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Travels With Swampy
Travels With Swampy
Published by Swampy Meadows
09-17-2018
Travels With Swampy

WEST BLOOMFIELD (MI) -- In the last episode of “FTS” I alluded to the fact that I would be heading east and attending my 50th high school reunion over the Labor Day weekend. Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s when we were growing up if someone in your family or even a neighbor did a road trip, then it was required by law that they bore everyone they knew to tears with a slideshow of all that they saw, did and ate. Well, guess what kids – the ‘50s are back!

I had a 6:30 am flight, so my first stop when I hit my hometown of Leominster was Tim’s Diner, which is run by Tim Kamataris, a guy I played Pop Warner Football against many moons ago. Tim knows his way around a griddle, as this pic will attest:



Next stop was to visit my folks.

Mom:



And Dad:



We scattered my father’s ashes at Rice Meadow, the fly-fishing club he belonged to in Westminster. Jerry, the president of the club was there doing some maintenance and he was nice enuf to let me take a rowboat out for a spin around the pond.

I also stopped by my 2nd favorite grave site in Leominster:



Joseph Palmer was “persecuted for wearing the beard” as it says on his headstone. You can read more about him here:

http://www.newenglandhistoricalsocie...wearing-beard/

I learned how to play golf at Oak Hill Country Club. I watched 4 old duffers (translation: my age) tee off and 2 of them placed their drives somewhere out on Oak Hill Road:



This is how you clam roll:




Took a cruise by the old high school, which was the whole raison d’etre for this trip:



My sister lives in Sterling. “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was penned in the town square there:



For dinner we went to SS Lobster in Fitchburg where I had twin lobsters...for $17.99!



On Saturday I drove up to New Hampshire where our reunion was held at one of my classmate’s condos in the White Mountains:



I stayed here at the Inn of Jackson, a nice B&B. The only drawback was my room was on the third floor and there was no elevator:



My classmate David Regan created a nice video recap of our get together:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jc9x8OPFRM&t=4s

We started out with 110 guys our freshman year which was winnowed down to 69 by the time we graduated. Since then roughly 10 of them are unfortunately no longer with us.

North Conway, NH is the site of one of my Dad’s favorite practical jokes that he pulled on both my brother and me:



While driving north to deer hunt when we passed the Eastern Slope Inn he would casually mention “I got a young girl pregnant there once.” Dad would wait a few minutes before revealing that it was here that he and my Mom had honeymooned.

Back to Massachusetts and a three-hour snorkeling trip around our favorite reservoir for me and my sister:



We saw two things neither of us had ever seen in 50+ years of swimming there -- a big snapping turtle – not quite as big as this one, but close:

http://imgur.com/K7z0m3E

And fresh water jellyfish! I obviously couldn’t take a pic but there were hundreds of 'em and they self-propelled just like their deep-sea brethren. We Googled “fresh water jellyfish” as soon as we hit shore and sure enuf Craspedacusta sowerbyi as they are known are found in many states across the US:

https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/fact...SpeciesID=1068

Heywood Reservoir was affectionately known as “NC Beach” (as in ‘No Clothes’ Beach) to me and my friends in our youth. We used to have “naval battles” while riding on logs, which is not the greatest idea when you happen to be naked. In this picture you can see the pump house at NC Beach:



My friend Gus fell off the top of that sucker one time and landed on the rocky ground below. He wasn’t hurt (or wearing clothes) and when he got up he was confronted by a woman riding a horse. Good times!

I also stopped by Bennett School, where young Swampy learned how to hoop:



Believe it or not but those backboards are 50+ years old themselves. They’re ventilated, so it made bank shots super easy—just hit the right spot and you got a bucket, no matter how hard you banked it. As the grass growing in the cracks in the asphalt can attest, not too many people hoop there any more.

It was good to be back home.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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  #1  
By maddog07 on 09-18-2018, 12:23 PM
Bored to tears?? Not me. Hope you can follow up with what you ate and maybe what you wore. Good times!!!! Bored to death more like it.
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