Cheers: Today I was in Concord enjoying a vanilla latte at one of my favorite writing places Haute Coffee. It was busy there - but fortunately a man in his fifties allowed me to share his small table. When there I always work on a long poem I am writing - Yes, another of my World Class Unread Poems - which are, nevertheless, always fun to compose. I also had with me to continue to read - if the poem didn't come easily - my youngest granddaughter's copy of Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents.
My friend at the table just before he left, having noticed that book, asked me about it. This led to a wonderful conversation between us for it turned out that the man had grown up in Billerica, living on Pond Street, just off AndoverRoad. More than that he had gone to the Howe School which the MiddlesexCanal Association is investigating as a possible temporary home for its Canal Museum. So I told him that and asked about his memories of going to the Howe. One he shared was when he was there in the fifth grade. That was in 1963. His class met on the second floor - with its wonderful large windows he said and his teacher was a Miss Sullivan whom he considered a really very good teacher.
One day that November the principle came up and told his teacher some news - and then Miss Sullivan explained to the class that president Kennedy had been shot and had died.
When we speaking about the old Canal he said when he was 13 -14, he and a pal went fishing in one of the sections of it that is still left in Billerica - and to their amazement caught - Not A Big Fish - but an old sunken rowboat. They dragged it out, took it home, fixed it up as best they could, and then took it out for a spin on the small pond opposite the State Prison - and as the boat began to fill with water and sink he caught a large bass.
We covered several other topics but this one I thought especially fun to share with family, friends, and canal folks. Before we parted I suggested that he might want to visit the museum where it now is or maybe at his old school.