Archive for August, 2009

AN INTERLUDE – BOSTON…

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Forgive me for delaying the third part of “My Visit To Sapelo Island,” but I’m getting ready for a long flight tomorrow and running out of time. I’ll see if I can’t wrap up the Sapelo Island story for next weekend. Allow me, instead, to quickly recount an incident that occurred in the Boston Museum Of Fine Arts during a visit there last month with my daughter-in-law, Marci, and my two grandchildren – Max, four and a half, and Ruby, 17 months. Their daddy, Nicholas, was hard at work elsewhere that Thursday afternoon, in the Boston scientific community.

First, let me say that driving into downtown Boston from Arlington is not for the fainthearted. In my trucking days, I remember having to pick up a candy load in the center of Boston with a 53 foot trailer. After fighting my way through crushing Interstate traffic to the address in Cambridge, I had to back the rig down an incredibly narrow alley to a virtually invisible dock. As to the demented citizenry – including not a few old ladies racing all manner of vehicles down get-on ramps only to race off again one ramp later – well, I’m simply not gonna go there!.. (more…)

MY VISIT TO SAPELO ISLAND (Part II)…

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

I arrived at the Meridian, Georgia, ferry dock fifteen minutes before the 8:00 a.m. departure time. My hurried breakfast had been a bit of last night’s leftover boiled shrimp and a fresh cup of coffee, but it seemed there’d been no need to rush. A trickle of State workers and a group of island residents – coming back from who knows where – were exchanging greetings with a neatly uniformed ferry Captain intent on his clipboard. I tucked my lunch in close to me – the rest of the spiced shrimp from last night’s splurge now wrapped in newspaper –  and uttered the magic words: “I’m meeting -” The Captain’s grin stopped me, “…Fran, eh?” We chatted a moment about the dolphins that were putting on a show out in the channel, and he graciously waved me onto the gangway of the Annemarie.

At least fifty feet in length and glistening white in the early morning sunshine, the Annemarie looked more like an ocean-going tug than a ferry. I opted to stay on the fantail of the lower deck next to a State employee who was knitting an article of baby clothing. The area quickly crowded up as more and more people piled aboard. A few took seats in the spacious cabin that looked like it might hold half a hundred. The vessel’s twin Diesels barked to life and we headed into the channel. (more…)

MY VISIT TO SAPELO ISLAND (Part I)…

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

In my last blog I promised to tell you about my visit to Sapelo Island.  Several years ago, as a long haul trucker, I’d visited the shrimping port of Darien, Georgia and been intrigued with what I’d heard regarding Sapelo.

A bit up the coast – and a ferry ride of another three miles or so through the tidewater marshes and channels along Doboy Sound – lay a pristine barrier island. Here, in 1802, Thomas Spalding, a Scotsman, had begun a successful plantation of sea cotton and sugar cane with the help of 400 African slaves. The descendants of these slaves still lived quietly on this island and were reputed to speak Gullah Geechee, their native tongue. I ached to experience a few hours in this setting, among a people who might still be living their lives in the last century. (more…)

 

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