Showing posts from July 18, 2010

Anne Hutchinson the fabulous

Anne Hutchinson: she was born in Alford, Lincolnshire (U.K.) in 1591, and died in Pelham Bay, New York in 1643.   Anne’s father, Francis Marbury, was a Church of England clergyman.  He was one for whom the reformation of the C of E seemed incomplete, and he longed for yet more purification of the Church. He was not afraid to challenge authority, and for his pains was imprisoned for two years, for questioning the judgement of his superiors. Marbury was able to reconcile himself with an incompletely reformed Church, and became the Rector in Alford.  But he was contemptuous of some of the Elizabethan Bishops and for that crime he was forbidden to preach, and subjected to house arrest.  He made sure that Anne and her sisters were well educated, (by him, and at home, for there were no schools for girls).He responded positively at Anne’s inquisitive mind. Marbury’s suspension having been lifted, he was appointed to a parish in London.  Anne was fourteen years old when she (and her family) left…

An hiatus

My good friend David Foster (the realtor who worked with me to purchase a home in Sarasota in 2006) came for dinner tonight.

He arrived a bit early, and stayed later than I had planned.  That was fine -  I enjoy his company!  But I did not get to complete what will be a longish blog about a fabulous woman - Anne Hutchinson.

I went entirely off diet and cooked pork ribs with baked beans for dinner.  It was good "comfort food" on this overcast and rainy day.

You'll get my take on Anne Hutchinson tomorrow.

Dorothy the disrespected

Diana Mitford wrote, when she compared her lot to the other women incarcerated at Holloway. "It was still lovely to wake up in the morning and feel that one was the lovely one,"

(I meant to include that comment in yesterday’s blog. It tells us something about the vacuous thinking of many members of the British aristocracy)


“I never said most of the things I said”. These are the words of the famed American baseball player and manager “Yogi” Berra.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) could have said the same. She is mostly remembered for her wit, and for her cutting comments, but not all of the ones which are quoted are from her voice!

Here are a few of the genuine "Dorothy Parker" quotations:
“Brevity is the soul of lingerie”. 
“I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know that I’d be darling at it”. 
“If all the girls at the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn’t be a bit s…

Diana the Dreadful

Most Britons of my age and up are aware of the (in)famous Mitford sisters.  Many Americans of my age and up are aware of but one of them Jessica, who wrote the book entitled “The American Way of Death”. There were six Mitford sisters: Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah; and one brother, Thomas.  Their mother, Sidney (yes that was her first name) Freeman-Mitford was a proto-fascist, and an early admirer of Ad-lph Hitler.  Their father David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale was a lifelong Conservative, but never a fascist. Mother and father separated and lived separate lives because of their irreconcilable political differences. Thomas Mitford was a fascist sympathiser, and a lover of German culture.  He served in the U.K. Army during WWII, but requested that he be assigned to the far-East as he could not bear to think that he would have to shoot at Germans.  Tom was killed in military action in Burma. Unity was more than a fascist sympathiser, she was a full blown N-zi. …

Three women: Mosley, Parker, Hutchinson.

My recent reading has taken me to biographies of women whose names I knew, but of whose lives I knew little. 
They are Diana Mitford Mosley (2003); Dorothy Parker (1967); and Anne Hutchinson (1643).
The dates in parentheses indicate the year of death. 
As it happens those dates also indicate the way in which I think of these women - in reverse order. Thus it is that I have little respect for Diana Mitford Mosley, more respect for Dorothy Parker, and enormous respect for Anne Hutchinson.
I believe that these three women “stood against the crowd”, for good or for ill. 
At a time in history when women are once again being subjugated by the religions of terror (i.e. Fundamentalist Islam and Fundamentalist Christianity – [there is not much between them]) I believe that it is vitally important that we should learn from those women who have made a difference.
I will write more about Lady Mosley, Dorothy Parker, and Mistress Hutchinson in the coming days.

Remarkable young men ( 2)

I wrote yesterday about Mike Cachat, a parishioner in Pittsfield, who is about to be deployed to Afghanistan. He was more or less a contemporary with another Pittsfielder, about whom I now write.  His name is C. Derrick Jones.I met C. Derrick Jones in 1984 when I moved to Pittsfield to be the Rector at St. Stephen’s Parish in that City.  His Dad and Mom (Chauncey Jones and Grace Sawyer Jones) were active members of the parish.  Derrick was then aged 14.  He was a likeable, but somewhat shy, or reserved young man. Four years he  went off to the University of Vermont, and spent his summers working with maladjusted young men in the Berkshires.  It was then that I began to admire him.
Mom and Dad eventually divorced, (these things happen).   Grace S. Jones became my Junior Warden at St. Stephen’s. She went on to have an illustrious career in higher education, and is now the President of the Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.  She and I had dinner together last March when I was …

Remarkable young men

As is the case with most pastors, I have met some remarkable people in various parishes.  Today I have been thinking of two of them, both from St. Stephen's, Pittsfield. (They happen to be men -  but there are also so very many women who are in my pantheon of praise)

There is Michael Cachat.  There were so  many things which were "against" Michael in his early days, but thanks to a fabulous mother, a good step-father, and his own integrity  (forged in the "school of hard knocks"), Michael Cachat is a man whom I admire greatly.

There was a story about him in the Berkshire Eagle newspaper today.  I hope that you will be able to recover it at

 If this link does not work go to  and search for the story entitled "Friends say farewell, wish safe return for National Guard sergeant

I am so scared for Mike and his family. He will soon depart for this war.

I think that the war is both en…