Tuesday, December 30, 2008

new camera

So I treated myself to a digital camera for Christmas. Hope I don't bore everyone to death with photos, but here are some pictures taken in the last few days. Consider them test shots -- better photos to come.

Hannah and Nick
Christmas for the birds

A walk down Rendezvous Lane in Barnstable Village -- windswept willow

Looking out to Sandy Neck -- there's a heron in the little inlet (click on photo to see him up close)

There's that heron again

If you click on the photo you can see the colony of houses & lighthouse at the end of Sandy Neck
Had breakfast with Tissy and Dick at Jack's OutBack, just this morning. Fun!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

and chester strikes again

Yet another Chester Loomis painting up for auction on ebay.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

cousin dave

A remembrance of Cousin Dave Kendall was published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on September 12th. Jon Kendall wrote to Mom and said that Dave's ashes were spread on Monterey Bay near one of his favorite fishing spots.

He and I had a special, funny relationship since the days when he dubbed me the "bald-headed baby."

Very sad to lose my much-loved cousin. Be at peace.

Monday, September 08, 2008

gunn memorial library

I've been corresponding with a man in Washington, CT who owns a house next door to Grandma Abbot's old house on Old North Road. (To see his comments on an earlier post, click here.) He has been researching the history of his house, and in doing so found that the Gunn Memorial Library and Museum in Washington has a framed calling card belonging to Grandma Ab and Grandma Loomis. He sent me the image you see at the right.

Also,about 10 years ago I donated some of Grandpa Loo's watercolors of Washington to the Gunn Library, along with photos of Connecticut doorways taken by Grandma Loo. I can't remember if I made copies of the watercolors for everyone? If not, you can see the images here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

dottie a

I remember Grandma Loo telling us that she was one of the first women in her crowd to own a motor car. Here's evidence that she ruled the road. Does anyone else have more information on Grandma and her car?

more chester paintings

Blogging brings with it some interesting emails and contact with random people who have an interest in some of the subjects I've written about. I've been contacted by 3 people this year asking for information about Chester Loomis and his paintings. They all own work by him or represent someone who is trying to sell his work. They sent me images, which I share here with you. The first image is, clearly, pretty spectacular -- very large, with great handling of the light. If you read SDL's memoirs again, at the end I included letters that she wrote from Cartaret, describing the scenery -- just as pictured here.

Cartaret, France, 1884

Pilgrims Going to Church, Lithograph

Allery, France, 1887

Saturday, August 30, 2008

vermont then and now

So, I had a wonderful trip to Vermont. Part of the allure of this trip for me was that all my life I've been surrounded by grandpa and great-grandpa's paintings of the Greensboro area, as well as Uncle Jack and grandpa's photos of their summers there. In Sara Dana's memoir, her descriptions of growing up in St. Johnsbury and the surrounding towns were so vivid! It was a magnetic kind of place that drew them back year after year. They were also friends with Greensboro's notable Bliss Perry, a professor at Williams College and Princeton who enticed many creative types and intellectuals to the join him in the hills of Vermont. The Perry family, along with numerous other Greensboro residents, appear throughout Uncle Jack's photo album.

You'd think I'd want to get away from libraries during my vacation, but in the 3 days of my trip I visited 3 libraries -- The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, The Abbott Memorial Library in Pomfret, and the Greensboro Free Library, where I discovered new information about our family and these towns where they lived. Coincidentally, while I was at the library in Pomfret I met a library patron who summered in Greensboro, and recognized many of the faces in Uncle Jack's photos. She helped fill in many details for me.

Also coincidentally, the lady who runs the Estabrook House Bed & Breakfast where I stayed is named Maureen Chace Hennings. She lived next door to Halcyon Farm in Lakeville in the late 60s and early 70s, and is a 4th cousin to Aunt Cyndie! She had both Waddah and Uncle John as teachers at Apponequet. How funny is that?

So I poked around St. Johnsbury, where Sara Dana's family moved in 1857 , down from the "howling winds and snowdrifts on the bleak heights" of Danville. St. Johnsbury of today is an interesting mix of grand architecture and culture left over from the Victorian era with sort of weary rural/urban dilapidation at the edges. The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum was a treasure trove of information, in addition to being one of the loveliest libraries I've seen. They have a world class art gallery including the huge and impressive painting, Albert Bierstadt's "The Domes of Yosemite."

While there I visited the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery to see the Dana lot, where the following ancestors are buried or have markers:

  • Charles Smith Dana and Arvilla Sinclair Dana [Sara Dana's parents]
  • Abby Dana Loomis [Sara's sister]
  • Sally Loomis Wilson [Abby's daughter]
  • Israel Putnam Dana [Sara's brother]
  • Chester & Sara Dana Loomis
I visited Pomfret on Thursday, where Isaac Dana and his son John Wincester Dana were two of its earliest proprietors. There is still a Dana Road in North Pomfret. John's Wincester's son Israel Putnam Dana, and his son, Charles Smith Dana, lived in Danville with their families. Arvilla Sinclair's ancestors lived in Greensboro, Hardwick, and Danville, where I visted on my last day.
For more photos in addition to those below, see my Flickr photostream.

Dana House, Main Street, St. Johnsbury-- now known as the Pearl House and broken up into residential apartments

Hills of Vermont -- unfinished oil painting by Chester Loomis
Hills of Danville
Greensboro watercolor by Charles Dana Loomis 1934

Uncle Jack (center) and friends swimming in Caspian Lake, Greensboro circa 1905
Uncle Jack looking dapper -- he subtitled this photo "Dutchman's breeches"

Off on a jaunt, Greensboro

Sketch of Uncle Jack at Greensboro by Grandpa Loomis
Skinny dipping at Bathtub Rocks, Greensboro
Grandpa Loomis with dog and friends, Greensboro circa 1910

Grandpa and Sara Dana return to Caspian Lake circa 1926/7

Grandpa with Esther and Dana, Caspian Lake, circa 1926/7
Hills of Greensboro

Chester Loomis chatting with Justice Wendell Stafford. St. Johnsbury, circa 1906
Dana Marker, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, St. Johnsbury
More photos on my Flickr photostream page.

Friday, August 15, 2008

vermont bound

I'm heading to Vermont in a few weeks to visit the stomping grounds of our ancestors. Our great-grandmother Sara Dana and her family, as far back as the late 1600s, lived in various towns and villages in northern Vermont. Her great grandfather John Winchester Dana was one of the early proprietors of Pomfret, Vermont. The Danas and the Sinclairs were early residents of Greensboro, Danville, and St. Johnsbury. I have many photos of this area from Uncle Jack's photo albums -- he and Grandpa Loomis, along with Chester and Sara summered in Greensboro in the early 1900s, when it was something of a resort town. Many of us have artwork by Chester and Grandpa Loomis that depict scenes in and around Greensboro. So I'll be spending 3 or 4 days poking around, taking photos, doing research, and getting some rest and relaxation in the place that Grandpa Loomis referred to as his "beloved Vermont." I'll post photos of my trip in a few weeks.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The other night I went on a sunset dinner cruise with a group from the library, and we were treated to a spectacular storm -- the rain held off until we went inside to eat, and then stopped so we could go back out to enjoy the sunset. Here are a couple of photos to show you the effect of electricity on hair and the amazing sight of a storm over land. Many parts of the Cape got hail, lightning, and drenching rain. For more photos (and probably more cloud pictures than you want to see), click here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

the elusive fish

In my earlier post on Sara's visit I mentioned that we saw a fish swimming at Long Beach that we couldn't identify. Well, I think I've finally solved the mystery. It turns out to be a sea robin (as some of you suggested), though I'm not sure which variety/species. It turns out there are about a bazillion types of sea robin, all looking a little different. Ours had a decidedly cat-fish sort of face, and ruffly wings when swimming. So, Oh Ye of Little Faith -- it turns out that we are not crazy, hallucinatory, or otherwise deranged. Not in this case, anyway.

Seems the only pictures available online were of the fish on the end of a hook. But ours was swimming placidly in the sparkly, shallow waters at Long Beach, trying to nibble our toes.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

17 years

When Sara was here visiting we were having the every-17-year visit of the cicadas on Cape Cod. Interestingly, they may be plaguing every yard on one block and not make an appearance in yards the next street over. We escaped the plague at our end of the street. When Sara and I were driving to the beach on her last day here we had the windows open and the sound was amazing. Like aliens from another planet. Click here to hear the noise.

So we now have lots of cicada husks and cicada carcasses lying around in the streets. As you can see from the picture above, some clever girls in Sandwich are making some cool jewelry with the leftovers. Guess what you're all getting for Christmas?

Here's a photo gallery of how the bugs emerge, and in case this all leaves you feeling hungry, here's some yummy treats you can cook up if cicadas come visiting in your area. Bon appetit!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

dorothy's visit last march

When Dorothy came east for a visit in March, I didn't have a camera and so I wasn't able to document our time together. Dorothy took a few pictures, and here they are. Thanks Dorothy! We took a day trip to Provincetown on a cold rainy day. Provincetown, for those of you who haven't visited there, is (in the right season) a glorious extravaganza of fun shops, restaurants, galleries, and every kind of people you can imagine -- artists, merchants, fishermen, families, tourists, gay, lesbian, transgendered, and straight. All surrounded by wonderful ocean views on all sides. On a gray rainy day in March, most shops are closed, year-round residents are working or tucked away at home, tourists and visitors haven't arrived, and the views are truncated by fog and clouds. But it felt like an adventure as Dorothy, Nick and I trudged through the puddles, had a great lunch at a cool restaurant, and ended up at (where else), the Provincetown Public Library, which features a half-sized model of the ship Rose Dorothea.

Click here for a great video that gives you a sense of the summer life in Provincetown during Carnival from a partyer's point of view-- the crowds aren't much different on regular days. So Dorothy -- watch it and see what you missed! And turn up the volume!
Dorothy & Nick in front of a fabulous house with a sculpture garden.

Nick and Lucy @ the Provincetown Public Library.

Rose Dorothea (nice name, huh Dorothy?)

Friday, June 20, 2008

the gesture

Sara and I noticed that Mom makes a certain gesture while she's talking, and we've captured evidence of it in several recent photos. You be the judge.

No gesturing. Hands at rest.

There it is!

There it is again! And behind my back, no less!
And there!

Well, I guess I make certain gestures too. Peace!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

sara's visit back east

Here are a few photos of Sara's visit to the east coast. Check Sara's blog in the next few weeks for more photos. We had a great time catching up on each other's lives and thoughts and feelings. We talked non-stop and, of course, solved all the problems of the world. We spent a day at Heritage Gardens in Sandwich with Mom and Aunt Biddy, and had a really fun visit with Ben in Newport -- got to see where he works and where he lives. And we had a morning on Long Beach right here in Centerville, walking and wading. We saw an unusual fish that I have yet to identify, and the little sand crabs that dig their holes and create little balls of sand outside of the opening. Scroll down for a really bad (and blessedly short) video of the little crabs in action.

Susan, Biddy, and Sara, Heritage Gardens, Sandwich, MA

From Behind

Sara on the Carousel, Heritage Gardens

Kites along Ocean Drive, Newport, RI

Sara and Ben, Ocean Drive

Sara, Ben, Grandma Susie


Hannah graduates from 8th grade (Aunt Sara attended the ceremony)

Sara admires the shell tree, Long Beach, Centerville

Terrible crab video; nice butt
WARNING -- Graphic scene of crab abuse

Sara the bathing beauty

Piping plover

Long Beach, Centerville, looking west to Osterville

Sara and Grandma, Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA