It dawned on me the other day that I never reported out on the Annual Heritage Days weekend. Time to catch up.
Heritage Days begins with the lighting up of the coast on Friday night. The Luminaria brings neighborhoods together to participate and Cedar Point sent its best. Betty and John Kincaid stored the bottles all summer long and a crew fills them with sand and candles in the afternoon. Peter and Linda Martin with their son Peter, led the charge around 5:00 with the milk bottles and candles for the Jetties and the beach. Haley was out there too, with Sophia and Charlotte and Kristen and lots of other neighbors. The wind was up and I had my doubts about how many we would be able to get to hold the match but the vast majority burned all night long.
As I was working my way down the beach around 8:00 to light my share, I ended up in conversation with a mother, her daughter and her daughter\’s husband. The senior member of the trio was a Mrs. Burton, formerly of Scituate and returned to visit after many years. They shared with me their story of a tour of Etrusco on the day it came off the beach in November 1956. Mrs. Burton\’s husband, Richard, (an easy one to remember) was part of the team working on re floating the ship. Mother and daughter recalled dinner nearly on the table when Richard arrived home with word that they were going to have to drive to Boston to pick him up as he was going aboard ship now that the team had had success at last. Once in Boston both were taken aboard. The younger recalled it being a dirty and unpleasant tour until they made it into the captain\’s berth. There the wood work was polished to perfection and the appointments were impeccable. I kept up the questioning as long as I could as I was unbelievably excited to have stumbled into this story. All those years later Etrusco has still got stories to tell.
Saturday and Sunday saw the Lighthouse and Tower open for tours once again. There was scarcely a breeze on Saturday and on Sunday there was a gale. Peter and Barbara Whitfield took their usual places and were joined on Saturday by my sister Lee and on Sunday by Nancy Fay and her nephew Ben. I can never thank them enough for pitching in. Haley headed up to the Bates House where I am pleased to report they had a new high mark set for visitors at an open house.
The crowds were of a reasonable size and that let me tell more stories than usual on Saturday. On Sunday I took a step back and tried to take more questions rather than lecture. The guests did not let me down either as I was asked many things that don\’t often come up.
One of the great surprises of the day was a question on a ball cap I keep in the office. It is from the USS Enterprise and was a gift from a naval officer once of that ship and now on staff with the Joint Chiefs. It turns out that his sister in law and her family were on the tour and it gave me a chance to let them now how much I miss Patrick\’s correspondence. One of these days he will come through and we will get a picture of the two of us in those hats.
The next open house is here on Sunday August 19th from 1:00 to 4:00. Visitors are asked to donate $2.00 and there will be t-shirts and sweatshirts available as souvenirs. There are also books on Scituate history, mugs, prints and Christmas cards. Come on down and support the Light and the Society.