Blogfather's blog

A great guy gone

   Dick Lee was the epitome of a Boston gentleman

Last December we had dinner with Dick Lee for the last time. Dick died a week after these photos were t aken at Lia Glovsky's home on The Charles River in Boston. That's Dick on the couch nect to my wife and Tom Costello.

Below we had dinner with  Mary Costello at the table's head and Lia in the gray dress opposite.dick_lee_at_table_600

Christmas Tree Shops HQ leaves town

Like brats leaving a stinking ship?
130 Cape Codders given the chance to commute Off Cape

Christmas Tree Shops  moves HQ Off Cape
Discount retailer Christmas Tree Shops is further severing ties to the Cape Cod town where it got its start. The company, whose motto is "Don't you just love a bargain?", will move its corporate headquarters from Yarmouth on Cape Cod about 50 miles northwest to its distribution center in Middleborough by next summer.
   The company's first store opened in Yarmouth in 1970. The company closed the cramped and outdated store this year, but maintains another store in town. Company headquarters have been on Cape Cod since 1982...  Read the rest of this Forbes story here
Doreen Bilezikian was the President of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce when it unceremoniously dumped its executive director of a quarter century.

At the time she decried the old regime's concentration on "filling bedrooms" for its members in the motel/hotel business, and pushed the chamber to be more "business oriented", you know, plant tulips, build a bigger bureaucracy for themselves, plant tulips, impose another mega-bureaucracy to test our water, plant tulips, find a sinecure for John O'Brien and our clique, plant tulips.

Now the company which gave her that position of power and trust, the Christmas Tree Shops which she and her husband started, has done some new "planting."

They're "planting" their headquarters which has been in Yarmouth, where the company began 37 years ago, in Middleborough, fifty miles away. 

Their 130 employees can hoof it 100 miles round trip daily, or shove it. 

She still "meddles around

"We are not moving the office to New Jersey or New York. Everything will continue on the same." - Doreen, 2003When Doreen and Chuck Bilezikian sold Christmas Tree Shops to Bed & Bath and Beyonce four years ago last month, she was quoted in a local weekly saying, "Chuck is still president and CEO.  I still have my mixed whatever. I'm still in charge of advertising, still meddle around."

She added that with opportunity comes risk, but Bilezikian stressed that Christmas Tree employees should not be concerned.  "We want to ensure that everybody has the sense of comfort and that they know they're not going to lose jobs, take less pay," she said. "We are not moving the office to New Jersey or New York. Everything will continue on the same."

"The same" turns out to be the 100-mile round trip commute shown on the right. 

yarmmiddleboro430_415She went on to say if Christmas Tree's home office does move, it will be elsewhere on the Cape or just over the bridge in Plymouth County.

We just thought you gentle readers would be interested in how your rich neighbors treat The Cape, and the Cape Codders who work for them. 

 Maybe you'll want to stop "planting" your dollars in either of these corporate giants.

You can take the boy out of the newsroom...

...but you can't take the newsroom out of the boy
An ocean death puts this newsjunky back in the mix

I'm on a lovely Norwegian Cruise Lines ship The Majesty which plies the waves between Boston and Bermuda this time of year.   I expected a lazy week in the sun stuffing my face with the best food afloat.

1death324_324The tragedy reared its ugly head when a 22 year-old man, apparently full of island rum, decided it was a good idea to slide down the bannister on deck five.

He fell to his death four decks below.

This was around 12:30am yesterday, and by late morning the local Bermuda newspaper, the Royal Gazette and the Boston Globe called me onboard to ask questions. The victim is in the white shirt on right hours before he died.

I had few answers since there was no announcement although I was informed later that the ship did make an announcement while I was ashore. However several passengers whose cabins were near the scene as well as a New York couple who had partied with the deceased and his cousins, related a sad tale of youthful bravado inflamed by demon rum.

1deathstairwell200_400On the right is the 5th deck stairwell he fell down. 

According to the bi-weekly Bermuda Sun;

It was supposed to be a trip of lifetime; more than 20 family members were on the ship, including his mom Doreen, dad Richard Jr. and two sisters Jennifer, 25 and Kerry, 19. They are all absolutely devastated.
Jennifer, his big sister, told us: "We were all looking forward to doing this trip together. We have such a big family and we are so close, but this was a big deal for us all to go together - all our cousins were there, too."

In the photo above Richard Mulloy III is in the white shirt, pictured with his family at The Dragons Sports Bar in St. George’s just before his tragic death. Photo supplied by a family member.

The story in Thursday's Globe is here, and in The Royal Gazette  here

For those of you who miss Dan Yonce

Dan is alive and well and living in Slovakia
But has he gotten a Green Card yet?

Dan with his mystery wifeDan Yonce (on right with mystery wife) ran Dick's Coffee Bar at the Orleans Post Office for years, and became what laughingly passes for a literary salon in that improbable place.

Dan was famous locally for his command of the "Woody Allen School of Romance", and managed to reach middle age a bachelor, so we were all amazed when a lovely young woman from Slovakia showed up a few years ago as his bride. 

Being the local cads we all were, we assumed she only wanted Dan so she could get a Green Card.

Boy, were we all ever wrong, and in spades.

It was Dan apparently who wanted the Green Card, or the Slovak equivalent, because he quickly sold his business and moved to that benighted, former Communist country himself where he resides and works.  Here's the note we just received from Dan in which he included the photo above neglecting (as Woody Allen suggested) to mention his wife's name. Here's his address for anyone wishing to email him, [email protected].

hello from dan yonce 

I enclose a few pictures; my wife and I, her family, and the Church where
her niece received her First Communion.

Please give my love to yourself (yes), and tell all my friends and enemies to
send money.

How are things with you, please write back and update me on
what/where/how/when/why, etc

I am at The Canadian School.  I was just at Hodina and Keric  where I taught english, which I am doing now. I am learning more than my pupils, may or may not be a good thing.
daniel yonce

Everyone loves Hopper

    De Lory's gas station in Wellfleet by Edward Hopper,1940.

Mr Hopper, who died forty years ago next month, painted many of his most famous canvases here and  his work will be given a major show at the Boston MFA  May 9-August 19, and then the exhibit will go on to D.C. and Chicago.  The painting above of de Lory's gas station in Wellfleet is still recognizable on the west side of Route  just before the Truro town line.

hopper_cape_cod_morning_1950350Among his famous canvases painted here was "Cape Cod morning" on the right done in 1950. 

Orleans native  Andrew de Lory has photographs the Hopper  house in Truro for a photo essay in a Boston area magazine this summer. 

This site has a short bio of Hopper and 32 of his paintings.

Gong Xi Fa Chai

If you visited on Sunday, you had this happy surprise;
Click  to see slide showgoogle_lunar_new_yr_01
Yes, it's the Chinese Lunar New Year, and for the next twelve months it's the year of the pig.

But, in case you can't pronounce Gong Xi Fa Chai properly, you can always instead say;
And if this put you in an Asian attitude, may be suggest a visit to our favorite Asian Eatery. and see a slide show of the celebration in New York's Chinatown today like the photo above here.

Barbies for Cape Cod

Mattel recently announced the release of limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the  Massachusetts  market:

We can't swear to the authenticity of the report, but if it's NOT true, it should be. Here are the dolls.
This princess Barbie is sold only at The Prudential Mall. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the augmented version.
The modern day sunurban homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Wind Star Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.
This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife,a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit.  This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) ...unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about.
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2.  Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.
This collagen injected, rhino plastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available as well as warehouse conversion condo. 
"WESTERN MA   Barbie"
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out  her  house.  Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home.
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow . She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon,  you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.
"NEW BEDFORD   Barbie"     
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.ptown_ken
"SOUTH SHORE Barbie" (on left)
She's perfect in every way. We don't know where Ken is because he's always out a-'huntin'.  Available at South Shore and Hanover Malls only.  Avaialable in most pastel shades

" PROVINCETOWN  Barbie/Ken" (on right)
This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or subtracting the multiple snap-on parts.  A new model is introduced every October during the fashion show at the Crown & Whip during Fantasia Week.

"The Cape Cod Barbie"
Seen here in her "work ensemble", she is available in her usual attire as well;  soiled denims, Woolrich checkered woolen shirt and US Army surplus boots.   She usually has very bad hair days.

Sorry Boston - you're the joke, and worldwide at that

"The cartoonists are coming!" by Mike Peters
     Boston is the laughing stock all over the US as this Mike Peters' cartoon in the Sunday NY Times indicates. 

When Mumbles Menino & Merciless Martha can't tell cartoons from Al Qaeda
Mumbles and the gangWe're in deep do-do & Armageddon outta here

Ten cities in America were subjected to another piece of guerrilla marketing this month.

Only Beantown went berserk.

The Hub's perpetual mayor  Tom "mumbles" Menino shouted  his anxious alarms for hours after someone in our state constabulary must have noticed these were rather amateurish and childish toys, not terror devices.

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis alerted the nation at a press conference while usually wiser Governor Deval Patrick frowned in the background with Mumbles. 

And our humorless Attorney General Martha "pull the switch" Coakley made public announcements offering her grim face to an unsuspecting public.

Greatest Prank Ever

What seemed to be a possible national emergency turned out to be just the tenth city visited by these same merry pranksters.

What is ludicrous is that a “terror emergency” continued after it must have been obvious to those who found and deactivated the first one early in the day that it was just a hoax.

However, "Madame La Farge"  Coakley told us of the government’s expert appraisal of the dire situation. As she said on  CNN, "It had a very sinister appearance.  It had a battery behind it, and wires." Wow, just like your i-Pod, Martha.

A photo caption on Yahoo! described the sinister object thus;  “The device consists of light emitting diodes on a circuit board forming the shape of a gesturing character which is part of a promotion for the TV show 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force,' a surreal series about a talking milkshake, a box of fries and a meatball…” 

Same hoax got "ho hum" in nine other cities

The only meatballs in Beantown were our leaders and law enforcement personal who allowed a million bucks to be spent protecting Boston from an obvious hoax.

Last night MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olberman" lampooned the debacle as did countless other national and international media.  The devices have been in place for two to three weeks in 9 other US cities - New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco; and Philadelphia.  As soon as the company realized the problem law enforcement officials were told of their locations in all 10 cities. There were no reports from police of residents in the other nine cities spotting similar devices.

See the video of the devices being placed here

Only The Alliance could act nuttier

It really frightens one to consider how Charlie Vinick, Sue Nickerson and the Alliance to Protract Nantucket Sound might react if they returned to Cape Cod in a few years and suddenly came upon 130 wind turbines.

Their reaction would probably give a whole new meaning to "Chicken Little".

10 Things I WON'T do in 2007

rr07_400This is only a very partial list. Readers are urged to add their own "not-to-dos" for the new year as comments below.

  1. Chocolate Martinis.
  2. Dance on "Ballroom Challenge" (or anywhere else)
  3. Use the office bathroom after "you know who".
  4. Watch Rachel Ray or Sandra Lee (Ray's too perky, Lee's too skinny to be a good cook)
  5. Suggest Don Howell take another Norwegian Cruise Line trip.
  6. Lose weight.
  7. Watch the Red Sox or any Tom Cruise movies.
  8. Vote Republican (pretty easy).
  9. Keep any of my New Year's Resolutions.
  10. Keep checking back - we'll add more later today and include any beauts you send along.

Pity the poor Piping Plover

 The Piping Plovber's new peril

The Town of Orleans wants to apply for a special Federal Permit which will allow "limited takes", a.k.a. killings, of Piping Plovers next May on Nauset Beach.

A story in the December 15, 2006 Cape Cod Times stated, "...Orleans Parks and beaches superintendent Paul Fulcher told the Times this week that he can't think of any other way for greater management flexibility than applying for a federal Section 10 permit. Such a permit, if granted, would allow local officials to come up with alternative plover management strategies that would avoid blocking ORV drivers from the beach. Limited 'incidental takes', such as the killing or harassment of a certain number of birds, could be allowed. That's if local officials can convince federal authorities that plovers would still thrive...

The irony may be that by the time Cape Codders get through  killing  shore birds on land, there may be none left to fly into wind turbines offshore.