Ecuador Volcano Adventure Meets Mafia Memory (I Kid you NOT)


My father was restless.  He liked to go places.

(He was also a bookie for the mob–indicted by a number of grand juries and convicted of conspiracy before he died.)

Whether it was World Series tickets or PGA passes, Daddy was forever after the means of admission.  Any event deemed big, any venue that glittered—my dad wanted to go there, be a part of it–experience the sparkle, encounter the spin.  Maybe it was the mafioso in him.

Whatever the reason, my parents traveled—a lot—jet-setting here, Love-Boating there.  In fact, Daddy adored cruising—the drama of ship board dining, the theater of midnight buffets and ice sculpture display.

IMG_0001 (2)

My parents aboard the S.S. Emerald Seas in the early 1970s.

IMG_0002

Greeting the captain–also aboard the Emerald Seas.

My parents are on the left--my mother in the feather boa.

My parents are on the left–my mother in the feather boa. They were traveling with the Iannelli’s, on the right. (Photo taken aboard the Carla C. in 1976.)

It was all of this I remembered when, just before New Year’s Day, Sara and I visited Quito and rode the teleférico to the top of the Pichincha Volcano.  You see, during the summer of 1977, my parents took us kids on a Caribbean cruise that stopped in Venezuela for the day, allowing us to ride the teleférico from the port city of Macuto, up over Ávila and down the other side into Caracas.  It was an experience that amazed me as an adolescent.

The February before my father had been indicted by a grand jury and the FBI raided our house yet again.  Thus, May meant my parents muddled through another trial.  Jury selection began on Monday, May 9th and ultimately my dad was acquitted on May 26th—though in actuality he was, as my mother still says, ”guilty as sin.”  To celebrate the acquittal, my parents booked a 10-day, ship-board adventure for our entire family of six. 

The cruise itself was sandwiched by a stay at our beach-front condominium, during which my father played practical jokes on an assortment of balding old men, startling them with the newly-installed, automatic car-starter on his dark green Sedan d’ Ville.  One south-Florida stranger kicked the right, rear tire when the car spontaneously roared to life next to him .  Another, a hotel manager, called Bal Harbour police concerned, we could only ever assume, that the car might also pull from the parking lot driverless and endanger the blue-haired old ladies walking their Pugs, Pekingese or one another along the Miami outback that is Collins Avenue. (To read more about the real reason my father had one of the first car-starters ever invented, click here.)

Still, the highlight of that entire trip was the cruise itself and the cable car ride above the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, only a few photos of which I’ve been able to locate.

Leaving the port of Macuto, Venezuela on the teleférico,1977--

Leaving the port of Macuto, Venezuela on the teleférico, 1977–

Part way up Avila on the teleférico--

Part way up Ávila on the teleférico–

Descending into Caracas--

Descending into Caracas–

This entire sequence of criminal and travel events came flooding back when Sara and I rode the teleférico to the top of Pichincha Volcano in Quito.    I can’t imagine now, how I took it all in as a child.  I can barely comprehend it, even as an adult.

Still, if your Ecuador travel takes you to the country’s capital and you’d like to take the cable car to this spot high above the city, keep in mind the following:

  • Go early in the day.  We arrived around 9 in the morning and were able to beat the long lines that can form only an hour or two later.
  • Bring along a jacket or sweater.  It’s often cold and windy atop the volcano.
  • If you are a resident of Ecuador, bring along your cedula, as you can enjoy the ride at a steep (no pun intended) discount, paying around $5.  Foreigners without cedulas pay closer to $9.
  • Bring along your camera.  The views are stupendous!

And if you’re contemplating a trip up the teleférico and wonder what you’ll see, sit back, relax, and enjoy this vicarious ride.

Folks lined up ahead of us, getting ready to board the cable car, which holds 6 people.

Folks lined up ahead of us, getting ready to board the cable car, which holds 6 people.

Beginning the ascent--

Beginning the ascent–

A bit further up--

A bit further up–

DSCN0660

DSCN0662

DSCN0664

DSCN0669

DSCN0670

The next sequence was taken from atop the volcano.

DSCN0673

DSCN0680

DSCN0682

DSCN0683

DSCN0684

DSCN0689

DSCN0691

DSCN0697

DSCN0698

Kathy atop the volcano--

Kathy atop the volcano–

Sara got a year-end shot of me taking a photo of Quito stretched out below.

Sara got a year-end shot of me taking a photo of Quito stretched out below.

P1050241 (2)

Sara with mama and little llamas–

Kathy with llamas--

Kathy with llamas–

DSCN0738

DSCN0743

DSCN0744

DSCN0749

DSCN0751

Finally, Sara snapped a few photos of our descent back into Quito.

P1050250 (2)

P1050253 (2)

Since my mafia father enjoyed the teleférico above Caracas so much, I can only imagine how the one in Quito would have excited him.

Plus, it’s fun to walk again in the Keds I wore as a kid!

Have you had a peak (pun intended) experience as an adult that reminded you a childhood adventure?   What fun might you have enjoyed as a kid, the adult version of which you’d like to have today?

If you are new to my blog, you might like to know that I’m writing a memoir about growing up in an organized crime family.  To read chapter one, click here.  I’m also reading drafts of subsequent chapters at literary events in Cuenca.  They are held the first Thursday of every month at California Kitchen—7pm.  Admission is free.  The next reading will be on February 7, 2014.

This post was written in response to the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge– “Leave your Shoes at the Door.”

131 thoughts on “Ecuador Volcano Adventure Meets Mafia Memory (I Kid you NOT)

    • Stunning photos. Mother and I cruised a lot, together. She was a great travel companion; but in later years her high BP left her irritable most of the time, so cruising became more and more troublesome. Many Carib Cruises on the Carla C, my fav boat. Mother played bridge on board/met a lovely Italian woman from Milan who was a bridge partner and who was also cruising with her daughter, Susanna; Mrs. Ferrando invited us to the late seating for dining with her and Susanna…”just tell the the Maitre d’ you are dining with Mrs. Ferrando then he will bring you to our table.” Happily, we did as Mrs. F. had instructed, then were taken to the Captain’s Table where he and the officers were seated…Mrs. F. seated at opposite end from Capt and Susanna, quite the beauty, seated to the Capt’s right. As it turned out, Mrs. Ferrando was the wife of Mr. Ferrando who was Vice President of Costa Cruise Line. That all occurred in 1976. Susanna and I are still best friends; she is 60 and I am 70. I visited her often when she was living in NYC during the Eighties and she has been to The Mountain for visits with me. During the Eighties, Susanna and I cruised on Carla C with her Sicilian friend, Maru, a virgin. This was a big deal…a Sicilian virgin on board an Italian ship. All of the Officers were stumbling over each other trying to convert Maru to a different “lifestyle” but that’s another story and one that made all three of us LAUGH for the entire ten days. I wish I could upload a photo but cant find a way to do it.

      Like

      • LOVE, love, love the story!!!!!! Who knew? What a hoot that Mrs. F. turned out to be who she was. Susanna sounds like a good friend. And, gosh, I would LOVE to see some photos. In fact, I would kill to see a few! Do you have a scanner? If not take, the images to a Kinkos or any place with the capacity to scan. They can put them on a thumb drive for you! I want to see those pictures!

        Like

  1. Fabulous views, but my wife would never take that ride …. just like I wouldn’t take the small plane to fly around Mt. McKinley. Interesting how the recent trip rekindled those memories.

    Like

  2. Kathy, you have lived and are living such an amazing life. I have a feeling your Dad took that little adventure with you, which is part of the reason you had such a sudden flash of memory. It’s amazing what can trigger memories. I wish it happened more often.

    Love to you and Sara
    Lisa

    Like

    • Yes, I hope he did travel in that cable car with us. He would have loved it! It was fun to go back and recover some of the old photos, as well. I know I have more. Just can’t figure out where they are.

      Wonderful to hear from you, Lisa! Love and hugs to you and your family from Sara and me. Hope you’ll visit sometime soon!

      Like

  3. Good morning Kathy,

    As I rose this morning to a freshly snowbound mid-Atlantic USA with the songbirds chittering impatiently, (three stories high, outside my bay window overlooking the whitened winter Wonderland), for me to reload their dinner plate I found your stupendous blog and very much enjoyed the trip to your new home and adventure in the southern hemisphere. I’ll read the New York Times and the State of the Union address later.

    The snow and the birds remind me of being a kid at home on the farm when things were free and easy.

    The photos of your parents reminded me of my parents in the 60s and 70s – dressed to the nines and enjoying the heck out of a Saturday night.

    Thank you for your lovely posts that you evoke memories and initiate ideas.

    Truly,

    R.

    Like

    • Oh, Robert, I LOVE your comments. They invariably make my day. Glad to know you are tucked inside safe from the cold and snow. And happy to know you enjoyed the post. I, too, get a kick out of the old photos! Interesting to know your parents liked to dress up, as well. I always have to laugh seeing the photo of my mom in that feather boa! Have a warm and wonderful day, my friend. Hugs from here in Ecuador!

      Like

  4. What amazing views! Funny how life tends to circle back around at times, maybe not in the same place or in exactly the same way, but enough to bring us back to things from our childhood.

    Like

    • Yes, yes. Your comment reminds me of the post you did about Story Book Forest. Now THAT brought back memories. My grandmother had a summer home about 5 minutes away. I think it was called Oram Road. I have NO idea if I’m spelling it correctly. Gosh, I’d love to know if that house is still there. Great to hear from you, Robin!

      Like

  5. The trip I’ve always wanted to revisit as an adult (and never have) is New Orleans. The other moments I’ve had have been about doing the things I wanted to do as a kid (like riding the Maid of the Mist at Niagara or the roller coaster at the local amusement park) that for whatever reason I couldn’t do when we were there. It sounds like this was quite the conjunction of memory and experience. I’m sure I’d love it too.

    Like

  6. Beautiful views and a great recounting of your memories of childhood as always. I would love that ride up—we have done several above the treeline rides and it always amazes me to be able to view the landscape from that vantage point. Lovely post as always.

    Like

    • Thanks, Beth Ann! Wonderful to hear from you this morning. I’m fascinating by the grass-like plants that grow above the tree-line here–and some small cactus looking ones. Glad you enjoyed the view. I appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you are staying WARM! Loved yesterday’s teapot shot–in the snow. Too cute!

      Like

  7. You don’t by any chance still have that feather boa do you? I know someone who would look really good in it! Me you ask? Guilty as sin! Love the pictures and blog post as always!

    Like

  8. Kathy, We loved the pics of your parents especially the first one which reminded me of my family cruises we took in the mid to late 70’s when my sister and I worked for NCL cruise lines.You look a lot like your dad around the eyes. The juxtaposition of past and present was great and loved the incredible pics of Quito from above. Juan

    Like

  9. i’m so glad that the entire post was included in the email notice;  the internet is too slow to load pages until late at night!   it’s also great to reply by email prompt!

    thank you so much for this well-written post!  how great it was to see your beautiful parents and experience a tiny slice of your earlier years, and then zip to the present and ride to the top of pichincha!

    this as a great break to my morning!  i’ll have to plan a trip to cuenca around the date of one of your readings!

    z

    ________________________________

    Like

    • I’m glad it all came in the email, as well. Don’t know how that happened, but cool that it worked that way this time. I’m especially happy you enjoyed the post, photos, etc. And how wonderful it would be if you could come to a reading. They are held the first Thursday nights of the month. Hope to see you one day soon! Great to hear from you this morning!

      Like

  10. Oh, lovely! Wonderful to see the glorious views from that cable car, and to read of the memories associated with it. I adore those old photographs! What a lovely looking couple your parents were! Thanks for sharing, Kathy!

    Like

    • So happy you enjoyed the photos. I have a agree that my parents were attractive, and I’m not biased or anything! LOL Seriously, thank you, Cindy. Wonderful to hear from you this morning. Thanks for the comment! And stay warm!!!!!

      Like

  11. Wow, Kathy, I don’t know what to rave about first, your photos of your journey up the teleférico to the top of Pichincha Volcano in Quito or the story and pictures of your glamorous Mafioso mother and father! How interesting. I love your story about them too (especially your mother’s “guilty as sin” comment and the story of the automatic car starter and the hotel manager’s concerns!). I think it’s fabulous that you’re working hard on your book and doing readings as well. Good for you! As I said before, I’m really envying your life right now, as I, like hairyrobert above, am buried under snow and 8 degree (F) temps in Virginia. 🙂

    Like

    • Sorry to hear about the cold and snow. I hear that things are pretty bad, especially across the South. We had friends from Ashville, NC here in Cuenca for two months. They were on their way home from Ecuador and are now stranded in an hotel because of the ice and snow. Not a nice welcome back to the US.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, photos, stories, etc. My had had to have one of the first automatic car starters ever invented.

      Stay warm! And thank for stopping by!!!

      Like

  12. What a fun post and I love the pictures. I borrowed my mothers red boa for a date on Valentines day (many years ago) and it rubbed off on my dates jacket. It was a one and only date. The “old days” were so glamorous people sure knew how to dress up and cocktail in style. I’ve been on a few sight-seeing tramways but nothing like the one you shared. Amazing!

    Like

    • Love that you used “cocktail” as a verb. Fun use of the word. And how funny that you wore your mom’s boa! That’s a great story. Don’t you wonder if he still tells that same tale? Oh, probably not. Glad you enjoyed the post, photos, and SOOOOOO glad you have warmed all the way up to 7 degrees! Hope you’re not sweating! Great to hear from you today, Katybeth!

      Like

  13. First off those pictures of the beautiful nature surrounding you are amazing! And I love to hear your dad stories, but I have to say your mom rocked that feather boa. Loved it! Glad to hear that riding in the teleferico reminded you of your dad and of the little celebratory vacation. It’s very cool to have adventures of today that remind you of adventures with your dad. I like to have those too. 🙂

    Like

    • I’m so pleased you enjoyed the stories about my father. He may have been a criminal, but I miss him terribly and can’t help wondering how he would feel about the world today. He was a huge fan of technology, so I can imagine him pulling some Instagram scam or something. Thanks for coming along on our journey up the mountain and back in time! Wonderful to hear from you, dude!

      Like

  14. Well, a couple of years ago when I embarked upon my road trip and found myself in front of my childhood home in Dayton, I made it a point to walk down the same path in the woods where I had played as a kid. It was a surreal moment, retracing my footsteps, and obviously brought back a flood of memories. I’m sure you can relate.

    BTW, it’s gorgeous up there! You guys will have to take us when we visit. 🙂

    Like

    • I remember when you made that trip, Mark. It made me want to return to Pittsburgh–which Sara and I did last Spring and I have yet to really blog about. I need to fix that.

      So you all will come visit?! That would be awesome. Your room awaits. Just let us know when!!!

      Like

  15. Isn’t it strange the things that jog our memories? So glad you remembered this! Incidentally, I don’t think it was the mafioso in your dad that loved adventure. I know one of his daughters who faces change in her life with the same fervor, who sees the world as her oyster, so to speak. It’s definitely not a bad thing. 😉 Ecuador is turning out to be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to your memoir writing!

    Like

    • Oh, dear Miranda, thank you so much. It’s wonderful to hear from you! You have pointed out something quite important. Maybe I should have put it the opposite way. The risk-taker in him allowed him to be a part of the mob. It’s allowed me to take more calculated risks–sort of.

      I hope you all are staying warm and dry. It’s been a crazy winter for the US. Can we say, “Climate-change?”

      Hugs to you, Sista!

      Like

    • Thank you. I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. My mother is still quite lovely even at 75. If only I can look that good at her age. I will tell her you enjoyed the boa. Wonderful to hear from you. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

      Like

    • Keds and feather boas–yes. How funny. I have this tendency to use clothing images. I have no idea why. Oh, maybe it has something to do with the fact that my mom wore things like feather boas. Hadn’t thought of that. LOL Thanks so much for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Like

      • Kathy – We had a team of AT&T technicians here yesterday. They changed out all of the copper internet wiring to Cat-5 cable. Apparently it will work in the severe temps we’ve been experiencing (down to 50-below zero with the windchill factored in). So I’m back up and running – trying to get myself all caught up. Onward! 🙂

        Like

  16. Pingback: Sole Mates. |

  17. There is such “heart” in your stories and I find myself drawn into your sharings time and again (especially those about you father). The photos are simply cream added to the “kafe”. Thank you.

    Like

  18. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door | To Breathe is to Write

    • Thank you, Kim. Glad the post evoked heaven for you. I must say, we sure felt like we were in the heavens up there on that volcano. Fun that you appreciated the feather boa, as well. Does anyone still wear those?

      Like

  19. A beautiful view, and beautiful photos to match, Kathy. Cameras have come a long way since the pics from your Venezuela trip! 🙂 Did you go to the crater of the volcano? Or was this vantage point just shy of the summit?

    Isn’t it amazing how memories can flood back at the oddest moments?

    Like

    • We didn’t go as high at the summit. That would have required more climbing than we were up to that day, or had time to. It was fun to recall the entire experience in Venezuela. Weird how that happens. Great to hear from you today. Hope you are having a good week so far.

      Like

    • Thanks, V. Glad you enjoyed it. However, it’s called Pichincha Volcano. Far be if from me to change the name–active or inactive. I can only assume the experts call it that for a reason. Plus, Quito is famous for being surrounded by volcanos, some active other not. It’s called the “Avenue of Volcanos.”

      Like

  20. I LOVE how you mix up travel, memoir and fabulous photos (new and old…your mum and her splendiferous feather boa!). Deftly woven Ms McCullogh. 🙂
    I have many memories of crazy adventures with my maverick father, but seeing what that randomness cost in the end has sent me slightly to the other extreme I think! Now that I’ve got kids and ‘adventure’ needs to be within very well planned boundaries, with back-up plans A, B, and C…which kind of misses the point a bit. x

    Like

    • Oh, I don’t think so, K. I don’t think kids know where planning ends and adventure begins. Plus, kids your age, I think, consider most of life an adventure. And, heck, look where you live. That’s bound to be a pretty awesome experience. I also find that my adventure needs wax and wane. Maybe I’ll write about that one of these days.

      Great to hear from you, my friend. Hope you are all well–sisters included! Glad you enjoyed the post. (Almost forgot that last part–oops and thank you!)

      Like

  21. I loved reading this post and the accompanying photos. I couldn’t help but be reminded of trips our family took to the high Rockies when I was a child. The views were spectacular, quite similar to some you posted here. One summer we spent on a gold claim that friends of ours homesteaded not far from Crested Butte. We spent four months there living in a teepee my parents made (awesome), panning for gold (we got flecks of the stuff from time to time) fishing and hunting for our food, and mostly exploring the countryside and climbing mountains. Wow. Haven’t thought of that in a long time. I’ll have to fish out some old photos and blog about it. 🙂

    Your post certainly triggered some good memories for me. You exude joy in your new home. I look forward to reading more. Continued good wishes to you and Sara.

    Like

    • Thank you, C! So glad you enjoyed the post, photos, especially the ones from Venezuela. Now your adventure as a child sounds totally awesome! That must have been exciting for you. I can only imagine. Hope you decide to write about it. Wonderful to hear from you today!

      Like

  22. Pingback: Upstaged by sunrise | litadoolan

  23. The pictures are awesome! I think its clear that you got some spoiling in regards to your dads crime! I think at some point I would have embraced the idea of my dads criminal life, and then would have flinched my arm at people who looked at me wrong….Maybe remind them who my dad was, and tell them what we had done to other family’s! :). Of course, I’m a big dreamer!:)

    Still awaiting my trip to Equador,
    Tia

    Like

    • Thanks, Tia. So glad you enjoyed the post. Yeah, I pretty much embraced who my dad was as a kid–but then I didn’t know much better. As you might expect, I had a weird confusion about who the good guys and bad guys were.

      So when are you guys going to come visit? We’ll be looking forward to it!!!!!

      Like

      • You don’t suppose we could trade our time share to come there? Maybe I’m being foolish, but I intend to check it out…. We all have passports, so its just the planning part! Now, will there be plenty of equidorian wine?

        Like

      • That sounds like a possibility. You might want to send an inquiry about Gringotree.com . There you can post a free question about whether someone in Cuenca would want to trade places with you or use your timeshare. Gringo Tree is the free English language news/classified site in Cuenca. Ecuadorian wine is not good, for some reason, but there is a lot of good Chilean wine. You can also get T3 visas upon arrival at the airport here in Ecuador. It’s a 3 month tourist visa. We also have an extra guest room, should you need a place.

        Like

  24. Pingback: Weekly Writing Challenge – Leave Your Shoes At The Door | Joe's Musings

  25. I love this post, Kathy! I can’t recall if you ever told me you’d been to Venezuela. I’ve been on the teleferico and up the mountain, Avila many times as a kid and most recently when I took my own kids there. What a wonderful experience. One of my cousins is a reporter and was able to get us inside access to the Hotel Humboldt. In its day, it was a hotel of splendor, but since then it’s fallen on hard times. Some day I’ll share with you some of my photos of these trips.

    Like

    • When I put this post together, I had forgotten about your being Venezuelan. Really cool ride, isn’t it. I would totally LOVE to see your photos some day. I know I have more photos somewhere, also. I think my mom may have them as slides. I need to ask her. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

      Like

  26. Thanks for the tour. Of course now I want to see for myself. And I enjoyed reading about your childhood memories. It’s hard for me to fathom growing up like that. Can’t wait to read your memoir.

    Like

    • I suppose it’s hard for most folks to imagine, but I never knew any other way, so it was normal to me. Glad you enjoyed the tour. And I hope you all will come visit one of these days–and see for yourselves, indeed! Let us know should you ever hope to come this direction. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

      Like

  27. I know I have said this before, but your father reminds me of Dean Martin. I love the 70s fashions. Your parents really were the height of fashion for the time. They look incredible and so glamourous. What great memories.

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Debra. Sorry it has taken me several days to respond to your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I DO remember you mentioning the Dean Martin thing. I also think my dad looks like Dick Van Dyke. Hope you are doing well!

      Like

  28. Kathy, thank you for the amazing photos. Those mountains are like a dream.

    I can’t wait to read your memoir. I’ve long contemplated writing a similar history of my own family. My father was a spice salesman, but his father and his father’s brothers were involved in things much less socially acceptable. How do you go about such research? Without getting whacked, I mean.

    Like

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I’m sorry it was taken me a few days to respond. But I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos, and I will be interested to know if you decide to write a memoir. Sounds like you have a great story to tell!!!

      Like

  29. Kathy, as always, I enjoyed reading your blog and pretending to be riding up that teleférico with you and Sara. I even imagined the llamas, and thought again how you’re attempting to reconcile your childhood with the Kathy of today. Can’t wait to someday see your book in ready-to-read form!

    Like

    • I’m sorry it has taken me a couple of days to get to your comment, Kathy. But I have been busy working on that memoir. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I REALLY can’t wait till the memoir is ready to read! Hope you are staying warm! Loved your wood stove post!

      Like

  30. Pingback: Laptop Fever [FLASH FICTION] | Ramisa the Authoress

  31. Amazing pictures and absolutely stunning views! I can promise you I will only ever enjoy such sights through photos. My extreme fear of heights means I would never take the ride in a cable car.

    Like

  32. Wow! Those vistas are so breathtaking and the llamas look adorably friendly and hug-able.

    I recently saw a short story about Ecuador’s Tungurahua Volcano – are you able to see it erupting from where you live?

    The pictures of your parents on the cruise ship in the 70s and your story about riding the teleférico up over Ávila reminded me of an experience that amazed me when I was a teen, too.

    My family took a cruise ship when we moved to Greece for a couple of years in the 1970s. (My mother was afraid of flying!) While living there, we took a ferry to the island of Santorini, which is actually the side of a volcano crater, Thera, which had a catastrophic eruption in about 1600 BCE. As I rode a donkey down the inside of the crater to the sea, and then walked back up, it was terrifying to contemplate the sudden destruction of a Minoan civilization.

    It was definitely a peak experience!

    Like

    • Ha, ha, that sounds like a peak experience, indeed. It’s crazy to think of these things erupting.

      However, we can not see Tungurahua from here in Cuenca, but we woke up Sunday morning of last week to a massive amount of ash on everything. I had just cleaned out patio the night before, so I was upset to have to clean it all over again less than 12 hours later. I was whining and mumbling to myself, that if I didn’t know better, I would have sworn a volcano had erupted. Sara heard me in the kitchen and came out to tell me it had!

      We’ve been dealing with ash on and off all week, depending on which way the high level winds are blowing. The eruption is about 120 miles north of here.

      Like

  33. Pingback: There’s a Snake in My Couch Part I : A Mom’s Point of View | mariestephensgardening

  34. …Older now than our parents were then — I often consider this, Kathy — of course, especially as the older I get. It makes life seem even shorter than it is. My thought on this is Ocean City, N.J., where my family and I spent many summertime weeks. I’m going to write a blog post about this, in fact. I am reading a book by Gay Talese, “Unto the Sons,” and he inspired me. He and his wife have a home in Ocean City, where he writes from a third floor room of this Victorian house. He grew up in Ocean City. He is nine years older than I, so just out of my friendship range of all the Italians I liked so much who lived in The Gardens section at the north end of that island. As a teenager, I spent a couple weeks there with my aunt & uncle, where every evening before dinner, my uncle announced, “The Ocean Bar and Seaview Grill is now open.” My aunt and uncle were way younger than I am now, maybe even younger than my 47 year old daughter. Sigh.

    But, speaking of the mafioso, in “Unto the Sons,” Gay Talese writes not only of the history of his family from generations way, way back (they kept diaries), but also the origins there in The Kingdom of Southern Italy, in the foot of the boot, of the mafioso. Being surrounded by water and thereby vulnerable to constant invasion, the mafioso arose to serve as a kind of bartering intermediators between the natives and the invaders.

    Stunning photos. Love your mom’s feathered boa. Your dad was such a … well, trip. And your mom is so pretty. I’ll bet she still is.

    Hugs from yet another snowy day in Delaware.

    Samantha

    Like

    • Damn, just wrote you a long response and lost it by hitting the wrong key. No idea what I did.

      At any rate, thanks for sharing the historical bit about the mafia. You always have such interesting cultural insights. Sounds like you have a wonderful childhood.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos. I will mention to my mom that you think she’s attractive. Yes, she still is. Hugs to you, too, my friend.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s