Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tomorrow At Old South Meeting House

The Old South Meeting House hosts "Middays Talk" that address a particular topic over the course of a given month.  November is going to address "The War of 1812", so you know I'm in!

Tomorrow, Thursday, November 1st at 12:15pm, I'll be front and center for the 1st in the series.

Why should We Care about the War of 1812?  

The War of 1812 nearly destroyed the United States. The enemy blockaded the coast and burned the capital, and New England threatened to secede. But the United States emerged from this disastrous war stronger than before. The War of 1812 did not bring Canada into the Union, as its promoters had promised, but it brought the new nation a sense of unity and purpose, with heroes such as Hull, Decatur, and MacDonough, a timeless symbol in "Old Ironsides," and a national anthem

Join us for a lecture by historian and authorRobert Allison to kick off this lively series! $6; Free for OSMH Members and members of the USS Constitution Museum

I always enjoy lectures by Robert Allison.  Let's see what he can do with this subject!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Great Uncle Jim

So this email came late last night and I am just now talking to my mother about it.  She confirmed some stuff I thought I remembered.  I feel I have to write this down for my cousins and my children.

Jim was my mother's favorite uncle.  She remembers her grandfather, Mike (Big Mike whose bed frame is in the cottage and I always call dibs on that bed) and her Uncle Danny coming to this house I am sitting in now.  They came to the back door which was in a different place back then.  She said she can still picture Danny bending down to come in the door because he was so tall.  He was the tallest of the seven brothers, who were all six foot or taller, and soon to leave and join the Marines.

It was a Sunday so my grandfather was home when they came down for the top of Bunker Hill to Elm Street.  When they told Papa Kelley that Jim was dead, my mother, who was just a little shy of five years old, ran and hid.  She ran to a closet in the living room that is now a bookcase to hide from this news and cry.

My great grandfather, Big Mike was very superstitious.  He told his family that earlier that morning he got up to answer the doorbell.  As he walked to the door he saw Jim's hat and knew he was dead because when he opened the door no one was there.  I think the hat was on a bed because growing up I thought hats on a bed were bad luck.  I must have been misinterpreting the story.  It wasn't the hat on the bed, it was seeing the hat when no one was at the door.

Later people came to tell my grandfather that Jim went back inside and was briefly seen leading a woman toward an exit.  They must have been overcome by the deadly fumes because Jim was not burned at all.

In a little under eight weeks on November 28th, we will observe the 70th anniversary of the Cocoanut Grove Fire.  My grandfather, Papa Kelley lost his brother James.  So, of course, I never met him.  However, Papa Kelley's other brothers made sure I knew about him and his courage.

Bill Durette of the Charlestown Veterans' History Project just sent me a copy of an article referencing SSGT James Kelley of Charlestown.
 My Great Uncles Joe & John sent me on missions to the Boston Public Library fiche room.  It was there that I read an article about how Jim got his date out of the club and went back in for others.  It's possible he got out and went in a second time, but that was never clear.  But in the end he perished in that tragic blaze.  People came to my grandfather to tell him of Jim's heroism.

John and Joe served in the Army as did George and Tim.  John served in Europe, Joe spent most of the war state-side only getting to France just after the invasion.  Tim was in Australia and George was doing intelligence work in China.  Tom was in the Merchant Marine and somewhere along the line the Defense Department began to count their service too.  So all together seven of the eight Kelley brothers served.  My grandfather was turned down because of his age and young children.  However, the two that were lost, Jim and Danny were in the Marines.  Danny was killed at Iwo Jima.

Boston has what they call "Hero Squares" that are dedicated to those who gave their lives in the service of our nation.  At the top of Bunker Hill, the square formed by Bunker Hill Street and Mead Street and North Mead Street is named for my Great Uncles Jim and Danny.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 12, 2000

Terrorism didn't start for America on 9/11.  Never forget the USS Cole DDG-67 and her crew and her Captain.

But after you've raised your glass and made your toast........... remember you can kick us...... but this is what the crew played as she left that hellhole of a harbor in Yemen...... 

Hey Biden, You're No LLoyd Bentsen

God!  VP Biden was such a clown.  His behavior last night was shameful.  I despair.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Where the *^$&* Have I Been?

So yeah, I have totally been ignoring the blog.  Which is funny since I have been doing blog things.

When I am not sleeping or trying to straighten out some insurance/prescription problem.....I've been having fun.

Really, the most I've done is Tweet.  It fits my attention span, ya know.

So....on to fun.  I've been catching some movies and you know how I love movies!  I belong to a group that attends movie screening.  So I am usually seeing movies about a week or two before their release.  I should write reviews for them here and maybe I'd have a better shot at getting a reserved seat, but, whatever.

I thought "End of Watch" was a really good cop movie.  This is my GoFoBo review.

But I LOVED "Lawless"!  I read afterwards that at one point the wanted Ryan Gosling for the Tom Hardy role.  that would have been ridiculous!

I was late for my intended movie Monday, so I just went into "Pitch Perfect" and liked it much more than I would have guessed.  the star, Anna Kendrick was also in "End of Watch", busy girl!

The most fun was "Expendables 2".  Although it didn't have the same perks as when I saw the "Expendables" back in 2010 at the CineBistro in Tampa with The Commander.  It's an over 21 theatre that serves food and drinks at your seat.  Coke in a glass, fresh popcorn in a bowl, brought to your seat and set on the little table. Randolph has the premium seats, but this is a whole theater like that.  No kids jumping over the little barrier into the top 10 rows.  I am not sure what I liked better, the movie or the cinema.  Kidding.  Bruce Willis is worth any seat.

Last night I saw "Argo", but I'll write about that later.

Any in between I went to Sniper's OctoberFest in Winchester, VA.  Please, please, please click this link to Uncle Jimbo's review.  I loved his Samantha!  Have a party....I'll show up.

And of course, here was the whole Revere Memorial Lecture Series at the Old South Meetinghouse.  "A War So Unpopular...cannot be Supported": New England and the War of 1812"  And I wasn't alone!  I love that Boston is such a great history town.