Category Archives: Current Events

Miss Newport 1938

My grandmother firmly believed that loose lips sank ships. I’m not sure if that attitude suited her for Navy work or if the Navy work instilled that into her, but either way it was deeply ingrained. Ironically, she loved celebrity gossip and even subscribed to the National Enquirer; she could dish with any stranger in a check-out line. But anything involving real people, real circumstances, real issues in our own lives was met with her circumspect silence. Why discuss? Continue reading

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Lessons from Brown Buttons

Oddly, the prolonged aftermath of 9/11 felt more stirring to me than the actual event itself. As one of the train passengers who was evacuated into the subway stop at Wall Street while the Twin Towers burned overhead, I took from that day, month, year a pronounced sense of having being spared. That sense stayed with me for some time and it obligated me in ways I could never fully explain. So I developed a series of private devotions around the people who had not survived; there were many of those. Continue reading

The Fleet of Blessing

Now that summer’s nearly ended, I find myself nostalgic for the start of it. Nothing else signals the full swing of summer to me as much as the Blessing of the Fleet. While other children of New England will readily recognize this ritual, for the uninitiated: it involves all sailboats, trawlers, and other vessels that do float upon the waters getting bedecked and festooned and staging a parade past a member of the clergy who imparts a blessing on each and every one of them. Depending upon the size of the fleet, it can be quite a production — a glorious, slapdash, exhilarating, and exhausting production. Continue reading