Tag Archives: Connecticut

Candy .65, Toothache Drops $1.65 11

From My Mother Mary’s (1970) Journal:

Next A.M. July 21

left for Massachusetts after breakfast at Pennsylvania Dutch Pantry ($7.85). Mileage 54,636 4 gallons of gas at 34.5 cents. Drove over the Hudson River and had to pay for it! (.50).

Entering beautiful Connecticut, it seems more populated than south N.Y. state. Hills with boulders are pretty. Much greenery. All this lush, rolling countryside is such stark contrast to the ghettos on Independence Ave. in Washington D.C. There, we saw many, many colored men just sitting, doing nothing during working hours for everyone else. Why? Most colored people we came into contact with were haughty and indifferent, even as we were quite nice to them. Also noticed on our long walk back to the car in D.C. that colored people walking toward us on the sidewalk would walk between us, pushing us to step into the gutter. Why would they do this to children? We saw most of the guards at the Smithsonian were colored. What happened to the whites there? Do any whites actually live in D.C.?

Here in Connecticut there is such nice scenery. They are doing much work on the interstate in N.Y. and some here in Conn.

We entered Massachusetts at 12:25. Toll on Massachusetts Turnpike was $1.25. Ate in Old Sturbridge. On to Glenn’s (my brother) house on Ipswich Rd. Set up camper in their yard for the kids to stay in.

July 22 Wednesday

Driving in to see Boston. Stopped for film ($5.54) and boy’s haircuts ($4.00). Mystic Bridge Toll was 25 cents and another 25 cents to get out. That’s what I call making money – what else are people going to do to cross the water in their cars but go over the bridge?

Lunch charged ($17.85) at the Red Coast Grill.

Arrived in Boston but kept going in circles through the city. Mad house traffic with Crazy drivers AND people cutting in front of us. Stopped to go into Esso filling station bathroom, 10 cents to get into the toilet and the bathroom was filthy!! We were looking for a way to see the famous tower where the lights were flashed (One if by land and Two if by sea?) We kept passing it but there is NO parking. After an hour of driving  Robbie double-parked and asked a policeman directions to the U.S.S. Constitution.

Found a parking space and toured the ship. Interesting place, steep steps and watch your head, still free to get on. (see photos on Photos of 1970 Vacation PAGE)

Really tired of Boston with its terrible traffic and horrible one-way streets and no signage. On to Salem.

Went through “witch’s house” which is really the judge’s house who condemned the girls at the Salem Witch Trials. ($2.00) Then on to the House of Seven Gables. ($4.85) That tour included two other historic houses. Well worth the drive over to Salem.

souvenirs ($6.84) Jon’s incense (.72) cold drinks (.50)

July 23

On Thursday we washed clothes, ironed, kids went swimming in pond, then we all drove over to Ipswich.

At Ipswich we went to a barn-like structure that jutted over the bay. We bought 8 lobsters and quarts of clams to cook for supper. Caroline cooked and Glenn cleaned them. They were delicious (eaten with drawn butter).

Ice ($1.75) car part ($3.51) groceries ($24.00) cashed a $50.00 check, hair cut ($2.25) lobsters ($12.55)

July 24

Friday kids went fishing in A.M. Gave G W and Beth a dollar each. We left at 11:10 driving towards Maine.

mileage: 55,098 bought 14.9 gallons at 41.9 cents = $6.20 stopped for gas, coffee and toilet fee (.31) Tolls leaving Mass (.50)

at Kennebunk, Maine our total mileage used was 3,580. At Rockport, Maine mileage 55,205 Toll 75 miles into Maine ($1.90)

Stopped at Wildwood Private Park, Acadia National Park, Maine. ($2.62) Wooded park. Lunch stuff and bug spray we purchased at a little shop ($6.45) 2 rolls of film ($4.79)

July 25

Cool at night here. R was up all night with a toothache. Stopped at a seawall when the tide was in and Jon saw sardines (herrings) swim. Had to buy an alternator for the car in Ellswaite, Maine ($35.46) groceries for lunch, etc. $6.54. Mileage 55,382

Another night at the park ($2.62)

July 26

Left at noon on Sunday. We stopped at the seawall again and the tide was out. Stayed there an hour looking at tidal pools. There were starfish. Walking on sharp rocks. Picking up kelp, pretty rocks, shells and sea urchins, snails, and other tiny marine life. What a place this would be with a microscope! Took some mementos (hope they don’t smell up the car) and drove on.

Ate a fine lunch at a restaurant overlooking a bay. (4 Cove restaurant S.W. bay charged $19.75) Watched 3 lobster boats going out with bright orange things on the front of the boats. A mist wouldn’t let us take pictures. Kids had 1/2 lobster, Jon had steamed clams. I had lobster salad. Enjoyed fresh strawberry shortcake, too. Left at 2:45 to drive off the island and up to Bangor (toll .35)

Stopped at a Howard Johnson’s Hotel and got the last double room available. Ate supper at the H.J. restaurant there. All our green salads had grit in them. R still suffering from bad tooth. Toothache drops ($1.65) Candy for kids (.62)

Serial Peeping

English: A view of the break-action of a typic...
English: A view of the break-action of a typical double-barrelled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen. Photo taken by Commander Zulu, April 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While reading “The Anatomy of Motive” by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to the “peeping tom” from my old neighborhood.

Back in the seventies, I lived in a one-bedroom duplex with three other girls on the East End. I am modest to a fault but in those days probably more so because I remember getting dressed in the bathroom. So I don’t believe I was ever a victim in this story. The duplex was tight living quarters for four girls. I slept on a mattress in the living room. The kitchen had a stove and a refrigerator. The stove had two burners that worked. I remember making my specialty – bean stew – in a crock-pot. The only reason I remember the incident of the bean soup is because we all got sick from it. Sorry, Roomies.

Late one night, one of my roommates slunk into the living room and turned off the light. “Becky,” she whispered. “I just saw a shadow on the curtain.” The other roommates were out and the two of us were alone. I glanced out the curtains and didn’t see anything. She was clutching her throat, a gesture I’d seen her do before when she was truly frightened.

I tried to reassure her. “It’s just someone trying to scare us.”

“No, I’ve seen the shadow before. But this time, I could see more. Someone was watching me undress.”

When the other roommates returned we discussed all of our options. In the seventies in Houston, calling the police would have resulted first, in the policeman calling us “little ladies” in as condescending a manner as possible, and secondly, our never actually seeing a result, a report, a follow-up, nothing. Instead, we called three guy friends who lived a street over, told them there was a “peeping tom”.

They hatched a plan that involved sitting in the bushes outside our window with a flashlight and a double-barreled shotgun.

The next evening the four of us girls couldn’t decide if we wanted to put extra curtains up or dress with the lights off when suddenly, there was a shout, and a KA-BOOM!

Outside, one of our guy friends was sitting on the stoop, with his head in his hands. He told us what had happened. The three of them were in the bushes well hidden in shadow when they saw a fourth guy stealthily slip up to the window and stretch to look. Our guy friend pointed the flashlight at the stranger’s head. The peeper turned. The guy holding the gun yelled, and apparently was so startled he pulled the trigger. Luckily, the shotgun was pointed at the sky.

The peeper took off down the street in the dark, the rest of our “watchers” after him. The shooter, our friend told us, was startled because the peeper was someone we all knew, from church.

The end of the incident went like this. They guys caught the peeper when he tripped on some railroad tracks. They took him to the elders of the church who told him if he ever peeped again they would have to ask him to leave the church, and it would be their civic duty to report him to the police.

The peeper moved away. That might be an unsatisfactory end of the story, but it wasn’t the end. The end being far more unsatisfactory.

A few years later. Still the Seventies. Same neighborhood. I was living in a little bungalow next door to another friend. Her’s was a large house converted into four apartments. She lived in the downstairs left corner apartment.  The peeper, for that is how I thought of him, lived above her. One evening while relaxed in her tub, she was staring at the ceiling and saw a board slide across what she had thought was an old hole. She quickly dressed and called the police.

The police came but told her that they couldn’t do anything because the “peeper” wouldn’t answer his door. She would have to come downtown to fill out an incidence report. She did. They told her that because he hadn’t touched her, they couldn’t do anything.

A few weeks later, the girl in the apartment across the hall from the peeper, was brushing her hair and saw a movement behind her in the mirror and turns. The peeper had scaled a pole and was looking in her window.

Police said they couldn’t do anything.

The peeper moved away. All the secret passageways he had created in his old apartment included not only the crawl space between floors but holes in walls and floors of the attic.

We thought that was the end. That wasn’t the end.

Fast forward to the Eighties. I was attending a different church and was having a church spaghetti dinner at my apartment on the other side of town. It was Houston,  a big town. Guess who shows up? I told the peeper if I ever caught a hint of a breath of his presence in or around that church or anyone in that church I would reveal all.

So while reading “The Anatomy of Motive” where the writer talks about the “peeping tom” being one of the early steps of a downward progression into serial rape, I wonder about the peeper I knew. Where is he now?

And while I haven’t seen anything of him in these past twenty years I wonder, has he seen me?