Visiting Old Sturbridge Village and Salem

Saint Karen and I spent a little time in Massachusetts last week, visiting Old Sturbridge Village and Salem.  I’d recommend both.  We like historical places.  Salem has some preserved pre-Revolutionary buildings and cemeteries that date to the 1600s.  Sturbridge represents a pre-Civil War farming communities.  Some of the buildings were preserved/restored locally and some were purchased elsewhere, moved to Sturbridge, and reassembled.

The two pictures above are from Sturbridge, the Central Meeting House which was built around 1832 and an antique farm wagon I found in one of the many barns in the Village.  We were there on a beautiful late-May day.  I imagine autumn in Old Sturbridge Village is a photo opportunity just waiting to happen too.  Maybe we’ll go back for fall color.

I’d prefer to have the pictures side by side, but I’m not good at layout in Word Press.  If I figure out how to do that, I’ll change it.

If I have any pictures I like from Salem, I’ll try to put them up soon, and perhaps say a little more about Salem as well.

The docents in Sturbridge were really knowledgeable, and outgoing.  I had an informative conversation with the tinsmith, and another with the cobbler.  The thing that really caught my attention was in the school house where the woman playing a teacher displayed a book about American  history.  It was only a few pages long.  After all, she said, there wasn’t that much American history back then.  We were in the school house when a school field trip came through.  The school kids’ questions were entertaining too.  They were especially glad to know that school children in the early nineteenth century did have recess.

One improvement I’d recommend for Old Sturbridge Village (and it is trivial) is when you get to the parking lot, it’s a little difficult to figure out where the village entrance is.  A couple of additional signs would help with that.


I was in Salem, MA, last week, which is near Boston, and I had to get to Long Island, NY, which isn’t.  I could have gotten on I-95 and taken it all the way to the Throgs Neck Bridge, but I have a GPS, so I plugged my destination into it.  As a result, after getting on I-95, I took several other roads before rejoining I-95 near Bridgeport, CT.  In doing that, I saved about a half-hour of driving.  So, plus one for GPS. 

As an aside, what is a throg anyway?  

More often, I take GPS directions as advice, rather than gospel.  For instance, driving from Ithaca, NY to New York City, you’d probably take NY Route 17 most of the way, or I-81 to I-380 to I-80.  Last time I did it, I took NY Route 17 to Hancock, NY, then drove down Route 97.  Why?  Because the Upper Delaware River as it separates New York and Pennsylvania is a much prettier ride, and I was in no hurry.  The GPS kept wanting me to get back on Route 17 almost until I reached Port Jervis.

As another aside, there’s a little town further down Route 17 than where I left it called Fishs Eddy.  There’s also a store by that name in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, or at least there was a couple of years ago.  Obviously, it should be Fishes Eddy or Fish’s Eddy.  It’s not.  I don’t know why it’s not, but live with it.

I leave the GPS on when taking alternate routes because I’m a bit of a contrarian, and because I hope one day to goad the computerized voice of the GPS into screaming at me.

King v O’Donnell

For the past week of two, articles in the NY Post have been hinting at a feud between CBS Morning News co-hosts Gail King and Nora O’Donnell.  King just got a new contract, and a big raise.  The post implied that as part of King’s new contract, she insisted that O’Donnell be moved off the show.  Both King and O’Donnell denied that there’s a feud on this morning’s show.

Moreover, O’Donnell was announced as the new anchor of the CBS Evening News, and further, CBS is moving the show to Washington this summer at considerable expense and O’Donnell’s request.

I don’t know if there’s a feud or not, but if someone forced me off the show I was on, I’d like it to be the way O’Donnell left.  Being sole anchor of the CBS Evening News is a promotion from co-anchor of the Morning News.  And, if O’Donnell does manage to improve ratings (the show has fewer viewers than ABC or NBC), she will also be rewarded handsomely.

If the feud rumors are true, CBS essentially said, “We don’t like you, so here’s a big promotion and a golden opportunity.”  Nobody who doesn’t like me has ever been that nice to me.  Come to think of it, very few people who do like me have done anything close to as nice either.

Things I Know

I’m a bit behind, so I just watched the 4/28 episode of “Game of Thrones.”  Too bad I couldn’t see it too.  I read that it was too dark, so I watched it in a room with all the lights off.  Still too dark.

Joe Biden recently declared himself a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.  He was immediately declared the front runner.  I think Biden will have a tough time in primaries because primary voters tend to be more radical than people who vote in general elections.  Maybe I’ll become interested in the presidential election in October, next year.

I’ve recently made two observations about toddlers that don’t make any sense to me.  If you’re two-and-a-half feet tall, you apparently think the safest place to hide is behind mommy’s leg.  Similarly, people two-and-a-half feet tall never worry about being trampled.  Neither of these seems like a good survival strategy to me, but both appear to work pretty well.

I’ve just been informed that our son and daughter-in-law will be visiting in early December.  We’ll be happy to see them.  Do you think that this time we can finally get our son to ship all the stuff he has stored in our house to his house?

For a long time, I’ve dabbled in property tax assessment in a small municipality.  The job is very part-time, and I stepped down last month.  With all the jobs I’ve held and left, you’d think I would have at least one gold watch by now, but I don’t.  I wish I had been a famous network TV host.  Leaving those jobs seems to pay exceptionally well.

I’ve been doing physical therapy for my hips and lower back recently.  It has helped my hips greatly.  I wonder if my back is worse now, or if it just seems worse because the hips are so much better.

I went to the New York International Auto Show around Easter.  I usually do that.  I’ve been going since I was 12 and while I have missed some, there are people there who should know me by now.

I tried a Fiat 124 Spyder on for size.  I might be able to get into one, but I’d definitely need help (maybe even a hydraulic hoist) to get out of it.  I’m guessing that the Fiat Spyder is a medium, while I clearly need an extra large.

I still want to go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to photograph weeping cherry trees.  They bloom a little earlier than the rest of the cherry blossoms.  But it’s been a pretty nasty April around here, weather wise, so this year, I didn’t go at all.

When I was in college, I pursued an interest and pursued lower grades too, by being a disc jockey.  As the current Mega Millions jackpot nears $300,000,000, I’ve just come up with another silly thing to spend the money on in the very unlikely chance I win.  The trouble is that while it is silly, it isn’t terribly extravagant.  I’ll still jump on the bed if I win, but I’ll also get myself a personalized dj jingle.  Author Steven King bought a radio station near where he lives and had it play music he likes.  Maybe I’ll do that too.  Radio stations aren’t as expensive as they used to be.