Sunday, October 30, 2011

In memory of my mother, who died Oct. 30, 2009

"Betty was a natural cook who loved nothing more than gathering her family for a meal. She was a quick study with a love of witty banter. She also loved to dance and often performed a soft-shoe tap routine in her kitchen. Short of stature, she vowed to come back as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall and invites all to look for her there. Whenever a gathering of friends came to visit, you could count on her to get everyone singing. She worked on crossword puzzles until the day she died.

"Her Maine accent was a family treasure. When the Red Sox made it to the World Series in 2004, she said that if they won against those damn Yankees, she’d be ready to go. She was, in the end, a pip."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Who is in there, Paul McCartney?"

Daniel Vernon Killeen gave up the ghost at 9:20 a.m. on the beautiful Saturday morning of Oct. 8, 2011. During his last days, Dan was visited by numerous relatives, distant and close, and friends, near and dear. Dan was also comforted by artists and musicians, many of whom he supported over the years through patronage or with employment at The Wine Merchant, the shop he owned and ran for over 25 years. The droves of eclectic visitors sparked such curiosity, one member of the hospital staff asked, "Who is in there, Paul McCartney?"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Word of One Syllable Dept.

Chan Holcombe, 72 of Fort Smith passed away Thursday, October 13, 2011. He was born July 14, 1939 in a Log Cabin in Bates, AR to the late Ralph and Inez Holcombe and was circumcised with his Dad's pocketknife. He loved to fish and caught a lot of crappie. He was an Air Force Veteran, a member of the Disabled American Veterans, and an Entrepreneur.

(H/T to Gawker)

"A shovel in his hands and a poem in his heart"

Bobby Thompson lived a long, colorful life with an easy smile, little stories about people and places he's been, a few tall tales, quiet faith and a shared enjoyment of a good cup of coffee. He lived the American Twentieth Century as the guy with a shovel in his hand and a poem in his heart. He sailed freighters to far-off lands, labored for the railroads, laying track and blasting rock. He was a steeplejack, truck driver and boxer. Bobby hopped freight trains all over America and could tell you about a little diner along the way, or a bridge he used to swim off of on a little stream somewhere. He would occasionally come home to Stonington for a while and maybe have dinner with one of his brothers, and then stick his thumb in the wind for another adventure. More recently than he should have, Bobby was known to celebrate the lost art of hitchhiking.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

His career provided for his family and paid down his Sears bill.

Even though he was occasionally known to playfully pull family members from his will, they always had the chance to work their way back in.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dream boat

In 1967, Charlie went sailing with his boss and became enamored with the sport. He purchased a 19-foot sailboat shortly thereafter and sailed and vacationed on it with his family of six for several years. He could not sit up straight in the cabin, so eventually he bought a 29-foot Bristol. Ultimately he worked his way up to his dream boat, a 35.5-foot Bristol and finally had headroom for his six-foot two-inch frame. Charlie sailed with his family to places like Nantucket, Cuttyhunk, Block Island, and Booth Bay Harbor, Maine.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs on death

Death “is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

-- Steve Jobs in a Commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Frank often remarked to others that he was never bored a day in his life."

I guess not!

As a young man he played semi-professional baseball, flew small airplanes, did trick riding and rope tricks in local rodeos, and was the amateur chess champion of Connecticut. For much of his life, he was an accomplished rifle and pistol marksman. Later in life, he became a ham radio operator. He developed an interest in collecting and repairing antique clocks. This talent led to his longtime relationship with Mystic Seaport where he was a fixture in the clock and nautical instruments shop. He tended the clocks at the museum for over 30 years. Soon after moving to Mystic, he and a group of friends founded the Mystic Carvers Club. Frank was well known for his exceptional woodworking skills. He took great joy in making clock cases as well as musical instruments, harps, lyres, hammer dulcimers, and banjos. Until his death, every Tuesday the "Cellar Gang" met in his basement workshop to make and play musical instruments. At the age of 91, he traveled to Phoenix, Ariz., to take lessons on playing the Native American flute.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Charles H. Hargrove

He was well read, an eloquent writer, and a penman of elegant and lucid style.