There is no city in America that has so extraordinary a history as Newport, R.I. This is chiefly due to its being a destination for visits, first by well-heeled New Yorkers and Southerners in the 1850s, and then most famously by the rich society swells who installed showplace mansions especially along the magnificent rugged coastline, and then by tourists who come to see the mansions. The mansions (erected by rich people who enjoyed the ironic humor of calling them “cottages”) and the society within them are not the whole Newport story, but any social history of the city is going to concentrate on them.
Why does death always come as a surprise? We expect it throughout our entire life. It is the logical bookend to birth, the soul’s escape.
Sharon knew her husband was cheating. She lined up four friends with cell phones along a likely route. As the husband left the marital abode the first friend followed and alerted the other friends along the way. The husband led the posse right to the front door of his love nest. Photographs were taken, proof garnered — divorce, a done deal.
On New Year’s Eve I spent a quiet evening at home with a cheap bottle of champagne and off-the-shelf caviar — a tradition I started many years ago, even when I had a life.
He was reading a small book. I slipped through the gun checkers at the courthouse. No alarms went off.
Welcome to the beginning of a new year, and the beginning of a new decade!
Just three more days of the Christmas season, which officially ends Jan. 6, on Epiphany.
Tis the season ... we are expected to be joyous, peaceful and generous. Add whatever you wish to this list. It could be endless.
Isn’t it interesting that a guy can get arrested for asking for a dollar for a hamburger but any number of people can call you during the family supper hour and ask for money?
Snow storms seem to evade the Golden Triangle. I might be the cause.
We were touring a castle in England years ago, and came to the banqueting hall. “This hall has been remodeled many times,” the sign in the room said, “the last time in 1654.” It was a reminder of how old buildings in the Old World really are, and a cause for doubt: can it be that this room looked just the same as it did more than 300 years ago? I thought of that sign many times as I was reading “The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories” (Metropolitan Books) by Edward Hollis.
This is the time of year to dream of wishes fulfilled. We are making our lists for Santa, or for whomever is our personal giver of gifts. Most requests, I suppose, are reasonable. Some may ask for a gift that sparkles, or one that hums, or perhaps even one with four legs and a tail that wags. Green is always good, whether it means environmentally beneficial, or the sort of green that folds neatly into a pocket.
(Occasionally, a reader will ask me when we will have something else by my grandson, who is in the Peace Corps in Peru. He obliged by sending the following. Nothing in the content represents the Peace Corps or the United States government. It is simply the observation of an individual.)
“Hey, you got a dollar for a hamburger?” It was about lunchtime, and I was exiting my car in front of the courthouse. I smiled and said, “Yeah,” and reached back into my car at the coin keeper and gathered a handful of change. I had a hunch and intended to follow it. Now that I had his undivided attention I asked, “I think you know my husband.” He looked puzzled. “Bardwell,” I called out.
My little basket of cemetery tools seemed woefully inadequate as I faced a stalk as tall as me growing right out of the middle of the gravesite. I had just driven two hours to clean and decorate the grave, but for this job I would possibly need power tools.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death.
I have the perfect antidote for the sort of stress that makes folks wish for a prescription of tranquilizers.
With glittering baubles, bows — and even a doggie bone or two — a four-day silent auction Dec. 1-4 at the Rosenzweig Arts Center should make it a snap to deck the halls this Christmas season. Twenty decorated wreaths will go to the highest bidder, and lend support to two good causes at the same time.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... and, perhaps a bit too soon. Chris and I, along with our array of “usual suspects,” fought the too, too early onset of shopping, and business-type, must-attends this week. We took in two very cool concerts, both with thematic locales quite far from the North Pole.
I want to tell you about my aunt, the one that always said, “Geet?” meaning, “Did you eat?” I’m only going to say that she lived in a Southern town that had an annual pilgrimage, and she lived in one of those old houses downtown and the house was said to have a ghost. My mother always said, “That Aunt Sarah is a bird,” which meant that she was eccentric or a “character.”