Daily Archives: August 27, 2006

Elizabeth II

After Mass we head just a little east, over the bridge to Roanoke Island, then just a quick jaunt north to Manteo NC. We park close by the marina there, and I’m immediately captivated by a sailboat at the dock getting ready to cast off. And then there are boats and boats and more boats, so much eye candy to view. And then best of all is a short walk over the bridge to Roanoke Island Festival Park, where is docked the Elizabeth II. And she is glorious.

What she is, also, is a replica of a sixteenth century English merchant ship, like one that would have sailed across the Atlantic and landed at Roanoke Island in 1585. This Elizabeth was built here in Manteo beginning in 1982. She was launched in 1983 and formally presented to the state of North Carolina in 1984.

She’s a square-rigged ship, I’m excited to note, but she’s no ship of the line or even a frigate. As I’m talking to our guide aboard her, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on with the yard on the mizzen mast. No, it’s not stowed, says he, as I’m guessing. It’s always like this, rigged fore and aft. It’s for a lateen, and that makes this ship a bark.

Later we tour the encampment on the island, and they’ve got something of a workshop going. There’s a foot-driven lathe made out of a pole lashed to a tree. And there’s a working forge, where the blacksmith makes us a nail right before our amazed eyes. Just before we leave I finally figure out what this one strange bench with contraption is all about. It’s a shaving horse! I grab the drawknife off the workbench and sit on the shaving horse, chucking a random piece of wood in the vise and locking it down with the foot pedals.

Back over the bridge we have lunch in Manteo at the Full Moon Cafe. It’s like utterly Arctic inside, so we sit outside. A badass-looking biker couple arrive to join us outside. I hear the badass biker dude lean over and tell his badass biker chick, “It’s really a cute cafe inside.”

We take a brochure and plan maybe to take a cruise on the Downeast Rover, but the not-unreasonable twenty-five bucks each fare is cash only. We could swing putting it on the credit card, but we’re a little strapped for cash this week, so we make a plan to take this cruise for sure next year.

Finally we drive just a little further up the island to the Elizabethan Gardens.

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Normally at the beach Dawn and I go to the nine a.m. Mass at Holy Redeemer by the Sea in Kitty Hawk. But we’re heading further south this morning to Manteo, so we hit the eight a.m. Mass at Holy Trinity by the Sea in Nags Head. And it turns out to be a lot more charming than Holy Redeemer, just a small building, more a chapel than the big ugly modern Holy Redeemer. And with attendance measured in dozens rather than hundreds, parking is a whole lot easier as well.

Music isn’t so great though. I’ve heard it said that Catholics can’t sing, and we sure do exemplify that today. But other than that it’s a great Mass. Leading us is Fr. Glenn Willis, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales from Silver Spring and who tells us that this is his thirtieth year vacationing in the Outer Banks and helping out in this parish while he’s here. He explains to us that today’s readings are all about making choices.

The first reading is from Joshua, where Joshua gathers together all the tribes of Israel. It’s from the last chapter of the Book of Joshua. Seems like Joshua’s saying goodbye maybe. And Joshua tells them that they have to decide whom to serve, either the old gods or the new gods of the Amorites, or the Lord. Smart people, they decide on the Lord.The second reading is that rather famous exhortation from St. Paul, from Ephesians. Father Willis tells us to concentrate less on the that famous third line, “Wives should be subordinate to their husbands,” and more on the too-often-overlooked second line, where St. Paul tells us that we should all “be subordinate to one another.”

The Responsorial Psalm is yet again “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord,” from Psalm Thirty-Four. Third week in a row for this one. I’m starting to get the feeling that they think this one’s really important. And continuing as well is the Gospel from St. John. Remember last week we discussed how Jesus was being deliberately shocking. This week he goes so far as to ask, “Does this shock you?”

Well, yeah. Kinda. Now that you ask.

Some of the disciples say, “This is hard.” They ask, “[W]ho can accept it?” And in fact many of them don’t accept it.¬†They up and leave and go back to their former ways of life. It’s all about choosing whether to listen and follow, and they choose a different way.

Happy Birthday, Papa!

Edward Francis Wojtkowiak was born this day in 1908.

I see at least from the 1910 census that he lived at 1257 Hamilton Street on April 26, 1910. He may have been born there on Hamilton Street, but I’m not sure. Says that his father’s name was Peter, mother’s was Rose. Peter & Rose had been married fourteen years. Says Rose (and, one assumes, Peter as well) had eight children, six still living: Michael, John, Roman, Leo-something, Julia, and Edward. Seems like Peter and Rose were born back in the old country, although it just says “Ger Polish O,” whatever that means. The kids all born in Ohio. Says year of immigration for Peter and Rose was 1896, about the same time as their marriage, seems to me.

I’m named after him, clearly, although I was dubbed Edward John rather than Edward Francis. I later took Francis as my confirmation name though.

Papa was a grocer and a butcher. Got his start working at Kroger, is my understanding. Got kidnapped once with the payroll. Later had his own store at 1111 Ketcham, where I knew him best. When I was a kid, though, Papa worked for Spangler, a tobacco and candy distributer. All I knew is that my grandfather worked for the candy store. That’s the ultimate in cool for a kid.

Papa died on August 4, 1994. Happy birthday, Papa. We love you and miss you.