"Crotty News" Postings for: September 2009 !

Remember 11 September 2001!
      September! Also chock full of birthdays and anniversaries! Dale's birthday is the 4th! Roland & Evalyn Bourque's Anniversary is the 7th! Enza Esposito's birthday is the 8th! Chuck Bunnell's is the 14th! Uncle Ray's (Amirault) and cousin Prescille Bourque's birthday is the 22nd! Vanessa Fields' birthday is the 23rd! Steve & Francine's anniversary is the 26th! Katia Esposito's birthday is the 29th! (Whew!).

    Tuesday - 01 September - Well, I'm caught up on most of my landscaping projects and I guess I need to take a look at the Chevy S-10 brakes. They've been squealling at me for weeks. I have a set of brake shoes for the S-10 that I bought maybe 4 years ago, so it's time to see what I have and what I need to buy (if anything). The lawn mower's cutting deck really needs some work too, so it looks like those two will be my dirty, greasy projects for at least a few days.

    Wednesday/Thursday - 02/03 September - Well I had the best of intentions. My old Chevy S-10 needs new brakes, front and rear, and I was going to get busy and work on it but I actually finished something that's been on my mind for over a year: I finally sat down, got out all my italian dictionaries, brought up my italian grammar programs on my computer, and I wrote a five page, single-spaced letter of thanks, in italian, to our wonderful friends, Luigi and Maria! A year ago I assumed that they would have access to their daughters' computers, since they all live close to each other in Como, Italy, and I corresponded with both daughters and their husbands often over the past year. But I guess each family is very busy with work, kids, etc. I never heard directly from them, and nothing was "passed on" to us via the family computers, although I assume that the daughters did pass on our news. Anyway, Luigi and Maria not only have an apartment in Como, they also own that huge ancient home (Trullo) and large plot of land where we stayed last year -- near Cisternino and Locorotondo in Southern Italy. They spend their summers in Cisternino, coming back and forth to Cisternino in October (or so) to press grapes for wine, and olives for olive oil, but I forget exactly which months that they do that. I hope to return there one day and help them make their wine (so I can learn) :-)

    Friday - 04 September - Dale's 65th BIRTHDAY! I used an italian web site and was able to make several images using Dale's face and inserting it in just the right place to make it look like her: the famous Mona Lisa painting, a Playboy and GQ Magazine front cover, a famous painting of a nude, etc. Sent it out to many friends and family. I might even use one of them as my screen-saver: Taking her to dinner at a restaurant, Spud's, on the beach in Murrell's Inlet tonight.

    Saturday - 05 September to Friday - 11 September - Spent most of my time working in the yard. I built more rock walls, enclosing a lot of bushes that I'd planted over the past three years. Lots of neighbors stopping by telling me how nice they look! I did also finally replace the brakes on my truck (Chevy S10). That took care of an afternoon. The truck is so old (1987) that the "technology" involved in replacing the pads and brake shoes is really easy stuff. I wouldn't dare touch the brakes on my 2004 Dodge RAM 4WD though!

    Saturday - Sunday - 12/13 September - The Freestyle Music Park, formerly the Hard Rock Park, is closing for the season, so we went there on both days, since we have Season Passes. Lots of people having fun. LeAnn Rimes performed on Saturday. Not bad. Country music. Our favorite band is a twosome who call themselves the Fab 2 (like the Beatles: Fab 4). They sing a lot of Beatles songs, as well as other music. Their energy level stays high during their entire performance, and their stage is part of the main bar at the Freestyle Park, so we grab a table outside, sit under the umbrella and enjoy the music and view.

    Monday - 14 September - Today, the 14th, is Chuck's birthday and a group of his friends were going to Broadway Louie's Nightclub at Broadway At The Beach (Guys Night Out)!! Chuck invited me to come along and I was amazed. I've been there before but never noticed the huge TV screens, and tonight was the "kickoff" for Monday Night Football. Plus, all bar drinks were free until 8:45PM. The waitress worked for tips only, so we started her off with $30 and she was VERY attentive for the rest of the night! I paid for it the next day: I never want to look at another Bourbon & Coke!

    Monday - Wednesday - 14/16 September - One thing that I really never realized is that bugs "like" Karen just as much as they like Dale! Neither one can go outside without being bitten, and Karen is the one who saves my gardens, watering them while we are away. Now, I usually water the gardens once a week and it takes me at least 2-3 hours to make sure that every plant, bush, etc gets a good dose of water. Unfortunately, Karen would be eaten alive if she stayed outside that long. So, for the past three days I've been digging up several of the existing lawn sprinklers, extending the pipes in underground trenches into my garden areas, which weren't getting watered by the existing system. It's an incremental job, since I have so many places to "re-do", but so far I've either created totally new sprinkler systems where they are needed, or extended the existing ones. In one area so far I've had to hook the new pipeline up to a hose and manually start it by turning on a facucet, but now all Karen has to do is turn the faucet on and come back later to turn it off. Less insect bites!

    Thursday - 17 September - Well, my computer tells me that my on-board battery is almost dead so I have to open the computer up and replace it. My lawn sprinkler system has six different "zones" and Zone 6 is no longer working for some reason. There are six control valves, one for each zone, and so far I've found five of them and removed the grass that was cover the protective plastic boxes. Guess which one is still buried somewhere? Righto. Zone 6! Looks like I'll be hunting for it this afternoon. Also have a dentist appointment in an hour so everything will have to wait. Bye!

    Friday - Saturday -18/19 September - I fixed the sprinkler system! Turns out that my control box had a loose wire so now every zone works. I've set the sprinklers to come on in the morning and afternoon every day that we're gone so Karen won't have to worry about my plants. I also dug up and repositioned a few more sprinkler heads. I may have to wait until next Spring to finish this job.

    Sunday - 20 September - We're Off to Maryland! Drove to Joe & Sharon King's house in Glen Burnie today. Only staying the night and tomorrow morning we'll leave and drive to Kittery, Maine!

    Tuesday - 22 September - Arrived at Uncle Bob's trailer in Kittery last night. Easy trip and we made good time driving here. Since our arrival I've working outside trimming the huge overgrowth from around Bob's trailer. Yew hedges had grown about 20 feet wide, blockinbg off his walkway and a small concrete patio, as well as pressing hard against the side of the trailer for at least half of its length. Wild cherry saplings and rose bushes added to the thicket, and in front he had an overgrown rhododendron bush that grew so high, wide and thick that it covered the front windows, a very large rock and a signpost holding his hanging lot-number sign! Bob replanted some of the rhododendron suckers (small plants) at their house on Haley Road. Perhaps next year they will have nice flowers over there too. The yew clippings made a pile 15 feet long, 8 feet wide and about 5 feet high! Luckily the trailercourt management provided a loader and dumptruck to haul it all away! I then sprayed around his trailer with a weed killer that supposedly will not let anything grow there for a year. We'll see.

    Wednesday - 23 September - Janie and Ed Casey drove up from Massachusetts to see us. Janie was Dale's Maid Of Honor at our wedding. Introduced them to Uncle Bob and Aunt Dot, and we all went to dinner at Cap'n Simeons, a really nice local restaurant on the waterfront in Kittery Point!

    Thursday - 24 September - Finished some outside trimming and cleanup activitites at the trailer. Then crawled underneath the trailer and hooked up a dryer vent. Afterwards we all went sightseeing. We had never been to nearby Fort Foster, and it is right on the waterfront, with gorgeous views of nearby islands. Went for a walk on a long pier also. Took lots of pictures.

    Friday - 25 September - We left the trailer at 5:45AM and drove the 50 miles to the Portland, ME pier to catch the CAT ferry to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Very easy to find and it only took 50 minutes to drive there! We were one of the first in line so we got on the ferry quickly and claimed a nice table right next to a window. Very rough trip across due to high winds, with lots of people getting sick. Actually we've never had a smooth ride on The Cat. It's not a hydrofoil, so it doesn't ride above the waves. Their advertisements are a bit misleading about how "smooth" the ride is supposed to be, and some of our Nova Scotia friends tell us that there is actually a petition to bring back the old ferries. They were real ships, with cabins you could rent, like we did in 1996 on The Bluenose from Bar Harbor. Anyway, the trip to Yarmouth from Portland is supposed to take about 5 & 1/2 hours but ours took an extra hour. Once there, the Bourques met us just outside the customs gate (Claude & Deanna, and Claude's mother Anna -- my mother's first cousin). We stayed at Claude & Deanna's house in Sluice Point, just a few miles south of Amirault's Hill, where my mother's family (Amirault) has been since around 1636AD. Tonight we drove to the Acadian Social Club (Le Club Acadien) in Ste Anne du Ruisseau to listen to Paul Moulaisson play guitar and sing with local musiicians/singers, all probably cousins of mine somewhere back in antiquity :-) Several guitarists (even one steel guitar), keyboardist, drummer, etc. Country music tonight. Paul's grandfather, Claude's grandmother, and my grandmother were all brothers and sisters (the Moulaisson family from Amirault's Hill/Buttes Amirault) so I guess that makes us all second cousins. The band does not get paid. It's just "locals" getting together to have fun with their neighbors, and to become known in the region.

    Saturday - 26 September - We brought nice weather with us to Nova Scotia so Claude & Deanna took us around for a day of sightseeing! We first visited with Claude's Tante (aunt) Christine Landry and her son Robert in Belleville. Her husband, now deceased, was a pilot and lived in Everett, MA years ago. Tante Christine is Anna's sister. (Anna is Claude's mother). Christine and Anna's maiden name was Muise. Their mother was my Great-Aunt Octovie Muise. Octovie's maiden name was Moulaisson, and she was my grandmother's sister. So, you can see that we're all related, even though sometimes you have to carry a scoresheet to keep track of who's who :-) In fact one of the things that always impressed me was how the Acadiens verbally trace their lineage with other people, until they mention a common ancestor, at which point they all know who you are and how you are related to them. For instance, I can describe my Amirault Family line as "Barry a Pauline (mother) a Jean Lezin (grandfather) a Jean Francois (great-grandfather) a Jean 'Rout' (great-great-grandfather) a Marc (great-great-great grandfather), etc. On the Moulaisson line I am "Barry a Pauline (mother) a Marie Louise (grandmother) a Urbain (great-grandfather) etc.

    We left Tante Christine and drove to the lighthouse on Cape Forchu. The present lighthouse replaced the one my grandfather Lezin must have seen when he went out on fishing trips but it is in a very picturesque location, and the drive out to it passes by lobster traps and boats in False Harbor, and the Yarmouth Bar that has a long concrete barrier to keep high waves from washing you and your car away as you cross a narrow inlet. We took the back roads on our return to Sluice Point, passing by a town called "Arcadia" (must be an english variation of Acadie) with an idyllic view of boats anchored in a winding seawater inlet. Stopped in to see Claude's and Deanna's trailer in Camper's Haven, Arcadia. They spend a lot of time here in the summer months. Before heading home we took a side trip down the Chemin des Gasson (Gasson Road) through the salt marsh on the east side of Amirault's Hill. The marsh has meandering waterways that are mudflats at low tide. The salt hay that grows in all the marshy inlets around this region is excellent for cattle. The farmers didn't need to buy salt licks since the natural hay provide all the nutrients required.

    Sunday - 27 September - We visited Claude's Tante Margaret and Oncle Alphonse Pottier in Eelbrook. Margaret is also Anna's and Christine's sister so everything that I wrote above about the Muise/Moulaisson/Bourque family tree applies in the same way to Margaret. Tante Margaret is 92 and still going strong! They live in a beautiful Swiss-style chalet right on Eelbrook Lake. While we were visiting, other relatives showed up. Basil & Jeanette LeBlanc live in Massachusetts and come up for three months each year. In the course of conversation the common question of "who are you and what's your family line" came up and when we related my Amirault line, we were stopped at Jean Francois a Jean "Rout" (my great-grandfather). Everyone seems to know of my great-great-great grandfather whose nickname was "Rout" (meaning unknown). Basil's aunt had married Jean Francois's son, my great-uncle Ulysses "Jack" Amirault (my grandfather's brother). I remembered my mother talking about her "Uncle Jack" who was lost at sea. His name is listed on the Seafarer's memorial in Gloucester, MA. Anyway, it was another striking moment in Nova Scotia -- hello to another cousin, although this one is probably more of a cousin-in-law :-)

    This evening the entire Bourque family gathered at Armand & Prescille's house for a big dinner! It's been five years since our last visit and the kids have grown!! Renette, Armand & Prescille's daughter, is petite but Roland & Evelyn's son Glenn is now in his early 30's and he is huge! Same for Happy & Alice's son Nicholas, who is almost 17! They look like weight-lifters! Had a great time and they all surprised me with an early Birthday cake. They're all singing Happy Birthday and I'm assuming that it was either a belated B-day for Dale or for someone else's birthday in the room. There was so many deserts on the counter that we were all "forced" to take several home with us! Yum!

    Monday - 28 September - What a great day! Started out foggy and overcast but Deanna said that we had to have a positive outlook, so off we drove along the bay of Fundy to Fort Anne, and the town of Annapolis Royal/Port Royal! We had never been there before and it reminded me of the older buildings of Annapolis, Maryland. Nice town to walk around, and the Fort had great, unspoiled water views -- scenes that probably had not changed in hundreds of years. The Habitation, a few miles up the road, is the first permanent european settlement in North America north of Florida. It is a replica of a tradepost originally established in 1605 but burned to the ground in 1613 by Jamestown (VA) privateers. The architecture is rustic but stunning, as the original was built by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, and Samuel de Champlain, who did not lack for money to create some comfort in this New World! We met Wayne Melanson, an historical interpreter at the front of the complex and he had an astounding grasp of every historical nuance concerning the buildings, the towns, the English-French battles, and his own ancestor's connections to the entire story and geography. Stopped off in Digby on the drive back home. Also saw some beautiful views from the coastal highway and took some pictures of Smith's Cove and a lighthouse on Gilbert's Cove.

    Tuesday - 29 September - Overcast today but we went touring anyway :-) Went to Pubnico Point where there is now an extensive wind farm. When we first visited back in 1996 Claude's father Antoine took us there and there was only one wind turbine. Also visited Dennis Point Wharf in Lower West Pubnico. Lot of boats! Stopped by the Nakile Home for Special Care and visited with Tante Anna, Antoine's 90 year old sister. She sure looks good for her age! By now the sun is starting to poke through and we made a stop at Sandford, where they have the "Littlest Drawbridge in The World" in a small harbor. Lots of boats, naturally. Took lots of pictures.

    Wednesday - 30 September - Spent last evening, and today going through Claude's hard drive on his home computer and recovered about 9 GBs of space for him. Was able to catalog all their digital pictures in date order and then back them up on his new 16GB flashdrive! Stopped to visit Anna (Claude's mother & my mother's first cousin) and Alice (Happy's wife). They live on Amirault's Hill directly across the street from Armand & Prescille. Anna remembered that Grandma & Grandpa Amirault's address was "11 'Rear' Sherman Street" in Malden many years ago. (Grandma is still remembered as "Tante (aunt) Louise" by all the Bourques! I remember the day we moved from Sherman Street in 1945 when I was barely two years old, but I don't remember a thing about the house -- although I do remember seeing pictures. That entire neighborhood was bulldozed in the early 1960s when the Malden Redevelopment Authority thought they would get federal funding to rebuild Malden (it all fell through).

    Well, tomorrow we leave on The Cat for Portland. Unfortunately there's been a death in the family and almost everyone is going to Montreal tomorrow. Some are driving to Digby and will take the ferry to St John, while others are flying, and Deanna & Claude are going to drive all the way around. So we'll be saying goodbye in the morning, and have most of the day to roam around before catching the ferry.


Love,     &nbs;       Regards,
Dad & Mom     &nbs;       Barry & Dale