Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Young Entrepreneurial Days

My entrepreneurial days:

Started at a rather young age, I’d say around seven or eight if my memory serves me correctly. Thanks to two large crab apple trees that grew in our yard, the produce for selling was free for the picking. My cousin Joe and I would bag up all of the drops that appeared to be in good condition and then we would go door to door selling them. Somewhere we got an old wooden cart that Joes father my uncle Mike was able to put into good enough shape that it would carry our load. We were able to make the rounds in our town selling half and full pecks of crab apples. As I recall they were twenty five cents for a peck bag and fifteen cents for a half peck. The money didn’t amount to much but we had fun along the way. It was enough to buy candy or gum and to play the punch card machine hoping to win a prize. Gees I loved that Oh Boy gum it was one stick of gum about five inches long and it was wrapped in green paper with little pixie like characters printed on it, I sure loved that gum. Then we would buy jaw breakers they were good and they lasted a long time, once in awhile we would get mint leaves and squirrel chews. The reward for pulling that old cart around seemed to always pay off.

The second enterprise:

We advanced to a much bigger enterprise, there was a hen factory that came to town where they processed chickens, I hated it there, it was a slaughter house for hens, and the smell was enough to make you want to heave-Ho. sometimes we would sneak up and peek in the windows to see what was going on and there was blood all over the place I did not like it there, but it was the source of our money and so we put up with the smell. We would sit on the opposite side of the street from the factory and if we were lucky the trucks would come in that day bringing the chickens. This would be our chance to make it big, according to how many chicken that got loose when they would unload the truck. The man on the truck would holler “ok kids this is your day.”  And we would take off running. Once in awhile he would let a whole crate full loose just so he could watch us kids chase them. He got quite a laugh at the site of us chasing and trying to catch them.The ones that got away flapped their wings and flew away to what they thought was freedom. They would take off for the woods where they would find a safe spot under the trees. Joe, I and Lillian our friend would be waiting there, we each had a burlap bag and we would sneak up on them and if we were lucky we would catch one and put it in our bag.   More times that not they would get away and we would have to chase them, they really ran fast.  Sometimes we would get six or eight and that bag was heavy. Thank heavens for our old cart.  We had been told it was ok if we caught them, because if we didn’t they would only die there in the woods.  We all kept a pen full of chickens at home and  then we would sell the rest for fifty cents apiece. One day my friend Lillian and I were chasing some chickens through the woods and had already caught 2 or 3 and had them in our bags when Lillian looked up and saw some letters in the sky overhead and she said “ Oh my God it’s the end of the world” we dropped our bags and started running for home. When we got to my house my father was in the yard he could see that we were very upset and asked what is wrong, we explained to him what we saw in the sky and that Lillian thought the end of the world was coming. My father laughed and explained to us that it was just an airplane advertising Pepsi Cola. We had never seen anything like this before. He asked if we got any chickens, we said yes but we were so afraid we left our bags in the woods and ran home.   By now we were tired and my grandmother gave us a drink of P. E. I.  ginger ale that she made with vinegar, water and sugar.   After we had rested we went back for our bags but the chickens were gone.   So that day we ended up empty handed. This job lasted for a couple of years or so, until we got sick of it and some other kids took it over.

The third enterprise:

Was the one I liked the best.  By now I was eleven and the country had just gone to war.  My cousin Joe and I were back in business. Every Saturday morning we would take that old cart and go to the three grocery stores in town.  We would collect all the meat scraps which the meat cutters back then just threw in a cardboard box under the bench where they did the cutting.  Then we would  take them home and build a big bond fire out back of the house, my grandmother would give us a big black iron kettle and we would render the scraps pouring the grease into any old cans we could find.  Then we would take them back to Joe Goodie’s grocery store and he would pay us 4 cents a pound for it. We did this all during the war.  Back then people were asked to save their grease to help with the war effort.  This proved to be a profitable enterprise especially during the summer months when school was out and we were able to make two or three runs a week.   By now my appetite had change from candy and gum to caraway seeds and yeast cakes plus a package of Bugler tobacco that came with its own papers.  Now in addition to collecting meat scraps I was rolling cigarettes and selling them for 2 cents a piece to all the kids in town.  This lasted until my father found out his cigarette roller was missing.  From then on he decided I should  go into early retirement.  With my enrollment in Jr. High there would be no time left for any extra curricular activities. I did however continue to nibble on yeast cakes all through high school.

Back then it took a lot of hard work and determination to earn enough money for candy and gum. Now if you are lucky enough to find a kid to do it, he wants $40.00 or more to mow your lawn, a small lawn at that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moments To Remember

At the beginning of our island living we noticed an elderly lady that walked by our house at least twice a week in the summer. She was very crippled and walked with much difficulty. She had a cane in one hand and on her other hand which was crippled hung her handbag and a shopping bag. I would say that the distance she walked in passing our home was approximately fifty to sixty feet; literally it took this woman nearly twenty minutes to walk this distance. She was a very frail looking person and for a long time I wondered who she could be and where did she live. I was concerned because there were no other houses close by that I did not know the occupants. As time went by and I became more familiar with the people in my area I realized that this woman did not come from close by and that made me all the more concerned about her. I have always felt great compassion for the elderly. Finally after inquiring about her from others that had lived in this area much longer than we had, I was told that she was a recluse and shunned any one who tried to give her a ride or get to know her in any way. We could not get her out of our minds and watched each day to see if we might see her in passing. Each time we did see her we became more concerned with wanting to help her. Finally one day we saw her approaching our home so I said to myself, this is it. I went outside and tried to introduce myself to her but she wanted no part of it, she simply said in no uncertain terms “I’m fine and I know my way and need no help” I apologized for interrupting her progress and left feeling sad and defeated in my offering to give her a ride. I guess our neighbors were right they knew her better than we did, or ever would, or did they.

That first summer went by without my feeling less sad each time I would see her pass by. That winter even after we left the island for the mainland as we had not as yet taken up year around residence  we   wondered  about her a lot, if she had relatives and where she lived in the winter.

The next summer she was back again and still we watched to make sure she was able to make the hill that is rather steep  and which was a part of her journey. One day I happened to be down at the front of the island where the ferry boat comes in and where the stores are located, it is about a mile and a half from our home and even further from hers. There on the street walking very slowly was this same lady. I could not imagine her walking that great distance and so without giving it a thought I stopped my car and crossed the street and without introducing myself again I simply said “Won’t you please let me give you a ride, I know that you live somewhere past my house” She looked me right in the eye and asked “Where do you live when you don’t live on the island” I told her where I lived, and that I had lived there all my life. She did not ask my name but asked if I knew anyone in the next town over from my home town. I told her I knew very few if any, without listening to me, she asked if I knew her niece who lived there. Strange things do happen ,I swear her niece was the only person that I did know from that town, and knew her only because she happened to be the head of the Maine Poetry Association. The fact that I knew her niece opened a line of communication and a friendship that lasted for many years. She accepted a ride that day and I could see she was relieved from not having this long walk ahead of her. She asked how I knew her niece and I explained that I wrote poetry and that her niece had gotten in touch with me and wanted me to join a writers group.

When she told me where she lived I wondered how she could ever get to her house, there is one of the largest hills on the island leading up to her house, and no roadway just a path. I asked how do you make it up this hill, she explained that there was a back road through the woods and sometimes when she felt tired after her walk to the store she would go through the woods, she did say however that it was a much longer way to go. I asked if a car could go that way and she thought that it could. I made up my mind that I would give it a try, anything to keep her from having to walk up this large hill which I wasn’t sure I would even be able to make it myself. We made it through the woods just fine using a great deal of caution, it was rocky and a place I would not want to put my car through very often. She asked me in, it was an experience I shall never forget. It was like entering into the last century, the first thing I noticed was this giant stuffed hawk which was fastened to a large tree branch located above the brick fireplace. I did not want to let my fascination and surprise of such a place be obvious. Next I noticed this round oak table, covered with some kind of a cloth and on it was an open bible. Hanging from the open beams were coconut shells on chains which had candles in them. The house obviously had not been cleaned in years, there was enough hay seed and grass on the floor, that it literally looked like a part of the carpeting. My time there was not long, but I left with a feeling of satisfaction of having proven to her that I would be glad to help her if she ever needed someone to call on. I still watched for her to pass by and even today after all these years I still can not help but wonder how she ever managed to do all that she did.

We spent many an afternoon reciting poetry and her telling me stories of her growing up on the island and how her grandfather had their cottage built in 1906. She told me that her grandfather ran a shoe and boot store on Commercial  Street and how he would take her with him and they would travel by stage couch up to South Paris Me. To sell their goods. Then she told me about her father owning a pickle factory in Biddeford Maine  and also was in business with The Grand Union Tea Co.. She told how he would take her to Florida to see the ball games when she was very young and how they use to stop at an open bar on the street. It was a bar with a brass railing, her father would order an ale and the bartender would just give it a shove and it would slide down the bar and her father would reach out and grab it. One day when we were having work done on our house I saw her walking by so I went out and took her to the store, I asked if she would like to have lunch with us, much to my surprise she accepted. The work was being done by Betty’s brother in law, so when lunch time came he decided to have a beer with his lunch and I think he was kidding when he ask if she would like a glass of beer with hers. To the surprise of all of us she said “I would like that” So when he finished filling her glass she said to him “that’s quite a shirt collar you’ve put on it”, we all got a real laugh out of that.

We had always thought when she walked by that she had arthritis, however, we were to learn as time went by that she had polio as a child and that was the reason she was so crippled. She told us that after she was well enough to walk she studied how to make bandages, braces & different devices for polio victims and worked in the hospital teaching the nurses how to use them. She taught school for a time. Unfortunately do to her age and her infirmities she was unable to take care of her own hygiene and as a result it was not good. Her sneakers were missing their toes and her dress I’m sure had not been changed in years, it was noticeable when you were close by. Many nights we helped her get into bed which was a fainting couch at the bottom of her stair way. The springs were all gone but she did not seem to mind. She insisted on going to bed fully dressed with her sneakers on. To me that mattered not, for I was never a clothes horse; give me a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and that satisfied my needs. In the summer it was shorts and sweatshirt, and so it was that she and I became friends. Many a night we would bring her supper after we got home from work.

During that summer the art gallery on the island was having a poetry reading and the guest speaker was my friend’s niece so I told my friend about it and asked if she’d like to go with me and she was delighted. I picked her up and we attended the event, needless to say our attire was not up to snuff. I had my every day shorts and she was unwashed or combed, and we made our grand entrance!

Because of this experience I wrote the following.

              A ROSE AMONG ROSES

As we entered their stately mansion I felt every eyebrow that rose

They were bedecked in high fashion and we wore our everyday clothes

I became aware of each little whisper I saw their

sinister smile

We were like a couple of wharf rats whose fashions were way out of style

I saw their curious wonder and I felt the sting of their stair

But with due respect I held my head erect

And I chose us a front row chair

Then came the nights guest speaker

And from her came a genuine smile

Now we were no longer wharf rats whose fashions were way out of style

For my friend she addressed as Aunt Cora and as for myself she called me her friend

And starting with that very moment I thought the hand shakes would never end

Suddenly they forgot how to whisper and they lost their snobby old noses

And before to long we were no longer a thorn

For they had made us a rose among roses.

The next summer came and she did not show up, we called her niece and was told that she had gone into a nursing home to recover from cataract surgery. The next year she was back again and this time things were not good. We use to check on her every night when we got home from work and would bring her supper. One night we found her down at the bottom of the hill.  She was crawling in the grass, she had been outside trying to clip her grass with a pair of grass clippers that looked like they came from the nineteen twenties, she said she had been painting her fence post earlier that day and lost her glasses. We got her back inside her house after a lot of effort on both sides; we never did find her glasses. I called to inform the niece only to be told that she was busy having a birthday party and that she had been adopted by the family and did not want to get involved. She told me to call the other niece whom I had not heard of before, this one told me that she did not like the ocean and therefore she was not going to be able to help, and that her aunt was very independent, and was capable of taking care of herself.

We finally got it touch with the health nurse on the island and they started checking on her and we arranged for her to start getting meals on wheels.

She was in her nineties when we first got to know her, God came and got her during the winter, at the age of one hundred and two. and we lost a great lady and a wonderful friend. I’m so glad I stopped that day and insisted on her taking a ride, what a ride it turned out to be, years of stories and moments to remember.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It’s Here


The cold winter has finally taken it’s bow though the curtain  has not really fully closed ,the cold chilly air seems to hang around. There were many walkers out  an about today, perhaps getting there legs back in shape  after the long winter and the slippery roads. I enjoy seeing them taking their long brisk strides remembering what it was once like for myself ,now I just watch and dream. Now my days consist of new adventures like having time to write poetry and sculpting miniature flowers and crazy charters. Enjoyment come in many ways and changes with the different stages life has to offer. Blogging as certainly open up a new avenue for me I just wish I had more time to put into it, perhaps after I get my shop stocked with my flowers etc. I will be able to blog more. But for now its only when time allows or the sprit moves me.





I cannot not wait for the first kiss of spring.

When the rivers de-ice and the robins sing,

When old man winter has released the sod,

And every darn inch of the ground has thawed

Then I’ll drop down on my arthritic knees,

And plant me a package of Burpee’s Sweet Peas

And hope they’ll be forever blooming.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some Things Are Not Meant To Be Forgotten

Something that seems never to be far from my mind and I’m sure the minds of many others, is the tragedy of Katrina.  Perhaps you are wondering why I’m writing about this now after all this time, well not because I heard comments on this just today, no not that. The reason is  that it has really never left my mind. Maybe it is because I have a very dear friend whose daughter and her family were  victims and lost every single thing that they owned. It was hard to hear of things like that.  So when I hear how things are still in such turmoil today, then I know why my thoughts and the thoughts of others are not to be put aside as just something that happened and then  forgotten.  I am  going to share a poem with you that I wrote a week after it all took place.


                    Five Days on a Rooftop

White flags of fear and hope beneath a pale gray sky

And rooftops become a refuge for those who fear they’ll die

And as the water keeps on rising with no end in sight

People hug their rooftops throughout the blackened night

Daylight brings a reality which knowing cannot deny

The sight of complete destruction beneath a threatening sky

The pains of thirst and hunger are unrelenting in their way

And the water keeps on rising for yet another day

And that which once had been waist deep now reaches the second floor

We thank God for the rooftops we dare not ask for more

And as the stench of rot and human waist permeates the air

Each moment slowly passing turns hope into despair

With belly pains of hunger and lips parched and dry

We wave signs that read “please help us” or it’s certain we shall die

And while we wait for FEMA to help us in our need

We pray to God for a miracle and for the waters to recede

The wailing sounds of sirens and copters over head

Rescue the lonely living and search waters for the dead

And still the water keeps on rising with no end in sight

And people hug their rooftops for another lonely night

Where oh where is FEMA where can they be

There’s destruction all around us and as far as we can see

Katrina in her fury has destroyed everything in sight

And we thank God for the rooftops it’s another lonely night

Sadly from the rooftop we watch our city drown

And still we wait for FEMA who is no where to be found

Something surely has gone wrong something isn’t right

And once more we’ll hug the rooftops for another lonely night.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Day After Yesterday

Today I’m back in my workroom still trying to get enough inventory to open my small shop. I need to make many more flowers and today I am working on Foxglove.

Yesterday I took the day off, left the rocky coast of Maine my ( Island Paradise} for a trip to the city with it’s hustle and bustle. I would have preferred to stay home but I guess a day away once in awhile is good, at least that's what I’m told.

Yesterday was more or less a necessary trip, you see the accountant was waiting to prepare my taxes . Well old Uncle Sam was good to me this year. I got a refund, nothing to get  excited about , no trip to Bermuda, just enough for an ice cream at Big Reds,  Betty swears they make the best soft serve around and so we treated ourselves to a cone of chocolate . I had just few licks off mine . I would rather have had Kentucky Fried chicken wings, but that's a no, no when you’re a diabetic and have already cheated for the day.

Leaving yesterday morning was not something that I was looking forward to, for more then one reason.  At this time of year our ferry  goes into dry dock for four to six weeks and so in the mean time we have to take a barge to get to the mainland. The barge itself is not bad it’s just the boarding that really gets to me. Depending on the tide one usually has to back on and that means backing on two pieces of planking not much wider then your tires, and can be very steep, it makes a nervous wreck out of me.  I worry all night long if I’m going to be able to do it or not.  This year my worrying was unnecessary, the tide was right and we were able to drive right on. It turned out to be a great day our tax burden was behind us and we had a cone of soft serve. I snapped a couple of pictures on the way up and I will share them with you.

Well dinner is just about ready and the smell of food is getting to me, then it’s back to the grind , more flowers and continued work on a character.  Hopefully I’ll be back blogging tomorrow. Until then Enjoy your day.

                           Plantes Marina

The barge that we were on belongs to this marina and this is  where we boarded and left from.

McQuoit mar. 17-09

 This is the McQuoit, a passenger ferry arriving at the passenger slip as we were leaving the island.

Harbor side of island

This is the harbor side of the island. Not much to look at in March but just wait until May.


Fort Gorges

Fort Gorges, this fort was commissioned by George Washington.

Monday, March 16, 2009

It’s On Its Way!

When it comes to my blog, it has sort of been on the back burner. I hope to catch up with myself one of these days and maybe find out which direction I’m headed in. I think that Debbie to has lost her way, perhaps she’s out there some where in space. It seem like the feeling of spring has crept up on us, although it has not brought the warmth with it. It feels like a cold 33 degrees right now and I like it warmer. It does however give one hope. Yesterday I ventured outside for a short journey around the island took these pictures and I saw some Pusey willows poking their heads out from beneath the snow, what an awesome sight. There are still banks of snow where the plow did its thing and they are always the last to go. Some of the summer folks have come by to check on their cottages that is always a good sign. The birds to are enjoying the warmth of the sun, their singing is coming from every tree and the deer were out this morning looking around for something to eat. Oh yes it definitely is on its way. One morning a couple of weeks ago I was getting my breakfast and I happened to look outside the window and looking in from a branch that hangs very close to the house was this robin and I mentally wrote this poem which I shall share with you .



Car Ferry Approaching 2006

back shore 1

             Good  Morning Mr. Robin

Good morning Mr. Robin, with your brightly colored vest,

Your feathers seem a wee bit ruffled, could this be the sign of some protest.

Perhaps the chilly winds of springtime, which seem so reluctant to let go.

Well we best be happy my old friend for they had predicted snow.

And I too know the feeling and I just don’t think its fare,

For who in the early springtime needs this blast of arctic air.

So let’s hope for both our sakes that its stay is rather brief,

For my old bones are aching and I’m in the need of some relief.

So won’t you please sing your song to brighten up my day,

I need some reassurance that spring is here to stay.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Tin-Lizzie Days!

Again, I am taking you on a little journey back in time, the thirties in fact. This memory is as clear and picturesque today as it was the day it all took place.

It all started with my fathers old flivver not wanting to cooperate, it had not been running right for quite some time , but with little cash available it seemed that this was a problem best left on the back burner. Lucky for my father I had an uncle Sidney, who like my dad felt that he was entitled to his weekly reward, so the fact that dad’s old tin-lizzie refused to cooperate wasn’t really as big problem as it might have been, had my uncle not been willing to take my father along for his weekly purchase of beer. Otherwise back then it was not a necessity to own a car. One could go most anywhere on foot, the grocery market was handy and all the necessities of life seem to be close at hand even the church was near by.

As time went by and my father longingly looked out the window at his old flivver, the more he felt that it would be nice to have one of his own that would run. I was just a kid but I listened to my parents discuss the possibility of trying to get his old tin-lizzie fixed, but my uncle Sidney who was an automobile mechanic advised him if he should be lucky enough to get it going, he’d better go see Oren Young. Oren was one of those used car dealers who thought every car he owned was a peach, but never a lemon. So my uncle Sidney and my dad worked on his tin-lizzie weekends until they got it to run. It was at this point that the real fun began. My mother was against the idea at first because of their money situation. But my father was eager to get a car of his own, that he felt he could depend on. Then my mother said, “If you do this, you will have to teach me how to drive”. He agreed. Then he decided to go up to see Mr. Young. I begged him to take me with him, he said ok, but my mother said “no, what if the damn thing won’t make it up there. What are you going to do with Margaret”, but he insisted, he was sure it would be alright. So he took me with him. We made it up there ok.

I remember when we got there my father knocked on the door and when Mr. Young opened the door he said “well, hello Eddie come on in.” Mr. Young was a funny old man, I can remember he was real short and he had a big bubble behind his ear, it looked like bubble gum and it was all red and blue I was afraid of him. He had a deep voice he said “Well Eddie what can I do for you” I had a hold of my fathers hand while he and Mr. Young talked about cars. His yard was full of old cars. There was all kinds of old junk everywhere in his yard. He asked my father “what do you have in mind, what do you want to pay” and my father said “well I was hoping to get a trade in on my car and maybe get something a little newer.” Mr. Young said “ let’s go out and see what I have,” he took us down in back of a big barn and showed my father an old car that was out there , it wouldn’t even start. Mr. Young went somewhere and got a battery, and still it didn’t want to start. He said “don’t worry Eddie it’s the damn spark, it’s been setting out here for a long time.” Then he got inside of the car and did something with the spark which was a lever on the steering wheel. He said to my father “give it a crank” so my father turn this handle in the front of the car, I remember he turned it a lot of times and my dad said to Mr. Young, “I don’t think I want to have to do this every time, to get it started”, and Mr. Young said “once you get it going it will be alright, it’s because it hasn’t been run for awhile”. Well my father couldn’t seem to get it to start, so Mr. Young grabbed hold of that handle in the front and he gave it a big turn and he told my father to work the spark. Well it made a big bang and I started to cry, I was so scared I thought someone had a gun. Before long the car started to shake and it made some more bangs and then he said to my father “drive it up in front of the house” so my father and I got in and Mr. Young walked up to where my father parked the car. He told my father to keep it running. Then my father asked him “what happened to back seat” he said that “he had sold it to John Gear, but don’t let that bother you, if you buy it I should be able to find one in a few days”. Then my father said “where is my kid going to sit when my wife is with me”? Mr. Young said “don’t let that bother you I’ll just put a couple of wooden boxes in there for now until I find you a back seat. Get your wife to put a couple of pillows in there and it will be just as good”. While my dad and Mr. Young talked about how my father wanted to pay for it, the car kept on running. My father seemed please. So dad and I started for home. The car started shaking and it kept on making a banging noise and it was like it was going to stop. I was afraid, but my father said “it’s ok it will be all right” and after awhile it stopped shaking and making that banging noise.  By the time we got home it was running like a new car.

This is a picture ford2901  of a similar car only this is how it would have looked when it was new.  Long before my father got  one like it.

My mother saw us when we were coming up the drive and she came outside to see it. She was upset because there was no back seat but my father said that Oren was going to get him one and she said “it will never happen” and she was right. Then she said “Margaret go in the house, your father is going to show me how to drive” I went inside and stood up in my father’s old leather chair that someone had given him and I watched out the window as my mother kept stopping and starting. Then she hit the clothes pole and broke it and kept on going. I ran into the bed room, got up on a chair so I could see out and my mother had stopped right in the middle of our garden, the car was stuck there. I watched as she got out and hollered at my father “You don’t know a damn thing about teaching me how to drive”. She was very up set. I kept watching to see what my father was going to do, after awhile he got the car out of the garden and he drove right passed the house, I said “where is daddy going”. She said “up to Oren Young’s to see if he can get a new headlight, the damn clothes pole broke it.” I watched for my father to come home he was gone for a long time, when he did come home my mother was waiting for him and said “well, how much extra did that cost you”? It didn’t, he gave it to me instead of the back seat.

My father and my uncle Mike had to cut a piece of wood to put between the two wooden boxes so that they wouldn’t move around. My mother covered them with an old comforter. My father had that car for along long, long time, we never did get a back seat, but we sure had lots of rides to Gray and Falmouth. They continued, until Yarmouth was no longer dry. My mother never did learn how to drive.

My dad had a lot of old clunkers in his day. He died in 1991 having had only one new car in his life time, a 1972 Ford Station Wagon,

When we were young we were wrapped in the arms of contentment and simplicity. Today we have to look up these words to see what they mean; there is no simplicity today its utter confusion just trying to keep up with the Jones, Smiths, Browns etc..

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Treasures Are Where You Find Them

After my father retired from his job at the SD Warren paper mill he started a small vegetable garden where he found pleasure and contentment, this plus splitting wood for his small wood stove seemed to be sufficient for fulfilling his days. Then the unexpected happened, he had a small heart attack. This put a stop to his gardening, the doctor said too much bending and pulling weeds was not good for him. He suddenly found himself in a state of both fear and depression. Now his days consisted of just sitting around, sipping on his warm beer. My father never wanted his beer in the refrigerator. I think he was one of a few, when it came to that. After several months passed his fear and boredom seemed to become less and less. He started hanging out at the town dump with all the other bored retirees. It become their haven of rest, drinking beer, playing cards , going over the news of the day and recalling all of their of old memories. Then one day, came the dream of a life time, he came home and proudly showed my mother a set of keys, he had become custodian of the dump. He was as proud as if he had been given the keys to the White house. Things were good! He had a good friend, named Ham. Ham had a truck so they decided to salvage the copper from the dump. My father was unable to pick the rubbish looking for copper, but Ham seemed to have an eye for it. He would take the copper to the salvage yard and split the loot with my dad. They were making more money at salvaging, than they did on their jobs before their retirement. Well it seems that while Ham looked for copper my dad would walk around the dump checking to see if the people that were bringing their rubbish were putting it in its proper place. Now and then he would sort of look over what he thought might be an interesting bundle of trash hoping to hit pay dirt, more often then not he came up empty, there were times however when his luck ran in a different direction. My mother by this time was getting upset with all the junk he was putting in the basement. You know the stuff that you just can not let go of, knowing it will get caught up in the crusher. When my parents were no longer able to remain in there home because of their age. I had to hire a trash collector to haul all the trash back to the dump, I am sure the crusher got it all in the end. Now my dad loved his job and he did indeed remain faithfully to his position. Then one day a friendly gentleman stopped by and started chit chatting with him about this and that. You know all the things that strangers talk about when they first meet. My father who like me was a talker was impressed with this guy’s friendliness. During their conversation, in what seemed not to be an intrusive way asked “If you don’t mind my asking what do you get paid for a job like this?” My father so the story goes, said and I quote “Not a hell of a lot, I just took the job for something to do and to get out of the house, all my buddies come down and we have a beer and play cards its like a get together for us old guys”, a short while later the friendly man left. That night when my dad got home from work he told my mother about the guy that had stopped around to visit. Soon after a letter arrived in the mail telling him he had to appear in the office of The Department of Labor, there was no explanation as to why. My father was terrified he didn’t understand what it was all about. We kept the appointment; it turned out to be that the friendly man with whom my father had the great conversation was a government official checking on people that were getting under paid the minimum wage. So after three years of employment they gave my father a pink slip and a sizable check, back pay for all the hours he had worked, and took his job away, it seems that the town felt they could not afford to pay the price. Well this check could have been considered a reward but my father tried to explain that he did not want the check he wanted his job back, but no go. The friendly man said sorry the laws the law. There were days however before his job came to an end he did find among the rubble many treasures and I will mention only those that I still have and treasure to this day.

#I) a complete set of sterling silver flat wear in a dark brown leather case, it has a wonderful pattern and I still use it today, in fact its our best and used only on special occasions.

# 2) A beautiful piece of glass wear that I had appraised, I was told it was known as A Thousand Eyes, I have it displayed along with our other glass pieces. clip_image002

# 3) I am not sure what it really is, I have taken it to two different antique dealers and neither could tell if it was sterling silver or not and nor could they tell me for sure what it’s function was meant to be. Both thought it may be a Russian wedding cup but both had reservations and would not give an appraisal. One did suggest that it may have been made by Paul Revere; he was a silver smith in his day. I will put a picture of these treasures in so that you may view them. This piece has an appearance of having been hammered and deeply engraved with scenes of houses and churches with steeples and ocean scenes with boats, all old in appearance definitely not of our day and time. clip_image003

#4) this most of all is what I and many others have called a fantastic find a collection of over 500 Civil War covers. Anyone not familiar with the word covers, they are envelops that came out during the Civil War and they depict pictures showing the battles, generals and etc. all related to the war. Along with this box of goodies was also a very tattered , mildew and torn Civil War uniform, my mother kept all the buttons and I have them, however I have sold many on Ebay. clip_image004

Perhaps because of my fathers dump picking days there was something in his genes that led to the fascination I have with the art of dump picking. At least I was able to until these arthritic knees started keeping me from that pleasure, I do however cast a wondering and longing eye when I go to deposit my rubbish. My days of picking resulted in several treasures worth mentioning. There was the … Oriental rug that nearly broke my back trying to load it into the car, but with determination I succeeded and the reward was the sum of seven hundred and twenty five dollars from a prominent antique dealer. Then there was the… peddle car, a nineteen fifty six Volkswagen Convertible it has a few nick and bruises but like my father just could not leave it behind so its in my basement waiting for the right offer to come along, or maybe become an Ebay item. Then there was the day that we really hit pay dirt, you understand that our picking took place before the days of recycling when many people thought of dump picking as a pass time, at least they did on the island. By now we had become professionals in this game of chance, we carried a pointed stick and found that careful inspection of the bags offered up prizes worth of our time and effort. That day someone had deposited a bag of goodies, sterling sliver bracelets, necklaces and even antique coins in mighty good condition. But the real kicker was, further down in the dump when Betty found a … quarter and the date on it was the year she was born, no I’m not telling you what year. Then low and behold she came across a … sterling silver bracelet and attached to it was a dime with the same date as the quarter and when she turned it over the reverse side had been sanded off and the name Betty had been engraved on it. We both were a little shaken up and Betty said do you think this is some kind of omen. She took it to the jewelers and was told it was a very fine custom piece and hand made.

Damn these arthritic knees and now a bad back, I do miss my picking days. But the pain and discomfort helps me to forgive the upgrading of the land fill.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Someone Asked Me Why


        Someone Asked Me Why

Someone asked me what would you like to be,

I answered a bird up in a tree

Then they asked  me a bird, but why?

And I answered because  if I  were a bird could fly.

I would soar across the land and sea,

Then I would land in the highest tree

And from my mansion in the sky

I would sing , as I watched the world pass by.


I took a few  days of from the blog, it seems that my well has run dry. don’t ask me why.I seem to find that most  bloggers have either a cat or a dog and that gives them something for which to blog. Then there is the weather and somehow I feel we all get the same thing , every new day will bring ,something, rain ,sleet or snow and so, my time away and I kid you not , as not left me with a single thought ,about which to write , and so it’s best  that  I say goodnight and I’ll be back  to blog again real soon, perhaps it will take  a new moon, get me started.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Envy March

Some one told me it is the first of March and that it is snowing outside, I’ve been so busy making my miniature flowers that I haven’t even looked outside of my work room. But it sure looks like winter is really reluctant to let go.  Woody, I no longer see green grass under my birch tree; I guess that caller who told me it was coming knew what they were talking about. Let’s hope the amount that they mentioned is wrong.


             I Envy March

I envy March as it rustles your hair

And wraps you within it’s embrace

It blows in your ear

And plants kisses on your face

The way I’d like to do.

Oh, if only I were March

I’d be a gentle wind.