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» Friday, November 26, 2004Shipping Out in the Harbor
We had some time on our own today: went out to Taunton, MA, to East Bay Hobbies and then further out Route 44 to Readmore Bookstore. This is a little hole-in-the-wall place I found back in my twenties; when I go out there each time I'm always surprised it's still there. They sell new and used books, and many times you can find things there that went out of print a few years back. I found a locally-published book on the Hurricane of 1938.
James said there was a new ship at Battleship Cove along with USS Massachusetts and the other ships, so we went there. It's a Russian missile frigate, Tarantul class, called Hiddensee (well, Russian-built, anyway; it was used by the East Germans). There are no guided tours; you just walk about and look at your leisure. We also had lunch in the officer's wardroom of Massachusetts and walked on a landing craft similar to those used at Normandy. I cannot help but admire the bravery of the young men who rode these small flimsy craft on pitching Atlantic waves to get to the shores only to face bullets and artillery fire.
They also had an exhibit of the two different types of PT boats, the Elko-made craft and the Higgins model, the latter which had a tiger-mouth painted on it. As a devotee of McHale's Navy in my childhood, I still find PT boats fascinating. I still can't believe they are made of wood.
After the dismal rain of yesterday, it was absolutely gorgeous, blue sky, sun, and all that. It was also very cold, which was welcome--high was only in the low 40s and with the breeze whipping across Battleship Cove, as you can expect it was very chilly. But we both enjoyed it; Mom keeps her house warm now that she's not feeling well and both of us are suffocating. All the baseboards [heat] are closed in our bedroom and I've even had the window open to cool the room off.
Alas, although the sun was setting as we drove past Providence, they still didn't have the Christmas lights lit on "Nibbles Woodaway," the infamous "blue bug" on the top of New England Pest Control. "Nibbles" was officially lit for the Christmas season yesterday, but I guess it wasn't dark enough for him to be on. Nibbles has other costumes for different times of the year, including summer.
Before supper we had a rather sad errand: my godfather (husband of my Confirmation godmother) passed away on Wednesday. We went to the wake. I hadn't seen anyone in the family for years. My godmother's youngest daughter, also a Linda, and I had been best friends in elementary school. (Linda was a big name that year; there were three of us in that 1962 first grade class.) We "swapped mothers" for Confirmation, so my mom is her godmother.
My godfather, Armand Azzoli, had a shoe store on Washington Street in downtown Providence for years. His store was one down from the corner which was the bus stop for us to get the bus back to Cranston, and if we were early, especially on cold days, we'd go in and talk to him and get warm. He loved playing the guitar. Even after he retired, until he got sick, he was never still: he joined a band--sort of like Grandpa Jim in the comic "For Better or For Worse" and played at the senior center.