Jenkinson’s and the Jersey Shore

Posted on May 30, 2013 by Leave a comment


President Obama’s stroll on the Point Pleasant boardwalk this week lulled me back six decades to lazy summer days when I walked the boards there myself, enjoying Jenkinson’s and the Jersey Shore.

The President challenged Gov. Christie to an arcade game, one that Christie won and then gave the prize to Obama.

That simple gesture reminded me of ski-ball, our favorite game each summer that my sisters and I played with a vengeance, wracking up points for tickets and finally earning enough to bring some stuffed treasure home for ourselves.

We always went for the brass ring on the merry-go-round, too. Do today’s carousels offer such a challenge? Not likely, since it’s too much liability for the ride’s owners, if someone fell off.

We had no such worries in the 1950s. We’d mount an outside steed, or boldly stand on the revolving platform, holding on to a pole and grabbing for rings as the ride passed the dispenser. The boldest riders even pulled a few rings out each time they rode by, risking a fall for the thrill of the challenge.

Excitement reigned if we got the coveted brass one, then picked up the free ticket for another ride. It didn’t matter that our rides were always free. Elmo, the owner, refused money from dad even though he always tried to shove a few dollars through the window of the ticket box, where she sat beside the colorful carousel. Elmo was my mother’s classmate. They were friends. And friends didn’t pay for rides on her merry-go-round, she always told us.

More memories flourish — eating frozen custard, not ice cream and Frank’s caramel corn, the best I’ve ever tasted, sweet and crunchy and crafted by another of mom’s childhood pals.  Riding the beach train from Jenkinson’s north to south pavilion down by the inlet. The rocking chairs at Jenkinson’s situated on a pavilion that jutted out over the ocean so you could see waves lapping at the beach through the boards below the rockers. Savory Manhattan-style clam chowder, made with chewy clams, tomatoes, celery and carrots, not cream. Lazy, hot days on the beach. The smell of Coppertone and riding the waves. Colorful beach tags pinned to our suits. Being buried in the sand. Sitting naked in a tub outside mom’s childhood home, rinsing the sand off, since Aunt Jane, our maiden aunt who owned the old homestead, had decreed that no sand should be tracked into her home.

These are the Point Pleasant memories I treasure. And seeing the people and the President enjoying Jenkinson’s this week made me happy that my Jersey Shore is back and summer can begin again.

A stellar Opening Night at Pops

Posted on May 10, 2013 by Leave a comment

Opening Night at Pops is a sure sign of spring in Boston, an evening of world-class music, conviviality and celebrations of friendship and life.

It’s been so for 128 years and was so again on Wednesday night — a fitting symbol of Boston’s strength, resilience and community spirit despite the tragic events that took place a few blocks away on April 15.

My grandson Jack joined me at Opening Night this year. He’s nine, a great kid, who’s interested in country music and the framed Night at Pops poster his parents have hung in their living room.

I couldn’t have asked for a better companion. He took in the glories of Symphony Hall, checking out the gold gilt and statuary in the upper balconies as I pointed them out.  I told him that Symphony Hall is one of the world’s most perfect concert halls acoustically and explained he would “get it” once the orchestra began playing.

We’d “prepped” for the concert, listening to Pops CDs in the car on our ride in. Jack sat with me at our table seat in row M and marveled at the people walking by. “It’s a great place to people watch,” I told him. And he agreed.

Our amiable usher told us she plays flute and studies music at Tufts and is looking forward to hearing all the concerts this year, a perk when you work that gig.

Conductor Keith Lockhart bounded on-stage, leading the Pops in its spirited opener, “Hooray for Hollywood,” a stellar start to Lights! Camera! Action! – this season’s theme.

The lively rendition featured a well-edited video backdrop with quick shots from dozens of Hollywood classics from Gone With the Wind and The Little Tramp to contemporary fare like Argo and Shrek.

Other Hollywood music followed including well-orchestrated versions of the title theme from Gone with the Wind, The Days of Wine and Roses and “The Flying Theme”  from E.T. and “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, which Jack immediately recognized.

There were two tunes from Disney’s “Fantasia,” which the Pops will feature in its complete version in concerts later this season.

The second act featured country-super star Vince Gill, an amiable guy who marveled at the thrill he felt when he heard his tunes played by the venerable Boston Pops.

Gill’s wife, Amy Grant, was a classmate of Lockhart’s at Furman University in South Carolina. “I bet Keith wished I’d brought Amy along,” quipped Gill. Lockhart gamely gave a thumbs-up in agreement.

In tribute to the heroes who helped on Marathon Monday, the Pops invited a Mass General Hospital surgeon to conduct its signature finale “Stars and Stripes Forever.” This doc — a music major in college — had run the marathon, then immediately went to work helping to save lives.

All in all, it was a perfect way to end a stellar Opening Night at Pops — one that Jack and I will never forget.

Too much stuff

Posted on April 26, 2013 by Leave a comment

Too much stuff

Posted by Nancye Tuttle on April 26th, 2013 | Edit

Hundreds of National Geographic magazines, trash bags and boxes of newspapers, scores of Christmas ornaments, a Department 56 village to make a holiday knick-knack fanatic smile. Canceled checks from the 1970s, dilapidated toys, stained baby clothes, never used dishes, forgotten scrapbooks, unopened bed linens, too-tight ski clothes, moth-eaten winter caps.

The list goes on, it resembled a scene from Hoarders, and it was in my attic.

That is until recently, when we hired a strapping young man to haul it down to the garage as we began the process of downsizing after 37 years. It was the best $20 an hour we’d ever spent. And Shaun was amazingly speedy bringing down all this stuff.

Sorting through it took time. Some went to consignment, more went to recycling, most went to the dump. And there were sentimental moments and occasional outbursts and arguments when one of us wanted to throw something away  and the other cried, “No!”

But, for the most part, it’s gone now.

We’re cleaned out, aside from the huge collection of G-scale outdoor trains that used to chug around the deck out back and brought joy indoors each Christmas. They go to their new home on Sunday, a train consignment shop in New Jersey, where some new owners will find them soon, buy  them and set up a display to amuse and amaze their family and friends.

Do I feel any tinges of regret following this major purge? Not really. Most of the “good” stuff was saved. And pictures and journals will preserve memories and spur me to write about them as time goes by.

The best part? Now that 30-plus years worth of junk is gone, I’ve got room to start collecting again for the next 30-some years.

Just kidding, really.




Theater news

Posted on September 4, 2012 by Leave a comment

Enjoyed a lively chat today with actress Kathy St. George, a favorite of mine. She’ll be playing Roz in a production of 9 to 5 The Musical at North Shore Music Theater, opening later this month.
Also enjoyed reconnecting with nationally-known director Kate Whoriskey, a young woman who grew up in our neighborhood with my girls Wendy and Heather. Kate is directing a new play at the Huntington and is excited to be back in the old neighborhood, so to speak – Boston where she attended grad school at the ART.
Despite the name she’s made for herself, Kate remains refreshingly unaffected and thrilled to be doing what she’s doing.
Watch for interviews with both of these theatrical women in coming weeks in the Sun’s new whatdoUwannado section that launches next Thursday, Sept. 13.
Also check out the newly refurbished MRT that opens officially this Thursday with a dedication and ribbon cutting, then in previews for its 33rd season opener Homestead Crossing..can’t wait to enjoy those cushy new seats and the new lobby and box office…great theater for all in Lowell…
Stay tuned for more posts on my blog.
‘Til then, check out a show…..


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