I started this post from the Fenway Park writer’s press box where sports writers craft articles about the Red Sox and their opponents. We’d just stood atop the green monster and heard how Ruth was sold to the Yankees back in 1912 for a stunning $100,000, then went on to set record after record while the Red Sox struggled. To this day some feel there’s a curse on the sox from that ill-fated sale.
Fenway fans are close to the action in this small, intimate ball park. I could be a Boston fan. I could live in Boston. There’s water all around the city, and waves in the winter just up or down the coast.
Among other Hollywood movies Moneyball, Ted, and Field of Dreams were partially filmed at Fenway.
There’s still a single red seat in right field that marks the longest home run ever hit in the park. It was a 502 foot blast by Ted Williams on June 9, 1946.
This isn’t about standup paddle boarding though there is a paddle board in the garage and two outside the next-door neighbor’s porch.
But the Narragansett wind has yet to lay down since we arrived in Barrington.
We visited Colt State Park yesterday where blue sky and dark water framed sail boats playing in the bay. The park could have been anywhere, except for the age of the buildings that had a sturdy maturity to them; a certain regal angle about the way they held themselves. Not pretentious, but stable, connected to the earth, set against a treelined backdrop.
We drove into Bristol where some of the trees were turning, and the street lines were a patriotic red, white and blue. The waterfront cafes varied from contemporary burger joints to the historical DeWolf Tavern where rum barrels and old photos were the last vestiges of the slave trade triangle from the 1700s.
We finished the day watching Tom Brady lead the Patriots to a stomping of the Dallas Cowboys while listening to our host’s sister discuss authors whom she’d lead around the Boston area including Anne Lamott, J.K. Rowling, and T.C. Boyle.
I’m looking forward to seeing the blast of fall color that has so far only punctuated the landscape. But I’ve been happy just to roam New England and marvel at the old wood floors, the simple shingle structures, and the lacework water ways that weave through the countryside and the city.
Been here two full days and have yet to see a paddle boarder. But they’re here. In fact there’s a paddle board in our Rhode Island garage. There’s water everywhere around Boston and Rhode Island so it’s just a matter of time before a paddle boarder appears.
We met a mariner living on a bluff over a Cape Ann bay. He was building a boat, by hand. Below his home lurked a left that surfers rode during large winter waves. Cold water waves. Last year there were paddle boarders in the lineup.
We heard these creatures sometimes roamed the beaches. They’d been sighted on Boston’s north shore. Our friend from Boston, Letti, took us to the Peabody Essex in Salem where these beests were on exhibit. There are lots of detailed drawings, and models. The beests can move, and they do. Theo, the creator, greeted us through many videos in which he discusses his process, his vision, his passion. He does it with straight face including a ditty about the reproductive process. We look forward to the exhibit getting to San Francisco’s Exploratorium sometime in the next couple of years.
I’ve never been to Boston though I remember Wade Boggs. It was 1986. Donna and I had returned from our very romantic honeymoon at Packer Lake Lodge. We took lovely hikes and drove the Gold Lake Highway to Graeagle for supplies and sweets. A large bear strode across the road so quickly that it seemed imagined.
The day after returning to work I got sick. Real sick. Tired to the bone sick. I watched post-season baseball. Redsox and Mets. I don’t remember who won but do remember Wade Boggs running bases on old worn out knees and Lenny Dykstra chewing gum, making stunning center field plays and getting on base over and over.
We’re in the air to Boston. My first trip to New England. There are tours of Fenway Park where I’m sure there are vestiges of Wade and that post season back in 1986. It’s only a mile or two from our friend Letti’s place in Cambridge.
I looked it up. The Mets won in 7. Here’s an image with the left field Green Monster.
My brother, Allen, and I hadn’t surfed together in maybe 15 years until day before yesterday. We got wet at Ventura Point. Me on my SUP, Allen on his Walden long board. The wind-blown waves were barely rideable but we both caught a few. My brother, at 66, is still fluid on his longboard.
We celebrated our dad’s 95th birthday for three days. We saw whales from Mugu Rock. I think they were humpbacks but they were way off shore toward the Channel Island chain. We ate out. We watched TV game shows. We got him a new phone. We spent time just catching up.
Bev and Allen put out the big birthday spread with fresh corn on the cob, enchiladas, tri-tip, salad, carrot cake and ice cream. Cousin Jon and wife Jamie joined in the celebration.
I look forward to tomorrow’s ride north along the Santa Barbara coast. Hope there’s energy to finish the drive along the Santa Cruz coast
Happy Birthday Poppie.
And of course there’s a highlight video.