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Sunday, July 23, 2017

(8) ED HEAPED THE USUAL TEN THOUSAND PUNISHMENTS ON TIMMY.


Sunday, August 21, 1960, Cohasset
     Hurricane Cleo proved to be all threat and no action. We could have had a beautiful weekend on the boat if we hadn’t listened to the radio and read the newspapers.
     Today it’s warm, muggy, hazy.  Ed told me to put the beer on the ice and I said, “What ice?” The chunk put aboard Thursday for the cruise we didn’t take had shrunk to the size of a shoe box, so the Captain’s first chore of the day was to get out the outboard motor and putt over to the Salt House for ice. I made up the bunks in the guest stateroom for the Brewers, who are going to Provincetown with us next Friday.
     Went out to Flat Ledge and anchored. Had beer, crackers and cheese. Had nap. I was awakened by rain drumming on the hatch over my head. Thought I was on the boat with Connie, for some reason, and that she was pouring water on the hatch in order to wake me up. Got up, still groggy, and stumbled up to the deckhouse where I was surprised to find Ed. “l almost said, “What are you doing here?”
Friday, August 26, 1960
Cohasset to Scituate Harbor
     Met the Brewers on dock at 6:30 p.m. Whitey had all the symptoms of mal de mer before he set foot on the boat. Poor man, there’s a bug going around town. Lovely warm evening, but sea choppy, so we took Dramamine. After half an hour under way, I went below to put on a jacket.   
     As I opened the closet door, a voice addressed me out of nowhere: “If you are planning to disrobe, perhaps you should know that I’m here.”
     “Here” was the lower bunk, in which Whitey was suffering in silence as the boat heaved and rolled. I put myself in his place and asked myself if I would want to go to Provincetown feeling the way he did. Three and a half hours of rough going ahead of us, with little improvement when we dropped the hook in that big open harbor.
     “What would you think of putting into Scituate Harbor and going to Provincetown tomorrow morning?” I asked the Captain. The Captain was for it, chiefly because none of his running lights were operating except the one on the bow.
     Whitey said gamely from his prostrate position in the bunk, “Anything you folks want to do is all right with me.” Sally, also, was agreeable to the change in plans.
     Half an hour later we were anchored in Scituate Harbor and chopping ice for a round of whatevers. Whitey had little appetite for dinner, but his thirst was unimpaired. When the aroma of broiling steak pervaded the deckhouse, his appetite improved.
     Played bridge until 11:00.
Sunday, August 27, 1960, Scituate Harbor to Provincetown
     Rolled out of our bunks around 8:00, found the weather cool and clear. Ed took a swim. When questioned about the temperature of the water he described it as not hot, which Sally dubbed the understatement of the day.
     Sal fixed breakfast, was disappointed when her electric percolator got warm but drew the line at perking. It had never acted frigid at home, so she concluded that our electricity wasn’t stimulating enough.
     Headed for Ptown at 9:00 a.m. At 9:45 we spotted our first school of tuna of the season, leaping and twisting in the air like porpoises. By the time Ed got a line out and slowed down the boat, the tuna had submerged, so we speeded up and went on our way.
     Arrived Ptown Harbor, took Mr. Mitchell’s taxi to public beach, stopping en route to make dinner reservations at The Moors.  The beach as interesting as ever. Nearby lay a pair of tanned sweethearts whom you could hardly tell apart except that one had a mustache. In front of us was a girl who was giving her companions and us fascinating glimpses into her private life. She said she taught her year-old nephew dirty words that he babbled to his mother, giving her aunt a fit.
     There were so many revoltingly beautiful young girls in bikinis that Ed and Whitey could hardly keep track of them. Their swiveling heads took me back to Longwood’s tennis matches. Had hotdogs, hamburgers, and minced raw onion at refreshment stand. Whitey limited himself to a bottle of tonic but went back later for another in order, he said, to use up his share of our pooled cash.
     Requested cab driver to drop us on the main street a few blocks away from dock so that Whitey and Sal could see local color. After half a block Whitey had his fill of local color and walking. He and Ed went ahead to the Happy Days, leaving Sal and me to browse and pick up groceries.  
     An hour later the Captain came ashore to collect us.  Harbor quite choppy, especially for three people in a small dinghy. Sally giggled apprehensively all the way to the boat, while I told her this was nothing compared to some of our commuting adventures in Provincetown.
     Fellows decided to move boat to the lee side of town wharf, thus making trip ashore after cocktail hour not so hair-raising.
     Whitey was not impressed with dinner at Moors. Pointed out that the Red Lion steak in Cohasset was just as good, twice as big, and half as expensive. Ed went into his “$100 for gas” routine but failed to convert Whitey, who couldn’t see the logic in squandering even more money. It’s a good thing he and I aren’t married, or between us we’d economize ourselves into a state of galloping malnutrition.
     The pool money, which we carried in a transparent plastic bag, dwindled to nothing before our eyes. Ed e-x-t-r---a—a---c---t----e----d a final five dollars from his agonized pool partner, tipped the waiter almost fifteen percent, while Whitey made I’m-being-stabbed noises.
     Called Mr. Mitchell’s taxi service. Stopped at the Surf Club to ascertain the Brewers’ reaction to Daisy’s boygirl. This time she was dressed in a red chiffon draped dress and looked so delicate and feminine that I think even Daisy might have wavered in her opinion. At any rate, “he, she, or it” is part of one of the best trios we’ve ever heard.
     Had a shooter on the Happy Days and retired at one a.m.
Sunday, August 28, 1960, Provincetown to Cohasset
     Got up at 8:00, heard Sal puttering around in the galley. Found her holding match folder and complaining that the burners wouldn’t light, even though she had turned them on as far as they would go.
     “How long have you had them on?” I asked, reeling from the alcohol fumes and hastily twisting the knobs counter-clockwise.
     “Oh, just a few minutes.”
     I examined the alcohol wells and found them overflowing onto the tray under the stove. I told Sal it was lucky she hadn’t managed to light the burners because she would have started the second-most spectacular fire of the season. Mine was the first, two weeks ago.
     Sally rinsed off the tray and I sopped up excess alcohol with paper towels. I advised Whitey not to light his pipe, but he said it wouldn’t matter, alcohol doesn’t explode. Nevertheless he was not so sure of his chemistry that he could be persuaded to try lighting a burner. Ed was having his morning swim, so he wasn’t available.
     When I thought it might be safe to start the stove, Sal retreated to the cockpit, planning to jump overboard if it seemed advisable. I started lighting matches in the deckhouse, gradually working my way toward the galley, gaining confidence and bravado with every step.  Finally I lit what was left of the alcohol in the well, and a meek little flame made its appearance.
     After breakfast the men went ashore for Sunday papers, Whitey accompanying Ed instead of doing the dishes, as he had promised. While I was rinsing glasses, something happened to the faucet; it wouldn’t turn the water off. I had sorcerer’s-apprentice visions of unstoppable water filling the basin and then the boat, but I averted this calamity by lifting up the drain closer. Ed and Whitey arrived before our supply of water was exhausted.  Although “there are no plumbers at sea,” our do-it-yourself captain sized up the situation and turned off the water-pressure switch.
     At 10:30 we started cruising slowly back toward Cohasset. Sighted a large shark early in the afternoon, demonstrated to the Brewers what a superb harpooning team we are. I took the helm and cautiously circled around behind the shark while Ed got ready with the barb-tailed harpoon and barrel. As we came closer to the unwary monster, idling along in the sun, Whitey conceded that this was “really quite exciting.” He wondered if Ed thought he actually had any chance of getting the shark, and I said yes indeed, the Captain had harpooned many a shark in his day.
     “How can they be so stupid?” Whitey said. Not, “How can your husband be so clever?”
     This one was every bit as stupid as its predecessors. Somehow, though, the barrel and its line got caught on the bow rail, and it took some nimble maneuvering by the Skipper to free the barrel and line without getting his leg lassoed in the process. As the barrel dropped off the bow, the boat went over it and cut the line with the propeller. Lost: 200 feet of line, one barb (not me), quite a bit of face (not mine), one harpoon, and one shark. 
     Sal and I sunned and read and napped; Whitey had Old Fashioneds and napped and napped. Ed kept an eye on the automatic pilot, one thing on this craft that is working. It is 3:30 and we are nearing Minot’s Light. There is talk of a tennis match that may materialize if all is well at the Brewer and Malley domiciles.
August 29, 1960
     When Kathie called last night to ask what was new, I didn’t feel up to telling her because I was still in a state of shock. What was new was the Brewers’ $400 outboard motor that Timmy borrowed with young Whitey’s permission while we were cruising with his parents. He also borrowed their dinghy, to which the motor was insecurely fastened, according to Timmy. When he swerved to avoid a lobster pot, the outboard fell into the harbor.
     When Ed heard what had happened he heaped the usual ten thousand punishments on Timmy. He couldn’t use his boat for the rest of the summer, he wouldn’t get the promised outboard for his birthday, he was never again to borrow anything from anyone.
     “By the way,” Tim interrupted, “can I borrow a dollar? Neil and I are going down to the Shack.”
     “No!” thundered his father.
     “Fifty cents? I’ll just get a frappe.”
     “Not one nickel!” said his furious father.
     Later—about five minutes later—Ed decided he’d been too hard on Tim. It was an accident, the kid hadn’t heaved the motor overboard just for a lark. Moreover, we probably had liability insurance to cover this type of mishap.
     He told me to call Edgar Hill first to make sure we were covered, then call the Brewers (with whom we had just had a friendly parting at the Yacht Club) and apprise them of the fate of their outboard motor and our intention of replacing it with a new one.
     A bit jittery, I dialed 1862 instead of 0662 and got Mr. Brewer on the line.
     “Oh—er—hi, Whitey!” I said.
     “Hi, Babs, long time no see, ha-ha,” Whitey said jovially.
     “Ha-ha,” I said. Then I explained with a stammer than I’d meant to call Edgar because “I want to
find out if we have liability insurance for your outboard motor.”
     “What’s wrong with my outboard motor?” Whitey said in a less jovial tone.
     “Oh—nothing—it’s just fine. At least it will be if we can find it. Ted’s going to dive for it tomorrow.”
     The Brewers took the news very well. Sally even thought it was funny. Edgar says we are covered for the expense, so now I think it’s funny, too.
Saturday, September 17, 1960, Cohasset to Cohasset
     Went for a short ride, returned to Cohasset Harbor around five. Ed was about to make cocktails when he found the water pressure was on the blink again--or so he thought. Actually, the water tank was dry, so we went to the dock for a refill. This seemed like a good time to pack up most of our extra gear because it looks as if the season is nearing its demise. Lugged stuff up to the car, came back just in time to keep the Happy Days from being flooded with more than enough water, due to malfunctioning water-pressure valve.
Sunday, September 18, 1960, Cohasset to Stellwagon Ledge
     Fine weather today instead of predicted rain. Kathie, Tim, and Neil along for the cruise.  Timmy got off to a good start by spilling orange tonic all over his father.  Saw both shark and tuna at various times but were never able to get close to them--the boys’ frenzied shouts whenever they saw a fin may have alerted our prey.
     Picked up mooring in Cohasset Harbor at 5:20.
February 20, 1961
Cohasset
     Last night Ed read an article in the new Journal entitled “Should You Remarry a Man You’ve Divorced?”  The idea apparently intrigued him because he brought it up two or three times during the evening.  Blake Thaxter has always maintained that once people get a divorce they want no part of each other, but Ed doesn’t visualize things that way. 
     “What I would do,” he said thoughtfully as we were having dinner at the Cabin, “is to come to see you a couple of times a week.  No evil intentions, you understand -- this would be just a friendly platonic visit.”
     “You’d better call me first,” I said.  “I might be out.”
     “I’d bring you a little present of some kind: flowers, perfume, candy --”
     “Just say money and I’ll make a point of staying at home.”
     “I’d probably bring a clean shirt and socks so I could shower and change . . .”
     “Not in my bathroom, you don’t,” I said.  “That sounds entirely too domestic to me.”
     “All right, I’d go to my apartment and freshen up there -- but you understand we’d lose a lot of time.”
     “You should have thought of that before the divorce.”
     “Okay, so you open the door and there I am.  Let’s see, what do you do?  We’re civilized people, you probably lean over and give me a little kiss on the cheek.”
     “Never!”
     “Well, what would you do -- shake hands?”
     “I’d lean over and I’d take the present and I’d say, `You know I don’t eat candy!”
     “Then we’d sit down and have a friendly little vodka martini . . .”
     “I hope you brought your own.  I’ve turned the bar into a Health Nook.”
     “I’d ask how the kids were --”
      “You should know.  You’ve got `em!”
     “-- and Vaughan and your mother,” he went on, undaunted.
     “Vaughan’s teaching calisthenics at the Community Center and Mother’s earning good money house painting.  You don’t think we’re getting along on your alimony!
     “Then I’d say, “Where would you like to go to dinner -- the Red Coach?  Fox and Hounds?  The Cabin?”
     “Oh, these decisions!”
     “All right, I’d sweep you off your feet and order a candlelit table for two at the Florence Club –-“
     “You’re reaching me --”
     “I’d play `our song’ on the jukeboc --”
     “Too Young,” I said dreamily.
     “Mildred would say, `Mr. and Mrs. Malley, we haven’t see you in a long time!”
     “You’d hold my coat and open the door for me --”
     “We’d stop at the beach to look at the moon --”
     I took his hand and gazed into his eyes.  “Let’s go home and pretend we got married again.”    
January 1961    
     In the interest of continuing peace and harmony, I suggest to Mom that we should avoid a sore subject: politics.  Although Ed intends to vote for Kennedy, I have been adopting an on-the-fence attitude, planning to base my final decision on the debates.  But Mother, having been a Republican all her life, has been trying to influence me by giving me anti-Catholic, anti-Kennedy articles clipped from the Christian Science Monitor  (“Haven’t you always felt they were very fair and unbiased, Babs?”), urging me to read the latest fascinating issue of Time , and saying to Ed when he gives her a pro-Kennedy argument, “Ed, dear, I’d give you every cent I own, but I will not sell my soul.”
     Of course, this is said facetiously, but nevertheless it implies that God is on her side and the Devil on ours, I mean Ed’s.  I find myself digging my heels in and sticking up for Kennedy out of sheer contrariness.
     Moreover, now that I have seen the first two TV debates, I must say “our boy” strikes me as being stronger, more sure of himself, and more courageous and sincere than Mr. Nixon.  If I am wise, though, I will keep these sentiments to myself.  In a New England town like Cohasset, a Democrat ranks one step below a traitor.
  
     I just went to the polls and did my bit for our next president, Mr. Kennedy.  Vonnie says they're having an election at Thayer Academy, and Nixon is sure to win.  I hope this news will be some consolation to him.
January 20, 1961    
     I watched President Kennedy’s inauguration ceremonies with Vaughan.  When the camera focused on Marion Anderson, who was going to sing “America the Beautiful,” Vaughan said disapprovingly:  “The singer is colored.”
     “That’s Marion Anderson!” I exclaimed.
     “But she’s colored, isn’t she?  They won’t be satisfied until the White House is full of Catholics and niggers!”
      I had to say what I thought of that attitude, but as kind and good as she is, Vaughan is an incurable bigot.  I remember how indignant she was when a Florida bus driver mistook her for a colored woman because of her dark tan.  He became abusive when she refused to move to the back of the bus.  You’d think an experience like that would make her understand how unfair and humiliating such blind prejudice is to innocent people.
     After Marion Anderson concluded her song, Poet Laureate Robert Frost bungled the introduction to his tribute.  He said the light was poor, but his floundering was so painful to watch that Vonnie could hardly stand it.  (She had joined me in Vaughan’s room.)
     “Oh, the poor man!  The poor man!” she cried, gripping my shoulders.  “He must be ready to die of embarrassment!”
     Mrs. Kennedy looked sweetly concerned and compassionate.
     As for young Mr. Kennedy, his poise and self-assurance are a pleasure to behold.  Vaughan shook her head when he crossed himself along with the Archbishop.   She probably thought the Pope himself was hidden under the podium.
Sunday, June 24, 1962, Cohasset
     Ed and I are sitting morosely on the boat, sharing the one can of beer left us by whoever broke into our boat last night.
     “Wouldn’t you think the bastards would leave us two cans?” he said.
     We’ve decided we might as well give up and keep the boat back at the Falmouth Marina. We’ve never had any problems with trespassers there.
     Speaking of trespassers, I’ve sent this letter to Timmy:
      I hope you realize the seriousness of the Cramer swimming pool episode. It's as if a bunch of strange kids threw a party in our barn. No wonder the Cramers were outraged.
     As for what happened at the Thaxters, we're thankful Kathie was able to vouch for your  whereabouts last Friday. She went down to the station and convinced Officer Rooney you had nothing to do with the vandalism at Thaxters' pool.
     "He may know something, just the same," Officer Rooney said. "If you hear anything, let us know."
     Kathie said we weren't likely to hear anything, since you were working at the Portas' hotel this summer.
     "Timmy's going to be away? For the whole summer? Officer Rooney was so overcome at this boon to the general weal that he actually clapped his hands.
     "Oh, come on," your sister said loyally. "He's a nice boy."
     "I'm not saying he's not a nice boy. I'm just ‑‑ " Again Officer Rooney tapped his hands together with small boy glee.
     Gosh, Tim, doesn't it give you a warm glow inside to know you've made someone happy?
June 26, 1962
     Kathryn left yesterday. She was surprised that I wasn’t upset with her and said to Mom, “In her place I’d feel like kicking me in the pants.”
     I admit I was dismayed when she first broke the news because summertime is when I most need help, but of course she has every right to think of herself and her approaching old age. She’s sixty-one and may not have many working years ahead of her. As a pastry cook she'll be getting $75 a week, almost double what I've been paying her.
     Before she departed, Kathryn made an apple pie—one of her huge rectangular affairs, loaded with plump, spicy apples, covered with the tenderest of crusts, and filling the house with such a mouth-watering aroma that Mom asked at least three times if the pie was ready yet. Even I broke down and cut myself a square and poured cream over it while it was still hot.
     "Kathryn, this is the best apple pie you ever made,” I said. “Why are you torturing us like this?”
     It took her almost a full day to pack. Kathie and Ted helped her lug out carton after carton of personal effects accumulated during her seven years with us, and although I invited her to store anything she wanted to in the barn, she managed to cram the whole works into her car.
     "Someday the kids can pick over all this stuff, take what they want, and then as far as I’m concerned they can burn the rest."
     I kissed her goodbye and wished her luck, but said I hoped she’d hate her new job and come running back to the Malleys. She laughed and said maybe she would.
     At Ed’s behest I advertised for a new housekeeper so I could share his latest passion, flying. He caught the fever from Ted, who got a job handling freight at Logan Airport last summer. 
June 28, 1962
     Mrs. White and her daughter arrived for an interview yesterday. I took to her and twelve-year-old Holly immediately, and Mother did, too. She is a tall, capable looking woman with a composed, straightforward manner who will move in with the Malley family next Monday.
July 5, 1962
     In addition to being neat, efficient, and a good cook, Mrs. White is calm and patient, although she hasn’t yet been put to the Timmy Test. As for Holly of the big brown eyes, she is friendly and eager to please. She held Vonnie’s hand when they walked down to the beach together.
     “I felt kind of silly,” Vonnie said, “but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. She’s a sweet kid.”
     Mrs. White is a music lover. She brought her phonograph and a stack of long-playing records, classical and popular. When Kathie learned that one of her favorite singers was Joan Baez, she said, “Mom, that’s the folk-singer I was telling you about. I wonder if she knows anything about sewing.” One of Kathie's more ambitious summer projects is to make five dresses for the year she will be spending in Paris.
     “Oh yes, I used to teach sewing,” Mrs. White said. “I love to sew, it’s fun."
     She insisted from the first day that I leave the pots and pans for her to do in the morning instead of doing them myself after Ed and I have our late dinner. She would fix my breakfast and lunch if I allowed her to, but I prefer to wait on myself. She and Mom have been having lunch together every day, and since she is an intelligent, well-read woman, they get along famously.
     Mother’s mailbox-watching paid off this morning when she received a check for $200 for “The Story of Lengthwise.” She has several other stories “out,” so the most important man in her life is the mailman.


Friday, July 6, 1962, Falmouth
     Drove to Falmouth Marina, leaving Cohasset at 8:00, brought gear aboard around 10:00 p.m. Skipper in gloomy mood, due to failure to get flying license. Didn’t want to discuss it. Didn’t want to discuss anything, not even the weather. First mate deems it advisable to keep lip buttoned until such time as Skipper recovers his good nature
     Damn the airplane!
     Had highballs, drove to village for midnight dinner: fried clams, onion rings, hamburgers. Tokay aboard and managing the gangway like an old salt this year.

Saturday, July 7, 1962, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     Cruised over to Oak Bluffs a little before noon. Hopped into dinghy, putted over to the Beach Club for a swim. Were informed by a large lady in a small bathing suit that this was a private beach.
     “Our son belongs to the club,” we said -- which later turned out to be untrue, as Tim had not yet joined.
     “Also, we are friends of the Portas,” we tried.
     The lady did not relent. “Even members aren’t allowed to come in here by boat.”
     Ed, Tokay, and I hopped into the dinghy again and went looking for a less exclusive beach, which we found on the other side of the breakwater at the harbor entrance. Stones hard on feet but water wonderful.
     Had buffet lunch at Ocean View.  Tim appeared very spruce in his red waiter’s jacket, white shirt, black chinos.
     Gene proposed driving to the beach for the afternoon. Grace said she couldn’t go—“Gene, I’ve got to write those letters”—but we all coaxed her, and the five of us (including Tokay), set out. Talked, laughed, dozed on beach. Late in the afternoon tested water; water failed goose-pimple test, so we decided to have our swim at South Beach instead.
     Back to the Happy Days for nap, shower, change of attire. Complimented Captain on his good humor in spite of yesterday’s disappointment. Was asked not to remind him.
     Enjoyed Happy Hour at Ocean View cocktail lounge. Called house, found Kathie in splendid spirits, having spent the day with Leo and four of his buddies. Also, she had a date with Rusty, her flame of four years ago. Vonnie came in on time, Kathie reported.
     "I don’t think you’ll have any trouble with her this summer--she seems very anxious not to worry you.”
     Linda cut her foot, Kathie went on, and screamed so loudly that no one could examine the injury to see if there was glass in it. The cut wasn’t bleeding much, which seemed ominous, so Mom rushed her to the South Shore Hospital Emergency Room. Turned out there was a good reason for the small amount of blood; under all that sand and grime was a small cut, hardly deserving of a Band-Aid.
     Returned to cocktail lounge, told Ed things sounded under control at home. Tim came down to the dining room to tell us he and Neil had dates and ask if they could take them out to see the Happy Days. His dad said okay, which we regretted later in the evening when we were tired and wanted to sack in.
     Gene and Grace had dinner with us--rare roast beef for Ed, delicious fresh swordfish for the Portas and me. They have promised to accept our patronage on a business basis this summer. We love it here and would like to come back often, provided we are allowed to pay our way.
     Went for a walk to kill time while we waited for the young people to finish “looking at the boat.” Noted that the lights were out, wondered how they could see. After a while the lights flashed on and Ed yelled across the water that we were waiting on the dock.
     While I got ready for bed, Ed took Tokay ashore for a walk. Then he complained of sand on his sheets and brushed it off onto lower bunk and me. Tokay snuggled down on the shelf next to my bunk and conked out. Huntley Railsback has to take tranquilizers (“He has nightmares,” Mitzi says), but Tokay always sleeps like a small stone for eight or nine hours.
July 8, 1962, Oak Bluffs to Falmouth
     Sunday breakfast at the Ocean View this morning. Ed asked Tim how come the lights were out on the Happy Days, and he explained: “I wanted to save on the electricity.” Very thoughtful of him. It would be helpful if he’d be as thoughtful at home, where lights, TV, radio, and phonograph would be on twenty-four hours a day if it weren’t for his electricity saving mom.
     The Portas’ breakfast menu left nothing to be desired. Ed had fried eggs and ham, I had scrambled eggs with sausages, and we both had too many blueberry muffins, pineapple muffins, and slices of buttered toast with cherry marmalade. Tim did an excellent job of waiting on us, except he didn’t bring his father’s coffee until Ed had practically finished his meal. I told him I wanted to give him a big tip and asked him if he had change for a quarter.
      “I’ll give you a fiver for ten bucks,” he offered.
      We strolled down to the village to work off calories and get Sunday papers. Took the outboard back to the Happy Days, where we sunned, read the news, or just did nothing at all. Ed said he felt guilty, not doing something. I didn’t feel guilty—just privileged and happy.
     Went to the Beach Club with Grace & Gene & little Bonnie. Swam out to float, watched “Leslie the Boy Chaser” perform. First time I ever saw anyone go down the slide knees first. Swam back to dock, tried slide the old-fashioned way, which is exciting enough for us older folks. Bonnie Porter's chocolate-chip cone looked good enough to eat, so Ed invested in four more for her folks and us.
     Hated to leave, warned Gene they’d be seeing a lot more of us this summer. Ran into thick fog on way to Falmouth. Captain sent me up to bow to listen for bell. Nearly froze in my two-piece swimsuit, was glad to hear bell, locate same, and gain permission to run below for my jacket.
Friday, July 13, 1962, Cohasset to Falmouth
     Great day all around, despite inauspicious date.  Brought Vaughan home from the hospital, settled her in Elizabeth Fairchild Nursing Home in Pembroke. Kathie helped me break the news that Ravenscraig's manager had replaced her with a new patient. She had a bad minute or two but pulled herself together and said there was no use crying over spilt milk. Kathie thinks her new quarters are more attractive than Ravenscraig, the staff kinder, and predicts she’ll be glad of the move once she gets used to it. One drawback: it’s half an hour from Cohasset.
     Left Cohasset by car at 7:30 p.m. pointed out Vaughan’s new home to Ed as we passed it at eight. Stopped at supermarket for groceries, Skipper having announced he was starved and would fall on his face if he didn’t have a snack with our cocktails. Bought lobster meat, onion rings, a Porterhouse steak, pecan rolls and hamburger for Tokay. Arrived Falmouth around 9:30, warmed lobster meat in butter, started charcoal. After dinner the three of us went for a walk on this beautiful night.
Saturday, July 14, 1962, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     Had pecan rolls for breakfast. Headed for Oak Bluffs late in the morning, dropped the anchor outside the Beach Club twenty minutes later. Tim and Neil came down to the dock and yelled to us: “When are you coming ashore?”
     "In time for dinner,” we yelled.
     We swam and loafed and swam some more. Ed worked on the boat, I wrote a letter to my sister, Tim and Neil swam out to the boat with their girls and the four of them had a boisterous time pushing each other overboard. Much shouting and squealing. We decided young people have changed very little in the last 25 years.
     Went ashore at six-thirty, had cocktails in Ocean View lounge, jumped nervously when we heard crashing sound overhead. Ed tiptoed upstairs to see who was responsible, found it wasn’t Timmy. Called house, learned Kathie was spending night with Grandpa and Tina, wouldn’t be on hand to supervise our Tow-Headed Night Owl. Talked to Vonnie, who said Verna was staying overnight and promised they would be in on time. Mother is having sciatica trouble, must rest and stay off her feet.
     Had delicious dinner expertly served by Tim. He abandoned his professional manner long enough to sit down and eat my strawberry parfait, for which I had no room. Ed and I think the Ocean View is a wonderful experience for our youngest.
     Ed said to Gene, “If you’ll put up with him again next summer, I’ll give you $500.”
     "Not for a million!” Gene said.
     Took Tokay for a walk. Returned to the Happy Days at 11:00, played Rummy until I piled up a large lead and the Captain threw down his cards. He’s mellowing, though—didn’t stay mad longer than ten or fifteen minutes.
Sunday, July 15, 1962, Oak Bluffs to Falmouth
     Breakfast at Ocean View, read Sunday papers. Weather foggy and cool, which means Ted won’t be able to fly down as planned. Ed was going to take tomorrow off, but the weather report is discouraging. decided to take three days next week instead.
     Tied up in Falmouth Harbor at 2:30, drove home.
Friday, July 20, 1962, Falmouth
     Got down here around 9:00 p.m., put potatoes on to bake, unpacked gear. Marinated herring in sour cream sauce tided us over until dinner, which was charcoal broiled swordfish for a change. I had prepared the fish in advance, sprinkling it with Fines Herbs and brushing it with oil the way Kathryn used to.
     “You put spices or something on this?” Ed wanted to know after the first few bites.
     “Yes—just a dash of Fines Herbs.”
     “Well, next time—don’t.”
     When you’re married to a non-gourmet, this is the sort of non-appreciation you have to put up with. And non-tact. If Marilyn Munroe had prepared that swordfish, you can bet he’d have found a more gracious way of telling her he didn’t like spices. More likely, he’d tell her he never tasted such good swordfish in all his married life. I wonder if dyeing my hair platinum blonde would improve my cooking.
     After dinner we had the problem of staying awake until 12:40, at which time Vonnie would theoretically be home and expecting our phone call. Kathie had gone up to Maine to visit the Junior Remicks, so we couldn’t count on her to do any floor pacing.
     Dozed over our magazines until twenty of one, walked to the phone booth and called the house. Ted was home, but Vonnie had not yet appeared. The Blond Bombshell bombed in a few minutes later, and we were able to go to bed.
July 21, 1962, Falmouth
     Small hurricane developing right here in Falmouth Harbor. According to weather reports we are probably marooned for the weekend—not that we mind. We regard the Happy Days (or Happy Daze, if you will) as a floating hideaway, and it doesn’t matter if it never leaves its mooring.
     We decided this would be a good time to teach Tokay how to climb aboard and disembark, using the set of steps conveniently located amidships. She saw nothing convenient about them, her idea of convenience being a friendly lift in and out of the cockpit by the nearest pair of hands.
     Lesson #1: the Captain demonstrated for Tokay the ease with which one could traverse the stairs, step onto the ledge surrounding the Matthews, and from there make one’s way to the cockpit. Since the demonstrator had only two feet, with four it should be twice as easy.
     Tokay didn’t agree. She danced on the dock and woofed at us winningly: “Hey, come on, folks, let’s stick to the tried-and-true method!” But we were stern and unrelenting—she was going to have to do it our way. (If only we could be half as stern and unrelenting with the other four kids.)
     At long last Tokay hopped up the steps and sat on the ledge, considering what to do next. We urged her on with “Good doggie,” and she figured it out:  turn around, hop back on the dock, and lie down with her chin on her paws, looking stubborn.
     Ed suggested I try being demonstrator. Tokay was right behind me until I stepped onto the ledge, which she clearly viewed as entirely too narrow for safety or comfort. She started backing away, but I captured one of her ears, and she had no choice but to follow me. Once on the walk-around ledge, she followed me back to the step that leads to the floor and completed the trip.
     “Good doggie!” I said. But our Captain wasn’t satisfied. He placed her on the dock again and told her to try her new stunt again.
     Poor Tokay was looking droopily discouraged until I went below and got some crackers. This incentive put a new light on the matter, and from then on she practiced willingly with fewer and fewer errors, until she knew the route cold.
     “Okay, Baby, once more,” Ed said, lifting her up and setting her on the dock for the fifteenth time. We were watching her climb the steps, when suddenly there was a scrambling noise and a thump, and there stood Tokay, wagging her tail in triumph. Breaking all the rules she had learned by trial and error, she had said, “Phooey on this!” and leapt from the dock to the cockpit in two toy poodle bounds.
     We told her we were proud of her, but she mustn’t do that again or she might fall between the boat and the dock and get hurt. She seemed to understand because she returned to using the longer, but less dangerous route.
     I can see I’ve reached the age where one goes daft over a silly little animal—imagine devoting a page and a half of this Log to Tokay. Of course, she is an exceptional Toy Poodle.
     Ed bought a Sailfish last week from Dennis Reardon. For two weekends we had been watching the youngsters at the Beach Club maneuvering these sea-going dodgems, but the Captain can be a spectator only so long. We transported the Sailfish to Falmouth in the back of the station wagon, and this morning a couple of boys working for the Marina helped Ed lift it to the bow of the Happy Days. Our first sail should be interesting, since Captain Malley and I don’t know a rudder from a tiller.
     Went for a swim at the public beach. Cost $1.50 to park the car, so we were relieved to hear the ticket was good throughout the day. Had exclusive use of the ocean, since cold, windy weather deterred everyone except us. Water delightful.
     Bought a pint of fried clams to have for lunch with our beer.  Took a nap in spite of heavy-eyed Captain’s protests that only old people took naps in the middle of the afternoon. Persuaded him by asking if he’d ever noticed the way nineteen-year-old Ted can sleep at any hour of the day.
     At 4:00 Ed’s business colleague, Dave Buell, picked us up and drove us to his beautiful home in Falmouth Heights. On the way we passed Mrs. Buell’s gift shop.
     “My wife’s hobby and my charity,” says Dave.
     Gladys gave us a cordial welcome, and before the visit was over, planned our dinner for us. She called the Falmouth Gardens Market and ordered a thick boneless sirloin, “the choicest you have.” Then she got out a chopping block, a razor-sharp knife, two potatoes, and an onion. She sliced the potatoes almost through to the other side, then wedged thin slices of onion between each section. Topping the potatoes with generous dollops of butter, she wrapped them in silver foil.
     “Just throw them on the coals and forget about them for an hour,” she said. “The onion will blend in with the potato so you won’t be able to see it, but you’ll taste it.”
     Gladys had to get back to her shop, which is open twelve hours a day, seven days a week. Dave took us to the market where our steak was waiting for us, then dropped us at the Marina.
The steak was garnished with parsley and cost six dollars.
     “Four dollars for the steak, two for the parsley,” Ed said.
     It was very good, especially if you didn’t think too much about the six dollars. The baked potatoes a la Gladys were fabulous.
Sunday, July 22, 1962, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     Had breakfast at the Pancake House. Dave Buell arrived at 9:15 for the promised boat ride, and we set out for Oak Bluffs. We had left the harbor when Ed discovered Tokay sitting on the walk-around ledge near the stern. She was unable to move in either direction and was gazing fearfully at the swirling waters below.
     “One lurch and we’d have lost her,” the Captain said. The old saying is true: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. From now on we’re keeping her locked in the cabin when we’re under way. Picked up a guest mooring at Oak Bluffs. Asked the Captain what his plans were.
     “I guess we’ll go ashore and have lunch at the Ocean View,” he said.
     “At 10:15? We just had breakfast!”
     Ed, who had gabbed with Dave about business on the way over, was surprised. Decided to anchor outside the Beach Club and test out the sailfish. I took a movie of Ed kneeling on its deck,  putting the thing together. (Something is wrong with the perspective in this sketch. It's supposed to be a rear-view drawing of Ed but looks more like a fat lady wearing shorts and stockings rolled up to her knees.)
     Returned to harbor, and this time I couldn’t bring Ed close to the mooring, no matter how I tried. After I nearly backed into a couple of boats, the Captain put down the boat hook and demoted me from Gear-Manipulator to Mooring-Grabber.
     “Go lie down on the bow,” he said, “and I’ll bring you right up on it.”
     “I don’t want to lie down on the bow. It’s too hard—I’ll get black-and-blue.”
     The Captain gave me a look that said, “Let’s not have any insubordination in front of Mr. Buell.”
     “If I don’t get the mooring on the first swing, you’ll be blaming me for that, too.”
     “Nobody’s blaming you for anything. Now how about getting up there and helping Dave?”
     Ed came close enough to the mooring on his first try for Dave to latch onto it. The Captain ordered me to go below and turn off the engines. I’m a genius at turning off engines.
     Took dinghy ashore, walked to Ocean View. Forgot to bring Tim’s socks. He needs new shoes, as well, since the soles of his loafers are flappingly half off. Advancing toward Mr. Buell to shake hands with him, Tim tripped on the carpet and had to stop and straighten it.
     “He does that every time,” his boss said Gene-ially.
     Had chicken salad and hot rolls for lunch. Told Portas that Vonnie and her friend Verna would probably be down next week for the Sunday-Friday package deal.
     Ed rowed Dave and me out to the, then returned to the Ocean View to deliver Tim’s socks.    
     Arrived Falmouth 3:30 p.m.
Friday, July 27, 1962
     Tried a short cut on the drive to Falmouth Marina, figured we saved nearly ten minutes. I was putting fresh sheets on the bunks in the main stateroom (the Norlings are arriving tomorrow morning), when a voice hailed us. It was Dave Buell. Ed fixed us all a drink, then excused himself and went off to call Jimmy Davidson. I entertained Dave by telling him how I almost got killed yesterday. The pedal dropped off Kathie’s bike as I was crossing the street in front of an oncoming car. It went by me before I fell, but I didn’t miss its back bumper by very much. If the pedal had dropped off two seconds sooner. . . Must be I’m still needed for something. Turning off the engines, maybe.
     After Dave went on his way, Ed and I had a steamed clam feast with our second drink. The main course: charcoal broiled lamb chops and veal kidneys. The frozen scalloped potatoes were rancid, the second such item the Buzzard’s Bay A&P had sold us. I recommend this market to people on diets.
     Ted passed his instrument flying exam with a seventy-six. He is living at the Ocean View and expecting to make over a hundred dollars a week as a fish-spotter for a fleet of sword-fishermen.
July 28, 1962, Falmouth to Nantucket
     This is the last time we go boating without Tokay. It’s depressing, not having someone to welcome you aboard when you’ve been off on an errand. Even if we're away only fifteen minutes, Tokay is always beside herself with joy when we return.
     Rolled out of our bunks at 8:00 a.m., debated whether we’d take a swim.
     “You decide,” Ed said, standing there with his trunks in one hand, his shorts in the other, and nothing in between. Nothing on, I mean. “I can be pushed either way.”
     “Well—“ I said, “if we don’t swim, we’ll save a dollar and a half—“
     “But if we do, breakfast will taste much better,” the Captain declared. “That settles it--we swim.” I love the way I make these decisions.
     There was no one at the beach to take our money, so we were able to swim for free and enjoyed it twice as much.
     Went to A&P, bought honey-dip doughnuts that I heated in the oven for breakfast.
     Al and Chris Norling arrived at 10:00, said they'd been looking for us for half an hour. “We’ve visited more marinas in this town,“ said Chris . “We’d about decided that if we wanted to go to Nantucket, we’d have to buy a boat.”
     Left Falmouth at 8:30. Chris told me all about the new brother and sister she acquired when her mother married a man with a grown-up family. She particularly likes one of the step-couples because “they’re the sort of people you can understand. They drink and they have emotional problems--she just got over a nervous breakdown.”
     Another step-relative is more difficult to get along with: not only is he a teetotaler, he’s also a scout-master. He and his wife and four children came for a visit, planning to camp out in the yard, but Chris prevailed upon them to sleep in the house. The kids were thrilled at the prospect of sleeping in a bed instead of a sleeping bag.
     I went below to make lobster sandwiches, found the Captain had put the butter back in the icebox. I put it in the sun to soften, then went to the forward cabin to get my book. Discovered the Captain had left his port open, and his bunk was drenched. 
    “If you’d left it open I’d have killed you,” he said.  I believed him.
     At noon we congregated in the deck-house for beer & cheese and crackers and lobster sandwiches. Then everyone had a nap except the Captain. He couldn’t find his cap, so he borrowed my straw bonnet, tying it under his chin to keep it from blowing away. A more fetching picture I have never seen. After a while Al joined us on the flying bridge.
     “Al has a lot of tact,” I said to Ed. “Do you notice how he hasn’t said a word about your bonnet?”       “Isn’t that what he always wears?” Al said gravely.     
     The cruise to Nantucket took longer than we anticipated--almost four hours total. Weather extremely windy. Ed doubts we’ll be able to head back to Falmouth tomorrow unless the gale abates.       Dropped the hook at 2:30, signaled for launch, walked to Opera House, which Chris thought delightful, and made an 8:00 dinner reservation. Chris thought everything about Nantucket was delightful, and every shop window contained items she wanted Al to buy for her. She especially  liked a twenty-dollar salad bowl, but Al said he could get her the same thing in Quincy at half the price. He bought her a licorice stick.
      We explored the residential section with its narrow streets and vertical homes; managed to get lost; had to ask directions back to village. Bought groceries for breakfast.
      Looked for Martha Parker, our summer resident friend but didn’t spot that blond head anywhere on the tennis courts. Chris spotted her serve, though, just as we had given up and were heading for the docks.
     “Where have I seen that serve before?” she wondered. Then Martha walked across the court, and she was unmistakably Martha in spite of the brown color of her hair. We strolled over and said, “Hi, Martha.” At first she didn’t recognize us, either, under all the hats and dark glasses, but when she did she was cordial. She invited us to come to her house at 5:30 for cocktails. I hedged, not knowing what the others wanted to do.
     “It’s right on the harbor—I’d love to have you see it.”
     Since it was my understanding that she was staying at the home of her fiancé, I inquired as tactfully as Al about Ed’s bonnet: “Well--er--whose name is the house under, in case we find time to drop by?”
     “It’s under my name,” she said.  “I’m in the book.”
     As soon as we were out of earshot, Chris said, “I should think you’d be dying to go. Think of the tale we’d have to tell when we get back to Cohasset.”
     “If I know you girls, you’ll have a tale to tell anyway,” Ed said.
     Had Happy Hour aboard the Happy Days. Ed had a swim; I took movies of Al not taking a swim. The closest he got to it was donning Ed’s cold, clammy trunks and testing the temperature of the water with one foot. “Warm?” he bellowed. “You call this warm, Ed?”
     Went ashore at 7:30. Wondered if Martha would mind our coming for cocktails two hours late. Recalled she doesn’t drink, decided she probably would mind. Chris wanted to look for her house, anyway, just so we could say we saw it. According to local phone book, she lived on Washington Street. Asked directions of policeman on Mating Corner, somehow took a wrong turn and at five of eight, still hadn’t located Martha's house. Al very disapproving of our time-consuming quest, reminded us that we had promised to appear at the Opera House at eight o’clock sharp.
     At the Opera House, I suggested we have the hot hors d’oeuvre while we decided what to order. It turned out to be some kind of fish in a delicious cheese sauce and was a meal in itself. We all ordered Scampi, and when the shrimp arrived, swimming in garlic butter, their tails nicely charred, Ed showed the Norlings his “tails and all” method of disposing of shellfish. They were impressed but not converted.
     “Why,” Chris inquired of the waiter, “do you leave the shell on the shrimp?”
     “That’s where the flavor is, Madame.”
     As far as Chris was concerned, that was where the flavor could stay. She left most of her Scampi sitting on her plate, and when Al finished his own dinner, he finished hers, as well. He also grabbed the check and wouldn’t let Ed pay for so much as an olive. The bill must have been astronomical (which I notice rhymes with gastronomical, being Ernestine's daughter), but Al didn’t turn a hair.
     Had cordials at the Boat House. Chris and I sang our favorite songs from the forties on our way back to the Yacht Club. Ed and Al pretended they didn’t know us.
     Took launch to the Happy Days. Had nightcap. Tried to persuade Al to do “the twist.” Tried to persuade Chris not to yodel. Ed did bumps and grinds, his version of the twist.
Sunday, July 29, 1962, Nantucket to Oak Bluffs to Falmouth
     Left Nantucket at 8:00. Winds brisk but cruise to Oak Bluffs was not unpleasantly rough. Had lunch, called Kathie. Tokay is in heat, she said, and someone let her out. The house is a mecca for all the male dogs in Cohasset. Vonnie and Verna are arriving in Oak Bluffs at 3:45--we will just miss seeing them.
     Walked to Beach Club. Helped Ed drag Sailfish to water’s edge. Side-rail broke. Ed rigged Sailfish (incorrectly, he found out later) and dauntlessly set out alone, since he couldn’t interest anyone in joining him. Capsized in short order, tore his shirt on the broken side-rail. After righting Sailfish, was unable to persuade it to sail.
     “Ed must be the only man in history to become becalmed on a windy day,” Chris said.
      A young girl came along and asked us if we thought our friend would like some help. Her brother went out and gave Ed a lesson. Ed says he’s going to master that damn Sailfish next week or know the reason why.
     Chris thinks Ed must have a hyperthyroid condition. “Doesn’t he ever sit still?” she asked.
Arrived Falmouth Marina 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 11, 1962, Cohasset to Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     Left Cohasset 11:00 a.m., accompanied by Albert, Kathie’s German friend, and Tokay. Albert was planning to spend the weekend touring the Cape on Kathie’s new bicycle, and we offered to give him a lift as far as the Sandwich Bridge. Had a stimulating discussion about East and West Germany, capitalism and communism.
     Arrived Falmouth 12:30, found a note on the Happy Days from Kathie: “Hi. We were here. We were good. See you tomorrow (going to Gramps).” Papa Malley said she and her date should have a chaperone.
     Strange, he never said anything about chaperones when he used to take seventeen-year-old me out on his father’s boat until all hours.
     Cruised over to Oak Bluffs, had hot buttered steak sandwiches and hot beer. (The steward neglected to put beer on ice. Ed says I’m the steward, I say he’s the steward.)
     Rowed ashore to check on our sons. Learned from Gene that they were busy playing poker with Tim and Neil Porta. Gene says if he doesn’t walk over to the cottage every night and break up the party, they’d play until dawn.
     Hiram fell madly in love with Tokay, who is still in season.
     “Don’t worry about him, he’s too old,” Gene said.
     Hiram didn’t accept this slander for a minute and followed us all the way down to the village and back. Ed tried to help him across street; pulled on his collar, ended up with collar in hand and Hiram still sitting there. Replaced collar, carried Hiram across street.
     Tried to contact Witch-Way several times during afternoon. At 4:00, Ed said, “Look who’s here”--and there was Ray at the helm of his new Roamer. Ed hopped into the dinghy and went over to the dock to find out what Remicks and Railsbacks had in mind for the evening. Returned with this flattering news: “They want you. Dottie has some fancy hors d’oeuvres she wants you to try.”
     Brought Tokay with us. Big Bud Railsback thought she was the greatest little toy poodle he’d ever seen, next to Huntley. Mitzi said lots of people had poodles who were lovable and friendly —she thought it was fun to have one that was a character.
     This Huntley poodle expresses his character by biting people. He even bites Bud. When a match was arranged between Huntley and a friend’s little female, he bit his intended.
     Went back to the Happy Days to change, agreeing to convene at Ocean View at 7:30. Had fine dinner, efficiently served by Tim Malley. He looked unprofessional only once. He was serving coffee to those who had ordered it. When he came to Ray, he said accusingly: “What did you do with your cup?” Ray protested that he’d never been given one, but Tim looked skeptical.
     “I thought he was going to search my pockets,” Ray said.
     Had cordials in the bar, then adjourned to Witch-Way.  Ray devoted himself to romping with Tokay. Kept saying, “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a mean dog!”
     When it got to be 12:30, Dottie and Mitzi didn’t exactly tell us they wished we’d go home, but they made no attempt to smother their yawns. We climbed down into the dinghy and Ed was getting ready to push off when he remembered his Flight Manual—still on the Witch-Way. Bud retrieved it, said, “Here, catch” to Ed, who yelled “Don’t!” one second too late. Luckily his precious manual landed inside the dinghy and not on Tokay’s head or in the harbor.
Sunday, August 12, 1962, Oak Bluffs to Falmouth
     Had breakfast at Ocean View. Ed had a date to go fish-spotting with Ted at 9:00, weather permitting. We parted company, and I walked down to the village to get Sunday papers. Bought N.Y. Times and Herald, walked back to dock, took dinghy out to the Happy Days. Was settling down with papers, thinking this was one Sunday when I might actually get through the Times, when I heard a shout from the dock. Went ashore to get Ed, whose fish-spotting date had been called off because of cloudy weather.
     “See that up there?” he said, pointing. “Ted says it’s full of lightning and hail and rain and it’s right out over the fishing grounds.  It’s what you call an altostratus cumulonimbus.”
     “I call it no such thing. I call it a big fat white cloud.”
     It would be helpful if these pilots would speak English once in a while.
     Get into our bathing togs, walk to Beach Club. Ed asks the chap at the desk if we can charge our guest fee to Tim instead of the Portas, is told that Tim is still not a full-fledged member. There is a little matter of $7.50 . . . . Ed writes the check, says that would be Tim’s tip for the weekend. Have a swim, share a chocolate frappe, stretch out in the sun for a couple of hours. See Ted fly over the harbor, the big fat white cloud having retreated.
     Say goodbye to Portas, headed for Falmouth at 3:30.
     It will be sad to go home without stopping in Pembroke to see Vaughan. Two weeks ago, the day before she died, the last words she spoke were to Ed.  He had wandered from her room while I kissed her and told her I'd be back the next day. Her beautiful brown eyes looked tired and sad and a little frightened. Kathie told me later that Vaughan said to her, "I've given up all hope of getting better."
     "All right, Babbie," she said. Then she called out in a stronger voice than she had been able to muster in weeks, "Goodbye, Eddie!"
     The urgency in her tone startled me, and it flashed through my mind that she didn't expect to see him again and was saying goodbye for the last time. I had an impulse to go after him and bring him back, but when I saw him standing on the porch, gazing at the traffic with slumped shoulders, I decided not to trouble him with my foreboding.
     I can still hear Vaughan's last goodbye to a man she couldn’t abide when we were courting but had grown to respect, admire, and love.
Friday, August 17, 1962, Falmouth
     Got an early start this week, arrived in Falmouth a little after seven. Stopped at Sweater Bar to pick out my birthday presents: one beige Orlon trimmed with pearls, one red-white-and-blue nautical style. Paused at Witch-Way slip to let Remicks and Pattysons know we had arrived. Ray said: “We couldn’t find a present, so we’re taking you to dinner at the Coonamessett Inn.”
     Continued on to the Happy Days, unpacked car, stowed gear, and joined friends on Witch-Way. Enjoyed card signed by Ray-Baby, Dottie-Baby, Bruce Pattyson, and Marie. “You’re still young as long as you get whistles,” it said on the outside--and inside was a whistle that really works.  Appreciated Ray’s poem, which I won’t quote as it's full of sexy words like broad, shape, rape, sack, etc.
     At the Coonamessett Inn, I was having a lovely intimate talk with Bruce until my radar happened to tune in on what Dottie was saying to Ed. She was discussing her favorite subject—the time years ago when he wouldn’t play “Pass the Orange” with her at the Sampsons’ annual party.
     “When it was your turn to pass the orange, you ran away,” she said with a charming pout. “I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I had halitosis or something.”
     Ed was looking half-flattered, half-embarrassed. When he noticed my ears flapping, he tried to stop looking half-flattered. I abandoned Bruce and came to my husband’s rescue. For the thousandth time I told Dottie that Eddie had run away because she was so pretty.
    Of course if I’d been visiting my aunt instead of attending the Sampsons’ party, Ed might have worked up the courage to pass that orange from his chin to Dottie’s.  Dottie”s favorite subject is my least favorite, next to the one she tells about the night she first met him. They were fighting over the balloons in the lobby at Dreamwold, and Ed said he wanted them for his four children.      
     “You have four children? You’re much too young to have four children!”
     What was I--his grandmother? This is the sort of reminiscence that Dottie never tires of telling and my husband never tires of hearing. Yawn.
     We had champagne with dinner, cordials afterward. Bruce and I kept putting down our drinks and throwing our arms around each other. I forget why. Dottie came over and sat in Bruce’s lap--she really is shameless.
     Adjourned to the Witch-Way. The dentist who owns the Roamer that inspired Ray to buy his Roamer, dropped in with his wife and another female. The dentist said someone came up to him a few days ago and chastised him for making so much noise in Oak Bluffs Harbor last weekend. Ray thought this was very funny--from now on, wherever he and his Roamer may roam, they’ll be able to raise the devil and blame the dentist.
     At one o’clock Marie said: “Bruce, we’re going to bed.”
     She took the words right out of my mouth, except substitute “Ed” for “Bruce.”
Saturday, August 18, 1962, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     Walked over to A&P this morning while Ed puttered  around on boat. Bought cantaloupe and coffee cake for breakfast. Ed wanted to take some photos, but camera-fixing company had returned camera without a spool on which to wind the film. He was thinking of unwinding an unused roll of film in order to get the spool, but the idea of such waste made my Scotch blood get the chills. We drove to the village to look for a photography shop, found one, obtained spool. Went to Sweater Bar and selected two beautiful sweaters for Kathie’s birthday, in pale apricot and pale green.
     Headed for Martha’s Vineyard, decided to stop for a while at Vineyard Haven, which we’d never seen before. Tied up at public dock and went for a walk with Tokay. Indulged in cold drinks at open-air snack. Was engaged in conversation by flamboyantly dressed old harridan with aggressive personality, a large, mashed-down nose which got that way, I suspect, from pushing into other people’s business. She told me Tokay was clipped too short. She told me to keep her head up with the leash so she couldn’t forage for crumbs. She even told me I should never breed her.
     “I already have,” I said. “She has a puppy six months old.”
     “You shouldn’t have done that,” she said. “I’d never do that to the poor little thing--it ruins their shape.”
     “She’s pregnant again,” I said. “The children enjoy raising the puppies.”
     The lady’s nose quivered disapprovingly. She called Tokay, but Tokay just sat and looked at her. After two or three unsuccessful attempts to make friends, she said, “Don’t you worry, Tokie, I wouldn’t have you even if your mother gave you to me. No cats or dogs for me anymore. I used to raise a much more expensive breed of dog than that one. Japanese Spaniels. Ever heard of them?”
     Wanting to follow Ed, who had finished his root beer and was waiting for me a few yards away, I said I’d never heard of them and took a few steps in his direction.
     “They were beautiful,” she said. “Black and white. Very rare. How much did you pay for your poodle?”
     Instead of telling her it was none of her business, I confessed we had paid a hundred and seventy-five dollars.
     “Where did you get her? Brooklyn? Oh, Brookline. I didn’t think you got her in New York. You wouldn’t have to pay a price like that in New York. I know this place called Pet’s World, I sent a friend of mine there and she got a red setter, pedigreed with papers and everything for five dollars. She bred it and sold the puppies for thirty, forty, fifty dollars.”
     I said that was very interesting and inched a little further toward Ed.
     “Pet’s World, it’s called,” she said. “If you ever want a bargain in dogs, come to New York. Pet’s World. Right in the heart of the city.”
     I thanked her and escaped. Another invaluable tip given me by this lady: “Rub Vaseline around her mouth once a week. It’s good for her system and will help her when she has the puppies. Do you know what I mean?”
     Boarded the Happy Days and hopped over to Oak Bluffs, anchoring outside the Beach Club. Neil and Tim hailed us as they scudded by on the Sailfish. I suggested that Ed ask them for a ride and get some pointers on Sailfish-subduing. We swam to the wharf where the boys picked him up and took him for a sail. They dropped him at the boat, then offered to take me for a spin. With Ed they had perfect control, with me they capsized twice. I’m not as young as I was day before yesterday, so hauling myself aboard wasn’t accomplished with the grace and ease of a teenager. The kids went into hysterics every time I lost my grip and cracked my forearm on the deck. I was glad to see that my tutors didn’t survive the dunkings without a scratch--both of them had bleeding scrapes on their midriffs, but obviously it was worth it to see the old girl gasping and spouting salt water.
     Tied up to guest mooring in harbor. Had early cocktail hour and charcoal broiled steak. Went ashore to Ocean View, ran into Bill Sawyer, who has been spending the summer sword fishing hunting with Ted as a spotter. Sat with Bill while he had dinner. Ted joined us and regaled us with thrilling tales of his flying adventures.  Sacked in at 10:30.
Sunday, August 19, 1962, Oak Bluffs to Falmouth
     Tokay and I got very little sleep last night. I’ve never seen her so restless, and although I kept telling her there are no fire hydrants at sea, she seemed to think I should conjure up one. I spread newspapers on the floor and she gave me a hurt look as if I were trying to put her in diapers--at her age. At about one a.m., after she’d climbed up on my bunk and jumped down again several hundred times, I said to Ed, “I think she wants to go ashore.”
     “Well, she can’t very well at this hour, can she?” he said in sleepy irritation.
     “I guess not,” I said. “Not unless you teach her to run the outboard.” But he had gone back to sleep. It wasn’t his bunk and his person that Tokay was nervously pacing. Morning came at last, and Ed took her ashore for that all-important errand.
     We had just finished our orange juice at the Ocean View when Ted tapped his father on the shoulder and asked him if he wanted to go swordfish-spotting.
     “What time would we get back?” (We’re due in Cohasset at four for the Democratic clam-bake.)
     “Around one.”
     So my men-folk took off, and I finished breakfast alone--well, not all alone, Tokay was snoozing at my feet. I decided I would buy the Sunday paper and spend the morning on the public beach. Had to take the skiff out to the Happy Days to get money, and when I was ready to go ashore again, I couldn’t get the outboard to run. Was very annoyed when I had to resort to the oars. Gert and Clark Young came alongside in their skiff and asked if they could help. Under their supervision I found a gadget called a choke that had a magical effect on the motor.
Had a long swim, then sat on rocks and read Herald while Tokay sought a shady spot to nap under the breakwater. Walked back to dock at 12:30, thought for one horrified minute the skiff had been stolen. Then I saw it behind the Happy Days and realized Ed was back early.
     Another boat was in our slip, so we had to make our way into slip #24 with the wind against us. “Do this, do that, no not that, hurry up, never mind (Stupid), drop that and get the forward line instead, tighten it up, slack it off—” Of all the snarling, snapping, barking, impatient Captain Bligh contestants, he gets first prize.

Monday, August 20, 1962, Falmouth
     Left Cohasset shortly before five on this windy Monday evening. Asked Tokay if she wanted to come along, and she willingly hopped into the car and settled herself in my lap. This morning she declined to accompany me to the market, clearly recognizing the difference between an invitation to remain shut in the car for half an hour and a chance to go cruising with her master and mistress.
     The plant is shut down for two weeks, except for a skeleton crew. Ed is going to commute from Oak Bluffs to Boston by plane—or by ferry and automobile if the weather is bad—and will steal as much time as he can this week and next. While our Captain is away, Tokay and I will keep each other company. We have a pact: if she has a rendezvous at the corner lamp post, I won’t tell, and vice versa.
     When we came on board, we were dismayed to find the key in the padlock, which is not where we left it. The bar had been cleaned out and Ed’s camera was gone. Since the thieves left everything else of value, we figured they were chiefly interested in the liquor but couldn’t resist swiping the camera when they saw it sitting there. Ed cussed about the fact that the boat wasn’t safe even here in Falmouth and went off to report the theft to Mr. Wormwood, owner of the marina. He returned with Happy Hour fixings and made us a drink.
     To my disappointment, he decided that building a charcoal fire just for hamburgers was too much trouble. I had planned to fix Gladys Buell’s onion-flavored roasted potatoes, and besides, even hamburg is more festive when it’s charcoal broiled, but I didn’t argue. With or without charcoal, I knew I was in one of my bad moods and was determined to be good-natured, come what may. Unfortunately, the alcohol stove wasn’t functioning properly, as we discovered when we cut into the baked potatoes an hour and a half later. The onions were also half raw, due to the feebleness of the flame. I was reminded of last night’s Democratic clambake. Whoever was responsible for those green lobsters and half steamed clams must have been a saboteur imported by Nixon.
     Drove downtown after dinner to buy groceries & report theft of liquor and camera to Falmouth police. While Ed was in the station, Tokay and I struck up an acquaintance with a couple from New Jersey who had a silver Mini almost as small as Tokay. The lady said she had invested in a set of clippers and learned how to use them by spending a day in the pet shop, observing the technique.
     Back in the boat, Ed was all set for a romantic evening. He was getting out the ice when he noticed that I had fallen asleep over the Ladies’ Home Journal. No reflection on the Journal--I just need more than three hours sleep in every twenty-four. Between Tokay’s restlessness of Saturday night and the Blond Bombshell last night (I thought she and her boyfriend would never terminate that discussion in our driveway), I wasn't the Bunny my Playboy had in mind.
Tuesday, August 21, 1962, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     The Skipper started up the engines at 6:00 a.m. and set his course for Oak Bluffs. Windy still, but not too rough. Tied up at one of the slips adjacent to the main street. Started alcohol stove, which is behaving worse than ever—one of the burners leaks, so we soon had a bonfire in the galley. Ed turned off the alcohol supply and it finally died down. Had to be satisfied with stale coffee cake for breakfast instead of sautéed lamb kidneys on toast.
     Borrowed car from chef at Ocean View, drove to taxi stand and asked if driver was available to take Ed to airport. “Sure thing, boss,” and off they sped with fifteen minutes to make the 8:00 executive flight.
     It’s amazing how friendly people can be when they notice you have a poodle in tow. Leave the dog at home and you’re invisible again. Tokay and I walked to the paper store, then headed for the beach. Halfway there, she sat down and refused to budge—she was that tuckered out. For every step I take, those little legs have to take five or six, so it doesn’t take long for them to give out.
     I carried her the rest of the way, and we found a secluded spot on the beach where she could stretch out for a nap and I could read the paper -- but not for long. A blousy lady with short, wiry blond hair stopped to admire Tokay, and that was the end of our solitude for the next hour. She told me her old man was no fun at all, he’d taken to his rocking chair, so she and her daughter went out on the town every night. She invited me to join them sometime. I was glad when it started to rain and I could gather up my things and make my getaway.
     Sun came out this afternoon. Put my hair up on rollers, sat on flying bridge and wrote a letter to Kathie. Ed flew in around five, asked if I’d seen him fly over the harbor. I said no and asked if he’d seen me sitting on the flying bridge. How could he miss those pink rollers?
     Had cocktails at Ocean View. Talked to attractive ophthalmologist Dr. Evans, who knows someone who knows Kempy Churchill. I told him about Kempy spilling his drink on Zza Zza Gabor when she was at a Cohasset party after the Music Circus. While I was chatting with the doctor, Ed kept saying, “We really ought to have dinner, we shouldn’t keep those poor kids waiting,” but when the doctor left, Ed said, “Let’s have another Martini.” Had broiled lobster—delicious. Ed had steak. Tim Porta is a very good waiter.
Wednesday, August 22, 1962, Oak Bluffs
     Ed took day off. Announced program before we were even out of bed. “Brush our teeth, comb our hair, drink our juice, have a swim, then have breakfast.” I said maybe that was his program, but my program did not include a swim unless the gale winds abated and the temperature rose above sixty-five degrees. Tokay and I walked to the paper store, leaving the Captain to his solo swim. Returned to boat and sautéed lamb kidneys while Captain thawed out.
     Made up bunks, did dishes, called home, Vonnie said there was a clambake and dance for young people at the Yacht Club, and Mrs. White’s Holly was going.
     “It’s her first dance, so she’s all excited. I’m going to fix her hair for her.”
     Kathie wasn’t home from New York yet. I asked Vonnie to ask Mrs. White if she had any problems, received answer: “Not a problem in the world.”
     At noon we walked down to bicycle shop and rented a couple of bikes. Tokay fit into my basket, but not willingly. Tied leash to handlebars to discourage any reckless leaps. Cycled to Edgartown, around seven miles away. After the first five minutes Tokay stopped quivering and sat up and looked at the scenery. Ed thought all the pretty girls were leaning out of their cars in order to look at him, but they were really looking at that floppy-eared little head peering over the top of the basket.
     Parked bikes behind Police Station, took a tour around Edgartown. Stopped at seafood bar next to Yacht Club and had cherrystones on the half shell. Browsed our way through several shops, Ed and Tokay being very patient. Bought Japanese fan for Mother. Headed back to Oak Bluffs at quarter of two. Return trip was uphill all the way. My aching legs wished they could somehow curl up in the basket with Tokay.
     Ed played touch-football with the Malley and Porta boys. Grace told me about a buxom blonde woman who got loaded and carried on noisily in the bar last night. The Portas do lead an interesting, though not always profitable, life. Last week a smooth talker took them for $200 worth of bad checks.
     Grace had dinner with us. I told her Ed thought I was silly to worry about our bicycles being stolen while we shopped in Edgartown.
     “Don’t ever leave anything like that untended,” she said. “There’s a lot of stealing on the island.”
     “You see?” I said to Ed. “I knew you were crazy to leave that bike in front of the boat.”
     “I would have replaced it if anyone had taken it,” he said.
     “You’d have replaced it. What kind of attitude is that? Why be so careless in the first place?”
     “Shh, Ma,” said Timmy, who was waiting on us. “Everybody’s looking at you.”
     So I shh-ed, but on the walk back to the boat I said I didn’t see much point in my trying to save his money if he was so willing to throw it around.
     “Where’s Tokay?” he said.
     “She’s back there somewhere. I just don’t understand how you can be so completely unconcerned about where your money goes. Your parents didn’t bring you up that way.”
     “Shut up and look for your dog,” he said.
     “Why should I? If she’s lost you can always replace her.” I continued on my way to the boat, real mad, while the Big Spender went back to look for Tokay.
     “You know where she was?” he said, when he came aboard with Tokay at his heels. “Teddy had her.”
     I didn’t answer, being still real mad. Later, when I stopped being mad I said something to him and he didn’t answer. That made me mad again. The only one who went to bed not mad was Tokay. [Now that I’m 90, I never have a bad time of the month. Poor Ed!]
Thursday, August 23, 1962, Oak Bluffs
     Ed was up at six a.m. Kissed me goodbye, sort of, by kissing his fingers and touching them to my cheek. Very antiseptic. Have decided not to be mad any more so I can start getting the other kind of kisses. He took bike to airport, flew his little plane to Boston. I made myself a bacon & egg sandwich for breakfast. Did dishes, laundered a few things, made up bunks. Took Tokay for a walk, called house. Kathie not home from New York yet. Wish she’d get home before Vonnie gives Mrs. White any more gray hairs. .
     Tokay and I took shuttle to Vineyard Haven. Bought shoes. Returned to Oak Bluffs and went to beach. Too cool and windy to swim. Called Ed. He said Kathie was home now and things seemed to be under control.
     Ed arrived by plane and bike around 6:00. Said he’d had a hard, busy day. Very lame as a result of yesterday’s fourteen-mile bike ride, followed by touch-football. Announced he had to go to Boston again tomorrow.
     “Then you want me to meet the Brewers at the ferry?” I asked. Oh, he’d forgotten about the Brewers. Well, he’d try to work it out so that he wouldn’t have to leave.
     At dinner Ed changed his mind again and said he was going to fly to Boston in the morning.
     “But I thought you said you didn’t really have to. I wish you’d make a decision and stick to it so I’ll know where I’m at. What was the point of pressing the Brewers to come early if you’re not going to be here?”
     Timmy, the Obtrusive Waiter, asked querulously, “Why is it whenever I wait on you two, you’re always arguing!”
     “We’re not arguing, we’re just discussing something,” I said.
     “The way you discuss things makes me think you’re ready to get a divorce.”
     “We’ll let you know when we are,” I said.
     After a little more discussion, Ed decided that the office could get along without him tomorrow. “Good,” I said. “Now go out to the kitchen and tell Timmy we’re not getting a divorce.”
     Watched television with Porta boys & Tim. Sacked in at 10:00.
Sunday, August 26, 1962, Bass River to Falmouth
     Ed and I had a swim before breakfast while Whitey snored on and Sal did the duty in the galley, according to prior agreement. (“You’ll get the breakfast or you don’t get invited.”) The aroma of frying bacon reminded Whitey that his mouth was good for something besides making horrible noises. He got up and took a swim but still looked ghastly when he sat down to breakfast. I asked him what time he’d gone to bed, and he said he had no idea.
     Whitey and Ed went ashore to get the papers and see what the Wilds were up to. Turned out Jane had the table set and breakfast ready for us--cold melon, sausages and scrambled eggs--the works. It wasn’t wasted, not with eight or ten teenage friends of the Wild children sleeping wherever they could find a place to lay their heads. Jane says she’s got to stop being so soft-hearted about the onslaught of youngsters “on the bum” and pull in the Welcome Mat.
     When our men returned, they said our program for the morning was decided. The night before, Sal had expressed an interest in the “Viking Rock.” The idea was, the six of us would pile into Ben’s skiff and travel up Bass River to see this famous site. According to legend, hundreds of years ago the Vikings sailed their ships into Bass River and moored them in a fashion peculiar only to Vikings: they drilled a hole in the far side of a large rock, attached their mooring line to a peg, and placed the peg in the hole at an angle. If an Indian attack made it advisable to set sail in a hurry, they yanked the peg out and made a dash for the open ocean.
The journey to Viking Rock was endless. (If we ever show this Log to the Wilds, revise this to “endlessly fascinating.”) Sal’s enthusiasm waned very quickly--the minute, in fact, that the six of us squeezed into that tiny boat. the Happy Days was hardly out of sight when she began talking about the return trip.
     “Oh, we have a long way to go yet,” Ben said.
     “It’s a wonder the Vikings didn’t die of boredom long before they ever reached their silly old rock,” Sally sniffed
     The Vikings, of course, had sails; moreover they were not handicapped in their progress by signs saying “6 mph.” If they had been, the Indians would have made short work of them, which would have been all right with Sal.
     “How much further is it?” she kept asking as we chugged along at a turtle’s pace, the sun beating down on our heads and water splashing over the bow.
     “Only a few miles now,” Ben would say from the dry end of the skiff.
     “My back aches and my feet are wet,” Sal said.
     Jane told her to be a sport and Sal said she didn’t want to be a sport.
     Suddenly Ben gave a shout and pointed ahead to a small natural beach on our port side. There it was, the object which we had come so far to see and for which we had endured so many hardships--oh thrill of thrills--a rock!
     We all piled out to look at the hole allegedly drilled by those long-ago visitors to our continent. It gave me an eerie feeling to visualize the peg and the ship and the men. I felt as if ghosts were watching us.
     Whitey took a swim, Sal went wading; then we climbed into the skiff and headed back.      
     Stopped at Wilds for do-it-yourself crabmeat sandwiches. Asked Ben how many crabs he had to pick to fill such a large bowl and he said, “Oh, about six cans.”
     At 2:30 we waved a last farewell to our hosts, called “See you at the Harvard-Yale game,” and started for home port. 
August 31, 1962
     Mrs. White slipped in the kitchen Wednesday night, twisted her foot, broke a bone; will have to wear a cast for two weeks. She and Holly are staying with older daughter, Marty, until Tuesday. To add to the confusion, the dishwasher is out of order. Spent most of the week trying to keep up with the dishes.
Saturday, September 1, 1962, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     Still cool and overcast this morning, despite promises of weatherman. Left Kathie in charge of her sister. Drove to Falmouth, arriving at noon. Cruised to Oak Bluffs, tied up at slip near grocery store. Shared a king-size beer, read last Sunday’s papers. Ambled down to the village for a snack---fried clams and a hamburger at Nick’s. Walked to Ocean View. Neil, Tim, Grace, and Gene were sitting in rocking chairs on the porch.
     “Get up and give the Malleys your chairs,” Gene said to the boys. They looked pained, so we said never mind, we’d sit on the railing.
     Told Tim about Mrs. White’s accident.
     “Great!” he said. “Wait’ll you see the laundry I’m bringing home!” Accused me of not knowing how to run the washing machine.
     Rescued Ted’s shirt, which he had thrown on ground several days ago during a touch-football game. Tim complained that he had come to the Vineyard with fourteen shirts, was going home with four.
     After a great deal of prodding---we wanted their rocking chairs---Tim and Neil departed to load skin-diving gear aboard the Happy Days. Another job they must tackle if they want to collect their pay: cleaning up the den of iniquity they lived in this summer. The cottage was a mess, Gene told us, but if they’d just tackle it, they could have it tidy in three hours. “Wait and see. They’ll leave it to the very last minute.”
     Gene said the two loafers couldn’t understand why Dick, one of the other waiters, got so many more tips than they did.
     “Dick didn’t do anything special, he was just pleasant to the guests. Neil and Tim would nudge each other and say, `Look at that guy, talking to the people!’ It annoyed the hell out of them because by their standards it was socially unacceptable to even smile.”
     Ed played touch football while I walked back to the Happy Days, put hair up on rollers, took a shower.
     Had very dry Martinis in Ocean View lounge. Grace rushed down from the kitchen, upset. “Gene, you’d better go check on Henry, he’s hacking that roast beef to pieces.”    
     Gene came back a few minutes later and said he could tolerate the way the roast was being carved, but it was too bad it was half raw.
     “Good,” Ed said, “that’s the way I like it.”
     Had half-raw roast beef for dinner. Ed told waitress Jane he’d appreciate a bone-and-all slice if she could wangle it from the chef. Bonnie Porta came along, regarded Ed’s plate, and said, “You must be a transient.”
     “Why?” we asked.
     “The chef never gives bones to the guests--only to transients.”
     Went to movie at local firetrap: Vivien Leigh in “The Romantic Spring of Mrs. Stone.” Photography wonderful, plot better than average—our average being one movie every six months.
     Decided to sleep at Ocean View as Gene had offered. Packed night clothes and toothbrushes in canvas bag, put Tokay on leash, walked to hotel. Parking lot full, bar doing tremendous business. No one at desk to give us key to room. Ed went looking for Tim, came back shaking his head and said, “Follow me—there’s a sight you should see before you die.”
     He led me through the kitchen to the boys’ cottage, located a few yards beyond the back entry of the hotel.
     “They’re out for the evening. Take a look at the way they’ve been living, if you can call it that.”
     Here was the scene of hour after hour of poker-playing, beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking, and perhaps occasionally sleeping. On the floor: hundreds of bottle caps, cigarette butts, burnt-out matches, beer cans, crumpled cigarette packs, empty tonic bottle cartons, candy wrappers, grimy towels, moldering heaps of clothing—among them, some of Tim’s missing shirts? On the bureaus, countless empty coke bottles, ranged in glassy symmetry on every inch of available space. 
     Grace gave us the key to Room 36. Tokay curled up on the bed and went to sleep. Ed and I read for a while, then followed Tokay’s good example.
Sunday, September 2, 1962, Oak Bluffs to Falmouth
     Weather continues to be cold and gray. Had breakfast at Ocean View. Sat on porch and read our books, waiting for the paper store to open. Ed wanted to borrow the Opal and drive to the village, but I said, “Come on, let’s walk—the exercise will be good for us.”
     Met Gert Young on her way to store, wished her luck on her cruise to Florida with Clark. Ed said, “How will the little monsters ever be able to start school without you?”
     “Oh, they’ll start, all right. I don’t know what will become of them, but they’ll start.”
     Read papers. Groused about the weather. At 2:00 talked Ed into playing tennis for an hour. Rained out in middle of second set.
     Decided to spend night in Falmouth. Went to Nick’s and ordered fried chicken to go and a carton of Greek salad. Arrived Falmouth Marina 5:00 p.m. Ed took a swim in the rain. Had salad with our drinks, followed by chicken heated in the oven.
     At 9:00 noticed strange couple lurking on dock and peeking in windows.
     “Is this the Happy Days? Remember us, Martin and Mary Lindenberg? We were observers on your friend’s boat a few years ago.”
     The Predicted Log Race—Alden came in 54th. Yes, we remembered. We invited the Lindenbergs aboard. They’re teetotalers. They stayed for an hour and a half. That was the end of the connubial evening we had planned, but maybe it was just as well to get a good night’s sleep instead.
Monday, September 3, 1962, Falmouth
     Another cool morning. Ed said, “Labor Day is the worst day in the whole year.”
     When we had breakfast at “Mary’s Dream,” he resented the gaiety of the foursome by the window.
     “How can they be so cheerful on Labor Day?”
     Cleaned up boat, which was beginning to resemble the boys’ cottage. Split a can of beer. Read. Sun came out. Took nap in sun. At 3:15 Ed said, “Come on, kid, it’s time to get back to the big city.” Stuffed laundry in pillow cases. Turned off radio. Woke Tokay and shut her in deck house to thwart her roaming inclinations. On our way at 3:30.
September 5, 1962
     By rights, yesterday should have been one of my better days. I had a tennis date with Sally, weather permitting, and she had invited me for lunch and bridge in the afternoon. What could be more frivolous and carefree? Of course I had to plan dinner for eight instead of six, since Mrs. White would be hobbling in with Holly some time during the day, but that problem was solved with a pot roast that could simmer on the back of the stove while I was at Sally’s.
     After playing tennis in what grew from a sprinkle to a drizzle, we gave up and drove home to change our soggy clothes. As I was getting out of the car, Holly came running out to give me a kiss.
     “How’s your mother?” I asked.
     “Oh, she’s fine. It’s so nice to be home, Mrs. Malley! I missed my kittens terribly. I cried every night. Did you know Linda and Wally are here?”
     Linda and Wally? Oh yes, Jan had said something about taking them to the movies as a last fling before school started, and Mom had said something about taking Jan to lunch. Evidently they had already left in Jan’s car.
     It was almost noon. I figured I had just time enough to rush upstairs and roll up my rained-on hair, rush down to the kitchen and set the pot roast to simmering in the Dutch oven, rush out to the laundry room and sit under the hair dryer for a few minutes, rush upstairs again and comb out my hair. If my schedule went without a hitch I should arrive at Sally’s bridge game no more than fifteen minutes late.
     I encountered the first hitch when I walked into the kitchen. There were six kids milling around, all in the process of fixing something different in the way of sustenance. Some were having breakfast, some were preparing lunch, and one or two were just having a snack. Linda was sitting in the middle of the floor, lapping a Popsicle and playing with Holly’s kittens. Wally was at the counter, reading a comic book and eating a bowl of cornflakes. Tim sat next to him, engrossed in Mad Magazine and a tuna-fish sandwich. Vonnie was dabbing mayonnaise on a saucer of sliced tomatoes. Holly stood in front of the stove, stirring a pot of tomato soup. Neil was wandering around with a frying pan in his hand, looking into the cupboards.
     “Hi, Mrs. Malley,” said Holly.
     “Hi,” I said, gazing at the chaos created by five too many cooks.
     “Where’s the Wesson Oil, Mrs. Malley?” Neil asked. “I want to fry a couple of eggs.
     I showed him where the Wesson Oil was. What I should have done next was to turn on my heel, drive to Sally’s, get a head-start on the wine, and pick up some cold cuts and potato salad on the way home. Instead I took a despairing look at the clock, stepped over Linda and the kittens, and began putting away the milk, mayonnaise, bread, cereal, butter, etc. It was quicker to do the job myself. If I left it to the kids, they’d spend the next hour pointing at each other and saying, “He got out the cornflakes, that’s his butter knife, she was the one who spilled the mayonnaise.”
     “Can I do anything for you, Mrs. Malley?” Holly asked helpfully.
     “No, I guess this is a one-man assignment,” I said. “Are you going to bring your mother some of that soup?”
     “I’m waiting for it to get—“ At that moment the tomato soup boiled over. The pot’s lid jumped and clanked as the liquid erupted, bubbling down the sides of the pot and into the burner, overflowing the catch-pan and spreading colorfully over the top of the stove.
     “Oh dear, I’m sorry, Mrs. Malley!” Holly cried. “I’m so sorry!”
     “That’s all right,” I said, beginning to mop up. “It was an accident.”
     With other people’s children I’m like those mothers you see on TV, a miracle of imperturbability.
     “Oh, thank you for not getting mad, Mrs. Malley,” Holly said. “You’re so nice!”
     I was nice. God, what a mess!
     “Holly, what did you do?” Mrs. White called from her room. “Did you let that soup boil over?”
     “Don’t worry about it,” I called. “We”ll have everything cleaned up in a jiffy.”
     “Oh, Holly!” Mrs. White groaned.
     “Next time, dear,” I said kindly as I emptied the catch-pan into the sink, “instead of starting the burner on `high,’ put it on one of the lower speeds. Then if you forget it we won’t be so apt to have another catastrophe, will we?”
     This was awfully good advice. I wish I’d been listening when I handed it out. Two minutes later I poured oil in the Dutch oven, put the burner on `high,’ and went to the refrigerator for the pot roast. The kittens started winding themselves around my legs, so I took the hint and mixed up some cat food and milk in a saucer. Turning back to the stove, I stopped in my tracks. The Dutch oven was a mass of flames.
     Luckily, by this time I was alone. If those kids had been on hand to witness my folly, they might have panicked, or more likely, laughed. I reached cautiously behind the blazing pot, shut off the burner, then dashed to the closet for the fire extinguisher which is always falling on my foot when I’m looking for potatoes but wasn’t there now. I didn’t dare leave the kitchen to call the fire department or search for another extinguisher, as the flames were licking at the cupboard over the stove. I stood there transfixed, hoping they would die down before the wood caught fire.
     Holly, who had gone upstairs with a tray for her mother, came down again.
     “Oh, my goodness, Mrs. Malley!” she cried. “Do you want me to throw some water on it?”
     “I don’t think you’re supposed to throw water on this kind of fire. Anyway, it’s beginning to die down.”
     “What’s the matter?” Mrs. White called.
     “Nothing,” I said, carrying the pot over to the sink. “Everything’s fine. For a minute, though, I thought we were going to burn the house down.”
     “Holly, what have you done!” called Mrs. White.
     I hastened to confess that Holly hadn’t done anything. I was the guilty firebug—the lady with the good advice.
     I arrived very late for the luncheon, but the afternoon had its compensations. Sally was serving pink champagne because it was Connie’s anniversary, and Salvador’s lobster sandwiches because she hadn’t had time to fix anything else. And as top scorer at the end of the afternoon, I won the 75 cents.
     Back at home the fates were cooking up one final calamity to keep me in my place and remind me that there was more to life than pink champagne and double finesses. I had just put dinner on the table when Kathie came downstairs and said the upstairs john had overflowed.
     Vonnie took the mop from my hand and said, “I’ll clean it up for you, Mummy.” Never will I understand that most unpredictable of all species, The Teenager.
 April 22, 1962
     We were vacationing at the Vineyard when Ed asked if I’d like to go flying with him for an hour. It was a question I’d been nervously anticipating ever since he passed his flight test. He was a “private pilot” now, qualified to carry passengers.
     “Why not?” I said. I could think of a dozen reasons why not, none of them marriage buttressing.
     My confidence in my husband’s new hobby, already flimsy, disintegrated completely when he got lost on the way to the airport. “Do we turn here?” he muttered at the Lobster Hatchery sign. “No, I guess it’s the next right.” The next right was a dead end. Captain Malley cussed as he turned the car around and said he couldn’t understand why he always had so much trouble finding this airport. I didn’t say a word, but I was thinking in a Jack Bennyish accent: “If he can’t find it from the ground . . .”
     We went back to the Lobster Hatchery sign and turned left—to another dead end at the Lobster Hatchery.
     “Good for you, I knew you could do it!” I said when Great White Eagle, as he now called himself, finally located the airport.
     Oak Bluffs Airport looked like a reclaimed cow pasture with no runways at all as far as I could see. Ed checked the Tri-Pacer’s propeller, gas tank, and other essentials; then we climbed in and fastened our seat belts. As he taxied down to the end of the pasture, I said, “That looks easy, I could do that.” All at once his hands and feet were pulling levers and pushing pedals and we were roaring toward a grove of trees at ninety miles an hour and I changed my mind.
We flew to Nantucket, and Great White Eagle decided to land, “just for practice.” A voice on the radio told him which runway to use, and he started his approach.
     “First time in my life I’ve ever made a right-hand approach,” he remarked. I said I wished he wouldn’t tell me these things.
     “Nothing to it,” he said. We landed safely and, since it seemed silly to fly all the way to Nantucket without doing something, I went to the Ladies Room. Ten minutes later we were ready to take off again.
     “Five zero zulu,” Ed radioed the tower as he taxied toward the runways. “Do I make a left turn here?”
     “Affirmative.”
      “I’m not too proud to ask.” Ed said. “Gave everybody heart attacks last week when I turned the wrong way.”
     After we leveled off, he let me fly the plane for a few minutes. Let me? He was tuning the radio in front of my knees. Someone had to fly the bloody thing. I had a tendency to climb. Ed kept telling me to bring the nose down, but my stomach didn’t want to bring the nose down. My stomach had a passion for altitude.
     As we neared the coastline, Ed descended to a thousand feet and circled Oak Bluffs Harbor. Below us, the Vineyard Queen chugged toward the dock, a toy-sized boat trailing a miniature wake. Matchstick figures milled about on the deck, waving to their matchstick friends onshore. I preened my feathers and thought, “Poor earthlings! What a slow way to travel! How confined! How dull!”
     Ed found his way back to the airport with no need to stop and ask directions and we coasted gracefully to earth. Thus ended, uneventfully, my flight as Great White Eagle’s first passenger.

October 22, 1962
      Dear God, I hope what Mrs. White just told me isn't true.  Her daughter Marty called and says we're having a Red Alert.  She heard the news from some reliable source that can't be divulged for security reasons.  All I can think of is those terrible words, Red Alert.  Mrs. White says that's the step before the last.  What does it mean?  Are we preparing to do something about Cuba or is Russia preparing to attack us?  Why would Khrushchev be talking about meeting with President Kennedy if he's planning to launch an attack?
     Marty says we should put in a supply of canned goods and get gas for our cars.  I think we should stock up on prayer books; my brother may be right about the world coming to an end.           
October 23, 1962                     
     Mrs. White and I had our first disagreement during the Red Alert.  She announced that when the danger escalated to the next step, she and Holly would move to Marty's apartment building where there is a basement.  She is pressing me to start looking for a basement for my family, adding, "Be sure to bring plenty of blankets and warm clothes."
     There was something about Mrs. White's calm, we-must-be-practical attitude that was more hair-raising than a display of hysteria.  I protested that this disaster might never happen.  The Russians don't want to be bombed any more than we do.  Why alarm the children with preparations that may be needless?
      "I might not be around to explain," said Mrs. White.  "If something happens to me, I want Holly to know how to survive."
      At that moment Timmy burst into the kitchen as the school bus pulled away.  "We're all going to be killed!" he cried.        
      I winced at this perfect timing and reprimanded him for "interrupting."  Mrs. White said nothing, but I knew what she was thinking:  "You see, Mrs. Malley, you can't shield your children.  They know what's going on."
      No one is talking about anything else, so of course the kids know what is going on, but I’m convinced there’s no harm in being optimistic.  Mrs. White could counter that optimists were among the first to die in Hitler's Holocaust.
     Damn it, I will not dig a hole and crawl into it like a rat.  Tim is all for building a shelter ("We can fix up the playhouse with sandbags for a hundred dollars"), and we are being bombarded with a fresh onslaught from the Civil Defense department.  Build a shelter, build a shelter.
     In this morning's "The Photographer and You" column in the Herald, the question is asked, "Have events this week made you more interested in Civil Defense efforts?"  Out of six people polled, there are three negatives and three affirmatives.  I agree with the man who answered:  "No.  Fallout shelters are a complete farce.  What do they mean?  Probably that the privileged minority may live a few more days.  That stuff was all right in World Wars I and II, but not in the next one."  A woman answered, "I'd rather go with the rest of the crowd if it comes to that."
     In spite of the tension in the air, life goes on as usual.  We make dates for tennis ("Sure I'll play next Tuesday if we're all here next Tuesday," Sally Brewer says), we go marketing, we order tickets to the Ice Follies, we put summer clothes away for the winter, we give the puppies their bottle, we laugh at the Dick Van Dyke show . . .
     Tim wrote a poem that I’ve sent to my mother.  I think it will surprise her as much as it did Ed and me.

       `Twas a dark quiet night around harvest time
       When the young ones of John, the carpenter, asked him,
       "Father, tell us of the time when ye were young,
       When men could fly and plow without oxen."
       He sat by the fire, a sad glow in his eye and a lump
              in his throat
       And said, "O children, sit round and close by the fire,
       And ye will learn of the times when I was a lad
       When men could fly and plow without oxen.
       "`Twas a time of great machines and cities so large
       As would make yonder Sandago look like a village,
       Tall were the buildings like trees of redwood,
       Only made of metal, as is my plow and my knife.
       "Men could fly in the heavens like the great eagle,
       Faster yet, and higher than the great birds on high.
       He conquered yet another kingdom as great as the sky,
       Under water he went, breathing as a fish, and swimming.
       "Aye, `twas smart man was, and ruler of all beasts.
       He conquered the air where once only birds could go,
       He conquered the sea where now there are but fish,
       But he could not conquer his ageless fault:  hate of
               his fellow man.




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