Vacations on Cape Cod

16 Washburn Avenue, Auburndale, Mass., 1985Miss Ring was a librarian in Boston. When we bought the house in Auburndale [16 Washburn Ave.], she was part of the deal. She got to keep her room in the house.

When Tad/Junior and I were about nine or ten years old, she invited the two of us down to a house in Chatham that belonged to her sister. They were two spinsters: Miss Ring was thin and her sister was stout. Her sister had been married, but her husband died. She had also lost a son in World War II.

Tad and I played in the ocean with an inner tube. I remember that eventually my chest hurt from rubbing against the rubber.

Eventually Miss Ring built a house right beside her sister’s. I’ve gone back to try to see those houses, but I’ve never found them.

Otherwise, I only remember coming to the Cape three or four times and mostly for day trips. There was no Route 6. We came down over the Bourne Bridge and followed Route 28 the whole way. I was so car sick that my father had to pull over on the bridge, so I could vomit out the window. The only thing I had to rinse my mouth was Coca Cola in a bottle.

Chatham Bars Inn, courtesy of Chatham Bars InnOne Fourth of July, we drove down to Chatham, but it was so cold and foggy we could only get out of the car for a few minutes. We got back into the old black Pontiac and wrapped ourselves in a blanket. Most of the family was squashed into the car, so that I, being the smallest, only had a corner of the back seat bench. I was so uncomfortable.

Another year, Betty took a job as a waitress at the Chatham Bars Inn, where they allowed her to practice at the grand piano every day. One of the guests heard her and arranged for her to play a concert for all of the guests. The family drove down for the concert. I think she played the Warsaw Concerto.

story told by Steve to Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter), July 2014

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • What was Miss Ring’s first name?
  • How long did she live with the family? What library did she work in?
  • What year was the house on Washburn Avenue purchased?
  • Can anybody else add details concerning other Cape Cod trips and when they were taken? Photos?
  • What year did Betty work at the Chatham Bars Inn?
  • Was Steve correct? Did she play the Warsaw Concerto?
  • What year and model was the black Pontiac? Does anyone have a photo of it?

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