Thanks to my pal David Jensen, I got to attend the Yanks-Mets game at Citi Field last Sunday night. What a lot of fun we had! The night was perfect, the seats were great, and the crowd was congenial. What we ended up seeing was in game in two parts: sic innings of a tight pitchers’ duel between Matt Harvey and C.C. Sabathia, which Harvey won 1-0, and a three inning blowout in which the Yanks slaughtered the Mets’ bullpen. Well, I went home happy, even if my host did not. But both teams, I think, are going to the playoffs.
Top: Dave and me, a pair of graybeards. Center left: The Mets’ ace Harvey, warming up in the outfield. With his pitch count limited, Harvey pitched five innings on one-hit ball, and struck out seven; Center right: Yanks’ rightfielder Carlos Beltran, the steady star who knocked in two runs. Third tier: Unconquered and unbowed through his struggles this season, the veteran Sabathia strikes Met slugger Yoenis Cespedis as the Yanks’ rookie first baseman and budding star Greg Bird looks on. Bottom: Yanks’ second sacker Dustin Ackley crosses the plate after hitting a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
Thanks to the religious devotion of our Jewish brethren, Ginny had off four days in a row, so we headed off to New Hampshire for a scenic-historical holiday. On Day One, we saw some aging, full-of-character
industrial cities: funky Nashua, where we ate at a very nice Irish pub and saw their august Civil War monument in the town square (far left) ; Manchester, where the NH comic-con was being held; and charming Concord, home of the Franklin Pierce house (above center). On Day Two, we headed for the hills, passing through a pretty breathtaking lakes region. We had lunch at Dot’s Bread and Butter, where contrary to the name, we received neither bread not butter. We then went up through the White mountains, saw a charming town called Littleton where a store boasts the longest candy counter in the world, and brooks no disagreement (above right). Also passed through a beautiful town called Bethlehem, which sits at the highest elevation of any town east of the Rockies. We spent the night at the incredible Bretton Woods, the amazing resort where the International Monetary Fund was established after World War II. We then drove south, saw more lake communities, passed through Dover, and ate lunch at Hampton Beach (above left). The boardwalk was a little too honky-tonkish for our tastes–I know, what should we have expected?–but the air was clear and the ocean calm and the lobster rolls meaty and delicious (above center). We then proceeded to Portsmouth, which is quaint and lovely and charming and fun and historical. We saw the house where John Paul Jones lived (above right), but David Farragut’s house was obscured. I really liked it. Then it was home again, and glad of it.
By the way, I have the cover story in Smithsonian this month, “The 21st Century Life List.” It was great fun to write and a pleasure to learn about these amazing places. “It crackles with energy,” the Los Angeles Times kindly says. The photographs are breathtaking.
I had a great time yesterday speaking to about 25 or 30 very knowledgable and attentive people about Commander Will Cushing at the Naval War College in beautiful, humid Newport RI. John Kennedy of the museum was a terrific host, and he and his colleagues brought out this wonderful folk art painting of Cushing for the occasions. As it turns out, it was the same portrait I flirted with purchasing at an auction in the summer of 2014. I must say, it looked better in person than in the catalog, and it was nice to see it, even though it did provoke something of a staring contest between the Will of the painting and the Will of the book cover. Chill, fellas!
Before the talk I popped on a pair of headphones and appeared on WDAK radio. Host Bruce Harvey asked very perceptive questions that sure covered a lot of ground in fifteen minutes. Thanks to Jacob Sullivan for arranging.
Last Thursday Ginny and I visited Kykuit, the spectacular, art-stuffed Rockefeller residence in Pocantico Hills. High on a hill above the Hudson–Kykuit is a Dutch name for lookout–the 1913 house is an amazing combination of Gilded Age splendor muted by the Baptist reticence of its first builder and resident John D. Rockefeller, then adorned first with examples of Chinese enamel adored by John D. Jr., and then later
with a couple hundred masterpieces of modern art beloved by subsequent occupants Abby and Nelson Rockefeller, including pieces by Moore, Calder, Picasso, Chagall, Brâncuși, Giacometti, Lachaise, Nevelson, Noguchi and Warhol. Also saw Nelson’s secret TV set and VP china. It was pretty fab–exhausting, but awesome.
Last Wednesday (August 12, in fact) I was invited by the Washington Chapter of the Center for Maritime Security to speak at a screening of the 1998 HBO movie Pentagon Wars, which was held at the Heritage Foundation. I was thrilled to be invited, and I was happy to see the film, which I co-wrote, and to meet some fans who know more than a little about the world of Pentagon procurement. Much to my delight, I also got to speak a bit about Commander Will Cushing, who was in his day a force for maritime security. Special thanks to Emil Maine, the organization’s Director of Operations (below), for arranging everything.
Twice last week I ventured into the wilds of Orange County to speak about the marvelous Commander Will Cushing. On a sweltering Thursday evening I visited the quaint and scenic Museum Village in Monroe, where about a dozen hearty souls sat at picnic benches in an un-air conditioned structure to hear me go on. On Friday, about 20 of the residents of the Glen Arden Retirement community in Goshen joined me for a lunchtime talk. Providentially, Will Cushing again proved to be an entertaining subject. Many thanks to Michael Sosler at Museum Village and Dee Steeger at Glen Arden for inviting me, and to all the people who came to hear me speak. Happily, a great number of them bought books! Huzzah!