Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

Beginning of Spring

For me, the beginning of Spring is when I take the snow shovel from the back of my car and take the boat ladders to the boat yard. The first day of Spring was Sunday.

The Mighty CHARIAD is behind a pile of boats wrapped in plastic. A little group of our gang moved the ladders from Arlington and nudged CHARIAD to wake her from winter hibernation. A few hardy boat people were in the yard that beautiful Sunday but not many.

We cannot have a large team of CHARIAD folks come to the yard for a day spring boat work and keep “social distance.” I hope we can make several small group efforts work over the next couple of weeks. The yacht clubs are closed, and sailboat racing is on hold until we have more of an “all clear” signal – probably a couple weeks away.

Experiencing an Historic Moment

We are experiencing an important historic moment. We are coping with working from home, a job loss, kids at home, a sick relative or friend, or fear and loneliness. We are also experiencing a moment that will be remembered in history. After the shots fired at Lexington and Concord, and the British march back to Boston, people who had witnessed that day knew something important had happened and they wrote about it in their diaries. Much of the history of that day survived because those witnesses to history recorded their experiences.

In that spirit, here are a couple observations.

Shayna Loeffler, a core member of the CHARIAD community has made over 300 masks and distributed them to friends and neighbors in Arlington.

Shayna sewing masks during COVID-19 lockdown

Yesterday, was Boston Marathon Day – Patriots Day – in Massachusetts. There was no Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon Patriots Day 2020 during COVID-19 lockdown

This was the finish line on Boylston Street, Boston, at 1 PM on race day, yesterday.

Boston Marathon route during COVID-19 lockdown

This is the scene looking across the finish line towards Hopkinton and the starting line.

Challenge Quiz:  Write an essay or poem about walking across the Boston Marathon finish line yesterday. Reflect on thoughts about the day without thousands of runners and cheering crowds. Could be thoughts about your experiences over the last month or thoughts about the history of the finish line as a metaphor for our era. Bombings, runners, pandemic, etc.

If you have a good essay or poem, send it in for extra points.

Last Friday morning, I wanted to experience the early senior shopping hour at the local Stop and Shop. I went to the Medford store at 7 AM. A few over 60 types were in the store but not many.

Empty paper goods aisle at grocery store during COVID-19 shutdown

Many of the shelve were empty including food shelves – certainly no TP or soap. I bought a few things and got in my car to drive home. I went by Wegmans, also in Medford. At 7:45 AM that Friday morning, cold!, there was a two block long line of 20 and 30 somethings waiting to go into Wegmans. No one at the Stop and Shop less than a mile apart. Analysis?

Over the last week, the “regulators” have imposed tighter and tighter restrictions on what we can do. Some make sense and some do not.

Route 1 Lynn and Swampscott with orange barrels preventing parking near the ocean

This is Rt. 1A in Lynn and Swampscott with two MILES of red barrels preventing parking adjacent to the water. This is two blocks from Gov. Baker’s home. When I ride my bike through the park area along the Mystic River, I see the piles of doggie poop bags collecting is areas where there used to be receptacles for the poop bags. The dog walkers are still picking up the poop, but the poop bag receptacles have been removed.

Parks areas are taped off with CLOSED signs. To keep kids from playing hoops, they close the whole park.

History is a relative term – Yesterday, the spot price of a barrel of oil was -$40 dollars – MINUS $40. Buyers of oil were willing to pay Saudi Arabia $40 to take a barrel of oil back. If that is not history, I don’t know what is. We don’t have any place to go in this era of Zoom cocktail parties. Who needs oil.

If we were not awash in C 19 Breaking News (aka, nothing important is happing), oil would be the historic moment we were amazed to be experiencing in our lifetime. The irony is that we are at an historic inflection point in energy economics when the cost of solar and other energy sources is equal to the cost of oil. Because the “flattening of the curve” is over a decade, we are not aware that we living through this historic moment in our economic history and it is not Breaking News!

OK kids – I will stop there. Write about how you are experiencing the C 19 historic moment. If you have a good poem or essay, share it with this community. This is how history is written.

Be well and be safe. Spring is here. We will soon be free.