The Chelmsford Circle (Sep 12, day 11)

Going Home – Part 1

The world is a circle without a beginning and nobody knows where it really ends…*

While growing up in Chelmsford Massachusetts, Michael had a group of friends who played together and did the normal kinds of things boys from the suburbs do for entertainment: playing some hockey – and getting teeth knocked out…

Dr. Chigas, the dentist got tired of looking at this.

Dr. Chigas, the dentist, got tired of looking at Michael’s smile and fixed it. Thanks!

jumping off the 40-foot Hampton Beach bridge – fortunately no one was hurt…

roughly 40 feet over the water!

roughly 40 feet over the water!

skiing in New England – sometimes with appropriate skiwear, sometimes not.

The old gang

The old gang

Decades later and many miles away, Michael hasn’t seen much of these guys, but those who stayed in the area keep in touch. We spent a day in Chelmsford catching up with changes and sameness.

Chelmsford celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2005. Inside the Chelmsford library is a beautiful commemorative piece of stained-glass art created by Mattie Fallon. It features Native Americans, local farmers, and even the computer industry.

by the artist, Matthew Fallon

commemorative by the artist, Matthew Fallon

Look closely at the book cover held by the little boy to see that Mattie honored his good friend, Ray Mercier, by attributing the authorship of the book to him.

authored by Ray

Tales from Other Lands, authored by Ray Mercier

Ray is now the late Ray Mercier, on to lands beyond, but he is the subject of a real book in the works by George Chigas, professor of Asian Studies at U-Lowell (and son of Michael’s dentist). George and his wife Thida invited us to dinner where they shared some of the wonderful bounty from Thida’s first and very impressive garden, including a jar of yellow pepper jam.

Thida's produce. Did you know cosmos are edible?

Thida’s glorious yellow peppers. Did you know cosmos are edible?

Tim Henry brought his freshly harvested Bay Point oysters to the dinner and invited us out for a tour of his operation the next day.

Tim Henry hauling in fresh oysters (Bay Point Oyster Company)

Tim Henry hauling in fresh oysters (Bay Point Oyster Company)

Tim’s wife Gerry is an aficionado of upstate New York wines and plans to visit us next summer for some good old Dr. Konstantin Frank wine on her annual winery trip.

We loved this opportunity to network the old-fashioned way, without a bit of Facebook posting.

* From the musicalized film version of Joseph Conrad’s Lost Horizon.

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