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Sunday, July 23, 2017

THREE MEN, ALL IN PAJAMAS, JOINED US (12)

August 8, 1958, Cohasset to Gloucester
     Beautiful evening for sailing to Gloucester with the Brewers--or so it appeared.  But land-lover Sally had been glued to the radio all day, listening to the weather reports with apprehension.  The prediction: winds up to 45-50 mph, severe thunderstorms, and hail.  We left at ten minutes of six, enjoying the warm evening breeze and resolutely ignoring the lowering sky in the northwest.  Except Sally, who kept peeking and shuddering.  An hour later we were in the thick of a nasty squall that assaulted us with everything except hail.
     The rain pelted down, the wind howled and whipped the water into angry boiling peaks.  The boat plunged and lurched through the churning gray sea and Sally, nervous even on a clear flat day within dog-paddle distance of land, hung on with a look in her eyes reminiscent of horses in a burning barn.  Whitey was planted next to her on the couch.  He irritably asked her to stop flailing her elbows and poking him, but otherwise betrayed no sign of undue strain.  As for me, I’ll have to admit I was scared, chiefly because Ed--when I asked him what would happen if lightning hit the boat--replied briefly: “We’d all be dead.”
     Sally staggered below to get her sleeping pills, announcing she’d swallow the lot if drowning was in store.  While down there, she discovered that Whitey’s tobacco pouch had spilled its contents all over the place.  But that was nothing compared to what happened a little later.  Whitey had been clutching the bottle of Impy between his knees, waiting for the boat to steady itself long enough for him to create one of his famous Old Fashioneds.  Finally he said, “To hell with it, I’ll have it on the Rocks.”  He had poured out one snort when this terrible thing happened.  He went below for a minute, setting the Impy on the bulkhead.  The boat swayed violently to one side, and crash, gurgle: Impy on the Linoleum!  That was probably the most shattering thing that ever happened to Whitey.
     The storm was moving across us, and we were through the worst of it in twenty minutes, Ed claims.  It seemed as if we had been wallowing around much longer than that, but unpleasant experiences have a way of seeming more protracted than they really are.  The Brewers were wonderfully plucky.  Of course, I was confident Whitey would keep a stiff upper lip and be a proper Bostonian right up to the end--I could see him, just before sinking for the third time, nodding graciously and saying, “Thank you for the nice cruise, too bad the weather couldn’t have been a little nicer.” Dear old Sal didn’t complicate matters by getting hysterical, and once or twice even managed to crack a joke.  I was touched when--true friend that she is--she offered me half of her sleeping pills.
     Arrived Gloucester 8:20, had cocktails, started charcoal fire for tenderloins.  Jane Brown rowed out to greet us, unfortunately had dined earlier and couldn’t be persuaded to share the steak.  Later, she had to go check on her children, but Bill arrived to take her place.  Then I got so sleepy I couldn’t stay awake, so I went below for a nap. Then Jane returned to take my place. 
     I revived before long and joined the party.  When Browns left at 12:00, Sal said, “Let’s play bridge.” The game was hardly under way when Sal began nodding and trying to keep her eyes open.  When she started snoring, we decided she’d lost interest and all went to bed.
August 9, 1958, Gloucester to Manchester
     None of us stirred this morning until 9:30.  Sal had given me two sleeping pills because I was complaining at the end of the evening that I was sure Ed would keep me awake with his snoring.  She had intended me to take just one pill, but I misunderstood, downed both of them, and consequently was too groggy to help Sal get breakfast.
     Had a superv buffet lunch at the Club, courtesy of the Browns who are so cordial and hospitable that it’s almost embarrassing.  Young Judy Brown had taken the beach wagon and left the Nash (two-seater) and it was plain to see that six of us were not going to squeeze in.
     “Go ahead, we’ll walk,” we told the Browns.  Before we got very far Bill was back with the beach wagon and we rode in style to the Brown mansion.  We were provided with tennis racquets and off we went to the court next door where we had a thrilling girls-against-the-boys match.  Sal and I feel we won a moral victory because we got two games.  The next set we switched to husbands and wives against husbands and wives, Whitey muttering in his chivalrous way: “This was fun up until now.”    
     We had just finished the first game when the Browns appeared, ready for their match with a neighborhood couple.  Brewers and Malleys stretched out under a tree and watched the match, which was very close and very exciting.  Whitey could easily have dropped off to sleep if Ed hadn’t kept prodding him, claiming it wouldn’t be polite to sleep while your hosts were knocking themselves out on the tennis court.  After awhile Ed stopped prodding, and cradled his head sideways on his forearms with that drowsy “Do not disturb” look on his face.  I reminded him of his lecture on politeness to Whitey (What would he do without me to remind him of these things?), and then the match ended, the Browns the losers.  Jane had played only once before this summer but she must have played plenty before that--you don’t acquire form like hers playing Parchesi.  What a backhand!  What a serve!  What legs!
     It was now 4:30, and since Jane was expecting 25 guests at 5:00 for a cocktail party , we dashed back to the Happpy Days to dress.  Jane must have done some dashing herself, but she looked serene and collected when she greeted us half an hour later, every inch the perfect hostess, platters of yummy hors d’oeuvres awaiting us on the porch.  She’s either the world’s best organizer or she has a twin sister.
     The Browns’ guests were old friends of the Brewers, and since this was the third year we had met the group, they were beginning to seem like old friends of ours, too.  The Lords, of course, we knew from the Badminton and Tennis Club in Boston.  Also present were Alice Palmer and Bill Markel, Nancy and Reggie Smith (he of the banjo eyes when Connie wore her dress with its plunge to her waistline), Fay and Tom Sommers, Betty and Harold Bell.  Betty told me she and her husband had struck up a conversation with a man in San Francisco, while dining at Trader Vick’s.  The man heard them mention Gloucester, leaned over and asked how everything was at Eastern Point.  Then he asked if by any chance they knew the Malleys.  The Bells said they believed they had met us once or twice at the Browns. 
      “I can’t remember the man’s name,” said Betty, “Do you know who it might be?”  
      “Was it Darrell McClure?”  
      Well hello, small world, that’s just who it was.
     We couldn’t linger at the cocktail party because we were due in Manchester at 7:00.  At 6:20 we said our farewells, walked through the house to the driveway, found both the Nash and the beach wagon (and my pink sweater and white cap) missing.  Jack Loud came to our aid, drove us back to the Yacht Club.
     Arrived at Manchester shortly after seven, just in time for one “shooter,” as Whitey calls it and a superb  dinner.  Saw dozens of Cohassetites--the Remicks, Neers, Jordans, Pierces, Littlehales, Pattysons, Hills, Whisnands, Hunts, Thompsons, Hutsons, Walkers, etc.  After dinner, two or three captains thought it would be fun to cruise over to Marblehead and see the fireworks display at 9:00.  Ray was bringing a mob of people on the Witch-Way and wanted us to come, but Sal and I were leery.  We frequently see eye-to-eye on these matters and both had visions of being trapped on the Remicks’ boat for hours, with the party and our husbands getting out of hand.  Personally we thought a quiet rubber or two of bridge would be just as much fun and twice as safe.
     Ed was afraid Ray would think he was chicken if he didn’t go, but he was more afraid of Sal and me.  Bridge it was, and the fellows were trouncing us when suddenly we under-dogs got our first good hand of the evening and were joyously raking in tricks.  Then hark!  There were voices outside, getting closer, closer. 
     “That’s the Malleys’ boat,” said a man’s voice.
     “Let’s ignore them, maybe they’ll go away,” said Sal.
     “Hey, Malleys!”
     “Hurry up, quick, let’s get this hand finished at least!”
     We made five hearts in the nick of time.  Bob Littlehale, Bob Jordan, and Frank Neer, all in pajamas, clambered aboard, soon to be followed by Alan Pierce.  Alan had been tootling from boat to boat in style: he had placed a lawn chair in the middle of his skiff, and there he sat like a king on a throne, idly paddling here and there.
      Sally wasn't pleased about the invasion until she stopped to consider that there were six men aboard and only two of us gals.  Then she was so tickled that she kept nudging me and happily indicating all of these men, men, men.  They were easy to talk to, being at the stage where they roared with laughter even if you said nothing funnier than, “What time is it?”
     After I said, “What time is it?” two or three more times, they stopped laughing and looked at the clock and took the hint.  First the trio in pajamas departed, then Alan, carefully stepping into his gondola and arranging himself on his throne.  He was full of hilarious plans for a practical joke on Ray, involving the Witch-Way’s ship-to-shore phone and ours.  But as soon as he cast off we turned out the lights, locked all the doors and windows, and went to bed.
August 10, 1958, Manchester to Cohasset
     Spent most of the day nesting with Witch-Way.  Dottie told us Alan had been given an appropriate nickname, due to his nocturnal activities: “The Purple Porthole People Peeper.”        
     Bruce Pattyson told a number of dialect stories and all of a sudden it was 2:30.  Cast off from Witch-Way, headed for Cohasset.  Rain had stopped, skies cleared, pleasant trip home. Arrived 4:35.
Saturday, August 23, 1958, Cohasset
     Good grief, the condition this boat gets in when the mate isn’t around to clean up.  Dishes and glasses in the sink, stale food lying here and there, fishing rods strewn all over the deck house.  The big slob didn’t even keep up the Log,  Ed (the big slob) and Ted, Jimmy, and Richard (the little slobs) went to Provincetown without me last weekend.  The reason they went without me was because I had to stay home to play in the finals of the CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP LADIES DOUBLES!   Partner, Elsa Palmier, opponents, JayneThaxter and Carolyn Jenks).  The runners-up prizes were lovely.
     The fellows had four tuna on the line at various times last Saturday, but they all got away. Sunday they harpooned “the world’s biggest shark,” watched it zip the line off the barrel, watched the barrel go under, never to reappear.            
     Last Thursday afternoon, Ed took Bill Rebone for a spin, with Ray Remick along for the ride.  They returned to Cohasset at 7:00, didn’t get home until after eight.  Ed said he never saw anyone do such a thorough job of washing off a boat as Ray.  Too bad he wasn’t that meticulous about the state of the galley.  Then, of course, Bill had to see the Witch-Way, which accounts for more of the length of time I spent at home twiddling my thumbs and listening to my insides rumble.
     This afternoon Ed and I went out for a couple of hours.  Called Jayne to wish her a happy 20th anniversary and to tell her we were off for the weekend with the children.  Little does she know that the children are actually with their grandparents in Orleans, and tonight we are staging a surprise party for the Thaxters.  Sally is convinced Jayne will be so surprised that she will have a heart attack or at least faint dead away. 
Sunday, August 24, 1958, Cohasset
     Either the surprise party was a surprise or the Thaxters ought to be on Broadway.  Almost everyone departed by 1:00, a phenomenom that left the hostess in a state bordering on shock.  The comportment of our guests was so sedate that the Lowrys exclaimed: “What has happened to this town!”  In the old days half of this crowd would have been falling through the windows by midnight. But there were old-days remnants.  The Brewers and Barnards lingered until 2:30, and the guests of honor finally tore themselves away from their barstools at 3:00.  The Secret Phrase was, “Young in Heart.” Eddie, baby, how come you couldn’t remember three simple words like that?  No, it was not bewitched, bothered, and bewildered, that was two years ago.
LOUIS READ THE LOG . . .
     Met Blairs, Dusossoits, and Eatons at Yacht Club at 11:00 a.m.  No sign of the Happy Days and Skipper for a while, but eventually he steamed around the bend, having gassed and iced up, and off we went.  Friends claim that tuna were sighted late in the afternoon, but these landlubbers wouldn’t know a seagull from a beer can unless one was handed to them.  Louis read the Log and advised Betty to accidentally fall overboard so I would have something to write about.  She considered the suggestion gravely, then announced no, she wouldn’t do it, the water looked too cold.   
Arrived Cohasset 5:20.
Friday, August 29, 1958, Cohasset to Gloucester
     Hurricane Daisy did her contrary female darndest to put the kibosh on our Labor Day cruise with the Marshes.  According to the forecast she was going to be violent, so Thursday night the Yacht Club swarmed with boat owners battening down their property.  She would peak at noon, but Ed said before he left for work that he doubted the seas would calm down much before Monday.  It was depressing, as I never felt more like getting away from it all and I knew Marion and Wes felt the same way.  Daisy came and went on schedule but didn’t amount to much--Timmy was furious; and Vonnie, who had practically spent the night at the Yacht Club in order to be at the scene of the havoc, came home sputtering insults at the weather man.
     Called Ed around two, told him it didn’t look very rough to me.  Well, Ed allowed, maybe we could start tomorrow around eleven.  Called Marion, relayed message.  At four o’clock called Ed again, told him it looked flat out there, couldn’t we at least go to Scituate?  He was game, so I called Marion and she said they’d be down in an hour and a half.
     We left the harbor at 6:50.  It was such a lovely evening that Ed suggested we run on over to Gloucester. 
       Arrived Gloucester at 9:20, two and a half hours later.  Warmed up the baked ham, browned the frozen potato patties, heated corn on the cob left from children’s dinner.  If we’d gone to bed right after dinner it would have been the end of a perfect day--but dull.
      Ed and I had a lively little--well not argument exactly, it was more like a fight--about drinking.  I Carrie-Nationed all over the place, and if I’d had an axe handy, this would have been a dry weekend.  Ed said he was going to divorce me, but would put off action until next Tuesday in order not to spoil the Marshes’ trip.
     Forgot to say we called the house to let the family know we’d arrived safely.  Timmy came on the phone, and I went into an involved explanation about saying “over” whenever you were through speaking.  “I’m through now,” I said, “and when I say `over,’ it will be your turn to talk.  Over.”        
     “All right,” said Tim.  There was a brief silence.  “Over,” he said.
Saturday, August 30, 1958, Gloucester
     Up at nine, Marion prepared a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, and coffeecake.  Ed was in a forgiving mood  and announced I could breathe easy about the divorce, he was going to give me one more chance.  
     We couldn’t make up our minds whether to go ashore and then fish or fish and then go ashore.  It was a case of “I want to do what everyone else wants to do,” or “You decide, you’re the Skipper,” or “You decide, you’re the guests.”  Finally Ed mumbled something about going ashore, so Marion and I went below to change into our going ashore clothes.  No sooner had we presented ourselves than Ed said, “Guess we’ll go fishing, this good weather might not hold.”
     Went out to the Stellwagon Ledge and found it bustling with dozens of sport fishermen.  During the several hours we trolled, only one boat hauled in a fish.  Listening to the ship-to-shore radio, the fellows learned that tuna had appeared in droves just outside Gloucester Harbor.   So we raced back along with several other boats who had also heard the good word.  We spotted a school of the elusive creatures--or at least Ed and Wes did; Marion and I were busy reading.  Surprising as it may seem, we didn’t hook a single one.
    Charcoal-broiled a roast-beef sized porterhouse steak, retired at 9:00.
August 31, 1958, Gloucester
     After our good night’s sleep we were up at the crack of 8:30, lured from our bunks by the aroma of frying sausages.  Marion was on the job as always, preparing another sumptuous breakfast.  The tolling bell which had interrupted our slumbers for several hours was not calling the faithful to church, as we thought, but clanging a monotonous warning:  fog.  This gave Ed the excuse he needed to postpone the fishing and read the Sunday papers.
     In addition to picking up the papers, Marion was bound we should have lobster for lunch.  Wes ferried her ashore, then came back for Ed and me.  As we approached the dock, I could hear the bus droning toward its final stop at Rocky Neck and urged Ed to make it snappy. I leaped ashore, raced along over a painted sign that said “Do not run,” up the gangway and out to the street.  There was the bus, but where was Marion?  It seemed she was standing directly across the street but I couldn’t see her because the bus was in the way, and by the time the bus started up again, Wes, Ed, and I were walking in the general direction of Gloucester.  We figured Marion might have ambled along to see Mr. Wilkins’s rose garden.  When we didn’t find her there, we walked back to the dock and there she was, patiently waiting for us.
     Were able to buy papers and provisions in corner store instead of waiting for next bus to Gloucester.  As for the lobster, Wes had noticed a wholesale place not far from where the boat was anchored.  He dropped us off and returned half an hour later with a steaming bag of hot boiled lobsters and a quart of fresh clams.
I dumped the lobsters into the sink and gasped at Wes’s extravagance--eight of them!        
 “We’ll put four in the ice box and have them cold tomorrow,” I announced.
     Marion gave me a look but said nothing.  She washed the clams and dropped them into boiling water.
     We gathered in the cockpit to tackle the lobsters and after sampling the first few succulent morsels, dripping with butter, I said, “Maybe we can eat two apiece at that.”
      Marion chortled.  “I was thinking the very same thing but I didn’t know how to express it tactfully.  I started to say, `That cheapskate, Barbara’ . . . but that didn’t sound very polite.”
     We polished off all but half of Ed’s second lobster and all the clams. 

     At 2:00, headed out to sea.  It was rough, small craft warnings were up, so Ed decided we’d be a lot more comfortable back in the harbor, reading our books. 
     Had ham sandwiches for supper, watched TV until 9:30.  Called the house, Kathie was worn out but didn’t have any serious complaints.  Ted, although he fails to confide where he is going, comes in at a reasonable hour every night, she said.  I wish I knew what the right attitude is with a sixteen-year-old boy.  Should a parent insist on knowing these things, thus indicating a lack of trust--or what the teenager obviously considers plain nosiness?  Or do we cross our fingers and hope--hope we don’t wake up some morning to read in the paper about the scandalous orgies taking place, our son a participant.  Maybe by the time Tim reaches this age, we’ll have a better of idea of what’s right, having seen how Ted survived.
     Marion says if she had it all to do over again, she wouldn’t knock herself out worrying.  I guess the great majority of young people turn out all right in spite of their parents.
Monday, September 1, 1958, Gloucester to Cohasset
     The wind had gone down but the fog rolled in as we were having breakfast.  It was clear again by 9:30, and Captain Malley decided we’d better get going while the weather was cooperative.

     10:30--correction: I thought we were heading for home but instead, we’re on our way to the Stellwagon Ledge.  A bit of roll out here, but not too much.
      Marion and I picked the meat out of our remaining lobster (note that Ed’s lobster is now “ours”) and then settled down in the deckhouse with our books, as it was too cold to go above.  A little before noon Marion and I began to hanker for that salad we had in mind for the two of us.  Ed insisted he didn’t want any lunch, not one bite, but when I handed up a hamburger and a half, telling him the half was for him, he didn’t argue.  In fact, he began hollering down, “Where are the onions?”
     Marion prepared two huge salads: escarole, chicory, celery, and Bermuda onion, crowned with a sizeable mound of lobster meat.  We were just digging in when Marion said, “Oh-oh, here comes Ed!” and covered her plate with her napkin.
     “Just as I thought!” Ed said.  “Look at you!  Doesn’t your conscience bother you a little bit?”
     “Not a bit,” I said, as he helped himself to some of my salad but had the good sense to stay clear of the lobster.  “You said you weren’t going to have one bite of lunch.”
     Instead of  saying “Touché,” he said, “Isn’t there any more hamburg?”
     At that moment there were strangled yells from Wes up on the flying bridge.  The line was zipping out from one of the reels and there was no further talk of hamburg.  It was a timely interruption as we were out of hamburg and I had been girding myself to defend my lobster with my life.
     After putting the salad in a safe place (me), I helped Ed lower the dinghy to get it out of the way.  The rod, which was in one of the topside sockets, was gingerly transferred to the swiveling rod-holder in the fishing chair below.  Wes sat down and began reeling.
     An hour later he was still battling his tuna.  The Browns cruised by and congratulated us with the old hands-clenched-overhead gesture.
     “That’s one thing about Eddie” Marion said to me, “he’s always so generous about sharing his luck with his friends.  Isn’t he wonderful to let Wes be the one to catch our tuna?”
     “Yes,” I said with a look at Wes, who was stripped to the waist and groaning and sweating profusely over his labors. Was he a lucky guy or a poor sap? 
     Suddenly we saw a spectacular sight in the distance: several tremendous fish leaping out of the water, then slamming down with a cascading splash of such dimensions, it was like the Fourth of July all over again.  Time after time they surged into the air, poised for a moment on their tails, then crashed into the sea again.  At first we thought they were huge tuna, but Ed said they were whales, and I guess he was right.  Other skippers, unencumbered by a tuna on the line off the stern, rushed over to view the sight at closer quarters, and judging by their exchanges over the radio, the big dancing fish were indeed whales.  Ed chatted with Alden, who had recently joined the fleet.
     After more than two hours of playing tug-of-war with his catch, Wes began to tire of the tuna (obstinate beast), the way the Skipper was maneuvering the boat (all wrong), his wife (she suggested Ed take over for awhile (stay in the cabin and be quiet), and even poor little me.  All I did was keep asking him questions in order to have a complete and authentic account of this historic occasion in the Log.
     “Don’t back up!” Wes would roar at Ed.  “You ruin me every time you back up!”  Then, “Don’t go ahead so fast!”  “Hard right rudder!”  Get the gaff!”  (Only it sounded like “Gurbligab!”) Then, “Never mind, the &!%&#.took off again!”  Zip, zip, zip, out spun inch after inch of hard-won line.
     I might mention here that, worse luck, we used up the last of the movie film yesterday.  On something asinine, too, like the platter of boiled lobsters.
     Three hours after Wes first commenced his fight, catastrophe!  A foot and a half length broke off from the end of the rod, making it impossible to play the fish.  Wes was too bushed to struggle with the mutilated equipment, so he passed the rod to Ed and stood for a moment, shaking with exhaustion.  But he wasn’t allowed to rest for long.  “Quick, Wes, hard right rudder!” and we were off again.
     The fish had developed a zig-zagging technique that required a real master at the wheel to keep the line as much as possible just in back of our stern.  Wes hadn’t had the experience of handling the controls under these special circumstances, but there was someone aboard who had.  I was topside (it was warm out now) reading my book and keeping my mouth shut.  Both men had the same inspiration at the same time, and shouted, “Come on down and take over!”
     Since I was stuck with the job I figured I might as well try to do well at it, so first off I made one thing clear:  None of this “starboard” and “port” business, it only got me all mixed up.  If they wanted me to turn right, just come out and say so.
     The only time I seriously goofed was when Ed yelled, “Turn hard to the left.”   I pushed up the throttle, and nothing happened except a roaring of the engines.  Couldn’t figure out what was wrong until Ed yelled, “You’ve got it in neutral!”
     After awhile, more bad luck.  The remaining guide tore off from what was left of the rod, and Ed found himself with nothing to work with except line and reel.  At the end he was reduced to pulling the fish in by hand (wearing gloves) while Wes reeled.  If our quarry had made one last major effort he could easily have broken the line at this point; but fortunately--in our eyes, at least--he was too tuckered out to do much besides zig-zag back and forth on the gradually shortening line.
     At last the leader came into sight.  Wes grabbed the gaff as Ed reached out for the wire leader.      “Are you ready, Wes?” Ed asked tensely.
     Wes was ready all right, and the noble tuna was doomed.  The men hauled the thrashing chunky creature aboard and we all set up a cheer, although I was privately feeling sorry for the fish, as I always do, even if it’s a mackerel.  Reading my mind, Ed said it wasn’t too late to let it go, if it wasn’t too badly gaffed, so we hung it in the water with a line tied around its tail.  The idea was, if it revived, we would free it.  The poor thing was done for, though.  Alden came alongside, and Warren took pictures of Wes and Ed with their catch.  Then Ed gave the fish to Alden to give to the Scituate Coastguard rather than waste it, and Alden called that he would slice off a couple of steaks for our freezer before relinquishing it to the Coastguard.
     “Never mind the steaks!” called Marion, “just see that we get copies of those snapshots!”
     On the way home we passed two schools of tuna.  “I wouldn’t give you a nickel for either one,”
said Wes.







     Arrived Cohasset 6:30.
Saturday, September 6, 1958, Cohasset
     “Great day for fishing,” Ed said gloomily, surveying the fog-bound Cove from our bedroom window.  By 8:30, though, we could see Minot’s Light, so we told Tim to call his friend Dennis the Menace and get ready to go.
     By the time we left the harbor (10:00), the fog had closed in again.  Crawled along for an hour or so, blasting the horn every two or three minutes, unable to see more than a few yards ahead of us.  Ed turned on the radio-telephone, and in a conversation with the Gay Blade’s skipper, learned that the visibility was good out at the Stellwagon Ledge.   Speeded up and headed for the Ledge.  Within half an hour we were completely out of the fog, much to my relief; I could now catch up on my magazines without having my teeth set on edge by the constant bleating of the horn.
     Was embarrassed to find that I hadn’t much in the way of edibles aboard for the young fry.  Heated up Ravioli, mixed a can of tuna fish with some mayonnaise--no bread.  They were hungry enough to eat almost anything without complaint.  Timmy?  Without complaints?  I gasp with disbelief as I record this happening for posterity.
     Back to normal, Tim’s main complaint of the day was the lack of good fishing.  On our way home he argued and rationalized and tried to persuade us that Vonnie and Margo wouldn’t mind having him along on their trip tomorrow. 
     “If the circumstances were reversed, would you want Vonnie?”
     “Well, she doesn’t care as much about the fishing as I do.  And anyway, I wouldn’t mind, not if she just came along to watch.”
     “Oh, you’d just watch?”
     “Sure.  Unless she caught a fish.  Then I’d want a turn.”
     We decided to leave it up to Vonnie.  Arrived 5:45.
Sunday, September 17, 1958
     Left harbor with Margo ,Vonnie, and no Timmy at 11:10.  Late start today due to ten thousand domestic problems and tribulations.  Ted received word yesterday to return to Moses Brown  tomorrow for football practice, and he’s about as well prepared as our goat.  No shoes, no new suit, no name tags sewed in, but he’s got to admit I tried to be forehanded.  It was always manana, Mama.  To make matters worse, he has come down with a bug so it’s doubtful he’ll make school tomorrow anyway.
     Ed had to take time to repair a broken ceiling tile, caused by Nicky Souter when he gave an exuberant bounce as he greeted Kathie.  Then I asked him to put in stakes for those of my tomato plants that lacked them.  We went out to the garden to look the situation over and found the stakes were hardly necessary.  Either a tall rabbit or that low-down goat had neatly pruned the top foliage, and I hope the culprit chokes or gets diarrhea.
     I had been in the process of defrosting the freezer for the last two days (it was so encrusted with frost you could have made a toboggan slide out of what I scraped off), and that had to be tended to before we left.  Tim was supposed to mow the lawn, but first you have to fix your lawn mower, another chore for poor Dad.
     Along about 10:15, Vonnie accosted me and inquired plaintively, “What time did you and Daddy leave with Timmy yesterday?”  An innocuous question on the surface, but I got her message and was in no mood to hear it. 
     Ray was tied up at the dock and Ed congratulated him for making at least that much progress on his cruise with the Railsbacks.  They have been trying to get under way since last Friday, but what with engine trouble, plus fog and wind today, they’ve not made much headway. Ed ragged the skipper about his plight; Dottie tried to retaliate with a stream of water from the hose, but he nimbly avoided it.
     “Where are you going?” Ray called, as we started rowing out.
     “No place special,” Ed said.  “We’re just running a kind of safety patrol.  When you get into trouble, don’t call the Coast Guard, call me first.”
     “If we see you out there,” Ray said, “just make sure you’re not broadside to us because if you are, we’re not going around . . . we’re going through.”
     Too windy offshore to go fishing.  The girls were perfectly happy to go into Scituate Harbor where Vonnie promptly put on her suit and plunged into the water.  Soon Alden and Florence came alongside in the launch, and we took them up on their invitation to have a beer with them aboard Seabird II. 
     “Guess what!” Florence said.
     “You got another tuna,” I said.
     “No.  Alden won the Predicted Log Race!”
     Won it!”  That was quite an improvement -- from 50th place in the Onset Log Race to 1st place in Scituate.  Alden showed us the gold cup he would be privileged to keep for a year and the plaque that was permanently his.
     After our beer we took the launch ashore with the Pinkhams to pick up Wes Marsh’s tuna, which had been cleaned and filleted and was in the Scituate Yacht Club’s freezer.
     “How about a game of tennis?” said Alden. 
     “Sure.” Alden and I took on Ed and Lou Tonry, and we won a set apiece.  Meanwhile, Vonnie and Margo were  swimming and cavorting in the pool.
     Returned to the Happy Days a little after 5:00, had lunch (except for Ed, who continues dieting and is down to the weight he was when I met him), then headed for Cohasset.
     [It was for someone else, I surmised 12 years later, that Ed lost the weight.  Dottie Remick criticized me for making poor Eddie diet.  Dear Dottie--crazy Dottie, who told people I had divorced Ed because he didn’t stand up when I came into a room.  We had a prolonged (for weeks) argument about that nonsense, but she insisted this was what I had told her. I believe Dottie got that notion when I remarked one time that the Marshes were such good friends Ed saw no need to stand up when they dropped by. BBM 2000]   

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