~ Thank you, Norm Frampton for his “Thursday’s Doors.” I appreciate my readers who use their creative minds to visualize, as I attempt to “draw” Doors for you from my past, so far.
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If you have read some of my past true stories, you may know I spent my 16th summer in Rockport, Massachusetts. My Mom’s 16th summer was much more exciting since there was Victory in WWII, 1940-something. . . She handed out free ice cream cones given in celebration by my Great Uncle George at Tuck’s Pharmacy and Candy Shoppe close to Bear Skin Neck.
By the time I was sixteen, my parents drove my brothers and me out to visit my cousins and extended Swedish 1/4 part of “our blood” family.
I was happy to see the folks leave after a week and waved glibly, “Farewell to rules, Hello, Freedom!”
The talent and trade of my craftsman Great Grandfather was that of a stone mason. How he met my Great Grandmother in Sweden and coaxed her first, into marrying him and then, crossing the Atlantic Ocean is in my first 50 posts, “Love Story: European Style.”
The above details were given as background information leading us to climbing up a steep and winding road know as Squam Hill.
As I did this several times on foot with my coworker, Jo Ann Barnes from Rockport or my Cousin Johnny. We would stop and look at many historic homes along the way.
What is called affectionately by family members is the peak of the hill:
Many stone walls in this area were built and carefully crafted to look like simply stacked rocks. The artistry is seen by their longevity and the way creeping wild vines and wildflowers do not destroy them. The way nature melds with the hand crafted stone walls makes beautiful pictures.
On John’s Rock, there is a gray granite house, with hints of pinkish tones in the rock. The house glistens in the sunlight with quartzite and mica crystals catching and refracting the light.
There is a set of sturdy cement steps with edging made of flat rocks. The wall around this porch is thick and made of stacked stones. In the heat of the summer this house has trees towering over it. When you sit on the porch the stones fill you with a coolness, almost a chilly place to read a book on a chair.
As you walk around the wall and onto the porch you will see a beautiful doorway with a large weathered door knocker. It is in the shape of a brass anchor. There is greenish tone to this old nautical-styled knocker, as the salty sea air can rise up and float on the fog or mist of early morning.
On either side of the door are peregrine falcons made from poured concrete into sturdy heavy metal forms to cast these two elegant vanguards protecting the door. They came to above my knees at this age.
If you are a collector of old masonry and garden statues, you will recognize the grayish color tone of these fine birds. There are a few places which resemble “pock marks” which probably came from the same humid, sea salt air wearing away the cement in small places.
Side note #1:
When I saw Rooks made at the Rookwood Pottery Company in Cincinnati, Ohio (from ancient kilns) I wanted to exclaim, “My Great Grandpa designed a similar pose with a different hooked beak elegant bird.”
The door had three sets of two panels making six rectangles in this thick door. The stain had darkened and aged but I am wondering, which indigenous heavy wood tree was used?
Any suggestions of New England trees which could remind you in appearance of mahogany?
No windows on the deep brown door but on each side there were windows which were what I consider “bedroom window size” although the door led into a small parlour.
Traditional homes in the 60’s and 70’s in Rockport had cafe window style curtains in crisp, short white ruffled top and longer white crisp bottom that went only half way down the wall.
My Mom imitated this style on their retirement cottage’s windows on Lake Erie.
Mom had beach glass in bottles, some cobalt blue clear and others were lighter blue clear bottles on the ledge where the bottom half would display these light catchers.
My Great Grandpa’s house was occupied by Great Uncle George when he was younger with his wife and three boys. Once grown, Edward was chosen to be the occupant with his wife and two children.
Roger Tuck became the confectionery manager of a candy factory.
John came home from Vietnam and became an artist.
Edward took over the pharmacy having come back and used the G.I. Bill to get his education.
Great Uncle George and my Grandpa Mattson’s sister, Dorothy, got married years before I came up to visit. They had simplified their lives living above Tucks Pharmacy. I was hired as a candy seller living above the shop, too. I worked 7:00 am until 2:00 pm so had many hours exploring Cape Ann and seeing my “maiden” aunts, cousins and making new friends.
I loved my Great Auntie Marie the best, along with my Great Aunt Dot, as they called Dorothy, and my Great Uncle George. I listened to their stories all summer long and enjoyed writing and knowing them for years and years. In 1999, my ex-husband and I had a great chance to travel and see Aunt Marie, along with Ed’s personal video he made of the “Perfect Storm.”
If I left off any details of the door and house I apologize.
My Cousin Eddie and his wife with two children had an architect design a building which housed an in ground pool. There was an enclosed breezeway, adjoining the original old- fashioned designed house.
They had a large living room with enough seating for their church choir to come for weekly practices with potluck. I would benefit two ways: by babysitting Cheryl and Brian, I got paid well and the bounty of delicious fish, side dishes or burgers and chicken on the grill.
Side note # 2:
Last but not least, in 1971, I was given downstairs, in the pharmacy, by Great Uncle George a $5 bill to run down Bear Skin Neck and go to the wharf to purchase a large lobster.
Cape Ann is also famous for Rockport’s fishing barn called, “Motif #1.” You see it on calendars of famous Americana scenery and postcards, too.