While the Red Sox were alternately napping with their bats and dancing with the raindrops this weekend in Anaheim; and subsequently getting drubbed by a collective 18-4 in a Monday doubleheader; I, along with some very special peeps, took a ride in…..
Mr. Peabody’s “Way Back Machine.”
First a little background. When my kids were little I regularly orchestrated what were called “Mystery Rides.” Now a mystery ride could or would include me and up to nine or ten kids. Four or five of them mine, the remainder nieces and nephews. It was not uncommon for me to load up Auntie Nancy’s banged up “beach wagon” with a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jelly, drinks and we were off. They usually involved some historical perspective and, if we traveled far enough, we would let some of Uncle Steven’s birds go for a training flight home.
The cast of characters has been added to and now we go out to lunch but the constant common denominator is the history flavor. Last week I wrote about a trip to visit Myles Standish with my girls. Well my boys arrived from Florida last week so this weekend they were added to the mix.
The cast; Quinn(3), Addy(8), Jake(12), Reagan(6) and Brady(8).
Oh and their Moms were there too, no ages please.
We began here…..
This is where JFK spent the first three years of his life. It was designated as a National Landmark on May 26, 1964, three days before what would have been his 47th birthday. The family repurchased the home in 1966 and for the next three years Rose Kennedy worked at restoring the house to how it was in the years JFK was a toddler. It was opened to the public in 1969.
Daughter #2 helps Reagan set up her Junior Ranger booklet while Addy and Brady appear ready to go.
There is a special flavor to this tour, especially for kids. It begins on the front porch with a presentation of a series of photos of JFK as a kid. The first taken in the front yard. It encompasses the first three years of his life and he is thus referred to throughout as “Jack.”
Heather shows the kids one of “Jack’s” favorite books, Billy Whiskers.
John F Kennedy was born in this bed by the window on May 29, 1917 at 3 PM.
The kids got a kick out of the kitchen with NO REFRIDERATOR and the fact that the Kennedy Family ate Boston Baked Beans, cooked on that very stove, every Saturday night with some leftovers served with Sunday breakfast.
Papa got a kick learning that, in Boston Society back in the day, a young woman would bring to her marriage, bathroom towels monogrammed with her maiden name; and they would be replaced with her married initials. Oh and Papa also liked the fact that all clocks in the house were set for 3:00, the time of the future president’s birth.
The tour lasted about 40 minutes which was perfect for the kids and each of them made the grade and were named Junior Rangers equipped with badges, stickers and certificates!
A little over two miles from JFK’s place lay another landmark of historical significance.
Being one for marking moments; Papa was not going to miss the opportunity to introduce the kids to some of Boston’s all time greats.
So we made our way down Yawkey Way….
And then on to Van Ness Street. I told Jake about the 2004 World Series and that we pushed him in a stroller around the park as we were absorbing the joy of what was taking place.
I wanted a picture of all my cherubs and I at the Ted Williams Statue. This work of art holds special significance to me as those of you who read this blog may remember. It involves the sculptor Franc Talarico who was my neighbor in Venice Florida. That story is told in several parts within this blog.
Anyway things looked bleak as there was a contrarian in the group and it appeared as if a mutiny was on our hands.
But alas……Mutiny quelled and Papa’s moment was marked!
And my team stood with The Teammates while Yaz looked on bringing a smile to Papa’s heart.
And just to connect the past with the future, I took a snapshot of one of Dad’s all time favorite players, Domenic DiMaggio, the Little Professor.
Recently my brother and I were discussing that expression about, you know, the autumn of your life, the winter of your life. We, with the help of his son Marc, actually put a mathematical equation to it and here’s what we came up with, I’m actually in early autumn, about September 25th. Not bad!!! Willie is putting on his snow boots.
With each passing day, each passing season I am reminded how very fragile and finite is our existence and on the rare occasions when all the grandkids are gathered I simply step back and watch them interact. My troops are separated by 1500 miles so seeing them together is something special. The times together may be brief but they are rich! Being with them can brighten even the darkest days and during this most tumultuous summer of my “Early Autumn” this crew has brought me light and I am grateful for their energy.
So as the Red Sox flounder and try to decide if they’re selling or buying; living or dying I will chase one of these…..
Take another trip here…..
And best of all, gather up those youngins for one more mystery ride where I promise to take them “Where the past meets the future”.
And so it is on this dismal day in Fenway Park history, July 21,2015.
What a great story! I love your take on getting the grandkids together and just stepping back to observe. And the Ted Williams statue of him putting his cap on a young boy is really interesting. The whgole idea of a mystery ride is fun! Every now and then I will ask my mom if she wants to go on a field trip – and she always jumps at the chance (well, not literally!).
Hey, Ray! I love the family pictures, back stories and anecdotes. Good to get our minds off the Fenway team. I had the good fortune to spend time with various members of the Kennedy clan during my working days. JFK, Bobby, Ted, Joe Kennedy the Second (? – the one who has the home heating oil for needy families), Caroline, JFK Jr and spouses, etc. Ted could never remember names so he would greet you with “There he is!!! — how are you pal?”. Got him good one day at Logan Airport when we (cameraman pal and me) — greeted him first in a sea of people, “There he is — how are you pal??”. He just smiled that Ted smile. We knew we’d pay. He got us at the next cocktail party.
Time for a revolution with Sox Brass. Can you bring the guillotine?