We left Pinehurst Resort and headed north to visit Janice’s Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret in Harwich Massachusetts on Cape Cod. On the way out to their home, we made a few stops. The first was a stop at Total Wine to get some Fleur de Cana”commie” rum, hard to find and we were out.
Our second stop was another visit to Plymouth Massachusetts, we had visited there before but it was so early in the morning nothing was open so we decided to make a tourist stop.
Our third stop was Barnstable Mass, at the courthouse are two Otis family statues of James Otis and Merci Warren Otis, both instrumental in the founding of this country, and Janice’s relatives.
Janice’s mother was an Otis. Her mother Jeanne and grandmother Helen Otis had done the family tree back to the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. Janice is truly a Mayflower Daughter and Daughter of the American Revolution.
We stopped at Plymouth Massachusetts to see “Plymouth Rock” upwards of a million people visit it each year. The “rock” seems very small and is in a protected area on the shoreline of Plymouth Harbor.
Almost 121 years after the arrival of the Mayflower a 10-ton boulder in Plymouth Harbor was identified as the precise spot where Pilgrim’s feet first trod. The claim was made by 94-year-old Thomas Faunce, a church elder who said his father, who arrived in Plymouth in 1620, and several of the other original Mayflower passengers assured him the stone was the specific landing spot.
They initially tried to move it to the town square. During the move, the rock cracked into two pieces. The bottom half remained in the harbor while the top was moved to square. In 1880 while America, torn asunder by the Civil War, was stitching itself back together, the top of Plymouth Rock was returned to the harbor and reunited with its base. The date “1620” was carved on the stone’s surface, replacing painted numerals.
Given all the whittling and the accidents, Plymouth Rock is estimated to be only a third or half of its original size, and only a third of the stone is visible, with the rest buried under the sand. A prominent cement scar is a reminder of the boulder’s tumultuous journeys around town.
The stone’s physical stature and sketchy historical provenance can be a letdown, but thanks should also be given that a colossal symbol of America has managed to endure.
Of course, we purchased a few t-shirts, John’s old one was at least ten years old.
Barnstable Courthouse on the north side of the “Cape”. Twenty years ago the Otis clan had a family reunion to celebrate the unveiling of a monument at the courthouse of Mercy Otis Warren, there was already a monument for her brother James Otis at the courthouse.
As we arrived at the courthouse on a Friday afternoon, we were surprised about the huge crowd of “Press” waiting outside in the back of the courthouse. We asked one “News Guy” what was going on. He was a little annoyed, he explained he was wired and had people talking in his ear, he calmed down and explained it was the sentencing of an individual that had killed a local police officer and his patrolman’s dog several years ago.
Fortunately, we were totally alone in front of the courthouse where we wanted to photograph the two Otis statues!
Mercy Otis Warren
The most accomplished woman in AmericaJohn Adams
Mercy Otis Warren was a published poet, political playwright, and satirist during the age of the American Revolution—a time when women were encouraged and expected to keep silent on political matters. Warren not only engaged with the leading figures of the day—such as John, Abigail, and Samuel Adams—but she became an outspoken commentator and historian. Mercy Otis Warren was a trailblazing woman who was one of the leading thinkers of America’s Revolutionary and Founding period. A poet, playwright, and pamphleteer—Warren’s ideas influenced John, Abigail, and Samuel Adams as well as Alexander Hamilton and others, and even helped shape the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
“Taxation without representation is tyranny”James Otis
His reputation was built mainly upon his famous challenge in 1761 to the British-imposed writs of assistance—general search warrants designed to enforce more strictly the trade and navigation laws in North America. These search warrants authorized customhouse officers to search any house for smuggled goods; neither the house nor the goods had to be specifically mentioned in the writs. Arguing before the Superior Court in Boston, Otis raised the doctrine of natural law underlying the rights of citizens and argued that such writs, even if authorized by Parliament, were null and void. In harking back to fundamental English constitutional law, Otis offered the colonists a basic doctrine upon which their publicists could draw for decades to come. At this time he also reportedly coined the oft-quoted phrase “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” n James Otis was also a representative of The Stamp Act Congress (October 7 – 25, 1765), also known as the Continental Congress of 1765. It was a meeting held in New York, New York, consisting of representatives from some of the British colonies in North America. The major decision made was that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies to regulate trade.
Lobster Roll for Lunch
After seeing the statutes we decided a little lunch was in order and we searched the phone for a local place to have a Lobster Roll.
We found the Osterville Fish Too restaurant. Since seafood all seem to be priced according to “Market”, we ordered two lobster rolls, not asking the price. “That will be $70 please”. The server said! They were good, BUT $35 each! Welcome to Cape Cod in the summer!
Arrival at Bill and Margaret’s
We arrived at Janice’s Uncle and Aunts house, her cousin Bob was visiting his parents in California while doing some work in Boston. We enjoyed a delightful discussion and planned on meeting for dinner at the Mooncusser Tavern where we were to stay.
Uncle Bill told us that the term “mooncussers” came from a group of land pirates that used bonfires on the beach to lure in the vessels that would crash on the shore. Their problem was when a full moon was out, the vessels could not be lured to shore. The pirates then cursed the moon, hence Mooncussers! This made for a great intro to the Mooncussers Tavern we were staying at.
Mooncusser Legends and Stories About Cape Cod
There are many stories about a land based band of pirates that infested the shores of Cape Cod. These pirates are said to have decoyed vessels on the rocks in the darkest of nights by means of large lanterns and fires then plundering them of everything, putting the sailors to death, leaving the ships stripped and gutted. Historians believe they actually saved the sailors that ships wrecked along the coast then pillaged the ship. Myth or legend, seems one may never know.
We drove over to check-in at Mooncussers Tavern and met the owner, Ana. We told her Uncle Bill’s story and she smiled and said, yes that is why we named the place Mooncussers Tavern. The building was originally built in 1786 and had a large popular restaurant on the first floor with 7 rooms upstairs for guests.
We made a reservation for dinner at 6:30 for Aunt Margaret, Uncle Bill, and Bob. We had a delightful dinner with a lot of old family stories and discussions of the current generations in the family. The food and service were good and we finished it off with a couple of Creme Brulee’s! We said goodnight and went to our room to catch some sleep before golf in the morning!
Golf With Uncle Bill at Cranberry Valley
We had a 10:00 tee time at Bill’s local Cranberry Vally Golf Course. Uncle Bill is 93 and has come close to shooting his age several times and is still a goal. He walks pushing his clubs two to three times a week. He rode in a cart with his son Bob today, but would not ride in the cart down to the tee. He did not want anyone seeing him riding in a cart! Janice walked the course many years ago and it was a challenge, the only reason Bill rode was because he was playing golf with three out-of-shape youngsters!
We headed back over to Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret’s house to bid farewell, we will return to visit soon. It is always a wonderful time with them.
Connie and Lee’s House – Derry, New Hampshire
All the local news was WARNING! WARNING! HURRICANE HENRI IS HEADED FOR THE CAPE!!
The Mooncurrser’s Tavern was literally closed down that Saturday night. Our intention was an early departure Sunday morning from the Cape. We had little traffic and hit a few rain bands on the way to Derry, New Hampshire without experiencing any of Henri’s vengeance! Henri was a Tropical Storm by the time it got up to the Cape and most of the heavy rain went west. As we always say a weatherman’s job is one of few where you can be wrong over 50% of the time!
Connie made a great “boiling dinner” of ham, onions, cabbage, and carrots so we settled in for the night.
Connie and Lee have four types of vehicles. They have work vehicles, day-to-day driving vehicles, pleasure vehicles, and show vehicles. We thought it would be fun to tell you about the fleet!
The current working vehicle is a white 2016 Chevy truck that is set up so they can plow in the winter, the plow is stored on the side of the driveway. The truck was being used that day to take the hedge cuttings to the dump.
The day-to-day driving vehicles are Connie’s 2018 red Chevy truck with only 7,000 miles and Lee’s 2020 KIA Stinger with 2,000 miles.
The pleasure car is a 2006 Cadillac XLR with 33,000 miles, built on the Corvette line in Bowling Green Kentucky this vehicle is sometimes called a “Corvette with Manners”. It does have a Cadillac engine and body but the rest is Corvette. When the top is down there is ZERO trunk space to carry even a small bag, maybe 2 six-packs! The Caddy sits in the garage with the top down ready to go.
The show vehicles are amazing.
Connie’s 1969 Chevy 396 C10 CST, has 40,000 miles. Other than the vehicle being repainted it is all original, a real truck and it is beautiful!
Lee’s 1963 Chevrolet Impala was a GM show car in the beginning It is Serial Number 00004, that’s right, the fourth car built that year. The vehicle was restored, called a “frame-off restoration” defined as a restoration where the entire vehicle is disassembled down to the frame. The car has about 1200 miles on it. Other features include power windows (very rare), tilt steering wheel (the first year for that), factory tachometer (first year), factory AM/FM (first year), and factory A/C. It is one of a kind!
These are a few of the license plates, I think you can guess which ones go with which vehicles!
More Fun in New Hampshire
For Monday lunch the plan was for the best Lobster Roll in the area. There is a restaurant off the beaten path called the Stumble Inn. The Lobster Roll was great and full of lobster, for $16, a bargain compared to the $35 lobster roll we enjoyed on Cape Cod. The rest of the menu was equally good. If you are up in the Londonderry area it is worth your while to stop by. Lunch was dinner!
Connie is a bartender at the local American Legion a few days a week so we stopped by to visit Monday evening. It was a quiet evening with a few members. We enjoyed visiting with them. It was a nice evening.
Tuesday morning Janice and Connie headed up to Lake Sunapee. Janice’s parents are buried at the Sunapee Cemetery where they stopped to pay their respects and then went down to the village in Sunapee Harbor for lunch and to see if there are any new Tee Shirts!
Both the restaurant and the penny candy store were closed on Tuesday. They were always “must stops”! They cannot get enough help so they are not open 7 days a week. The tee shirt store was open, an annual stop! We laugh about the store, each year the quality goes down, the prices go up, and the selection gets smaller. The shop was sold so now half of it is children’s items and the shirts were limited. Things change, so no new tee shirts for the clan.
Dinner was Janice and Connie’s Dad’s (Stanley) favorite dinner. Grilled flank steak with local sweet corn on the cob and potatoes. These were not ordinary potatoes, they were “Stan” Potatoes! Thinly sliced potatoes combined with thinly cut onions and lots of butter, then wrapped in tin foil and cooked on the grill for a long time! They come out a little crispy and melt in your mouth! Enjoyed with a few drinks, the perfect dinner.
Golf with Lee’s friends
Wednesday was golf with Lee and his buddies. They play golf at a 9 hole course, Hidden Creek Country Club in Litchfield NH. John and Janice played with two of Lee’s buddies John and Don, we had a wonderful day, we then stopped for a beer and a bite to eat.
Drive Back to Daytona Beach
Thursday we said our goodbyes to Lee and Connie and started the three-day drive back to Florida. Our goal for the first day was Carlyle, Pa. Friday we drove to Jame’s home in Raleigh and finished the trip about 5:00 on Saturday. As we all know there is nothing like getting home!
Had to share this picture
James took this picture of Liza with her drawing pens, she was making items for her party the next day. She and her friends at school made up what the party was going to be including making a cake, contests, and “pieing” one of the girl’s older sisters!…HA! She is very creative and full of adventure. This picture was so cute, we just had to share it with you!
Great stories about New England. Always enjoy you publications.
Great post as always, yup had to get up to my part of the Country to get screwed for a lobster roll then to my state where it’s much more reasonable for probably a better one, 😎
To bad I would have had you go to my old firehouse where half the guys are fishermen and they have plenty of traps also every Sunday at our beach station in lobster season there is a pot of them boiling and the lobster rolls are to die for, all you can eat for $10 bucks, I could have got you an invite, 😊 So glad you had a great trip.
Great posts….really enjoyed reading the time spent with family members….everyone looks great…not sure what to make of your detour around Williamsburg😢 Our fridge and stickers are now gone🤭 Glad you are home safe and sound.
thanks for reading the blog..see you all soon