Tag Archives: Fredrik Bodin

A Half Milestone


Today all systems were go: 33°F, daylight, dry pavement, and a craving to walk some distance without my cane. Janet took the cane at the front door and we walked at a medium pace to my favorite animal sculpture park. After stopping to take a few photos, we walked back home. Total distance: One half mile using no cane or other walking aid.

As the journey started thirteen months ago, I couldn’t roll onto my side in a hospital bed. I graduated to a wheelchair, then a walker, followed by a cane, and now two legs. I’m currently scouting around for a longer full–milestone trail. (Photo by Janet).

Welcome to Historic Gloucester!

Welcome to Beautiful and Historic Downtown Gloucester. Visitors,  you’re often left to dispose of your trash on the sidewalk or street. Nearby residents, you dump your household trash in the barrels or on the sidewalk when they’re full. It’s convenient for you and you save $2 per week.Trash5695wm

Army of Nurses

State House a Work of Art ~ Inside and Out

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Most of our group went into the State House thru the General Hooker entrance. Escorted by Catherine Ryan, I entered via the accessible Bowdoin Street door, because it has a ramp instead of stairs. Once inside and past security, there are elevators aplenty. The first thing I wanted to see was one of the two large cod sculptures. By chance, we immediately ran into our State Senator, Bruce Tarr, who took the time to give us a short tour. Art in all media was everywhere, including the 1798 “new” State House itself.

Our Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Governor Charlie Baker


My friend Sefatia (Romeo Theken), Mayor of Gloucester, and Charlie (Baker), Governor of Massachusetts. The Governor is quite tall (6’6″), and is more handsome in person than on TV.  They’re posed in front of the Grand Staircase at the State House. I prefer not to shoot with a flash, but probably should have here for better sharpness. Sefatia wants a copy of this photo, which I’ve sent.

Gloucester Wins Award From MA Cultural Council

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I figured that if I could board the USCG Barque Eagle, I could visit the Massachusetts State House. I’m glad I did, because the City of Gloucester won the 2015 Commonwealth Award for “Creative Community” by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The ceremony was held in the capital’s Great Hall. About a dozen of us, elected officials and organizers from Gloucester’s two designated cultural districts, marched to the podium and onto the stage to accept the medal. Shown below, left to right, are: Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council; Ann Margaret Ferrante, our State Representative; Sefatia Romeo Theken, Mayor of the City of Gloucester; and Bruce Tarr, our State Senator. I was glad to be there and proud to have been part of our accomplishments.

The Evening News, 1862

President Lincoln at Antietam with Allan Pinkerton, Brian Williams, and Major General John Alexander, 1862. I’m an admirer of Brian Williams’ work. When I was in the nursing home a year ago, my roommate and and I would spontaneously say every evening: “It’s Brian time!” It was oBrianWilliamsne of the small joys of life in a difficult situation, which I’ll never forget. Good luck Brian, I miss you and know you’ll be reporting to us again soon.

Don’t Plow Me In!

a9645_007wmMain Street, Rockport, circa 1898. Poole’s Drug Store is on the left, and Rockport’s first school house, circa 1790, is on the right. The team of horses in the background is most likely a wooden wedge-plow or a weighted wooden platform to compress the snow.

Blizzard Valentine’s Dinner


 As the blizzard started, we walked over to the Emerson Inn for a s
pecial dinner (it’s always special there). I had the pan seared scallops with lentils and wine sauce. It was delicious, but because of what chemo has done to my taste buds, I ate sparingly. The leftovers will make great omelettes at home. It was nice to dress up. The place is not as formal as my outfit indicates.

Janet, my Valentine: She had the Rack of Lamb, rubbed with brown sugar and dijon mustard, served with a Port Wine reduction. She cleaned the plate with a simile on her face. Leftovers: 4 bare lamb bones.


Blizzard of ’69, Gloucester

a8945_402wm copyForty six years ago, almost to the day, the Blizzard of 1969 visited us. It dropped a mere 20 inches of snow. This is Gloucester’s DPW yard on Poplar Street, with National Guard and police vehicles in the yard and on the street. I think I see an armored personnel carrier on the right. The so-called “Lindsay Blizzard” killed 94 people. Mother Nature has a way of repeating herself, as does history.

Cabin Fever Better Than A Hospital Bed

I’d like talk about our snow, and spare you yet another snowy scenic photo, which you can see out the window or online. I took the ADA bus to work this morning, the first time I’d been out of the house since last Saturday, (2/7/15). On the ride, I noticed that from the intersection of Phillips Avenue and Granite Street in Rockport, to the traffic light at Route 128, only three small properties had shoveled their sidewalks. That’s a distance of over 3 miles, impassible. This is extremely dangerous for pedestrians, who are forced to walk in the street.
When people complain to me about snow related cabin fever, I explain to them how it affects me: After spending February and March of 2014 confined to a hospital bed, toughing out a blizzard or two isn’t difficult. At home I can walk around in the house, prepare food, read, nap, talk on the phone, shower in private, and putter around at will. Be thankful for what you’ve got.


SnowDrift5582wmYesterday (2/10/15) after the snow ended, I asked the Pigeon Cove shovelers if they’d seen any drifts as big as ours. No, they thought the drift in front of the garage was the worst. Fortunately, no path or walkway goes thru it. Again, they dug us out and now we have each other’s phone numbers and emails. Heike called to ask if I needed my gallery shoveled out, but I didn’t know the condition of the sidewalk. She works down the street.


Another Tool in Your Safety Locker

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Stabilicers were recommended to me by Deb Callahan, one of our City’s parking enforcement officers, who was formerly a letter carrier for the USPS. I ordered them from Campmor for $45 (LL Bean: $60). My StabiIcers have been solid from day one. They strap onto your boot or shoe in one minute, and come off in 20 seconds. http://www.campmor.com/Product___33020 

The teeth of the Stabilicers are screw-in and replaceable. Unlike spikes, like I have on my cane, they won’t chew up your rug, but I wouldn’t leave them on for long, and pick your feet up.


Cape Ann Bus Tale #1

I took the CATA bus to work this morning, and my driver was Gloucester’s Eddie Salah. Knowing that he owned George’s Coffee Shop on Washington Street at one time, I asked him if he was a good cook. “Hell no, I can’t even scramble an egg! Gloucester attorney Mike Faherty ordered a scrambled egg breakfast, and I had  folded it over like an omlette. Mike showed me how to cook it right, and I’m sure he remembers that hilarious event. That was about 40 years ago, when I was a 17 year old trainee.” Eddie is one of the most colorful and entertaining people I’ve met, and a good driver too! Today, Georges is one of the best breakfast joints around, and is still owned and operated by a Salah. https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=george’s+coffee+shop+gloucester+ma&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gws_rd=ssl

Pigeon Cove Shovelers


I physically can’t shovel snow and Janet had shoveler’s fatigue. This morning, I saw three people walking up the street, all carrying shovels. We asked if they were looking for work, and they started clearing our driveway and walkways. These were, in fact, our neighbors Eva Maria (L), Heike (mother of these kids), and Levin (R). They did an outstanding job, speak German (their native language), and I asked them to come back after the next snow storm.

Snow: Gone Today and Here Tomorrow


My friend Donna Ardizoni reports that Main Street, in Downtown Gloucester, now has sidewalks clear of snow. Tomorrow, Monday February 2nd, we’ll have plenty more of the white stuff. If the oncology clinic at Addison Gilbert Hospital is closed, I’ll stay home. Now that I’ve had some practice with my cane cleats, I feel more comfortable on paths shoveled thru the snow.

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