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Sunday, July 23, 2017

DOTTIE IS REALLY SHAMELESS (22)

Saturday, August 11, 1962, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
     Left Cohasset around 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 had a chaperone.  He never never said a word about chaperones when he used to take 17-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 said if he didn’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 about being too old 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 his 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 dinghy and went over to dock to find out what Remicks and Railsbacks had in mind for the evening.  Returned with this flattering news: “They want you.  Dottie had 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 kind of fun to have one that was a character.
     This Huntley character expresses his personality by biting people.  He even bites Bud.  When a match was arranged between Huntley and a friend’s little female, he bit his intended, too.
     Went back to the Happy Days to change, agreeing to convene at Ocean View at 7:30.  Had fine dinner, expertly 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, 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 upward. “It’s what you call an altostratuscumulonimbus.  Ted says it’s full of lightning and hail and rain and it’s right out over the fishing grounds.”
     “I call it no such thing,” I said.  “I call it a big fat white cloud.”
     It would be so helpful if these pilots would talk English once in awhile.

     Got into our bathing togs, walked to Beach Club.  Ed asked the chap at the desk if we could charge our guest fee to Tim instead of the Portas, was told that Tim was still not a full-fledged member.  There was a little matter of $7.50 . . . . Ed wrote the check, said that would be Tim’s tip for the weekend.  Had a swim, shared a chocolate frappe, stretched out in the sun for a couple of hours.  Saw Ted fly over the harbor, the big fat white cloud having retreated.
     Said 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 said my goodbyes 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 had said to her, "I've given up all hope of getting better.")
     "All right, Babbie," she said to me.  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 farewell 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 forebodings. 
     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 outside--and inside was a whistle that really works.   [Still works in November, 2000]  Appreciated Ray’s poem which I won’t quote as it's full of unprintable words like sexiest, bra, 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 some ten years ago when Eddie wouldn’t play Pass the Orange with her at the Sampsons.
     “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 flattered.  I abandoned Bruce and came to my husband’s rescue.  For the ten thousandth time I told Dottie that Eddie obviously had run away because she was so pretty. 
     “He was afraid of you!”

     Of course everyone at the table knew that if I’d been in the hospital or visiting my aunt instead of at Sampsons’ party, Eddie might have worked up the courage to pass that orange from his chin to Dottie”s chin.  Dottie”s favorite subject is my most unfavorite, 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 Ed 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 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 it on the dentist.
     At one o’clock Marie said: “Bruce, we’re going to bed.”
     She took the words right out of my mouth.   Substitute “Ed” for “Bruce,” of course.
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 spool to wind film on.  He was thinking of unwinding unused roll of film in order to get spool, but the idea of such waste made my Scotch blood run cold.  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 [and where someday we would build a house on the lagoon]. Tied up at public dock and went for a walk with Tokay.  Indulged in cold drinks at open-air snackery.  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 its way 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 sternly.  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 warily.  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.
     “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 that we had paid a hundred and seventy-five dollars.
     “Where did you get her?  In 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 made my escape.  Just remembered 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 Ed ask them for a ride and get some pointers on Sailfish-subduing.  We swam to the wharf and the boys picked Ed 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 they 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  tizzied up.
     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 doing some sword fishing. Had Ted as a spotter the other day.  Sat with Bill while he had dinner.  Ted joined us and regaled us with 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 go out to the Happy Days to get money, and when I was ready to go ashore again, I couldn’t get the outboard to go.  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 discovered 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 go 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 refused to accompany me to the market, apparently 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.
     We were dismayed to find key in padlock when we boarded boat, which is not where we left it.  Sure enough, 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 grabbing 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 if it killed me.  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 3 hours sleep in every 24.  Between Tokay’s restlessness of Saturday night and the Blond Bombshell last night (I thought she and and her boyfriend would never terminate that discussion in our driveway), I wasn't the Bunny my Playboy had in mind.

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