After a low-90s degree day, it’s Saturday, and a new hot day. The fact that summertime heat plus humidity hasn’t arrived yet is a bonus. All that said also means that a hot morning coffee still tastes really good.

At some point yesterday Marcia and I stared at each other. I expected a bit of a snarky; “you look really old” comment. I was wrong. It was; “do you realize that in just two weeks we’ll be at the cabin?”

Now it’s noticeable that the days for us to head north have begun to be shorter and are coming quicker.

I made an appointment at the dealership for an oil change, tire rotation, and belt/hose inspection. The earliest they could accommodate me is 11-am Monday a week (the 12th) – the day before we leave. Not comforting at all.

I think that to keep myself calm I should just plan to, again, watch Peter Sellers do his magic as Dr. Strangelove. Sellers in each of his 6 roles in that film is a performer-beat none. Peter Sellers – Dr. Strangelove; “[we’re] talking about mass murder, general, not war!” Then, to the American President; “Mein Führer!”………“Deterrence is the art of producing, in the mind of the enemy… the fear to attack!”

The Roast – before I forget, a major thank you to Tevita and Adrianne for hosting the Memorial Day weekend backyard Pig Roast. Tevita especially, up at dawn to start the coals. It was such a fun time, and a wonderful opportunity to meet new folk and re-establish contact with old friends.

“First the pork chops, then morality” ~ Bertolt Brecht


Spring Grove – Then last Sunday I decided to walk to Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboetum. I didn’t go to visit my parent’s grave site, but to capture the events celebrating the holiday weekend; music from the Revolutionary period and the Civil War, and a three hour tour of interesting history from the past.

President Abraham Lincoln – was with us for a full hour. History came to life as a couple of Lincoln’s famous speeches were given. Even more interesting was the shared background Lincoln had to deal with during his time, cultural, politically, socially, and familial. Questions were answered; all while our ‘historical’ Lincoln stayed in character.

Period Music – played across the acres of grass, ponds, and wood lots. Hearing music from the Civil War period played on instruments, especially the pre metal gut stringed Banjo, in that setting made it very special. Add period costuming and it became a bit of a time machine.

Grave Markers – So, I took part in a three hour tour in some of the older sections of the cemetery. Here a docent talked about the people by whose grave we stood who lived and experienced our Revolutionary period. There are 25 veterans of the Revolutionary War buried here. I’ll detail a little of just two such folk.

Lucius Chapin (1760 – 1842) – At age 15 he was too young to fight during the American Revolution. But he could play the Fife. Along with a young drummer lad Lucius was in several of those early battles. He fought alongside General George Washington at Valley Forge.

The Fife player meant you had to call the troops to breakfast, taps, and marches. Additionally, they were an early form of the Signal Corps, signaling for the troops to ‘flank’ left or right. What this meant is that for an enemy to cause disruption, aim for the drummer and fife boys.

Lucius survived and with his brother started traveling regionally as music teachers. Since most people could not read music he was key in developing a method for people to follow music. It was a ‘shape’ (or Harp) style of “Shaped-note Singing” which became wildly popular especially in churches.

As it was written in a description I read: “taking part in a shaped-note singing is an experience like no other. Grouped according to vocal range in a square formation, facing the song leader in the center and singing a-capella, singers create a powerful sonic exchange.”

Matthew Lawler (1755 – 1831) – was Active in the American Revolution. During the conflict he commanded privateering ships, including the Holker and later the Ariel. ‘Privateering’ in reality meant that the English viewed him as a pirate.


He was heavily involved in the early work, which, over time, ended up in the establishment of the Navy and Coast Guard.

But, wait a minute, there is more. He served as the Mayor of Philadelphia. And he served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Philadelphia Bank.

Spring Grove cemetery is non-profit and has always been non-sectarian and so it’s not very often that there is a ‘ripple’ when it comes to something as simple as a grave marker.

However, the blue marble Sphinx did cause a bit of a stir. The period saw a bit of fascination with everything Egyptian and hence, eventually, it was approved.

Etcetera –
• A fair bit of the Ramblings this week mentions music. So here is one more. A Mesopotamian tablet which at 3,400 years old is the oldest sheet music found. Named; “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” it’s a tune in praise of the ancient goddess Nikkal.

• Mid week the Atlantic Hurricane season began. They predict with 40% accuracy that it’ll be a normal season. Tell “normal” to those who’ll be staring in some, yet unnamed, storm’s eye.

• Want to see Billy Joel in one of his scheduled Madison Square Gardens concerts? Better hurry, July 2024 it’ll be the end of his 150 concert run.

• We’ve successfully harvested solar energy from an orbiting satellite and then wirelessly beamed the energy to Earth via microwaves. I think this is the very early beginnings of distributing electricity without the use of strung wiring. Kinda cool!

• Take a look at this video of the Cooper Hill Cheese Roll (Gloucester in England). Insanity! Broken bones and concussions are the norm. In one heat a young gal won by crossing the line first – while she was unconscious.

Ciao. Stay strong. Now teach myself to walk around all the bins and stuff packed for Canada. Don’t want to trip like some of our leaders are prone to do.

Be well, be happy, stay safe.


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