Spritsail Winter 2017

Reminisce- defined by Webster – “is one of several English verbs starting with re- that mean “to bring an image or idea from the past into the mind.” Others in this group include remember, recall, remind, and recollect. Reminisce distinguishes itself from the others by implying a casual recalling of experiences long past, often with a sense of nostalgia.”

How appropriate a word for the vintage images by Donald Fish often published in the weekly Falmouth Enterprise.
In the winter edition of Spritsail there is an interesting article about Donald Fish,

The Man Behind the Vintage Falmouth Photographs. Mr. Fish has a connection to our library, he is an uncle of Carrie Aiken, Circulation Assistant, and also part-time Circulation Assistant and freelance writer, Christine Lynch, wrote the article about him in Spritsail:
Mr. Fish has some very early connections to the town: he is a descendant of one of Falmouth’s earliest residents, Jonathan Hatch, for whom Hatchville is named, and on his mother’s side, a descendant of William Parker, who arrived on the Mayflower. Perhaps this lineage has some bearing on Mr. Fish’s interest in old photos!

As a youngster growing up in Falmouth, he and his friends would often scour the town dump for bottles to turn in for change. Often they would come across inexpensive box cameras that had been tossed out. Mr. Fish managed to put together a working camera from the discarded parts and so began an avid interest in photography only interrupted by his service in World War II. A self-taught artist he purchased a good quality 35-mm camera and dabbled in moving pictures.
No longer interested in scouring the town dump, Mr. Fish started hunting for historical photographic treasures at yard sales, flea markets and second hand shops. A mentor from the Falmouth Historical Society, Lewis H. Lawrence, encouraged Donald and allow him access to the Society’s archive room.

Mr. Fish estimates his collection to be a “couple of thousands” photographs and stereoscopic slides!
Having designed a personal filing system for his collection, it allows him to find particular images in moments!

Mr. Fish was honored with the prestigious Falmouth Historical Society’s Heritage award in 2015, which “recognizes individuals or organizations who have provided outstanding leadership over time to help preserve the character, culture, stories, vistas or other aspects of Falmouth’s rich history, or have inspired others to do so, resulting in a lasting legacy. “
He hopes to keep his collection privately owned but available for public display and print media.
You can find the winter 2017 edition of Spritsail in the Local History section of the Reference Department at Call # REF LocHist 974 SPR v.31 no.1 Win 2017.


Spritsail Volume 31, Number 1
Winter 2017

Spritsail, a Journal of the History of Falmouth and Vicinity is published by the Woods Hole Historical Collection
The cover story of this issue features “The House That Was,” an article by Maria C. Ward. In December 1905, the fairytale-looking house on Quissett Avenue was newly purchased by Jane Webster from Ella Shearer. With two turrets, a round extension, and many gables in the style of a French Chateau, the property’s address was simply listed as Quissett Avenue, since street numbers were not in existence.
It sat on grounds that in the 1930’s became known as the Webster gardens. The gardens were free and open to the public. Blue flowers dominated and Mrs. Webster, whose husband, E.S., founded the engineering firm Stone and Webster, loved to roam the gardens incognito.
Determined to protect her Quissett enclave, Mr. and Mrs. Webster purchased 45 acres of undeveloped land, as well as the old Ames estate to prevent it from becoming a hotel or resort.
Many gatherings both public and private were held at the house. A 1934 meeting of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society featured as guest speaker Stephen Vincent Benet. In 1932, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, headed by Mr. Webster, entertained 500 garden lovers. Family occasions were also celebrated there, including Mrs. Webster’s 90th and 95th birthdays!
The cover photo of this issue features a grand image of the Webster House on a field of blue, notably called “Webster Blue”.

Friday Reads: Bloodmoney by David Ignatius

The FPL Fiction Book Club, Books on the Half Shell, met this week to discuss this espionage thriller.
The book is initially set in Pakistan where we meet Omar as he watches the devastation and death of his family caused by a U.S. drone –We are then introduced to General Malik, head of the ISI- Inter-Services Intelligence, the intelligence service of Pakistan. He is conversing with Cyril Hoffman, Associate Deputy Director of the CIA. Malik wants to know about “this other CIA organization and their operatives…” Hoffman denies there is such an organization. Well then, who is killing these “unofficial” agents and why? Are Americans conducting covert operations unbeknownst to the CIA? Meet Jeff Gertz, head of a counterintelligence agency known as the Hit Parade. His operatives /agents are, in fact, being killed.
Is there a leak? Gertz asks Sophie Marx, a bored agent with a history of counterintelligence successes to investigate. The action takes off from there is this gripping thriller. Was there a double game?
Ignatius, a Washington Post columnist, paints a very real picture of U.S. /Pakistani relations. Ignatius spent a considerable amount of time in the Middle East, his knowledge of the tribal groups and landscape are expansive.
The Thursday morning book club had a new participant, Bob, who once served in the Foreign Service as a diplomat to the Middle East. His insightful comments and anecdotes added another dimension to our discussion. In addition, Bob knows Davis Ignatius quite well. They were neighbors in Washington! We do hope Bob plans to attend more book club meetings.
Join us on February 15 at 7:00 PM or February 16 at 10:00 AM, we will be discussing the next title in our Espionage series, All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer. Copies of the book are available at the Reference Desk. We hope you can attend either meeting!

Gardens Around the World

“From Winterthur to Versailles; from the spice gardens of old Ceylon to the topiary of Anna and the King of Siam…a trip around the world”

Need gardening inspiration on these wintry afternoons? Please join us for a slide program as Henry T. Callan navigates our journey through “Gardens Around the World.”

Starting at the gardens of Williamsburg, this international tour will take us to the English gardens at Hampton Court, to those of the Palace of Versailles in France and to the courts of the Alhambra in Spain. Then on to South Africa, to the Taj Mahal in India, to the Botanical Gardens of old Ceylon, the summer gardens of Anna and the King of Siam, and finally to Japan to compare the dry landscape gardens of Buddhism to the lush moss gardens of Kyoto.

Please join us on Saturday January 21 at 1:00 PM for this entertaining and informative program!

Free as this presentation is sponsored by the Trustees of the Falmouth Public Library.

To Leslie, On Your Retirement

Dear Leslie,
Wishing you the best in your retirement from the Falmouth Public Library.
This beautiful building at 300 Main Street stands as a testament to all your efforts on the building committee. Your vision and leadership helped create an enduring example of your dedication to librarianship and outreach to the Falmouth community.
We will all miss your terrific sense of humor, your quick grasp of issues, and your patience with both the public and the staff, but especially your strong support of us.
May your future hold only the rosiest of days.
All your staff