January 31, 2015
No mention will be made on this Blog of the Whiners (not Winners) who have tried to detract from the shine of the Patriots’ hard earned victories.
I had the opportunity to actually go to the Championship game on January 18th. It was my first NFL game and first championship game for any sport. Naturally, it was wild and wonderful, especially with Mother Nature bringing in a 52˚ temperature in mid January as well as blustery and rain downpours.
The first photo is of James Devlin scoring the second of the Patriots’ touchdowns, and the second photo is of the fireworks at the victory celebration and awarding of the AFC Championships trophy.
Now, “On to the Superbowl…”
October 4, 2014
A Spring time trip to the Western USA affected me more than I realized. It was a quiet kind of sudden jolt with a delayed reaction (this is the best I can do to do justice to expressing the impression the country and climate had on me). Let me backtrack a bit. In May I had travelled to Wyoming, Utah, and Arizona, hitting the National Parks in extended fashion (this was a trip totally designed by myself allowing a good amount of time to absorb and be absorbed into the environment). Yellowstone, Zion, and the Grand Canyon were the destinations with Sedona’s Red Rock and Bryce Canyon country thrown in for good measure.
My adventurous wife and I first flew into Jackson Hole, WY in mid May during a snow squall. We had to proceed through the Grand Teton Pass into Idaho to get to Yellowstone since the shortest route into Yellowstone through the South was closed due to impassable roads. The only entrances into Yellowstone were through the West and North. This was our first rude introduction into Nature à la Western USA.
We were undaunted since we knew this would be wild and different. We were not disappointed. We had driven through Idaho through snow squalls and no sooner than we reached the Western Yellowstone entrance the snow stopped, the sun came out and everything began melting big time. This was the theme through out our stay in the West. It was a land of dynamic contrasts and extremes. And since it was all nature produced there was a certain comfort in knowing and feeling this range of experiences. An analogous example would be like jumping into cool lake water on a hot August day. The extremes were refreshing. In psychology this is known as the opponent-process theory, and in reality it does make a lot of sense.
I often think that I was introduced into this approach to life through my years at Padua Prep. Anyone who had gone through at least one year at Padua knew that it challenged you, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Obviously I say this in the positive and developmental sense of challenge which is meant to enhance and not diminish growth. Simply on the physical level, if you could last running around the athletic field on a cold autumn morning for physical ed class in nothing but the requisite Padua t-shirt and short gym pants, then you knew you could suck up a lot of the other challenges of life (was this Ranger Special Forces training? No, but close).
In an odd sort of way Yellowstone reminded me of Padua on the hill. It was remote, it was beautiful country, and it was honest in what it gave you, namely real life events with no turning back when challenges hit you. The buffalo (of which there are many in Yellowstone) have nothing but themselves to adapt to a wide range of life challenges, from the cold and starvation of a barren winter landscape to the threat of predators which lurk at others times of the year. It is a stark and real landscape which is far removed from the consumer world. It is life as pioneers lived and which, it appears, few in our time, expose themselves to. It is living on the edge.
September 16, 2014
About this time last year my wife and I sold our piece of Paradise on Cape Cod(see Blog Entry, End of an Era). Ever since then I’ve accepted the fact of moving on to other adventures, but the sheer beauty of that landscape still called to my soul. I still wanted to discover that kind of unspoiled countryside with awe-inspiring vistas.
So, this past month we went to Marthas Vineyard (not hard to get to from Rhode Island, just a quick ferry ride across Narragansett Bay and Vineyard Sound). From the outset I realized that the Vineyard was terribly compromised by tourist crowds and fashionable trendsetters, i.e., it was not a National Park. However, it still retained more pristine qualities than Cape Cod simply because it was harder to access and, of course, more expensive.
We chose to stay in Edgartown on the far eastern coast of the island. It was the quaintest of the towns on the island and retained the flavor of yesteryear, as it were. We were not disappointed. The streets reminded me of those in Europe where sidewalks really did not exist and barely one or two cars could fit at a time. The beach at Edgartown Lighthouse was easily walkable but was sited on a peninsula where one felt even more remote than one was.
Edgartown sits essentially on the water, and across from Edgartown (in fact, just 527 feet) is the island of Chappaquiddick. Chappy, as locals call it, sits basically unspoiled with only one main paved road, with all others being dirt, gravel, or sand. There are several dozen homes but these remain isolated and unseen, for the most part. The island is truly a world apart while being fairly close to civilization.
Chappy has always been a symbol for me. I remember the first I heard of it was on July 18, 1969, when Ted Kennedy was involved with the accident that killed Mary Jo Kopechne. As an aside, the incident was doubly memorable for me since Ms. Kopechne was Polish and was buried in Plymouth, PA, a town just seven miles from where I was born. The accident never really made any sense to me since there were too many inconsistencies and so-called contradicting “facts.” Maybe because I am at heart an idealist and liberal, I always believed there was a legitimately good reason why Ted Kennedy really was not responsible for the death of Ms. Kopechne. This could be labeled naiveté, but it is my segue into this blog post.
The Chappaquiddick Incident, as it has become known, is really the end of the 1960’s movement where Camelot reigned and flower power was in charge. At least for my generation it was the end of innocence. There would never be another Kennedy or Martin Luther King to grace our media with their eloquence and call to service and activity. In my mind Chappy melded and sustained that kind of innocence and unity of focus and ideals.
The photo above is of Cape Poge Lighthouse, which resides on the further most tip of eastern Chappaquiddick, literally land’s end, facing the Atlantic. What makes the lighthouse even more remote is the fact that to get to it one has to cross the infamous Dike Bridge (since rebuilt to be more secure than it was in 1969) over to a peninsula or barrier beach (if one wishes) called Cape Poge, even less accessible since one needs a four-wheeled drive vehicle with deflated tires plus a $180 permit to travel it (it is a wild life refuge). Needless to say, it is raw and unspoiled beauty. It brings peace to my heart knowing that with the passage of events and times, somethings remain untainted, and as they were meant to be.
August 30, 2013
Hi Chad, the reunion this year was a good experience. Next year my class celebrates its 60th anniversary of graduation.
My significant other is Welsh and Scot. She was born in Baltimore but lived in the UK for 14 years, taking her medical degree at the University of London. She is now medical director at Roland Park Place, and retired recently after 27 years at Keswick. We’ve obviously traveled to Scotland. I’m off to Poland on Sept 6 to 21 to visit relatives, then attend a biblical meeting.
John Pilch, 54
June 6, 2013
My thoughts are drawn to ice hockey, especially at this time of NHL playoffs &, of course, my rooting for the local team Boston. If you can guess my lead in (“Little Ball of Hate”) to this blog post then you are intuitive, and also probably in a lot of trouble for thinking like me.
During my years at Padua I always wished I could skate and enjoy the ice pond on the athletic field. Weak ankles prevented me from ever enjoying the sport of ice skating. So many of my classmates used to skate, I felt that fate played a wicked game with casting me with ankles not strong enough for this winter sport. I often would walk up to the skating rink in winter to watch. The skaters seemed to have more fun than in intramurals or varsity sports. Years after leaving Padua I came to realize that for me the most fun was in make-up games in sports. Sad to say, I wish I never had played any organized sports. It was not in my blood. A dear classmate of mine in my sophomore year told me this in so many words when he said I did not have the “killer instinct.” I did not; I had the fun instinct. I only came to this realization as I matured.
But getting back to skating…Despite my lack of so-called killer instinct, I enjoy athletes who compete with drive and determination. On my Bruins Hockey team the person that so personifies this for me is Brad Marchand. Depending on what side of the fan fence you sit on, you either hate this guy or love him. I, naturally, love him. Right now he is making life miserable for Pittsburgh Penguin fans. I am posting a clip of the second game of the Eastern Conference Finals, which features a typical style of competition that Brad exemplifies, i.e., in-your-face and non-stop-competition…every thing a fan wants. Anyway, you can see that Brad Marchand is at the (Marchand Goal) bottom of the screen mixing it up with a Penguin, but he is also aware of the developing play on the opposite side of the ice. He turns, quickly races to become a part of the play and then finishes it off with a goal. How could you not like the play of this guy? (Note: Clicking on the “Marchand Goal” link will play a short clip, but you must give it time to load. The server is slow.)
May 28, 2013
Pardon the Interruption.
The blog has been moribund the last few weeks, and I apologize for that. Whether or not we want to believe it, there is a tacit agreement generally made when any communication is established (also, pardon the philosophizing on the moment), and that is, once one begins a conversation he/she is obliged to engage in it until politely terminated (my wife would love me for phrasing it that way). In other words, I really should have written something. So, PTI!!
PTI is also somewhat excusable since I have been involved in an endeavor which I never thought I’d be involved in…namely, water hunting.
February 24, 2013
I believe we can rule out the Lookout Point as indicated in the Glen map as posted by Reg. While Reg did not state that this Glen Lookout Point was the one where the 2 Friar photo and the Rocky/Happy photo were taken, the shear presence of a place called Lookout Point on a map raised some doubts for me.
As can be seen from these photos posted above, Lookout Point is a lookout solely of the Glen itself.
February 22, 2013
John LaSalle confirms a structure within the Cemetery that has a similiar view of the Lake that you may observe from Lookout Point within the Glen State Park. The only way to finally nail down the Rocky and Happy Picture is to actually visit both sites and compare views. John also recalls a bench on the upper green of the golf course. Thanks to Reg for finding a postcard showing a bench on one of the greens at Glen Springs with view of the lake.
February 20, 2013
Oh yes, I just realized that there was one bit of information regarding the last two photos I posted. The caption underneath one was Cemetery Hill.
Also, I forgot to talk about the original 2 photos I posted on Outlook Point (Dec. 13, 18, 22). In the one with Rocky & Happy the structures have embedded rough stones. The only structure at Padua that would come close would be the old gazebo-like spring (that did not work) just south of the carport. But the structure in the Rocky photo clearly had a bona fide roof and the old spring did not.
February 20, 2013
A few posts back we (Tony & I) discussed the photos of Outlook Point. While I think the issue that the photos that we discussed at that that time were taken from the same vantage point (i.e., Outlook Point), it was never decided to any degree at all where this so-called Outlook Point was.
I came across these two photos from postcards that were for sale on Ebay. I have no details of these photos. They were taken at different times (note the smoke from the chimney blowing in different directions, and note the different cloud formations). But, they appear to be taken from the same vantage point (note the imposed red arrows I placed to indicate the relative angles of the smoke stack and the church steeple).
Whoever was taking these photos in this post and in previous posts had to have easy access to this vantage point. My suspicion was that this Outlook Point was not on the Padua Prep Campus but rather on the Glen Park property. If I could find a local from Watkins Glen to ask him/her, “Is there somewhere with a vantage point like this on the southeast side of Watkins Glen?”, then maybe this puzzlement could be resolved. In any event, I am open to be dissuaded on my current positioning of Outlook Point if someone could produce evidence or reasoning to the contrary.