Posted by: guinness222 | August 5, 2011

“…the old 67 is now the new 47.”

So said a note I got from a friend when I went on FB and made a comment about looking to buy a Harley Davidson Motorcycle. Another frantically pleaded with me to just make it a big safe old ’60’s car like a Cadillac convertible. (frankly I would consider a ’55 Corvette,…but alas I dream!) Another friend said I have the “Harley Davidson Spirit”, but get a car.

So what do I do???

It’s not like I want to be a big bad biker dude, but years ago I had a Honda and loved the open road and the wind blowing in your face. After work each day I’d jump on and just go for a ride for a half hour or an hour and I was a new guy. It “blew all my worries away,…poof!”

Well I got a Harley Shirt, and if I don’t get to many folks rolling on the floor choking and laughing at me then I may do some “prowling” around here and see what’s available, afterall we can ride year round in Florida.

Speaking of strolling down memory lane,….My wife and I were generously flown up to our old stomping grounds by our daughter and her husband to visit for a week and see our grand-daughter. We had a ball. I got to go back to twenty-five yeas ago and roam around my favorite all time town, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Some things change others never change, but talk about funky contrasts.

For example I used to love cruising on the old Piscataqua River and in particular the little 50 foot tour boat. In fact I loved it so much I used to rent it year after year and take all my employees and their families out for a Sunday afternoon cruise, open bar, and snacks,…great memories, and then across the parking lot at the dock was one of out favorite Restaurants, “The Oar House” owned by dear friends Dick and Jill, and then across the other side of the parking lot a small shop called the “Ceres Street Wine Shop” that Dick started and when his girl friday bailed for a new job I had just sold one of my companies and had time so I took it over for him and managed it until he found a replacement. Lo and behold a mutual friend of both Dick and myself wanted to buy it so Dick sold it to him, and here we are 20 + years later and David is still running it, (and he immediately remembered me when I walked in the door!). Went to lunch at one of our old favorites, a cellar place called the “Brick Oven Pizza” where designer pizza’s started in the mid-80’s, and all named after local landmarks and characters, like another old friend Mayor Eileen Foley. It was her to a tee, “..made with extra sweet sauce and topped with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, carmelized onions and mozzarella cheese.” (Damn, just drooled on the keyboard,AGAIN!) Or how about “The Salt Pile”, named after the monster piles of slat at the docks for all the roads in the entire New Hanpshire, Maine and Massachusetts area. Brought in by huge cargo ships, piled at least a hundred feet high and waiting in mid – July for the first snowfall of November. Anyway it is a “white” pizza, no sauce ” loaded with garlic and topped with swiss, ricotta, romano and mozzarella cheese”.

Then just on a lark I said to my daughter. “Let’s run over to the Dolphin Striker, another fabulous restaurant we frequented, I want to see if my little plaque is still there.” Back in 1982-1984 I was the Chairman of the Portsmouth Maritime Heritage Committee and we strove to bring at least one international tall ship to the City each year, and the round of tours, diplomatic lunches, cocktail parties etc. It was really a fun thing. But my friend Peter, who owned the Dolphin Striker and the tavern below it called the Spring Hill Tavern, one evening called me to come with him after we finished eating dinner and we went down to the Tavern. Traditionally there were two booths at each end of the Tavern, each would seat at least twelve people. The “Capt’n’s Booth at one end had a little 2″ x 4” brass plaque with the name of each tall ship we brought in to the City and it’s Captain’s name and the date. At the other end was “The Directors Booth” this was one of the most sought after places in the Tavern as Peter, and ONLY Peter would periodically have the same small brass plaques placed on the booth and you were then a “Director”. Now Peter was a feisty old marine who lived life his way and there was no way anyone could get their name on there if the Lord High Owner, Peter said no. (And trust me there were many who would have killed to be on it but were never granted that privilege) but there I was my name on a little brass plaque dated 2-14-1984. It was still there. Since it was early afternoon there was only a bartender and two tourists at the bar and the bartender came over to see what this old loony and young woman were doing crawling around the Directors booth with a penlight. I turned and said I’m just looking to see if I am still here on the Board of Directors. His face lit up and he said, “Tom?”, I said yes, and come to find out he had been an old bartender friend from the twenty years ago as well.

Things I hate,…Yuppies on Segways “touring” with those “smirks” as they wheel by looking down on everyone. And trendy little boutiques who are so proud of their merchandise the price is multi syllabic and you immediately think “Not on your life am I paying that for a shirt”, and Ice Cream shops who keep the ice cream at just above freezing so the minute they hand you the cone it starts melting all over your hand and face and inevitably the clothes,….regardless of how fast you eat it or try and keep up with the drips with the napkins.

Things I love,…..being able to go back in time to twenty years ago and finding so many great people and places are still the same great, friendly memorable and warm fuzzy feeling as they were back then. People whose lives you have crossed and they still recognize you and know you by name, twenty six years later,….New England Pubs with the widest range of local “craft beers” that all taste fantastic, ….the look of pain as the temperature hits 80 degrees there, and knowing where I live now the temp was 99 to 104 today.

Things that piss me off? Not many that are other than Politics and ignorant idiots,…but that’s for another day.

One last note. I mentioned Dick and Jill earlier, …my wife and I and another couple used to go with them and we all had seasons tickets to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and went every Tuesday evening, so needless to say a get together was in order. Well Dick passed away perhaps 15 years ago, and the other couple sold everything and bought a big RV and just roam around the North American Continent. But Jill and Barbara, my wife, and I got together on Sunday afternoon at a pub overlooking the old Cocheco River in Dover and had some wine and chatted, it’s like I told her not getting together for 15 years and despite all the time that went by it was like we just saw her yesterday,…well that’s what makes for good friends, it is not the time we see each other, but the quality of the time we have together that matters.

So truly, the old 67 is now the new 47,….and I love it!

-30-


Responses

  1. Hiya Alec,

    Are you going through mid-life crisis with your motorbike purchase? 🙂

    When you get your Harley make sure you get a good helmet!

    • Hey Eve,
      How do I find you on Tumblr? Got a new iPad,…love it. So much smaller and easy t tote around yet almost full laptop fucntionality with the great apps out there.
      Take care hear from you soon.
      Tom Corcoran (Mr. Guinness)


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