When my father left the house in the morning, he carried a black canvas shopping bag which had just a sandwich in it: usually cheese, egg salad, or a fried egg. On the way he would add the Boston “Post” which he read carefully each day. On the way home, the bag was at least half full: the Boston evening paper -the Traveler- , some interesting item he had scavenged, perhaps an empty bottle he would later use for root beer, plant seedlings,, and whatever groceries he bought that day – meat from Blackstone Butchers, fresh items for the pushcarts in Haymarket Square, staples from Gray’s Market. Over the years he also brought home four different cats in that bag, and once even a dog.
In the spring, summer, and early fall, we ate supper very early so my father could, ashe did after breakfast and before leaving for the Paul Revere House work in his garden. What started as a”Victory Garden” became a forever garden of tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, beets, and Swiss chard. Someone recently looked at a photo and commented, “A weed didn’t have a chance in that garden!” In addition to the vegetable garden , there were prize dahlias, iris, salvia, marigolds, roses and other flowers in beds along the house foundation along the fence and other places.
But the lawn was his pride and joy, attracting passersby and neighbors.You might say he groomed the grass so that it was a plush carpet. More than once my mother called me over to the window saying “Look at your father surveying his estate,” as, hands clasped behind his back, he walked slowly around the property.
At nightfall , my father would take down the flag from the flagpole in the center of the yard, and with help from neighborhood kids or one of us, fold it in perfect military style to be put away until the next day.
——————-to be concluded next week————
Dorothy C. Judd (c) 2017