Sunday, July 23, 2017


 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 complained.
     We’ve decided we might as well give up and send the boat back to the Falmouth Marina.  We’ve never had any problems with trespassers there.
June 25, 1962
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 61 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 to end all apple pies—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 seven times if the pie was ready yet. Even I broke down, 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 torturng 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. Someone took him for an airplane ride, and the next thing we knew, we had a pilot in the family. Ed was darned if he’d let the kid get ahead of him and told me I should take lessons too.
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 more patient than Kathryn—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, like all 12-year-olds. 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 her year 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 cocktails and 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 deemed it advisable to keep lip buttoned until such time as Skipper recovered his good nature -- hope it will be before summer's end.
     Damn the airplane!
     Had a highball, 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,” she said.
     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, Grace Porta joining us. 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 her flame of four years ago, Rusty. 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, my visiting niece, 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 little cut, hardly deserving of a Band-Aid.
     Returned to cocktail lounge with the news from home, told Ed things sounded under control. 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 Grace and me. The Portas 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 awhile the lights flashed on and Ed yelled across the water to let the boys know 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, which I happened to be occupying. 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 stone for 8 or 9 hours.
Sunday, July 8, 1962, Oak Bluffs to Falmouth
     Breakfasted at the Ocean View this morning. Ed asked Tim how come the lights were out on the Happy Days, and our son 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 24 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 rejoined.
     We strolled down to the village to work off calories and get Sunday papers. Took the outboard back to 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 and 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 someone else. 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 8:00. 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 around 6:30, 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 spending the night 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—he 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 demanded after the first few bites.
     “Yes—just a dash of Fines Herbs.”
     “Well, next time—don’t!” he said briefly.
     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 to tell 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 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.

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