Last Saturday Janet and I took Gloucester’s Beauport Princess dinner cruise, with music by the Sugar Tones. The trip featured a buffet dinner, which I expected to be the usual finger sandwiches, cheese and maybe some greasy wings. Boy, was I mistaken! The prime rib was one to over two inches thick, and perfectly cooked. Additions included baked haddock, fancy ravioli, big mushrooms, and much much more. Cheesecake was served as dessert. Only one or two diners went for seconds. If this were a restaurant only, it would be one of the City’s best. Throw in a three hour cruise in Gloucester Harbor, and you’ve got an unforgettable night for very reasonable money. The Princess will be sailing weekends until New Year’s Eve. http://beauportprincess.com
Last weekend 15 GMG authors and FOBs converged for a celebration the 100th GloucesterCast Podcast at Cape Ann Giclee. It was a great time and a tasty breakfast. I ate the Last Stop’s awesome blueberry muffin, which was 50% fresh blueberries.
On the way to see my animals, in the African animal park, is a bench on Phillips Avenue. I joked about it to my physical and occupational therapists that they should take a seat and rest. They all demurred. Was the starboard list caused by our forceful Nor’Easters? What do you think?
I confess, in my several months of confinement in medical facilities and at home, I’ve become a hopeless news junkie. The current scandal is about sketchy courses for athletes at the University of North Carolina. The so-called “paper classes” did not require attendance and had no professors – students just got a good grade. When at Syracuse University, I was required to take one science class, so I signed up for Physics 101. Upon entering the huge lecture hall, I saw a lot of really big guys. The course material was below high school level. The students called it “football physics.” I did my work and got an A.
What made me think about my connection to this breaking news was an old SU t-shirt. I bought it from the college catalog in the early 1980’s, crammed into the back of a drawer, as I became too fat to wear it. It fits great now because I’ve lost 80 pounds. I’m thinking that UNC is not the only college padding their teams.
I considered posting a gloomy photo of rain running down a window pane. That could be depressing and sappy, but it’s not my style. When rain and storms block in the way, don’t slow down, stay the course. Move forward to where you want to go. During a rainy Gloucester Schooner Race, Captain Steve Douglass looks ahead, consults his charts, and sees beyond the rain. I do not look at the rain dripping down the glass, but rather navigate as Captain Douglass does: Carry on toward your destination. I welcome the impending rain.
A slice of New England autumn, thanks to the http://www.emersoninnbythesea.com/
I’ve met people who fear Chemotherapy, and I hope they never have to get it. Cancer patients undergoing this therapy react to it in different ways, some badly. Chemo or a different therapy can help rid you of your cancer.
My experience as a (non-medically) trained patient has been a good one at the Oncology Clinic on the 4th floor of Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester. When I arrived yesterday morning, I was seated in a Lazy Boy type chair with a view of the Annisquam River and the outer harbor, provided with the morning paper, up to date magazine, a cable TV remote, and earbuds. The intravenous connection was made, freshly brewed coffee delivered, and I studied the breakfast menu. If the timing is right, I get lunch too. I’d bring my laptop or tablet, but time goes by quickly with so many things do, and no pain whatsoever.
Why am I happy to be treated here for cancer? Most importantly, it will prolong my life. The above amenities are welcome, but the staff is key: “We want to make your experience here as pleasant as possible,” they say. And they do.
A few hours later, I’m home expecting fatigue and the dreaded side effects. After 5 treatments, I’m not tired enough to nap, and go ahead with my everyday life, just a little slower. As I said above, this is MY experience with King Chemo, and so far, we’re getting along just fine.
I went to my friend Laureen Maher’s Beauty Bar Salon on Parker Street in Gloucester: http://beautybarstyle.com/# My first cut was at Den Mar Nursing/Rehab in Rockport. Because of my cancer, it pretty much stopped growing, except for unruly curls on the sides. Laureen is also a painter, like my sister “Painter Barb,” who took the portrait. Laureen displays some of her work in the salon and has a few pieces my gallery. Thank you Laureen for the trim and thank you hair for not falling out (yet). Chemo treatment #5 today.
I was walking with a cane with Janet, and saw a face on a tree trunk. Amazing, I thought! Later I realized one could buy these ornaments in most garden stores. But this history goes much deeper. Trees have a special meaning for us, not only in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings with the Ents (giant trees), but in our current lives. George Washington remorsefully cut down a cherry tree and confessed, there is the memory of a Liberty Tree in Danvers Massachusetts, and when a grand old tree is cut down in your town in violation of local laws, it causes an uproar. Rightly so, because they’re so very important in our lives. In my bedridden time of illness in hospitals, and nursing/rehab homes, window views of trees were of prime importance to me. A tree is life, and encouraged me to carry on. I will never hurt a tree.
A giraffe must have wandered from the sculpted granite animal park, and into someone’s driveway. This striking bronze animal changes color with the sunlight. When admiring the African animal sculpture park on Phillips Avenue in Rockport, turn and look directly behind you into the woods. If I’m not mistaken, this is the work of Chris Williams, who also created the bear family: http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/big-bear-hug/#comments
All VNA services have discharged me because of my improvement and insurance requirements. This means no more weekly visiting Registered Nurses (Diane), no more Kathleen (my physical therapist), and Shelly (my occupational therapist). They all helped me so much that it brings tears to my eyes to see them go. Now, I must look to outpatient physical rehab facilities. There are three on Cape Ann (I cannot walk or drive). Two are in Blackburn Park, and one is at Addison Gilbert Hospital, the place that initially saved my life. Transportation-wise, AGH is the most convenient. I’m determined to be walking by Thanksgiving, come hell or high water. Any suggestions for the rehab facility? (Note: I’m also going to follow an exercise program at home. Kathleen: “Walking is the best exercise you can have, because it uses all of your muscles.”) In retrospect, I should not only thank the medical professionals who saved my life three times this year, but also the dedicated professional therapists from Den-mar and Seacoast, who all helped restore my physical abilities and continue to stay healthy.
With my No. 1 Angel, Donna, there are many variations to a sick/recovering friend’s visit. It’s always positive, and could be to sit and talk, give me ride to a medical appointment such as chemotherapy, medication pickup, or score some Monkey Butt Powder at Rite Aid. Today, Donna took me to work, via Goose Cove, where we had discovered a photo op weeks ago. We enjoyed shooting the beautiful displays of the dory and a scary looking axe-wielding clown. You see, this gets me out of constantly thinking about cancer, diet and physical therapy. Call it “Fun Therapy,” and I share the results with you here. Fred
Fred Bodin gives the Kodiak Bear Family sculpture a “bear hug” during a special preview on the grounds of the Chris Williams sculpture studio in Essex, MA. I am 6’1″ tall, and males of this species of bear grow to over 10′ tall when standing on their hind legs. The tree the bear family is climbing is 17′ high. The Kodiak bear is to scale! Kodiak, or brown bears, are named after an island of the same name in Alaska.
You think you know someone, but later on realize you really don’t. Such is the case with Phil Krone, who came here every summer with his beloved partner Ann Williamson. Like so many others, they were drawn to Cape Ann, and frequented the Sidewalk Bazaar. Last year, they came down from Vermont just for the 2013 Good Morning Gloucester Holiday Party. Phil left us on September 8th, 2014, at the age of 67, from complications caused by COPD. But there’s so much more… Part of Phil’s life was making shoes in his own shop in Worcester. Notable customers included Bruce Springsteen for custom boots made from scratch, and also Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. Mick came in, accompanied by fellow band member Keith Richards, for a rebuild of his favorite “Chelsea” boots, designed to slide across the floor during a performance. Jagger personally thanked our Phil Krone for remaking his boots, saying: “These boots are better than ever,” which was a similar compliment given by the “Boss” from New Jersey, USA. So Mr. Phillip, sorry I wasn’t there to greet you at the Pearly Gates of Heaven (I almost did 3x this year), but we on Cape Ann love and miss you, as one of our own. Like all of the subjects of my obit/remembrances, I wish I knew you better. However, my brother in law, Robert Doss, who died the day before you, was there to greet you with his outstretched hand and the perfect grilled meal for you. Me, I’ll see you later… Wild, Wild Horses Couldn’t Keep Me Away. Fred
Kathleen came to visit me as part of the VNA home physical therapy rehab service twice a week. She was tough, unrelenting, but wise enough to lay off when needed. She worked me hard and made muscles hurt that I never knew I had. A great person, and I’ll always cherish our walks together to my animal park with the rollator and canes. Here’s another person who’ll have your six (back) and is part of the army that saved my life. She discharged me yesterday, which is both a happy and a sad event. Like so many others on my journey through cancer recovery, I will never forget her. God Bless you Kathleen.
You know I’ve had life threatening health issues. I asked my AGH cancer doctor when and if I should get a flu shot. He said get one now, it won’t interfere with my chemotherapy. On the way out, the hospital receptionist said she had no idea when the hospital flu shots would be offered, but soon: “Call next week.” Well, I called yesterday, a week later, and they still have no clue. I love my local hospital, Addison Gilbert, but please… Your local discount drug store is ready to help you. Sad.
I meet a ton of people in my gallery, and always say the same thing to guys who have the Fred name: “Freds are always good looking, friendly, and intelligent.” This Fred from Delft, a city in Holland, was happy to represent from his country. While in the hospital last fall, I decided to delay this post because of the tragic loss of life on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the Ukraine. So here’s happy Fred, better late than never.
After the success of Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken and this band of Merry Pranksters drove from The West Coast to the East in 1964. Fifty years later, on September 24, 2014, they came to Gloucester, and had breakfast at Charlie’s Place https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-Place/111697215533360. My friends were there…
Sharon photographed the Furthur crew at breakfast. She and husband Chuck gave them their table for the bus crew. Ken Kesey’s son Zane sits center waving his hand. Sharon and Chuck leave tomorrow for home. I got to know what wonderful and generous people they are… and like me, they’re adventurous. Fair winds and smoothe seas, my friends forever.
We’ve all been amused by the lawn ornament of the well dressed gentleman who had a little too much fun. Today, the humorous image is used to illustrate “the streetlight effect” in statistics and philosophy, a type of observational bias where people only look for whatever they are searching by looking where it is easiest.
The story goes: A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, “this is where the light is.”
Our final Block Party of 2014 was a great success. As usual, the gallery was too busy for me to walk the street to take pictures. This time, I had the energy to enjoy the event, especially the people. A large cheese platter was generously provided by The Cave, our neighbor at 44 Main Street (http://www.thecavegloucester.com/). Key Block Party folks visited me, including Susan Parent (L) of Toodeloos (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Toodeloos/388111807754) and Block Party organizer Valerie Marcley (R). That’s me in the middle!