Saturday, May 31, 2014

Grandpa Moses and the Cat who Pooped in the Toilet

Family lore has it that Grandpa Moses had a cat that he had trained to poop and pee in the bathroom toilet.  After his cat had "done its business" in the bathroom, the cat would go to Grandpa Moses and "meow", a "meow" asking Grandpa Moses to flush the toilet, the one thing Grandpa Moses had never been able to teach his cat.  Does anyone know how to train a cat to such tidy habits?

Friday, May 30, 2014

Farewell, Vermont . . .

There are plenty of deer in them thar hills, but no ticks!  Would that Massachusetts had Vermont's secret!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good morning, Vermont!

                   "She'd walk a mile for a free cup of coffee." Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont.
                                                                Photo by Marash Girl

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More on Not Shaking Hands . . .

Yesterday, Marash Girl commented (see below) on how not to shake hands, but she missed a beat when she did not recommend the option of wearing gloves . . . Now there's a thought.   If we wore gloves, we'd always have the option of whipping off our gloves and using them to slap the face of our opponents -- once on the left side and once on the right!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bow to your partner . . .

Bow to your partner, bow to your corner,  tip your hat, curtsy . . . anything to honor the meeting, but whatever you do, DO NOT SHAKE HANDS.  As one doctor put it, kissing a stranger is safer than shaking hands, and shaking hands is more dangerous than smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Yardsaling in Stowe, Vermont

Where was Marash Girl going to find a jig saw puzzle in Stowe? (A necessity when the weatherman promised rain all week!)

Maybe at a yard sale?  And there it was -- a yard sale sign -- and yes, the yard sale had two jigsaw puzzles, one 500 piece and one 1000 piece.  Are they complete? Marash Girl asked, knowing better and knowing that the answer would be far different from the reality.  "Of course they're complete," was the answer.  "My wife would never sell a puzzle that wasn't complete!"   Marash Girl just smiled.

Next yard sale, dogs come leaping out at Marash Girl as she got out of the car --  and they were tall dogs reaching above her shoulders.  "Don't worry," said the yard sale perpetrators;  "they're friendly.  They only bite folks who don't buy anything."

"Do you have any yarn?" asked Marash Girl.   "No, but I could unravel my sweater for you," answered the dog owner.  "And we do have a sewing machine. . . Why knit when you can sew?  It's faster!"

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Black Squirrel in Stearns Park

The very first black squirrel that Marash Girl has ever seen paused long enough for her to snap this photo.  Where was Marash Girl?  Not in Newton Corner, not on Wilbraham Mountain, but in Stearns Square in the very heart of Springfield, Massachusetts, now Springfield's club quarter, right across from the original location of Reliable Shoe Repair, Marash Boy's father's cobbler shop from 1919 to 1963.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"You can't afford it!"

Many years ago, hippie looking Marash Girl, whose residence at the time was 89B Mt. Vernon Street, Beacon Hill, Boston,  walked into one of Boston's high end antique jewelry shops -- Bond Jewelers on Park Street -- a shop presumably "for Yankees only".  She asked the owner, an older grey-haired gentleman, to show her one of the pieces that was in the shop window, but the owner refused with the words, "No, you can't afford that!"  Taken aback, Marash Girl thanked him and asked for his card.

As it turned out, his name was Hekimian, he was a fellow Armenian, and after some conversation, Marash Girl discovered that he was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide, just like her dad.  Marash Girl convinced him to allow her to interview him on tape in the not too distant future, and she did. She recorded  his history for posterity, an oral history which is now available on file at the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts. 

He never did show her that antique piece in the window, although he gifted her with an equally  beautiful piece after she had completed interviewing him for the (then) Armenian Library and Museum of America.

The moral of the story?

Friday, May 23, 2014

On Being Armenian

Marash Girl's father used to always laugh at the Yankee wannabes, the Armenians who changed their names from Hovanessian to Johnson, from Chakmakjian to Charleston, from Samuelian to Samson     ... "as if the map of Armenia wasn't splashed across their faces!"  In fact, one of the reasons that Marash Girl's father "allowed" Marash Girl to marry Marash Boy was that Marash Boy's family was not ashamed of their family name . . . in fact, they had their family name splashed across the signage of every pharmacy in Springfield, Massachusetts, "IAN" and all . . . . and, of course, because Marash Boy had the map of Marash splashed across his face!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Massachusetts Turnpike uses Boston vernacular to train Boston drivers!

Typically, Marash Girl does not find driving west on the Massachusetts Turnpike an amusing experience, but (and perhaps it was especially for Mother's Day) on this particular Sunday, she smiled at the sign that -- every 10 miles or so -- imposed itself into her psyche. Using the language of Boston, the language of the people, the sign read, and this is a direct quote:

Changing lanes?  Use yah blinkah!

Marash Girl wonders if folks west of Route 495 will understand the message!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Newton Corner's Spencer Anderson plays Bruch Violin Concerto in G minor with Newton's NewPhil

The New Phil playing in dress rehearsal at the First Baptist Church in Newton Center.  Photo by Marash Girl
Spencer Anderson was Newton's hometown winner,  one of three young people to win this year's  Emerging Talents Concerto Competition sponsored by Newton's New Phil.  The New Phil says of him, "Spencer is a junior at Newton North High School.  He currently studies violin with Piotr Buczek at the Rivers Conservatory where he also plays in the Rivers Youth Symphony . . . he is a committed baseball player, a lefty pitcher for both Newton North and his AAU team, the Newton Minutemen."

Spencer Anderson practiced throwing baseballs from as early as Marash Girl can remember.  He would stand out there on our little dead end street and play catch with his brother, his mother, his father.  But one day he came home from Kindergarten saying,  “Mom, I want to play the violin.” He had recently read a picture-book in pre-school entitled The Bat Boy and his Violin.  The message of the book never left him.  Daily he would ask, “Mom, did you sign me up for violin lessons yet?”  “MOM – I WANT TO PLAY THE VIOLIN…  and I want a Stradivarius.”  (He had learned about Stradivarius in music-class.)  And thus it was that Spencer Anderson, a sophomore at Newton North High School who has made a name for himself in both the world of baseball and the world of music, began studying violin in Kindergarten, about 12 years ago.

Unable to attend the concert itself, Marash Girl was invited to attend the dress rehearsal.  As she entered the church hall, she heard -- to her right -- music, as it were, from the heavens.  She turned to see Spencer practicing bits of his piece in the back of the hall, but the music was not music of practicing; it was music like she had never heard before.  "That's magnificent music coming out of that little box," she commented to Spencer.  "It's a magnificent box," quipped Spencer.  [He was playing a violin made by Giovanni Pistucci in Naples around 1900.  Pistucci was one of the last great Neopolitan violin-makers, working in the Gagliano tradition a violin purchased from fellow Newton resident Greg Vitale, an active free-lance violinist and violin-dealer -]

Familiar as it was to Marash Girl, the Bruch Violin Concerto in G minor (1st and 2nd movements) was a musical moment to be remembered.  Spencer played with confidence and passion, a passion matched by the orchestra.  It was a concert that Marash Girl will always remember.

 ·      Spencer Anderson playing the Bruch Violin Concerto in G minor (1st and 2nd movements)
with the New Phil during dress rehearsal. Photo by Marash Girl

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tintin in Turkey?

"Have you ever read Tintin?"  Marash Boy asked his Turkish neighbor.

"Of course," the neighbor answered.

"I was intrigued that Tintin's Captain Haddock uses Turkish expressions!"

"No, really?  What does he say in Turkish?"

"Bashu Bozuk", Marash Boy replied with glee (which, dear reader, means "irregular" in Turkish -- a non-complimentary term referring to irregulars in the army.)

"Well,  I read Tintin in Turkish when I was a kid -- it was the children's supplement in the Sunday paper," his neighbor replied with a grin . . . "It's all Turkish to me!"

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Pride of the Pack!

No matter what the situation, the Marashtsis (who are they?) would always comment with a chuckle, "Marashdan olsun, chamurdan olsun (bokdan olsun)"

Let it be of Marash, no matter how bad!

N.B. Marashtsis:  Armenians born in Marash, forced to leave their homeland if they survived the Armenian genocide (1915-1923) . . . a mass murder about which very few lived to tell the tale.  Nonetheless, the Marashtsis always maintained a sense of humor!  How else could they have survived . . .

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Let's go out to the ball game, let's go out to the Park!

After trying for weeks, two Red Sox fans finally got tickets to a Sox game at Fenway Park.  Their seats were right behind home plate . . . great seats! They were thrilled . . . thrilled, that is, until two Roman Catholic nuns in full habit sat down directly in front of them, effectively blocking their view of the field. Trying to figure out a way to get the nuns to move, one of the fellows said to the other, “Too bad we’re not in Georgia; there are hardly any Catholics there!”   The other fellow answered, “Better we should be in Alabama!  There are even fewer Catholics there. “  Finally, one of the nuns turned around and quipped, “Actually, you should go to hell; there are no Catholics there!”

Thanks to Monica Merkel, a dedicated Catholic, for relating the above story on the occasion of Iffar's First Communion!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Award to President Obama by Shoah ignores Obama's avoidance of the words "Armenian Genocide"

At the Shoah Foundation last week, Stephen Spielberg presented President Obama with an award for the President’s "efforts in fighting genocide around the world". Apparently the award did not include recognition of the first genocide of the 20th Century, since, after having become President of the United States, Barach Obama has never acknowledged the genocide of the Armenians perpetrated by the Turks.  Could Hitler have been correct when he mouthed the now infamous words, "Who, after all, remembers the Armenians?"

See New York Times, National, Friday, May 9, 2014, Page A17

Friday, May 16, 2014

A prostititute around every corner?

One of Marash Girl's Uncle Levons, recently arrived from Paris, began to explore Boston. Visiting one evening, he complained to Peter that whenever he went into Boston,  a prostitute would be beckoning to him . . . in fact, he insisted, a prostitute beckoned to him around almost every corner.

Peter:  "That's funny!  I go into Boston often enough, and no prostitute has ever beckoned to me!"

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Karıştırma; boku çıkar.

In the comments made under yesterday's blog post, you will note a saying that Marash Girl's brother learned during their father's forays into gardening.  

"Karıştırma; boku çıkar."  

Literally, "Don't stir it (the shit); you'll bring out the stink!"

This expression, popular among Marashtsis, was used when someone tried to understand a situation that was better kept under wraps!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Growing Tomatoes, à la Peter

This is how Peter (Grandpa Peter, Pete, Daddy) grew prize-winning tomatoes!

1.  Start saving beer cans, and if you don't drink beer, ask all your friends to save them for you.  (No kidding! This is the beginning of success!)

2. When the winter seems as if it will never end, start removing the bottoms of the beer cans with a can opener, and slip that bottom piece into the bottom of the can (which is actually the top of the can, the side with the flip top removed . . .The can now will have a double lid at its base, with a hole for drainage at the very bottom.)

3. Order Burpee's seed catalogue.

4.  Order Big Boy tomato seeds as soon as is possible.

4a.  As you will learn from the comments below, Grandpa Peter, acc. to Marash Girl's brother, first planted the seeds in a small seed starter; Marash Girl does not remember that; it may have been a later rendition of this planting ritual!

5. Sterilize soil from your compost pile (and Grandpa Peter had a big one) in your oven, causing the house to reek!  (These days folks would probably buy potting soil from the local garden supply house.)

6.  Leaving beer can tops in bottom of beer can, fill cans with sterilized soil, placing seeds in can in February in sunroom (his sunroom faced to the east), placing cans in a tray so that the drainage will not damage the floor of your sunroom!

7. Keep soil slightly moist until tomato plant sprouts; then water only when plant is beginning to wilt; that, explained Grandpa Peter, will make the plants strong.  Let plants grow gangly.

8. Just before planting when danger of frost has past (usually May 15), withhold water from plants so that plants become droopy and pliable.

9.  On May 15, water plants just before removing from beer, preparing plants to plant in the garden (after, of course, you have tilled the soil in the garden.)

10.  Not until you are in the garden, (hopefully your garden will have rich soil, soil from years of composting!) and your hole is dug only 1 inch deep and about 5 inches long, push tomato plant out of beer can using screwdriver to push through hole at base of beer can. Do so gently, and low to the ground so that the plant does not "plop" out.

11.  Carefully place tomato plant and roots sideways,  approx. 1 inch below the soil, leaving about 2 to three inches of plant above the ground.  (Peter discovered that tomatoes root ONLY 1 inch below the surface of the soil; in order to establish a strong root system, Peter developed the "sideways" planting method for his tomatoes.) You may prop them with sticks and use strips torn from old white cotton shirts -- Grandpa Peter's father Moses had many a ball of those strips around the house for use in the garden --  Peter continued the tradition!

12.  Pat the soil over the planted seedling; water gently, and keep moist until plant becomes sturdy.

13.  When plant has established itself, only water when plant begins to droop, as that will make for a stronger plant (see above).

14.  If you're lucky, you'll have the most delicious tomatoes in town!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Grandpa Moses' Favorite Hymn

Grandpa Moses' favorite hymn, "This world is not my home . . " was a hymn he taught Marash Girl when she was very young, a hymn she remembers to this day!

This world is not my home

This world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through
My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue,
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.
   Oh Lord, You know I have no friend like you.
   If Heaven's not my home, then Lord what will I do?
   The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
   And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Luckily, Marash Girl, then only 6 years old, did not understand the full import of this hymn when her grandfather, then well into his '80's, taught her.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dare to be a Daniel

Yesterday, at Marash Girl's Mother's Day celebration, Marash Girl asked a guest what the preacher's sermon was about.  The sermon was about Hannah, who was sterile, but prayed to God for a child and finally, well after child-bearing years, was granted the child.

Marash Girl did not remember the story of Hannah, but she well remembered the story of Daniel -- Daniel hearing God's call, early in life; Daniel, who prayed to God, despite the King's prohibition; Daniel thrown into the den of lions, fearless, as the lions stood and stared at Daniel and never moved . . . 

And Marash Girl remembered one of her favorite childhood hymns, especially the chorus which she records for you below:
    • Dare to be a Daniel,
      Dare to stand alone!
      Dare to have a purpose firm!
      Dare to make it known!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Remembering Grandma Jennie on Mother's Day and always!

As Marash Girl looked at the first bloom to appear on one of the three lilac bushes gifted by her children and planted for her on Mother's Day several years ago -- gifted because of Marash Girl's memories of her mother Jennie entering the house with a joyous smile and arms laden with lilacs she had just gathered from the bushes beside the porch at the family homestead on Lowell Avenue -- Grandma Jennie, who always had a smile, never a negative word, always out there seeking to help, sweet and courageous -- courageous in her outreach to people who were in trouble, to families that needed resettlement in a new country, to folks who needed a home, a house, a community . . . and courageous in her outreach to women who were in trouble.

One memory in particular comes to mind. . .

Jennie had taken to protecting a young woman who was in an abusive relationship -- Jennie found the young woman a job, a place to stay, and provided the young woman with rides to the grocery store whenever the young woman needed to go shopping.

On one unforgettable trip to the grocery store, Jennie and her protegee were getting into the car after grocery shopping at First National Parking  in Newtonville, when two thugs approached (presumably following the orders of Jennie's protegee's abusive husband)  and grabbed Jennie's car keys out of her hand.  Jennie, Marash Girl's mom, simply slammed her car door shut, shouted to her protégée to jump into the car, locked the car, and pulled out a second set of keys . . . "You think I'm a fool?" she laughed back at the men as she gunned the engine and roared out of the parking lot, leaving the oafs in the dust, standing and staring after her, open-mouthed.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Refuse two times before you accept . . . .

"New York Times, Saturday, May 3, 2014 . . . The Arts Section
There is a Persian custom that could probably improve television.  It's taarof, which makes a virtue of insincerity. For example, a host is expected to offer hospitality three times, each time more pressingly, but the guest should humbly refuse. . . "

Persian?  Insincerity? How about Marashtsi Armenian and good manners!  How many times had Grandpa Peter gone hungry because he had followed the custom . . . waiting to be asked a third time before he accepted the offer of food  . . .

Peter taught his children the same custom. . . little did they know it was a "custom", or that it existed in the Persian culture.  They continue to bring food to the table, and invite the guests to partake . . . invite them, yes, three times.

Marash Girl has always inadvertently annoyed Marash Boy by practicing taarof!   When she offers him food that she has prepared (after he has already had a first helping),  and he says,"No," she continues to offer until the third offer has been completed at which point Marash Boy explodes and says, "I told you I don't want any!"  I guess his family, Marashtsi as it is, never practiced the custom of  taarof!

Friday, May 9, 2014

How "singing as if her life depended on it" saved her life!

Fast asleep in the back seat of an automobile, she was awakened by the rattling against the car windows. . . where was she?  Of a sudden, she remembered --  she was in Lebanon, visiting her cousin Garbis (Dagermenjian), with her friend Gail.  And where were those two? They weren't in the car, the car doors were locked, the moon shone over a long, smooth, sandy beach  as the shallow waves rolled in . . . and the car was surrounded by soldiers in Lebanese army uniforms, carrying long rifles aimed at Marash Girl who was, thankfully, inside of a locked car!  What to do?  The only thing she could think to do was sing, and she started singing as if her life depended on it!  She sang every song she could think of -- Bye, Bye, Blackbird; You Are My Sunshine; Jesus Loves Me . . . The soldiers were non-plussed.  She sang and sang, until at long last, she spied her cousin and Gail in the distance, bathed by the light of the moon, walking towards the car . . . accompanied by a man in military uniform carrying a rifle . . . Arriving at the car, Garbis explained (in Arabic) to the soldiers in attendance that Marash Girl was his cousin, his chaperone, as it were, and Gail was his fiancee. . . at least that's what he told the girls that he had explained to the soldiers.  The soldiers released the three young people and let them go on their way . . . off the grounds of what turned out to have been the  beachhead fortification of the Lebanese Army. . .  and Marash Girl survived to tell the tale!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Lion's View of the Armenian Flag

                                  Hidden in Plain Sight: A Lion's View of the Armenian Flag  - Photo by Marash Girl

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Studying Anatomy

Remembering the fun of perfecting the art of sarcasm in junior high school, Marash Girl also remembers the pain that her sarcasm caused others.  Stanley Shafran, a good friend in high school, finally confessed to Marash Girl how much it hurt when she practiced her sarcasm on him.  Why was he so sensitive to sarcasm when others laughed at it?  Marash Girl learned the answer one afternoon when she was studying with Stan at his home in Newtonville.  His mother arrived to find Marash Girl and Stan in the finished basement of their home, heads bent over books.  "What are you doing down here?" she asked the pair.  "We're studying," replied Stan, as in fact they were.  "Studying what?" asked his mother.  "Anatomy?"

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Recipe from the Past . . .

Today Marash Girl is remembering Joan Metz -- it's her birthday, but she's no longer with us, having gone to a better place at the beginning of November, 2013.  To celebrate, Marash Girl will be baking a pear cake to take to her home this evening and share with her family in memory of Joan. . . .

While Marash Girl was looking for her pear bread recipe, she came upon a printed sheet of paper dated August 21, 2006, sent via email to Marash Girl from Arppie, Marash Boy's sister, Arppie, who has gone to be with the Lord.  It is a recipe for her favorite, quick and easy salad, a salad she loved to bring to Wilbraham for those wonderful Sunday celebrations on the mountain top.  She writes, "I copied the Bean Salad from the New York Times -- The items without amounts indicated are 'by eye' measurements.  As my mother used to say to Kenar when Kenar started out cooking on her own and wanted Mama's Armenian recipes, 'God did not send the recipes down written with exact amounts!'"

3-Bean Salad

Place in a serving bowl the following rinsed beans:

1 Can Stop & Shop Red Kidney Beans
1 Can Stop & Shop Black Beans
1 Can Stop & Shop White Beans
1 small package of Frozen Corn (still frozen, do not thaw).

Add the following chopped fresh vegetables:

Red and Green Peppers
White or Red Onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 medium tomato
Parsley - 5 to 8 sprigs
Season with Salt, Black Pepper and Cayenne.
Dressing:  Olive or Canola Oil and Wine Vinegar. (Can substitute dressing with Wish Bone Italian).

Quick and easy and delicious!

Monday, May 5, 2014

More on Hot Dogs . . .

In honor of the Red Sox opening game this season, Trader Joe's was offering free samples of their healthy, all beef, all natural "hot dogs" on all natural whole wheat "hot dog" rolls with all natural mustard!  How could those healthy, tasty, all-natural tidbits be called, by any stretch of the imagination, hot dogs?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Anadama Bread, West Newton Style History

Anadama Bread?  We all know the story!  A frustrated fisherman from Rockport, Massachusetts, comes home hungry and tired and finds, once again, corn mush awaiting him, prepared by his beloved Ana.  Exhausted, frustrated and angry at his daily fare of corn mush, he grabs whatever flour is readily at hand -- rye, wheat, barley, oats -- and throws these flours into the corn mush, kneads the dough and throws it into the oven, cursing, "Ana!  Damn her!"  And that, dear readers, is how this delicious bread came into being . . .

However, in West Newton, the story differs.  At the local Trader Joe's, Karoun was excited to find a loaf of bread made of whole grains labeled "multigrain anadama"-- as if anadama bread is anything but multigrain -- she brought it home.  That night at supper, Marash Boy read aloud the legend printed on the front of the bread's packaging -- here's the direct quote:  "Legend has it that a New England Woman, Anna, had the ability to bake fine bread with the sweetness of molasses and heartiness of mixed grains and cornmeal."

"And here in print," said Marash Boy, somewhat annoyed, "is history in the making!"

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mississippi, New Jersey, Delaware, Idaho, Alaska!

While speaking to an APPLE rep yesterday morning who, with patient detail, repaired Marash Girl's g-mail account, Marash Girl learned that the rep was from Idaho.  "From our perspective here in Boston, Idaho seems like it must be like the Garden of Eden.  Is it?"  The rep answered that in fact, yes, it is!  Gaining courage, Marash Girl asked the Apple rep whether she had ever heard the riddle that Marash Girl's father used to ask his children many years ago, a joke in which Idaho played a major role . . . She had not.  So here, for all of you who have NOT heard the riddle, it is:

Question:  If Mississippi wore a New Jersey, what did Delaware?

Answer:  Idaho, Alaska!

Friday, May 2, 2014

WBUR ON TAP: Should marijuana be legalized?

Yesterday evening, WBUR's "On Tap" brought together a panel of "experts" to present their positions on the legalization of marijuana: Tom Doe, CEO and founder of Municipal Market Advisors.; Sharon Levy, MD: Dr. Levy, Medical Director for the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP), the clinical arm of The Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, Assistant in Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital; Bill Downing, who served as president of MassCann/NORML from 1991-2004 and remains on the board of directors. The Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann), is the state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (MassCann/NORML or MC/N), a non-profit public education organization working for the moderation of marijuana laws.

Their arguments pro and con ranged from (Dr. Levy's) the fact that the strains of marijuana being grown today are more potent than the marijuana of yesteryear (Is that possible?) and that studies have shown that regular use of marijuana in school age folks lowers their iq (Marash Girl is assuming that the students being tested were not on marijuana when they took the iq tests);  (Tom Doe's) the argument that legalizing marijuana would allow taxation of sales and thus bring large revenues into the coffers of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which could go for repairing roads, among other uses, (not addressing the increased moneys that would be spent on repairing the mental and physical health of citizens); and Bill Downing's argument that "We must be free to do whatever we want in our own homes, in our own lives. . .  I feel a lot safer knowing my kids are smoking marijuana in the woods than knowing that they are making out with their girlfriends or driving cars down the highway!"

Be that as it may, none of the presenters addressed the reality that Marash Girl experienced as a high school guidance counselor: young people came into her office high on marijuana, but never drunk on alcohol.  High on marijuana, they could not focus.  When school age kids are high on marijuana during the school day, they cannot become productive members of the society if they cannot participate in the learning that is required before that productivity can be achieved.  
WBUR offered last night's guests brownies, NOT (they promised) laced with marijuana! 
Photo by Marash Girl

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Norumbega Tower, Weston, MA

.Passing what was once Norumbega Park (the present-day site of the Marriott) and remembering her occasional childhood trips to the then famous Norumbega Tower, Marash Girl realized that it had been years since her last visit.  Begging Marash Boy to drive down Norumbega Road on their way home, she saw it once again . . . that strange structure which, years ago, she had been told was built by the Norsemen on their trip through the area,  long before Columbus landed on our shores.  On this day, however, try as she might, she could not make out the words on the marble of the time-worn commemorative plaque affixed to the base of the tower, nor could she enter the tower and climb to its top (the iron gate securely chained closed the tower's entrance),  so, upon her return home, she decided to do some research on the internet, and there she found not only the tower's inscription unfaded by time, but the history of its construction as well.
The view of Norumbega Tower through the eyes of a child . . . grown to adulthood.
"The Norumbega Tower is a stone tower erected by Eben Norton Horsford in 1889 to mark the supposed location of Fort Norumbega, a Norse fort and city. It is located in Weston, Massachusetts at the confluence of Stony Brook and the Charles River." . . . From the internet

The inscription on the marble embedded at the base of the tower reads as follows:

A.D. 1000 A.D. 1889
DISCOVERED BY                    ··············
EXPLORED BY                    ··············
COLONIZED BY                    ··············
FIRST BISHOP                    ··············