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Today in My History

2000:  It Ain't Over
2001:  No Big Macs
2002:  One Step at a Time
2003:  On My Own
In Lieu of an Entry
2005:  Back to Normal

2006I'm Relevant
2007: Smileys

2008: Losing Chico
  Around the World
2010:  The Spice of Life
2011:  Life and Death
2012: The Torch has been Passed
Fantasy Land

Bitter Hack
9/17 - Hello Dolly
9/15 -

Books Read in 2014
"Pursuit of Honor"

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Airy Persiflage

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(New Kiva Loan to Rebecca in Kenya)

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The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers

mail to Walt


23 September 2014

...I have seen the Beer Can House in Houston and now the Paper House near Rockport.  I can die a happy person.

There is one really fun perk of writing Funny the World for 15 years.  Every so often I get to meet someone who has been reading it for a long time, someone I wasn't even aware of.  It's almost always a joy.

Today was one of those times.  A real joy.  Mary M. has been reading my journal for many years, back to when Rob Rummel-Hudson was first writing about his "wordless daughter" Schuyler, who is now 13.

I actually don't know if Mary has ever commented on a post or not, but I have several Marys that I know and it's difficult to tell which is which.

But when Mary learned we were coming to Boston, she wrote to ask if maybe we would consider coming about 50 miles north to Rockport to have lunch with her.  I was delighted.

We left here a bit later than anticipated and it was tricky navigating our way out of Boston, but once we had left the city behind, Mary had sent perfect directions for how to find their house and we showed up around 10 minutes after noon,.

Mary lives with her son, daughter-in-law, 2 grandsons (age 12 and age less than 12), and two Bernese Mountain Dogs.  These dogs are huge, very happy, and eager to greet guests.  I fell in love with them immediately.

(this is Mama, Tosca.  The puppy is Chariclo)

Daughter-in-law Beth had made us an eggplant lasagna, which was absolutely fabulous and we had a great lunch, getting to know each other. Mary says it's weird to be sitting with someone she feels she knows so well, but whom she has never met!  We found we had similar senses of humor, which is always a good sign. She is a lovely woman and I could not believe that she had gone out and bought Rockport postcards for all of my Compassion kids.  What a special gift!

After our lunch we went into Rockport to a cafe whose name I forgot to get.  We got Gilbert parking in that crowded place.  The view was spectacular.

Mary treated us to an ice cream puff, which is a cream puff stuffed with ice cream and hot fudge poured over it.  It was as delicious as it looks.

But then we saw the pice de rsistance:  The Paper House. 

Located at Pigeon Cove (which Rockportians are quick to point out is NOT in Rockport), this is a house made of Boston newspapers.  Begun in 1922 by Mr. Elis F. Stenman (with the help of his family), newspapers were made into different layers, each having been pasted and folded.  The walls, when finished consist of 215 thicknesses.

Now the house is furnished with paper furniture. Approximately 100,000 copies of newspapers have been used in the construction of the house and furniture.  The furniture consists of table, chairs, lamps, settee, all made in an octogonal motif; desk made of the Christian Science Monitor; a cot containing some papers saved since the First World War.  There is a piano covered with paper rolls

There is a radio cabinet made in 1928 during Hoover's campaign; a writing desk made of Lindberg's flight.  A bookshelf is made of newspapers from foreign countries

...and more.  The work covers 20 years of Stenman's life.  The place is so small that entrance is "on the honor system" and you are asked to leave $1.50/person in the mailbox of the house next door.  This was definitely a unique thing to see!

We drove around and saw beautiful scenery, including this weatherbeaten fisherman's shack at the harbor entrance, known as Motif #1.  It's really a nothing shack, we were told, but it is a popular subject for artists and photographers...like me!

I won't talk about the ride home, which took considerably longer than the ride up and somewhere a map book was lost.  Suffice it to say we did get home in time to meet Jeri and Phil at an Indian restaurant and take them to dinner for their belated 6th anniversary.  The food was so good and the chat so lively that I forgot to take pictures, until after dinner when we went to J.P. Licks ice creamery, named one of the top 10 in the country.  (To tell you the truth, I like Toscanini's in Cambridge better!

We have had another wonderful day here.  Tomorrow we go to a Red Sox game and then we are headed home.  Ashley tells me she's been using our dining room table to make her wedding veil.  I hope we have given her enough time to finish it!

Photo of the Day

Day 84:  Dessert at J.P. Licks


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