops, the sky brightens. Ed has gone home to take a shower and shave, leaving orders for the crew to tidy up the boat, which is indeed a mess. I proposed that he stay and clean up the mess while I went home to shower and shave, but he never listens to me.
     Ed’s report on the home front: Mom is fixing a Surprise for my birthday. I know what it is. I just know she is painting the kitchen. Kathie has been invited to the Ocean View by the Portas to do some waitressing. (Timmy is there now, bus-boying with his buddy, Neil Porta.)
     Charcoaled a steak, turned in early.

Sunday, July 31, 1960
     Hurricane Brenda exited tamely and the sea is only slightly disturbed by her memory. Spent the day patrolling the Stellwagon Ledge but didn’t run into any action. Feel sorry for yachtsmen who were deterred by small craft warnings--they missed out on a fine day.
     Reached home port 5:00 p.m.
Friday, August 4, 1960, Cohasset to Oak Bluffs
     Left Cohasset with Mr. and Mrs. Barnyard, as my mother persists in calling them, at 5:30 p.m. Ed has had numerous mechanics and trouble-shooters working diligently on the boat all week, has spent I’d-rather-not-know-how-many-$$$$$, and it really is marvelous what they have accomplished. They have secured the future of themselves and their children and all their relatives for the next hundred years. Aside from that, it would take a detective to ferret out what they accomplished. That’s all we need to add to the payroll--a detective. And a ferret.
     Things that are still not working: the automatic pilot, the snifter, the controls levers (these work, sort of, but under protest), the water pressure switch, the compass light, the masthead light, the throttles (sometimes these work and sometimes they’d rather not).
     Ed and Jack worked on the masthead light while I navigated from the flying bridge and Con-Con sat beside me with her knitting. Every now and then the fellows would ask if the light was on, and they looked so earnest and appealing that I longed to say, “Yes, it’s on.” They finally got the thing going just as night fell. It began to drizzle, so Con and I abandoned our posts for the sake of our coiffures.
     We were held up in the east end of the Canal because the railroad bridge was down. Whether it was stuck, and if so, for how long, no one seemed to know. The chaps at the Army-Engineer’s station advised us to tie up and wait. When Ed tried to maneuver the Happy Days up to the dock, he discovered  he had no reverse on either engine. Bearing this in mind, he finally managed to edge close enough to toss a couple of lines to the fishermen on the dock.
     While we waited for the R.R. bridge to do something, not just stand there, Ed and Jack worked on the controls. Ed, making an adjustment on the engine: “Where is it now, Jack?” Jack, examining the position of the clutch: “Back to reverse.”
     First Mate, examining the position of the clutch: “It is not, it’s in neutral.”
     Jack: “Right now, neutral is reverse and forward is neutral.”
     First Mate: “Oh.”
     The R.R. bridge eventually removed itself from our way and we proceeded up the canal, men at the topside controls, Con and I snugly ensconced in the deckhouse. We had been told that if
we heard two thumps above our heads, we were to dash to the controls and pull back the throttles because the topside throttles--guess what—didn’t work.
     “First time I’ve ever acted as a brake,” said Con.
     “You are more of an accelerator type,” I said.
     Recognizing the importance of our assignment, we stayed alert and on the job for fifteen minutes, then took naps. Woke up when Jack rushed down to pull back on the throttles because we were going through that trouble maker, Wood’s Hole.
     “Look at all those dreadful eddies!” Connie squealed.
     “Watch your language, woman,” I said loyally.
     Con couldn’t understand why we didn’t get closer to the beacon just in front of us. It took us a while to figure out that the beacon was a navigation light on top of a sailboat.
     Reached Oak Bluffs at 1:30 a.m. Had a drink to celebrate our arrival, had dinner--crackers and cheese.
     Jack observed that Ed’s sneakers were pretty frayed.
     “Frayed? They’re terrified,” said Eddie.
Saturday, August 6, 1960, Oak Bluffs
     Ed got up at 8:30 and took a swim. After a while the rest of us got up and joined him. Later we learned the harbor is so polluted that even fish won’t swim in it.
     The Captain and I tried to dress at the same time in our little forward cabin--about as easy as trying to make love in a telephone booth.
     Ed, tapping on the door of the Barnards’ stateroom: “Are you decent, Connie?”
     Connie: “Oh my goodness, wait till I throw something on!”
     First Mate to Ed: “Why don’t you go through the hatch?”
     Ed: “I’m coming through, Connie, I won’t look.”
     First Mate to Ed: “Why don’t you go through the porthole?”
     Ed: “Why, you’re decent enough, Connie.”
     First Mate to self: “Hmm, how decent is decent enough for The Profile?”
     Jack made delicious buttermilk pancakes for breakfast.
     Timmy and Neil showed up in the Portas’ runabout and Tim’s first words were, “Dad, I want to tell you how I can save you two hundred dollars.” Ed is leery of children and other sharpies who start off with a pitch like that.  “I’ve turned off my hearing aid,” he said.
     What Timmy wanted was an aqualung. The man would give him free lessons, free, Dad, and the lung would cost two hundred dollars less than the outboard he’d been promised for his birthday. No, said Dad, and for the rest of the day whenever we encountered Timmy we heard a new sales pitch. It got so Ed was saying no before Timmy even opened his mouth.
     Went ashore around noon, had a beer at Portas’ bar, met Neil’s older brother David, talked to our older daughter.  Kathie said she was having a wonderful time waitressing, could go out every night of the week to beach parties if she wanted to, only the boys weren’t her type because they stayed up until 3:00 or 4:00 and drank too much. Guess she’s not going to fall in love with a father image.
     Returned to the Happy Days for our bathing suits, were driven by Gene Porta to South Beach in his station wagon--eleven of us. Ed, Kathie, and I sat on the tailgate, and every time we went over a bump, Gene tried his best to bump us off.
OCEAN VIEW HOTEL PHOTO BY CONNIE
GENE PORTA, ME, ED, JACK BARNARD
     The water was lovely and there was just enough surf to provide excitement. The shore shoaled up so fast that one minute you were on top of a wave, the next you were dumped on your hands and knees in two inches of water. Tim and Neil stayed in all afternoon and were covered with scrapes and cuts.
     Con and I had a nap on the Happy Days; Ed and Jack worked on the controls. I heard Jack say, “What would you like, Ed?” and hastily rose to make sure Ed had a hard-boiled egg before he had what he liked.
     Happy Hour was reduced to Harried Half Hour due to the Captain’s rush-rush-rushing us; we mustn’t keep the Portas waiting, they were expecting us at 6:30 and here it was 7:00 already.
At Portas’ bar I asked Gene to make me a White Velvet—Connie’s name for the drink I invented, Vodka and beer. He was dubious but obliging.
     Grace joined us for a roast-beef dinner. Kathie refused to wait on us, but Timmy had no qualms about being our busboy; it gave him an excellent chance to renew his arguments. (“Dad, it’s no more dangerous than taking a bath, more people slip and fall in bathtubs than—“ “No,” said his father.)
     The Portas pulled their old trick of refusing to let us pay for anything, so Jack and Ed figured out the tab and took care of the matter with Neil’s sister Carol.
     Back to the Happy Days for more nightcaps. Played bridge. At 12:30, Ed went into the dock to pick up the Portas who had agreed to join us when the bar closed.
     At 3:00 a.m. or thereabouts Con discovered that the money we had given Carol was up on the bulkhead. Gene is the stubbornest, most unreasonable of men.
     David Porta’s description of his brother and Timmy busboy-ing when the dining room is busy:            “They look like Keystone Cops, whipping in and out of the doors, pointing to customers, nudging, and each saying to the other, `You do it, no you do it.’”
Sunday, August 7, 1960, Oak Bluffs to Nantucket
     A great day. Connie and Jack got up early, took the dinghy, and went to the beach for a bracing "fim,” as Con puts it when she lapses into baby talk. Had breakfast, pulled up anchor, and headed for Nantucket.
     Arrived at noon, gassed up; stuffed bathing gear into canvas bag and signaled for launch service. Had hamburgers at Yacht Club snack bar, strolled to bus stop, Con and I waiting while the fellows went to look for Sunday papers. Connie had her usual admonition for Jack: “If you don’t find a Times, don’t come back.”                                
     Barnards were impressed with integrated bathhouse at the Jettys. Connie found a knothole and peeked at us and I peeked back. Never, especially politically, have we seen so eye-to-eye. Sunbathed, swam, had a running commentary on figures, physiques and tans, Connie’s mostly in bwaby-talk.
     Ed said: “The only other female know who talks like that is Daisy Rogers,”
     Jack said. “Eddie, I think you have just done me an enormous favor.”
     Back aboard the Happy Days by 6:00, showered, put on our finery for an evening on the town.
     Barnards were inclined to favor dinner at the Opera House, a suggestion I opposed because I recall enough of my high school French to know what a la carte means. They take away your money in a cart and come back with a wheelbarrow for the tip. Then Ed and I had a conference and he said: “What the hell is an extra ten dollars, we’ve probably spent a hundred dollars on gas alone this weekend.” I covered my ears because the cost of gas while cruising is something I don’t like to think about.
     So we went to the Opera House, and it wasn’t too crowded, the service was excellent, and the food likewise.  Finished dining at 9:45. Didn’t feel in the mood for dashing back to the Yacht Club to catch the last launch, figured we’d hire “Paul’s Livery” to take us to the boat when we were ready. Con-Con suggested we take a walk to the far end of the main street in order to see the Starbuck houses, built many years ago by a ship’s captain for his three sons. They are called East Brick, West Brick, and Middle Brick and are very attractive despite their names.
     Had trouble finding Paul’s Livery. Ed led us up and down one alley after another, and I reminisced about the evening two years ago when Blake and I had a wild time chasing Willow-the-Wisp Jayne and her consort (Ed) all over these same alleys.
     Finally found Paul’s dock but Paul had locked up and gone home. The question was, how were we going to get out to the Happy Days? For an old pirate like Ed, the answer was simple.
     “We’ll steal a boat,” he said.
     “Borrow,” said Jack with a lawyerly flinch.
     It took us a while to find a boat equipped with oars and no padlock, but at last we spotted one. Connie, Ed and I waited on a nearby landing and watched Jack trying to unravel his way out of a tangle of lines from other boats, intricately attached in some mysterious fashion to “our boat.” He looked like a man wrestling in a nightmare with a tremendous cat’s cradle. When he was finally free, he rowed over to pick us up and we started for the Happy Days with many a giggle from the girls, answered by a nervous shhh from the boys. Jack’s conscience was bothering him so much, you could almost see it standing there, shaking its finger.
     “We’ll just deny everything,” said Ed, quoting attorney Blake Thaxter.
     “Shhh!” said Jack.
     It was Ed’s idea that we’d all have a drink first, and then he and Jack would tow the borrowed skiff to Cat’s Cradle Dock. It was my idea that business should come before pleasure; and besides I didn’t approve of husbands going back to the vicinity of the Mating Corner with another drink under their belts and without their wives. I didn’t say anything, though—there’s more than one way to thwart a Captain.
     We climbed out of the skiff one by one and when Ed started up the ladder with the line, I helpfully put out my hand. He gave it to me without hesitation. When he turned his back, I tossed the line into the skiff, which proceeded to float rapidly away from our stern. Hardly able to contain myself, I burst into the cabin and confessed to Connie what I had done.
     At the same moment Ed had become aware of what he thought he had done. “I don’t know how I could have been so stupid, Jack,” he said. “I could have sworn I had that thing securely fastened. Well, we’ll have to postpone our drink and go after it.”
     The fellows lowered the dinghy from its davits and set off in pursuit of the drifting boat. I was struck by another great idea while they were gone. “Let’s turn off all the lights and hide in the shower. They’ll never think of looking for us there. They’ll think something’s happened to us and we can listen, like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn at their own funerals.”
     Connie was cooperative, although I sensed she wasn’t wild about my plan. When we heard the boys’ voices in the distance we skittered below and hid behind the shower curtain. There was barely room for Connie, me, and Connie’s bust. We tried not to give ourselves away with any snickers. At least I tried not to snicker. Connie is the most impassive sardine I’ve ever played sardines with. She is a terrific gal, a dandy bridge player, and certainly not a teetotaler, but she lacks a madcap sense of adventure.
     We heard Ed say, “The lights are out, I’ll bet they’re hiding.”
     They looked everywhere except in the shower. Jack opened the door of the head, peered in and said “Nope!” while I held my hand over my mouth. Connie was merely smothering a yawn.
     “Eddie, where can they be?” Jack said, sounding genuinely anxious.
     “They’re around somewhere,” Ed replied unconcernedly. “I’ve been through this before. Let’s make a drink.”
     I can hear him now at my funeral: “Let’s make a drink.”
     “Yes, we mustn’t act worried, Eddie old boy,” Jack said worriedly. “That’s exactly what they want us to do, of course.”
     “Who’s worried?” said Ed.
     “But you’ve got to admit it’s pretty strange. Do you suppose they swam over to one of these other boats? Or someone picked them up or something?”
     Jack made another tour of the boat. “Say, here’s the dress Con was wearing! That’s a good sign. Or is it?”
     At this, even the inscrutable Mrs. Barnard couldn’t repress a tiny giggle.
     Then we heard sounds in the stern--as of something being done with the dinghy, perhaps?      
     “Good Heaven, Brabs," (she’s the only friend who calls me that—a combination of Sally’s “Braaa,” brayed into my ear every morning and Mother’s “Babs”) Connie whispered, “what if they suddenly up and leave? Maybe we should saunter out now and relieve their minds.”
     I envisioned the two of them standing on the Mating Corner, watching all the girls go by and hoping that among them they might not see us.
     So we sauntered out and Jack was vastly relieved and Ed was vastly disappointed. We had a drink and started a game of bridge. Ed said he still didn’t understand how he could have been such a dope as to let the skiff get away from him. When Connie told him who the dope was, he was so relieved at being vindicated, he didn’t get mad at me.
     Weather report for tomorrow not favorable.
August 8, 1960, Nantucket to Cohasset
     Ed got up at 7:00, observed that the wind was coming up and decided it was time to get going. Left Nantucket at 7:40. Quarterly following sea in the Sound, not too uncomfortable--in fact Connie slept like a baby in a cradle all the way to Wood’s Hole.
     Buzzard’s Bay was not as rough as we had expected except at the Canal end where the boat suddenly began veering violently from one side to the other. Once in the Canal, she tamed down and we progressed slowly against a heavy tide.
     Con-Con made lunches for all of us--chicken salad, potato salad, pickles. That girl has a real flair with a lettuce leaf; even Eddie was seduced and abandoned his diet.
     Encountered heavy fog in Cape Cod Bay. Fog lifted considerably as we approached Massachusetts Bay.
     “Good Lord, Brabs,” said Connie, “how does Eddie know when he’s going from one bay into another?”
     “There’s a line he follows,” said Jack  solemnly. “Difficult thing to maintain—all those little floats.”
     Ed called the office and reported that Grandpa sounded reasonably good-natured. Business was especially good last month, which ought to pay for a few gallons of gas.
     Arrived at Cohasset 6:45. Men went ashore to check on things at home. Con and I showered and dressed, sat in cockpit, enjoying the evening’s atmosphere. It was soft and glowing, the water was like glass, and it was hard to believe there was such a thing as February.
     Men returned. Charcoaled steak. Perfect end to a perfect weekend.
August 14, 1960       Stag cruise yesterday on which I was not in. In on which I was not? At any rate, I stayed home while Ed, Ted, Jan Moyer, Ken Neal, and Eddie DeSanto took a day sail. My contribution was to provide for the inner men--stuffed eggs and several hundred sandwiches.
     BETTY EATON AND BETTY DUSSOSOIT, FONDLY
 KNOWN AS BETTY DO AND BETTY DON'T
August 15, 1960
      Expected to arrive at the Yacht Club were the Dusossoits, Eatons, and Morses. Had nine lobsters on hand, three of which were alive and kicking because of a misunderstanding between lobster lady and myself. Started small flame in alcohol burner in order to cook lobsters, forgot to turn off alcohol, small flame waxed unchecked into flourishing fire. No one aware of fire except me. Me very much aware.
     “Would someone please call Ed,” I asked a number of times. We hadn’t left the dock yet and Ed was standing out there talking to people, oblivious to the fact that his boat might go up in flames any minute.
     “Ed, hey Ed,” I kept calling while no one paid any attention. Finally Louis detected a note of panic in my voice and said, “Is anything wrong?”
     “The galley’s on fire. I think we should use the fire extinguisher.”
     “The fire extinguisher! Where’s the fire extinguisher!” Don Morse said excitedly, running around in a circular manner. 
     “I don’t know,” I said. “Ask Ed.”
     By the time the Captain arrived the conflagration was on the wane and the use of the fire extinguisher was unnecessary. No damage except a few scorched towels and a few nervous passengers. I told  nervous passengers about the time Ed unsoberly told our guests he had plenty of fire preservers and life extinguishers.)
     Off to a late start because of the lateness of the Dusossoits. It suddenly occurred to the Eatons that their daughter Sunny might have forgotten that she was supposed to sit for the Dussosoits. Argument between Betty and Louis as to who should call home. “You do it,” “No, you do it,” like Timmy and Neil bus-boying.
     Eventually, all our guests safely aboard, we headed for the Stellwagon Ledge. Fisherman’s luck continues to be non-existent this summer, but a restful day was appreciated by all. I finished reading “The Big Ward,” then both Bettys took turns leafing through it. Very sad little story about an elderly woman, which made us realize our days of nimbly skimming up boat ladders and racing around on tennis courts are numbered. [You can write that again, old girl. bbm 5-16-2013.]

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