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Weary Pilgrim – In Memorium, Fraffie Welch

So we lost a Townie this week – no just another soul, but a fellow Scribe – a journalist of the first order......

To those outside the orbit of Dawn Bucket, she was just another columnist who wrote about the people and the town she imagine what she was to those who turned to her column week in and week out, for decades......she was the magic equivalent of a thousand tin cans and a million miles of string...she connected those who strove to remember the importance of days gone by, seasons to come, and reasons we carry on.....

Allow me to share a memory of an amazing moment in my was the summer of 1966... I was working on the foundation crew of a company called Anderson and Scolari – we spent the summer pouring foundations for what would be Glover Landing....I had the plumb assignment of going down to Brown’s Bakery on Friday mornings and ordering doughnuts and coffee for the those days , Brown’s was on Atlantic Avenue, perched where the opening to the parking lot is to the left of the House of Pizza......

So one morning I waltzed into the Bakery and happened upon a conversation in progress: Mr. Brown, who, as far as I could tell, was about 115 years old, was politely conversing with a women about three years his junior:

″ So, how long have you lived in town?” he asked...

“Well,” she answered, “about 70 years... I raised 4 kids and 12 grandkids here...”

“Oh!, Mr. Brown exclaimed....” A FOREIGNER!”

I turned around and walked out......I mean, what would you do?

It was clear to me at that moment that this was a town of immense history....that pride in this history was the very signature of its residents....whether we knew it or not.

When I was an employee of the Corinthian Yacht Club in the summer of 1967, I used to while away my idle hours on the town beach....where, to my amazement, fellow classmates would spend countless hours playing cards – not just any game of cards , but the game of Whist!

If you are a fan of the historical fictional maritime series about Horatio Hornblower, you will recall that, according to its author, C. S, Forester, the Captains of the Fleet in the Napoleonic Wars spent a great deal of time playing Whist, which was basically an early cousin of Bridge....

So you tell me: How in the Sam Hill did teenagers on 1967 come to play a Napoleonic card game on Devereaux Beach? I asked around, and I got a lot of shrugs.....which is to say, it had just ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY....

This, folks, is History......I dare you to find me another culture anywhere on the world where teenagers play Whist......( and please tell me they still do....)

THIS was the world that Fraffie worshiped...the world she remembered...the world she strove to keep alive in her column..... I don’t resent the Digital World ( okay, maybe a little )....but I accept it is here to stay......but when we lose a Champion of History like Fraffie Welch, I suggest we pause and raise a glass......I shall miss her...and you will too....


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