Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh Department store in
It’s fun to think back about Christmases past, and at my age, I’ve got a bunch from which to select.
Christmas 1960. We had son John, nearly 3 years old, and now Mark, barely a month old, and we lived in
I was stationed aboard USS Sablefish, a diesel submarine out of Ledyard, Conn. .
We drove to New London to spend Christmas with
Marty’s mother. The whole Medford,
Mass. Boston area was in an especially joyous mood, because a
senator had just been elected President.
The snow came down, and down, and down. There was the trip downtown to
take the kids to Boston at Jordan Marsh
Co….. and putting up the tree. It was a
warm, simple Christmas with two small boys. And a very White Christmas. Enchanted
Christmas 1970, Tehran, Iran, surrounded by wonderful Iranian people who knew nothing about Christmas. Among the westerners there we gathered together to celebrate the season. We went down to the heart of old Tehran to the British Embassy, where an enterprising Persian had assembled fresh-cut Christmas trees to sell. We had a great Christmas!
Christmas 1973, our destroyer had just arrived on the Gunline. This was a station in the
Gulf of Tonkin, off , where U.S. Navy
destroyers provided naval gunfire attacks on North Vietnamese targets. We also helped to provide escort for carriers
operating in Yankee Station. Viet Nam
Christmas 1973, our destroyer had just arrived on the Gunline. This was a station in the
On Christmas eve a helicopter from one of the carriers brought over a huge collection of mail, our first since we had arrived on station. It was wonderful! There were letters and cards from home, and packages of goodies, and even some pictures and videos of the family.
Shortly after this delivery we looked up when we heard the rumble of B52 bombers flying north toward
. This was part of President Nixon’s “Christmas
Bombing”, an 11-day bombing campaign against Hanoi and Haiphong to get the
South and North Vietnamese to return to negotiations for peace. Hanoi
We had a makeshift Christmas eve mass in the Crew’s Messhall, watching a film of a priest saying the mass. We had no gunfire missions that night.
Helicopters aboard an ammunition ship are a Godsend, in many ways.
Christmas 1974, I was at sea again, but this was in the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War. I had taken command of a bright, shiny new ammunition ship, and on her maiden deployment to the
we had been ordered to bring many tons of extra ammunition because of the war.
The Egyptians and the Syrians had attacked Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish year—Yom Kippur—and for a while it looked like they would succeed in recapturing all the land the Arabs had lost in the Six-Day War of 1967.
In those days the
U.S. supplied the
Israelis with tons of munitions and other kinds of assistance, and the did the
same with the Arabs. The USSR Mediterranean was a very hot place to be, with many, many
Soviet and American warships. Our
ammunition ship, USS Mount Baker, had
the task of supplying our aircraft carriers and their escorts.
The Israelis managed to surround one Egyptian Army, and with victories there and with the Syrians, both sides agreed to a ceasefire. But the tension between Russians and Americans continued.
Under that tension, we anchored in the western Mediterranean, in
Majorca, to celebrate Christmas. It was quiet, with good food, but no family.
As soon as we anchored in
the sailors flooded ashore. Then, for
three days, they were stranded, and left to enjoy all that time in various bars
and hotels, until their money ran out. Palma
Since it looked like the weather would be too rough for boating for several more days, I had our helicopters start ferrying the sailors back aboard. It took a long time.
The sailors came aboard, got cleaned up, picked up their pay or borrowed money, and since the very next day was calm enough for boats to run, off they went ashore again.
Then the weather got rough again, and they were stranded, to their delight.
However, it was about time for us to lift anchor and continue on our business, so I had the helicopters haul them all back again.
We had three wonderful Italian Christmases in
1975, 1976 and 1977. Neapolitans
really know how to celebrate Christmas, and it is so low-key, so down-to-earth
that it seems more like the way Americans say
they’d like to celebrate it. Christmas
in Naples is
short on the marketing and shopping, long on the celebration of the birth of
Jesus, and really long on good
Spaccanapoli, the old heart of the city: Via San Gregorio-Armeno
In the “Gut” of
Spaccanapoli, you can wander for blocks amidst real Neapolitans, pickpockets
and other thieves, tourists, and plain Italians. Naples Naples always
has more color and flavor than the rest of , because there’s definitely
an Arab, African and Middle-Eastern influence here. Italy
Here there are many blocks of markets that sell the finest presepes, or Manger scenes, that start with Baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and the three wise men, but then go on and on with beautifully detailed little bread-sellers, wine merchants, beggars, and today, even President Obama! This is a many-centuries old
tradition, and the museum at
Capodimonte, at the top of the city, is filled with rare, exquisite little
people from these scenes. Naples
Some of the detailed objects for sale with Presepes in Spaccanapoli.
(Picture courtesy of sararosso.com.)
Aerial view of
with in foreground. Capodimonte Museum
The Personal Navigator has these books and papers to offer you:
Shocks from the Battery; or Sermons and Sayings by Rev. Benjamin Pomeroy of
(Methodist) Conference with an introduction by Rev. Jesse T. Peck, D.D.. Sixth
edition. 1874. Troy : S.R. Gray , Albany, NY State Street. Sermons and sayings of a
remarkable man, eccentric, bright, powerful. At Camp Meetings he has shown a
wholly unusual power of thought and expression. Frontispiece engraved picture
of Rev. Pomeroy.
To the backslider: "Yes, you are there in murderous blood -- the mark is on you--it's on your feet. How hard you trod Him down when you treated with contempt His salvation! Oh! How drabbled in atonement blood you are! As these blood-spotted multitudes are made to face retribution, I seem to see restrained lightning grow restless and fiery. O, how its forkedness shoots out like adder's tongues -- lurid and red, all tremulous with charged damnation, as if to be avenged on that spotted throng! How atonement blood on feet stirs the vials of wrath!"
300 pp. 14 x 21 cm. Quarter black leather with cloth on board, edges scuffed, very good. (5391) $44.00. Religious
Skinner: "The Christian Lawyer" -- A Sermon Delivered in The Fifth Universalist Church in Boston, February 18, 1855 at the funeral of John C. Danforth, by Rev. Otis A. Skinner by Skinner, Otis A., Rev. 1855 Boston, MA: Crosby, Nichols & Co. A noted
this funeral sermon for a young "Christian Lawyer" who died at
the age of (about) 27. Rev. Skinner
thought that his remarks might be inspiring to other young men, and so offered
to publish this. Booklet contains
tributes to Danforth from Boston
newspapers. 32 pp. 15 x 23.8 cm. Paper booklet, very good. (7915) $23.00.
Socialism: The Nation of Fatherless Children; Second Edition by Goldstein, David and Avery, Martha Moore 1911 Boston, MA: Thomas J. Flynn & Co. 365 pp. + adv. 13 x 20 cm. This early attack on Socialism first appeared in 1903. This edition is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. In preface to second edition in carries numerous scathing comments about the book from the Socialist press. This book shows how Socialists attack society to advance their cause. Materialistic doctrine of Socialism. Origin and Ethics of Socialism Opposed to Christianity. Socialist Tactics. International Socialism. Political Atheism. Free Love. Homeless Children. Abolition of the State. Red cloth on board with white lettering; lettering on spine faded; very good. (2811) $15.00. Religion/Socialism
Thompson, Rev. Otis: Sermon, A, Preached November 29, 1821; The Day Which Completed One Hundred Years Since the Organization of the Congregational Church in
By Otis Thompson, A.M., Pastor of Said Church 1821 Rehoboth, Mass. :
A. Danforth, Printer. 23 pp. 14 x 23.7 cm. Reverend
Thompson (b. 9-14-1776) served as pastor of the Rehoboth Congregational Church
for over 25 years. In this sermon he takes for his text Acts IX, 31, and
describes how Saul of Tarsus was "exceedingly
mad against the saints of Christ Jesus: and acting under the highest authority
in the Jewish church, shut them up in prison, punished them oft.... when they
were put to death, gave his voice against them," Then, on the road to
Damascus, he was "arrested by a
light and voice from heaven... was changed from a blasphemer to a preacher of
the faith which before he destroyed. Rev. Thompson ends his sermon with words
from Christ: "He who is not with me, is against me, and he
that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad." Paper booklet,
bound with thread, moderate wear, good. (7704) $36.00. Religious Taunton, MA
Treatise on Self-Knowledge by Mason, John, A.M. ca. 1830
: American Tract Society. Mason's book of philosophy first appeared in New York, NY in
1745, and thereafter was very widely published.
Nature of self-knowledge; Benefits; How Attained. "The more we know of
ourselves, the more useful we shall probably be in those stations of life in
has placed us." This book came from a collection in the Old
Pearson Tavern (b. 1694), Byfield, MA. 191 p. 9.7 x 15.3 cm. Calf on board with
black enamel title block on spine. Cover lightly scuffed and worn. Small hole
near heel of spine. Owner name inscribed on ffep: "AM Robinson
Book". Very good. (3955) $31.00. Religious. Providence
Trumpet and Universalist Magazine,
August 29, 1840 Whittemore, Thomas,
Editor 1840 : Trumpet & Universalist Magazine.
Lead article: "Renunciation of Universalism" a Sermon by Rev.
Wm. Whitaker, of New-York, from the N.Y. Universalist Union. Whitaker rejects doctrine that supposes that
Jesus Christ is nothing but a mere man. Also, that it undervalues the use of
the means of grace. Thomas J. Sawyer offers his "Statement of
Facts" regarding Rev. Whitaker's Renunciation. At Brighton Market,
price for beef cattle, cows and calves, sheep and swine. Editor comments on
bitter, vituperative letter from Rev. E.N. Harris to Rev. Amos Hitchings,
refusing to publish it. 4 pp. 40 x 56 cm. Newspaper, only minor wear, very
good. (7283) $21.00. Religious Boston, MA
Unitarians: Fourteenth Report of the American Unitarian Association with the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, May 29, 1839; 1st Series No. 143 Nichols, Rev. Dr Boston, MA: American Unitarian Association. Anniversary meeting held on Tuesday evening, May 29th, 1839, in the Berry Street Vestry, the Rev. Dr. Nichols, president, in the chair. Annual report. Tract distribution. Destitute Societies. Missionary Operations. Ministry to the Poor. British and Foreign Unitarian Association. Constitution. List of Members for Life, Clergy and other. Includes Title page for Tracts First Series 132 to 143, but they are not included. 69 pp. 13 x 20 cm. Paper booklet, fastened with stitching. Pages uneven, many unopened. Good. (7675) $29.00. Religious
Universalist, The; and Ladies' Repository;
February 8, 1834 Smith, Daniel D., Editor 1834
Daniel D. Smith. Address delivered at the funeral of Matthew Jasper Smith, only
child of Rev. M.H. Smith of Boston, MA An Address delivered before the First Society
of Universalists in Hartford,
CT. at the Dedication of their
church, June 28th, 1833, by Rev. L. Willis. Excuse for Neglecting Public
Worship-- the fourth excuse is the expense of public worship; fifth excuse is
that many can not keep awake in church. Extract from a New-Year's Sermon by
Rev. T.B. Thayer. The
Trial of Abner Kneeland for blasphemy ended yesterday with a verdict of guilty.
Caution to Mothers, No. 1: "Do not talk about children in their
presence." "..if mothers
exercise care, and proceed cautiously, they will save their children from years
of woe, and adorn their handsome children with that greatest of all ornaments--
'a meek and quiet' which in the sight of God is of great price." Hints
to Young Females. "The sentiment for woman has undergone a change. The romantic passion, which once almost
deified her, is on the decline; and it is by intrinsic qualities that she must
now inspire respect. There is less
enthusiasm entertained for her, but the regard is more rational, and perhaps
equally sincere." 16 pp. 18 x 27 cm. Paper periodical, edges cut
unevenly, good. (7382) $16.00. Religious Danvers,
Universalist, The; and Ladies' Repository;
Warwick's Spare Minutes; or Resolved Meditations and Premeditated Resolutions by
Warwick, Arthur ca.
1850 : Henry F. Anners. First published about
1637, Philadelphia, PA 's
book is dedicated to Sir William Dodington, Knt. Warwick filled this tiny book
with thoughtful words to encourage, inspire and refresh the spirit. 119 pp. 7 x 11 cm. Green cloth blindstamped
boards, engraved frontispiece illustration of meditating 17th century man with
dog at his feet. Very good. (6835)
$33.00. Religious Warwick
Watchman and Reflector, December 29, 1870
: Watchman and Reflector. Lively, intelligent
religious paper set the tone for a straitlaced, sober Boston, MA readership. Long tribute to
Bartholomew T. Welch, D.D. (b. 1794 d.1870) His grandfather was a lieutenant on
United States Frigate Alliance, and his father a midshipman on that same
ship. His mother was daughter of Capt.
Barthol Trow, one of the tea party. Report of celebration Dec. 21, 1870, of
250th anniversary of landing of Pilgrims at Boston . Instead of a bleak, hostile shore,
behold the beautiful town of Plymouth ,
and long trains of Old Colony railroad cars bringing hundreds to this jubilee.
Editorial decries quarrel going on now in Plymouth between two of "our"
political faith, President Grant and Senator Sumner, both Republicans. 8 pp. 41
x 58 cm. Newspaper, uncut, some tiny holes in folds, good. (8176) $27.00.
What is Religion? And Other New Articles and Letters by Lyof N. Tolstoï, Translated by V. Tchertkoff and A.C. Fifield 1902
: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.
Tolstoy (or Tolstoï) conducts a very learned and thought-provoking conversation
in this book. He begins by stating that
religion is no longer necessary, but goes on to develop a much more
comprehensive philosophy than just as an agnostic. Having been excommunicated from the Holy
Synod in New York,
in 1901, he includes in this book his Reply to the Synod's edict. Also
included in "Private Letters" is a letter to a Persian in
which he writes that wars can be abolished only by the individuals who suffer
by them. 177 pp. 13 x 19.5 cm. Dark blue
cloth on board with gilt lettering and gilt Double-Eagle Russian seal.
Ex-library (contains bookplate from Russia
[MA] Public Library). Some pencil marks by key items in text. Good. (3314)
$21.00. Religious/Philosophy Haverhill
Withington:"The Soul of Man" A Sermon Preached at the Tabernacle Church, Salem, Mass. April 22, 1832 by Leonard Withington, Pastor of the First Church in Newbury Withington, Leonard, Rev. 1832 Newburyport, MA: by Charles Whipple. Reverend Withington (1789-1885) preached this sermon on the Soul of Man from the text of Genesis II, 7. Withington, who graduated from
in 1814, was a notable personality all during his long preaching career. He continued his preaching and ministry,
becoming the oldest Congregational Minister in Yale College , until he died in 1885 at
the age of 96. 22 pp. 15 x 24.7 cm. Paper booklet, cover lightly
soiled with edge wear, fair. (7917) $26.00.
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