Thursday, January 26, 2017

Throwback Thursday - The Notebooks

To clear up some confusion, the Notebook passages posted on Throwback Thursday were written by my father and found by me after he passsed away. They were his attempt to tell the family history. He was in his late 80s or early 90s when he wrote them. Today's chapter:    

My second sophomore year was so so. My problems were the same. I could not try out for sports because they were held in another section and it meant additional carfare and late hours getting home.

I had been given some credits for my first year as a sophomore and I had more study hours. So my homework was mostly done. I would finish at home and then go to the Center at night. Thanks to my mother who told my father that Mr. Arnold was a good man and that I looked up to him. So my father let me go to the Center.

There was one Christmas, I think 1935, where the story [ed: play] was of the Three Kings going to see the Christ child. On the way they came across a dead man. My part was that of the strong king and my part was long and beautifully constructed. When I was through I walked up to the dead person, took my cloak off and gently laid it on him and we marched off the stage. The End. The play was well received and we were invited to the Director's home for a collation. This was on White St. in East Boston. This area, where the high school was located was the area to be in [ed: wealthier part of the city]  and in the Revolution streets which bore the name of the battles in that war.

Now Donald McKay who was builder of clipper ships when Boston was the harbor of the U.S. at one time. And these clippers were built in East Boston. His master carpenters built many of the homes in the area for themselves. All they paid for was the land. As far as lumber, marble, granite, they got free. Some time the ships got to their foreign port, unloaded the cargo and did not have any cargo to bring  back. To balance the ship, the sailors would go into the woods, chop down trees or take granite or marble depending what was available to serve as ballast to keep the ship on an even keel when they were headed for home. Unload the ship and throw its cargo in a pile.

The master carpenters would then if they wanted to marry, would take what was available and build a beautiful, solid house. The beams were 4 x 4. They were pricise, smooth and where the beams came together on the roof support you would have a hard time finding where they met. The fireplace was a work of art. The mantel  was held up by beautiful sculpture figures. Solid mahogany floors and weather tight. The Center owned two of these homes. One for the Director and his family and the other for women employees.

I was complimented by the art director and others. From her it was an ace. She said considering what I know of you, I did not think that you had it in you. Your body gave off strength when it should. Your voice change just right in the different parts and so gentle when you laid your cloak down. So I was an actor what did she expect.

10 comments:

  1. Your dad was a fascinating man. And his daughter takes after him:)

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    1. You made my day, Sandra. I'll be wearing two cowboy hats today :-D

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  2. It's so interesting to learn about our parents lives before they were parents, isn't it?

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    1. Who knew they had lives before being parents?

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  3. What an impressive post. I was impressed wit your father being the King in the play that got to cover the dead man. It sounded like he enjoyed the part and it was well done and well received.

    WOW, I would love to own a home where all the walls were straight and the beams in the ceiling fit well. Sounds like an ideal home to buy, but not one that one would find on the plains.

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    1. Dad was a ham and really enjoyed the limelight

      He had told me of some of the homes built by McKay's workers were beautifully built on the inside. How the ballast of mahogany, other expensive woods, granite and marble was just heaped into waste piles and there for the workers to take and use.

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  4. CJ....kudos to you dad from us..late but kudoz none the less.

    and what an interesting twist on the ship cargo; using what they did to balance the ship's return journey....

    I guess one never "thinks" the cargo hold may be full on the way there.....but empty...coming back...

    I think even now a days we just assume something is IN the transport vessel, going or returning !

    and 18 cents anda sack oh friez as da tabbies say; those homes are still standing and in excellent shape yet today

    ☺☺☺♥♥♥ laura

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    1. Yeah, when Dad first told me the story about bringing back marble and mahogany for ballast, I was surprised. Those homes were well kept.

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  5. So interesting to learn about your parents lives!

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    1. Some stories I have heard. Some are new to me. I never knew he played the part of the Strong King in a play.

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