Massachusetts — back for basics
It’s dark as we leave LBK for the airport. Yes we are to SRQ this morning. That airport is almost deserted as we enter from the long term parking lot. We board early, then wait on the taxiway while a big Delta jet lumbers by to take off first. Our Canadair regional jet follows off 14 -32 to climb and turn over Sarasota. It’s solid cloud cover below as we head north to Charlotte, the Queen City. That airport is bustling; its quiet in the Club – a peaceful oasis. Our big jet, an A321, to Boston is on time. The Boston University women’s field hockey team boards to fly home. They won, they said. What a marvelous Country; they’re having such a grand time.
We takeoff from the 8,000 foot runway We fly up to Boston at 33,000 feet. Our pilot tells us weather in the Hub is 65 degrees, with winds from the North at 15.
I note summer clouds above the Southland. We’re quickly over the Carolina coast, then the Delmarva Peninsula across the lower Chesapeake Bay. Haze now obscures the view. The long beaches spread north along the Atlantic. As usual I’m impressed by how non-white the sand is. From above it appears that many crops are in and the fields plowed under. We cross the mouth of Delaware Bay, the New Jersey shoreline continues – more beaches. We fly over Atlantic City, maybe the future model for our key? The crowded shore towns fill the Atlantic edge of New Jersey as we approach New York City. South of the City our flight makes the seaward turn in a wide arc towards Long Island and New England beyond. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Southeast Massachusetts lead to Boston – that beautiful City by the Sea, Friends meet us at Logan for the trip to the South Shore.
I like to return to my roots here in Massachusetts for re-grounding in the basics.
A colleague talks in these pages of this election as the last hurrah of the WASPs in America. Of course that story by Edwin O’Connor told of the Last Hurrah of a make-believe Irish Mayor of Boston. No matter, we get his point.
I’m here in Massachusetts, maybe the cradle of American Protestantism as well as American Liberty – think of John Adams, Calvin Coolidge. Then later there was James Michael Curley – hardly a WASP.
Here in the Commonwealth there are several thoughts come to mind. I was at mass here on the South Shore this Sunday morning. I recalled that in the lifetime of the senior Kennedys, the father of our first Catholic President could not buy a home in this town because of his faith. WASPs were in charge. Times have changed, fortunately.
There was a story about the 150th anniversary of Boston College in the paper, at Fenway Park no less. (Boston Sunday Globe 9/16/12) I didn’t go to BC, although my Father did. “In his brief remarks, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley praised Boston College for its role in the ‘Catholic emancipation,’ a reference to the strong anti-Catholic sentiment faced by early Irish immigrants to Boston, such as BC’s founder.” “In the days of Father McElroy (that founder), it wasn’t easy to be a Catholic in Boston, and it isn’t easy today,” O’Malley said.
Here on Longboat Key the current Pastor is from Ireland. Msgr. Finnegan has served the Sarasota community well for many years. While he was in Ireland this summer on vacation there were several visiting priests filling in for him. One was an American fellow of Haitian descent. He is a Canon Lawyer in Venice (Florida). Father Dubois is a delightful guy, witty as well as holy. He was completely accepted here. You might be surprised. My friend here on this Paper might be correct – the torch has been passed. Good.
We spent three days driving about our old haunts. Late summer was in the air. I didn’t see any leaves changing color, yet.
I visited my cardiologist friend.
Our two daughters came for lunch. That was great.
Things look about the same here. Politics are heating up. My unscientific survey of lawn signs give the edge to Senator Brown over a ‘Native American’ law professor from Harvard. I saw nary an Obama or Romney sign, although one knows the sentiment around here. I perused two editions of the local paper. One (Tinytown Gazette 9/19/12) headlined, “Cohasset Acting Town Manager’s Contract ‘may’ be illegal.” There followed a full front page exposition of the possible irregularities in the Acting Town Manager’s contract with the Town of Cohasset. These are all, of course, Massachusetts specific. It seems that Selectmen signed a contract without the customary search – imagine. Also mentioned is the multi year contract for an acting town manager. It goes on. I found this news both amusing and germane.
We took the Harbor Express, a catamaran ferry from Quincy to Logan Airport. This is the way to go. Of course the MBTA, the local transit agency, has cut out all weekend service as well as weekend South Shore rail service. Now that’s great.
After a windy, rainy Tuesday night the day dawns cloudy and cooler Our hostess drives us to Quincy. I spot the Dredge ATCHAFALAYA berthed in the shipyard there. This Cashman dredge worked here at LBK a while ago, She may be ready when next we might need a dredge.
The ferry trip was fast, if a bit chilly. Our reverse flights through Charlotte to Sarasota were uneventful, and quick. Yes, we SRQ’d again.