Olympic Stadium in Berlin

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I really wanted to go see the Olympic Stadium where “The Boys in the Boat” rowed to their victory and Louie Zamperini(Unbroken) ran in the Olympics in 1936. If you haven’t read both of these books you should-very inspirational stories. I loved them both. The history that they both cover about this particular Olympics and it being in Berlin is fascinating. Arriving in Berlin, during the summer of 1936, Olympic athletes like Zamperini saw swastikas flying everywhere.  The “Juden Verboten” signs – forbidding entry to Jewish people – were temporarily out of sight.

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The stadium has been all revamped since then, of course, and they use it mostly for their soccer team and games.

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I found the plaque for Jesse Owens’ wins. Pleased with the performance of German athletes, and with the games in general, Hitler was nonetheless distressed by the numerous victories of Owens, a talented African-American who dominated his events.  Winning four medals, Owens did not win-over a prejudiced Hitler who – according to Albert Speer – was upset about Owens’ accomplishments:

Each of the German victories, and there were a surprising number of these, made [Adolf Hitler] happy, but he was highly annoyed by the series of triumphs by the marvelous colored American runner, Jesse Owens.  (Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich.)

Louie Zamperini did not compete against Jesse Owens.  Instead, he ran the 5,000 meters – a long race that was not his forte – against a group of Finns who’d been winning the race for years.

Biding his time, he initially misjudged how fast his competitors would run.  When he realized he needed to move more quickly, he kicked into high gear, finishing in 14:46.8 – the fastest 5,000-meter time for an American in 1936.  He finished his last lap in 56 seconds.

Later, when he met Hitler, Louie was surprised that the German leader remembered him.  “Ah,” he said.  “You’re the boy with the fast finish.”

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This is the plaque for “the boys in the boat”-” achter” is  the eight man boat. Out of the depths of the Depression this is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

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Stronger-Jeff Bauman

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“I remember when the photograph was taken. The famous one, I mean. The one of me being rushed from the Boston Marathon bombing without my legs. Only seconds before, a stranger named Carlos Arrendondo had lifted me from the ground, thrown me into a wheelchair, and started running.

There was so much smoke, and so much blood, and then suddenly it was clear, and a man was there, crouching in the road, pointing a camera at us. I thought,Why isn’t he helpingPeople are dying. And then I was in an ambulance, on my way to surgery, and I didn’t think about him again.

By the time I regained consciousness two days later, the photograph had gone viral around the world. All my family and friends had seen it. For most of them, including my mom and dad, that’s how they found out I was hurt. No information, just an image: my lower right leg gone, my lower left leg stripped to the bone.

There had been a controversy: was the photo too graphic? Was it exploitative? In Boston, friends told me later, everyone was talking about it.

“Did you see the picture?” people whispered to each other. “The one of the man without his legs.” The image, in some way, had crystalized the horror and cruelty of the bombing.

Even now, a year later, people ask me about the Wheelchair Photo: what do I think about it? Does it bother me? The honest answer: I don’t think about it.

I glanced at the photo once, about a week after the bombing. I knew immediately I never wanted to look at it again. I never have, and I don’t think I ever will. I have enough images from that day in my head already. I don’t need another one.

Part of me, I guess, wishes the picture had never been taken at all. I wish my mom hadn’t seen me that way, because she couldn’t find me for hours afterward, and that was cruel. I wish I wasn’t the face of the victims – three lost near the finish line and hundreds injured – because then everyone would forget about me, and I could recover in peace, and at my own pace.

But I’m not angry about it. Not at all. I have so much work to do every day to get back to my normal life that I can’t afford to be angry, even at the bombers. I can’t keep looking backward. I need that energy for other things.

Besides, if that photograph hadn’t become iconic, another would have. That’s the world we live in. Everybody takes pictures of everything.”

Harper Lee-new book at 88 years old????

Bush Awards Presidential Medal of Freedomproxy

Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American novelist widely known for her 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning  To Kill a Mockingbird which deals with the racism she observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville,Alabama during the depression. It was published at the height of the civil rights struggle. Though Lee only published this single book for half a century, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. Lee has received numerous honorary degrees, and declined to speak on each occasion. The book was also adapted into an Oscar winning film starring Gregory Peck.

One morning late last summer, Tonja B. Carter was doing some legal work for this prized client when she found herself thumbing through an old manuscript of what she assumed was “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The characters were familiar, as they would be to millions of readers — the crusading lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his feisty daughter, Scout. But the passages were different. Atticus was much older. Scout was grown up. The story unfolded in Alabama during the racial turmoil of the 1950s, not the Depression of the 1930s.
Confused, Ms. Carter scanned the text, trying to figure out what she was holding. It was a novel titled “Go Set a Watchman.” It may be one of the most monumental discoveries in contemporary American literature.
“I was so stunned. At the time I didn’t know if it was finished,” Ms. Carter recalled in an interview on Saturday, her first extensive comments about the discovery. She went to see Ms. Lee and asked her if the novel was complete. “She said, ‘Complete? I guess so. It was the parent of “Mockingbird.” ’ ”
The recovered manuscript has ignited fierce debate — much of it speculative — about why Ms. Lee waited so long to publish again, whether the book will stand up to her beloved first novel, and whether the author, who has long shied away from public attention, might have been pressured or manipulated into publishing it.
Residents of Monroeville gossip that Ms. Lee is mentally infirm these days, doesn’t recognize old friends, couldn’t possibly have signed off on the publication, never wanted to do a second book. But those who are closest to her scoff at such conspiratorial theories, saying Harper Lee, now 88 and admittedly frail, remains fully capable of making up her own mind.Her comment?:Mockingbirds don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

     Descendent from Robert E. Lee, the Southern-

Massachusetts Groundhog??!

So if it is not enough that we have now won the Super Bowl with the Patriots,we also now have our own groundhog  to predict the weather for the next six weeks! This is the story:

Ms. G’s Campaign for Massachusetts’s State Groundhog!

Longtime Boston TV Meteorologist Mish Michaels led the campaign to make Ms. G the State Groundhog for the Commonwealth. Ms. G’s official duties now include posting a forecast on February 2nd, Groundhog Day! Mish was joined on the campaign trail by her 8-year old daughter and her daughter’s classmates in Wellesley at the Hunnewell Elementary School.

Mish first met Ms. G, a resident of Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, back in 2007 while working with Mass Audubon on stories for WBZ related to the environment, weather, and climate change. Mish encouraged the Mass Audubon to host an annual Groundhog Day event featuring Ms. G. In 2008, Ms. G posted her first forecast on February 2nd. A star was born! In fact, Ms. G has had better local forecast accuracy with her “shadow/no shadow” forecast than Punxsutawney Phil way down in PA. It is Ms. G’s local weather expertise that inspired Mish to take on the role as Ms. G’s campaign manager.

In early 2013, Mish met with Wellesley Representative Alice Peisch to discuss the road ahead for Ms. G. The goal—not only to have a groundhog with local forecast expertise, but to encourage students to study weather by making Ms. G the official State Groundhog. Representative Peisch crafted language for the proposed bill, H.2864.

The Ms. G Bill was debated by the Senate on Thursday, July 17, 2014 and was overwhelmingly passed. First grade students from Hunnewell Elementary who helped lead the campaign were on the floor of the Senate to be part of this historic vote. Once the bill was passed, the students were treated to a standing ovation and many “high fives” by Senators.

On Monday, July 21, 2014, the Ms. G Bill passed both final House and Senate votes and on Thursday, July 31, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed H.2864, making Ms G the Official Massachusetts State Groundhog. Congratulations to the second graders at the Hunnewell School in Wellesley for their successful legislative campaign which started when they were in kindergarten!

You can buy Mish’s book on Amazon.com.

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Progress at Woodstone

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The red cedar roof (we looked at both red cedar and Alaskan yellow cedar but decided the red cedar was better with the colors we have picked for the house)is going on so we are good to work inside all winter…. but most interesting has been watching the 200 year old barn from Pennsylvania start going up.The Colonial Barn Restoration company worked for weeks piecing the bents together and then last Sunday they started putting them up.

The bent is the unit of barn timbers running from front to back. If a barn has four bents, it has three bays. Barns were easily enlarged by adding more bents on either end to lengthen the barn.

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“Rebel Yell”… S.C. Gwynne

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Our friend and neighbor from the Cape has done it again!

“Inside The List”  by  Gregory Cowles in Sunday NY Times Book Review:

The Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship

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We went to see this on Martha’s Vineyard in July-very interesting story. If you live in New England,check her schedule!

The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat – only the USS Constitution is older.

Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages between 1841 and 1921, most lasting three years or more. Built for durability, not speed, she roamed every corner of the globe in her pursuit of whales. She is known as a “lucky ship,” having successfully navigated crushing Arctic ice, hostile natives, countless storms, Cape Horn roundings and, after she finished her whaling career, even the Hurricane of 1938.

 

The Morgan was launched on July 21, 1841 from the yard of Jethro and Zachariah Hillman in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She typically sailed with a crew of about 35, representing sailors from around the world. The whaleship measures 113 feet, with a 27-foot 6-inch beam and depth of hold of 17 feet 6 inches. Her main truck is 110 feet above the deck; fully-rigged, and she is capable of carrying approximately 13,000 square feet of sail. The huge try-pots used for converting blubber into whale oil are forward; below are the cramped quarters in which her officers and men lived.

After her whaling days ended in 1921, the Morgan was preserved by Whaling Enshrined, Inc. and exhibited at Colonel Edward H.R. Green’s estate at Round Hill in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, until 1941. In November of that year, the Morgan came to Mystic Seaport where she has since dominated the waterfront at Chubb’s Wharf.

The whaleship was designated a National Historic Landmark by order of the Secretary of the Interior in 1966, and she is also a recipient of the coveted World Ship Trust Award. Since her arrival at Mystic Seaport more than 20 million visitors have walked her decks. Where once she hunted and processed whales for profit, her purpose now is to tell an important part of our nation’s history and the lessons that history has for current generations.

 Restoration and Preservation

 

At Mystic Seaport the Charles W. Morgan has been given a new lease on life; however, her future vitality depends on continual preservation. A major program of restoration and preservation was begun in 1968 to repair her structurally, and during the course of this work, it was decided to restore her to the rig of a double-topsail bark, which she carried from 1867 through the end of her whaling career. She appears as she was during most of her active career.

In January 1974, after removal from her former sand and mud berth, she was hauled out on the lift dock in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard for inspection and hull work as needed. Her hull proved to be in remarkably good condition, with only a new false keel, shoe and some planking being required.

The 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan on the Museum's shiplift awaiting her launch. July 21, 2013In November, 2008 the Morgan returned to the Museum’s shipyard for restoration. The project renewed areas of the vessel from the waterline down to her keel and also addressed the bow and stern. The whaleship was re-launched July 21, 2013 and left Mystic Seaport May 17, 2014 to embark on her 38th Voyage to historic ports of New England. The nearly three-month long journey seeks to engage communities with their maritime heritage and raise awareness about the changing perception about whales and whaling. Where once the Morgan’s cargo was whale oil and baleen, today her cargo is knowledge.

When the vessel returns to Mystic Seaport in August 2014, she will resume her role as an exhibit and the flagship of the Museum.