BOSTON — A grand day. The conclusion of the annual conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists always is a morning business meeting of the entire membership, at least those who don’t have especially early flights back home.
I grabbed My Beloved Wife (MBW, not to be confused with BMW, one of which she once owned as a single gal) immediately on adjournment so we could take a subway train to the Kennedy Presidential Library.
Excellent presidential collection, not too heavy on the love. There also were rooms concentrating on Jacqueline Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, along with space on Edward Kennedy, implying his space would grow at some point. I appreciated that Jackie spent some time as a newspaper photographer and columnist. Not only that, but hanging in her room was a cartoon she drew while Jack was a senator, washing his socks in a hotel room sink. MBW and I could emphasize, and pleased that even the born-rich don’t send everything to the hotel laundry.
We’ve visited the Clinton and Johnson libraries so we had a baseline on impartiality. They’re not, but all included controversies and crises. The impeachment is noted at the Clinton but not so much the Starr Report. MBW also has seen and loved the Carter library.
The Kennedy is especially extraordinary in its architecture, by I.M. Pei. (On Wednesday, June 28, we enjoyed Maine’s Portland Museum of Art, designed by a partner of Pei), In Boston’s, you don’t feel like you’re on a boat, it’s just evocative of the best of sailing, more of a dream of grandeur and floating.
We returned to downtown for a tall-ship sunset cruise into Boston Harbor, with enough time to walk in to a Legal Seafoods and make reservations for 8:45. The boat was solid, the crew friendly and encouraged not only questions but participation. After being coached to yell “Ho” when a skipper cries “Heave,” I hoisted the foresail and MBW a Chardonnay.
We had a few minutes before dinner so we stopped at the nearby wall of the New England Aquarium, as it was mostly a glass side of the seal tank. Great idea: Passers-by are lured to pay admission by seeing at their eye level some five cute seals swimming about. We walked to another side of the outdoor exhibit and read four male and one female seal lived there and originally there had been two. The aquarium seemed large, but if you were a seal accustomed to an entire ocean, maybe not. We saw two seals front to back and looked around to make sure no small children were there. We realized it was three seals that close to one another. Were they cramped? Were they bored? Was this what you saw when you linger at a zoo’s primate exhibit for more than five minutes?
Well, yes. All three seals it turns out were more gay than happy.
Look at the time. Let’s move on to the restaurant. -30-