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Caro Heller: a caring, loving and beloved Aunt, mother and grandmother, will be sorely missed

Caro Watkins Heller passed away last night. She was my god mother and she was a big part of my childhood growing up in Blawenburg, New Jersey. Caro and then-husband John Heller used to come down and visit us in the New Jersey countryside, and we would go and visit them often in Brooklyn Heights. Their kids were the city mice and we were the country mice, we used to joke.   There are many memories of Caro that I carry with me. She was someone 0

The big wedding weekend of 2014

Today I had to put down the duties of publishing for far more important work, with a much stricter task master. We are getting ready for a wedding. A big one. The daughter! And thus was there a list created and on that list were many things that would not wait just one more minute to be done.   Guests in my house get credit for being the reasons we clean, clean and clean like we should all of the time, when we know visitors are 0

Bill Bernhardt doesn't reveal he's a guide when he hires one

Bill Bernardt, a local fishing guide in Pittsburg New Hampshire. Our tour of New England's tippy top continued as we said goodbye to Pittsburg and made our way down blue highways out of the Granite state and up into Vermont's lakeside town, Newport, on Mephramagog. Before we left we Bill Bernhardt, a fishing guide with Lopstick Outfitters, who makes his living taking visitors out fishing in his favorite trout streams and on the First Connecticut and other nearby lakes. Movie star handsome with bronzed arms 0

In Coos County, a moose crossed our path

Dixville Notch, Coos county New Hampshire. When we met our host, Karl, here in New Hampshire's North Country, he told us about the many moose that live in these parts. But he didn't guarantee we'd see one, even though the sign on the highway warned that "hundreds of accidents" have resulted in people meeting moose with the fronts of their cars. As we drove down Route 3 searching for our elusive lodgings, WOW! we spotted two moose crossing the road, the big bull with gleaming 0

Other Desert Cities: a family's secrets come out at Christmas

Mom, Dad and Brooke Wyeth. New Century Theatre's latest production, Other Desert Cities, hits hard. It's like the worst of awkward family Christmas reunions, and from the very beginning it's clear that Mom's claws are still sharp and they can scratch you at any moment. Brooke Wyeth (Cate Damon) is out in Palm Springs, visiting her parents. It's clear that things are going to be tense, as we watch her and her brother, Trip, (Sam Gillam), a reality TV show producer, gird their loins as 0

Commuter rail operators are becoming land developers to pay for the service

A MARTA station in Atlanta. Profits from property leasing can help pay for commuter rail and has been more and more in recent years. Around the country, many transit agencies are becoming land developers because every time they build a commuter rail system, the houses along the route and especially at the terminus become way more valuable. In a WSJ story yesterday, I read a story by Chelsey Dulaney about how land development is where much of the money to run train systems is coming 0

Chef: watching a man grow up with his boy on a food truck  

Chef, directed and starring Jon Favreau. I've been looking forward to seeing the new movie Chef since it first came out. But the reasons I liked the film so much were different than I had expected them to be. I love the inner workings of a restaurant, the people who together, figure out how to get all of the food out of the kitchen right on time for the clients waiting at their tables. It's a gritty, profane place to work, and the chef we 0

Railroad track progress in Deerfield

A logging machine takes a turn and then heads right down the railroad tracks today in South Deerfield, MA.I watched this giant logging machine chew small sticks and move big logs around by the railroad tracks. The current project adding continuous rail track includes lots of tree removal. This guy had just finished his work and he swung the big six-wheeler right up over the tracks, the 3' wide tires easily just bounced right over the tracks. am curious about the machine that will lift 0

Scenes from a Coastal Voyage

We are still a little rolling and rocking after our seven-day voyage on the M/V Grande Caribe up the New England coast. We can't say enough good things about the company, Blount Small Ship Adventures, or our wonderful cast of fellow cruisers. To a person they were fun, well-educated, eager to share stories and most of all, a lot of fun to spend time with. Here are some of my favorite photos from the voyage. Sunset from the water in Vineyard Haven harbor, Martha's Vineyard 0

Blount Small Ship Adventures shows us New England we’ve never experienced by sea

Blount Small Ship Adventures shows us New England we’ve never experienced by sea Approaching Vineyard Haven harbor on Martha's Vineyard. Nantucket's organic flower and produce market Lobsta Bake! cooked on a grill with seaweed Mark Alan Lovewell of Vineyard Haven sings sea chanties aboard ship. Cocktails, wine and beer flow freely aboard the MV Grand Caribe, Old New Bedford from the third floor of the city's wonderful whaling museum. On whaling ships in the 1800s, captain's wives often accompanied their husbands on the years-long journeys 0