Saturday, 16 June 2012

Sunday shennanigins

June 17th  Supply Priest at All Angels, Longboat Key, FL

June  24th  In Atlanta for the ordination of my friend Tracy Wells Miller

July 1st At Cathedral, St. Petersburg,  FL for “Pride” service and brunch

July 15h Supply Priest at Good Shepherd, Punta Gorda, FL

July 22nd  Supply Priest at All Angel’s, Longboat Key, FL

July 29th  Supply Priest at All Angel’s, Longboat Key, FL

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Close encounters in Paris and Porter Square

On 3rd August 2002 I officiated at the wedding of Kristen Harris and James Nerich at St. James’s in Porter Square, Cambridge, MA

The service itself was both reverent and joyful.

The reception was a blast!  It began with a Parrott Head (Jimmy Buffet) theme. Then half way through the event, the entire wedding party changed into Boston Red Sox gear.

Then James and Kristen set off for a three week honeymoon in Italy and France. By nice happenstance they found themselves to be on a ‘bus tour in Italy with an old friend of mine, Jessie Hale. She (now deceased) was the widow of the Revd. Sam Hale, a colleague in Fitchburg MA.

A week after the wedding I set out for a vacation in France.

On the penultimate day of my holiday I took the Parisian Metro to St-Michel/Notre Dame station to get my bearings for a day of walking in Paris.  I sat myself down at a cafe on Quai de la Turnelle, ordered a cafe au lait, looked down the street.

Lo and behold, there they were, walking towards the cafe: Kristen and James on the last day of their honeymoon.  Giggles and glee all round.  "Whoda thunk it".

When Kristen and James got back to Logan Airport Kristen’s Mom asked “how was your honeymoon?”. Kristen’s first words were “we saw Michael Povey in Paris!”

Last Saturday, June 9th Kristen hoved up to Porter Square, Cambridge from her home on nearby Fenno St. When she got back home she said to her Mom  (they have upstairs/downstairs apartments) “I saw someone in Porter Square who looked just like Michael Povey”.

Yes, twas I.

If I had used the crosswalk instead of jay walking I would have spotted Kristen.

If Kristen has allowed her voice to overcome her mind (seeing is not always believing), and called out we would have had a hug fest.

Close, but no cigar eh?

Kristen, James and Kristen’s parents have decided to start a new game.  Not “Where’s Waldo?”, but “Where’s Michael?”.   They think that I am likely to pop up in all manner of places.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Private enterprise. Private/public cooperation. Public subsidies.

1. Jet Blue staff runs a fine company.   It was a pleasure to fly with this airline.
The staff were as “people centred” and friendly as one could imagine. Boarding the plane and leaving it was made easy.   I am sure that Jet Blue planes give more leg room to each passenger.  The first item of checked baggage is “free”, and there are next to no add-ons. Each passenger has her/his own T.V. screen with twenty or more channels.  Jet Blue offers free snacks and (non-alcoholic) beverages. Jet Blue represents free enterprise at its best.  Would to goodness that other airlines were as savvy.

2. Tampa International Airport is one of the best.  It is laid out so beautifully and simply. Parking is simple and inexpensive ($9 per 24 hours in the economy lot). This airport has clear signage, and very easy access to departure lounges via  automated “trains”.  There are no long walks.  TPA is a superb example of public/private cooperation. It would not exist sans both the public and private dollars which built and maintain it.  Just imagine the “mess” if each airline had to build its own airport.  Only “government” (so maligned by Tea Party and Republican Party ideologues) makes places such as airports possible

3. Public transportation can be superb -  kudos to the MBTA. Certainly the ‘T’ treated me well for two days, and it was incredibly inexpensive. My trips from the airport to the Porter Square ‘T’ station, and from Porter Square to Providence RI (and back) via the Red Line and Commuter Rail were as easy as one could imagine, and far cheaper than if I had rented a car. This was possible because the MBTA is underwritten by tax dollars. I give a big cheer for public (taxpayer) subsidies for public transportation. Those subsidies enable “ordinary folks”  to  get to and from their places of work, and/or to visit their family members and friends.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Boston's "Pride" Parade 9th June 2012

Even though I happened to be in Boston on 9th June 2012 I could not attend the Boston Pride Parade  ( i was en route to Providence RI for lunch with the beloved Dr. Grace Jones, a friend of mine from Pittsfield, MA days).

But here are some wonderful pics of the Episcopal Church contingent in that Pride Parade.

The Episcopal Church contingent

Bishops: Shaw of Massachusetts (left) , Robinson of New Hampshire (centre), Lane of Maine (right)

Bishop Robinson greets a parader.

St. Cyprian's (Roxbury) Steel band outside the Cathedral in Boston.

The extremely cool Bishop Barbara Harris in a red sports car (1)

Here she is again

Monday, 11 June 2012

As good as it gets with friends in Cambridge MA and Providence R.I.

Off I went to New England on Friday.  A sixty-five minute drive from my home to Tampa International Airport  (one of the best designed and organised airports in the country), then a three hour flight to Boston using Jet Blue (an extremely efficient and friendly airline).

From Boston’s Logan Airport I used public transportation to get to Porter Square “T” station, a mere 12 minute walk from the Somerville MA  home of my hosts, the Revd. Laurie Rofinot and her husband Patrick Michaels, together with their daughter Marion.

The “T” is what folks in the greater Boston area call the subway system.  It derives from the old MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority), now called the MBTA  ( Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority).  Strictly speaking the nickname “T” belongs to buses, ferry boats, commuter trains, trolleys and subways, but for most folks in the greater Boston are the letter “T” refers principally to the Subway system).

As I emerged from the very deep Red Line T at Porter Square (three escalators from the tracks to the surface) it began to rain.  “No problem” I thought “I have an umbrella”. But this was not a gentle shower, it was a torrent which blew every which way, and against which an umbrella was useless. I was soaked to the skin within a minute.

Laurie Rofinot drove from her home to rescue me. I had but one pair of pants (trousers) – the pair I was wearing - so upon arrival at the Rofinot/Michaels home I hung around in my pyjamas whilst my shirt, trousers and underwear took a few spins in the dryer.

Then the fun began. Dr. Michelle Holmes (Breast Cancer Researcher at Harvard Medical School), her husband Derrick Jackson (Boston Globe Columnist) and Canon Steve Bonsey (staff member at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston) joined us for a super dinner, and lively, witty, and at times very serious table talk.  It was a sparkling evening.

Next day I took the ‘T’ again to South Station where I boarded a Commuter train bound for Providence R.I. There I had a leisurely lunch with my dear Dr. Grace Jones.  Grace was a parishioner and Junior Warden in Pittsfield.  She is now the President of Three Rivers Community College in Norwich CT.  She drove from Norwich to Providence so that we could be together.

Then it was back to Boston on a commuter train (it was a double decker, so of course I sat on the top deck).  Incidentally the round trip fare (senior citizen rate) was $7.70 -  a bargain by any means.

I had time enough to stop by and visit with octogenarian St. James’s parishioners Ken and Mary Holmes (parents of Dr. Michelle Holmes). Ken is a WWII veteran – he fought in the tough Italian campaign.  He and Mary have been married for 58 years.  You could not hope to meet a sweeter or wiser couple than they.

Pat, Laurie, Marian and I moseyed down to Harvard Square for dinner at “Fire and Ice” –a restaurant where you pick out a selection of veggies, fish and meats, together with a sauce of your choice, and then watch as it is grilled before your very eyes.  Carol Hilliard, (another wise woman) who was Senior Warden in my St. James’s Days joined us. ‘Twas another time of great conversation and good fellowship.

Then it was up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning so that Laurie could drive me to the airport in time for me to get the 8:20 a.m. “Jet Blue” flight back to Tampa.

Once home I was greeted by a melodramatic, prima-donna-ish, exuberant performance by my dog Penne. She was glad to see me back.

Sunday, 10 June 2012


Back safe, sound, and happy, from my visit to New England.

It was a lovely trip.

Details soon.