, Gloucester, MA

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Letters/My View

January 15, 2013

Letter: Turning 89 and celebrating Cape Ann

To the editor:

I’m about to turn 89, and I think it’s time I did a bit of checking in to see what the passage of the decades has wrought.

First, I can still whistle despite my closest friend’s saying, “You’re too old to whistle,” some years ago.

I admit to being nostalgic about setting out for Freeport, Maine, or Burlington, Vt., in connection with a Friends’ ministry and counsel meeting without a second thought. How long ago was that?

The discovery that I had inherited Quaker lineage from my father’s side of the family didn’t occur until a decade ago. My father deserted my mother and me when I was a toddler, going off to “write the great American novel.”

I was attracted to the basic tenets of the faith before that because they stressed nonviolence, simplicity, equality and community. I was part of the Amesbury Friends Meeting and then the North Shore Meeting and played an active role.

Did I imitate my father in the hope of winning his return by writing three novels, all unacceptable by publishers? Well, I guess I turned out to be unacceptable by him, too.

Harking back to the years spent in Pigeon Cove, Carole Hardy and I were dubbed the “Pink Ladies of Pigeon Cove” in the McCarthy era. How and why did that occur? I was trying to live my values while being a wife and mother and she was, too.

And what a friend she was: the epitome of friendship, always there when needed and beyond, utterly trustworthy and loving, a fount of information when required. She has since died and how I miss her. Actually, I have been widowed twice and I lost a son to AIDS. My house at 121 Granite St. in Pigeon Cove in which I lived with my family for a number of years was razed to my sorrow.

I do love Cape Ann. I recall Mayor Tobey having an art show at City Hall. Mayor Kirk is a reassuring, soothing presence and I feel we’re in good hands.

All in all, turning age 89 here invites a celebratory attitude toward one and all, especially those we don’t know well and hope time isn’t going to run out before we catch up.


Chapel Street, Gloucester

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