Thursday, April 29, 2010

Downtown personality remembered with warmth

(from The Rutland Herald)

My Dad died this past Saturday. This article appeared about him in the local newspaper. I've disabled comments for this post.

By STEPHANIE M. PETERS STAFF WRITER - Published: April 27, 2010
On nice days during the spring, summer and early fall, Peter Mock was a fixture downtown, tending sidewalks and aiding business owners from behind a large sidewalk vacuum, always with a smile.

He quietly and proudly went about a job that for many would be an unpleasant chore. Mock considered it a duty.

"If people ask me why I do it, I tell them, 'For the sheer joy of knowing the downtown is clean,'" he told a reporter in July 2001. "I get asked that question a lot."

Mock died unexpectedly at his home in Clarendon on Saturday at age 60 – news that on Monday stunned the downtown business owners and employees whom he'd come to know.

"Its sudden and it's shocking," said Michael Coppinger of the Downtown Rutland Partnership, which employed Mock. "He will be sorely missed."

"We had been talking about the possibility of having the Partnership take over the maintenance of the train station and having him work year-round," said Bonnie Hawley, of Hawley's Florist and the Partnership. "It wasn't just a job to him. He cared about what it looked like downtown."

A native of Hanover, N.H., Mock owned and operated shoe-repair shops in Rutland and Middlebury prior to taking the job at the Partnership in 2000. In an interview in 2001, he said he took the sidewalk maintenance job as a way to ease the passing of his father and get into shape.

He also expounded on the ins and outs of the job, including the problems that could arise with the hefty, high-powered parking lot vacuum he usually pushed during his five-hour shift, and the one form of litter he wouldn't contend with – "bird doo."

"Peter just had an amazing initiative to do what needed to be done," said Mary Ann Goulette, former executive director of the Partnership. "He took on everything himself, never asked for help and never questioned anything."

Along the way, Mock also lent a friendly face to the downtown, Goulette said. He would greet or nod hello to most passers-by, as well as stop and talk to those who worked in the stores lining Center Street and Merchants Row.

"It takes years to get the kind of rapport with business owners that he had," said Tim Billings, who has managed Clem's Café for the past year and frequently stopped to talk to Mock.

Perhaps one of the merchants Mock came to know best was James McNeil of McNeil & Reedy. The two men first met about 20 years ago, when Mock owned a shop on State Street, McNeil said. In his most recent capacity, Mock would stop to talk to McNeil about everything from buying local, his preference for tea instead of coffee and the brooms he purchased annually at Aubuchon Hardware, to wintering in Florida, which he would do about a week after his seasonal job with the Partnership ended, McNeil said.

"He was just a funny guy," McNeil said. "And he did a good job."

Friday, April 23, 2010

No! No! No! No! No!

I loved playing "Punch Buggy" growing up. I begrudgingly accepted that the game slid over on to the new Beetles. But this...HAS...TO...STOP!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

We recently got a new student in our homerooms. A very nice girl who in all excited eagerness asked me earlier this week what I was going to do for Earth Day. I told her I was going to celebrate by burning some tires in my backyard, toss a few six pack plastic holders into the ocean and turn on every light in my house. She looked aghast! I'm not sure she gets my humor yet.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Optical Illusion Monday!

A slightly freaky one -- notice how the images seem to rotate when you're not looking straight at them…

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yankees Infield Earning More Than 16 Teams

The Yankees' starting infield will earn $85.2 million this season.

That is more than the entire payroll of 16 teams: Atlanta, Rockies, Orioles, Brewers, Rays, Reds, Royals, Blue Jays, Nationals, Cleveland, Diamondbacks, Marlins, Rangers, Athletics, Padres, and Pirates.

New York also has the four highest-paid players in the game this year: Alex Rodriguez ($33 million), CC Sabathia ($24.2), Derek Jeter ($22.6), and Mark Teixeira ($20.6). John Lackey ($18.7), at #12, is the only Boston player in the Top 25. Last year, the Yankees had six players in the Top 25, while Boston had none.

(copied from Joy of Sox, the BEST Sox blog out there)

Monday, April 12, 2010

160 Greatest Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes


Do you love Arnold Schwarzenegger? Do you yell his movie quotes at random throughout the day**? Do you have 10 minutes to kill? Then this little video might be for you....

**I must admit that I always find myself yelling "Screw you, Benny" when I am using my drill in a particularly difficult situation.

I also can't figure out why all my YouTube posts are off center.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Just Need To Get This Out Of My Head...

Everything works out in the end. We are all fine. We are all in our bed tonight, holding each other but the events are running through my head and I just need to get it out.

So today is Easter. Not a big day in our little family. However, this year, Nancy accepted an invitation to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner. As it is for every family, get togethers can either be awesome or extremely frustrating. Well, besides the ham (I hate ham!) this one went pretty well.

I enjoyed sitting with my great aunt Dot Jones (who at 88 is my oldest living relative and the last of that generation in my family). I visited with my cousins Lee and Marc and their families, as well as my cousin Lars' wife Susan and her youngest. Heck, even my father behaved himself.

We stayed a little longer than we intended but were so thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Leaving I made a wrong turn and we had to back track. Those sort of things changed the afternoon.

Driving north in Bristol, Vermont on Burpee Road, I was approaching Plank Street.

(I think I am including the map for thoroughness)

There was a car on Plank, travelling west in an attempt to cross Burpee. I noticed the driver only looking to the north.

She didn't look in my direction. Not once. And she didn't stop at the stop sign.

It took my mind a moment to realize that she was not stopping. I couldn't understand what I was seeing. And then I needed to decide what to do. It's one of those moments where everything goes through your mind at once. Do I try to slam on the brakes? Do I swerve? Do I punch it? Where is everyone sitting?

I decided to swerve and accelerate. Get ready to hit the horn and move along on our way.

I swerve around as she comes into the road. I start to breathe a sigh of relief as I think I have cleared her.

Then she hits us.

Our car is turned sideways, perpendicular to the road, facing the cemetery on the eastern side of the road. I hit the brakes and try to regain control of the car. I start to breathe a sigh of relief as we start to come to a stop.

Then we start to roll.

Nancy claims I said "We're going over." I'm not sure if I did. But then everything starts to move in slow motion.

I see the road coming up towards my window. I see a cup of water tumble and fall. Suddenly I am showered in dirt (at the time I distinctly remember thinking of that scene in the firstSuperman movie where Lois Lane is trapped in the car as it fills with dirt....though in reality it was only a small bag that contained some dahlia bulbs that my grandfather had grown.) There is a loud noise as everything not anchored down finds a new place to be.

And we stop. I think "I need to turn off the car." The key wouldn't turn. I realize I need to put the car in park. Surprisingly calm, I do so. Both Nancy and Logan say that they are okay.

I try to figure out what to do. I unbuckle and tell Nan to stay in her seat and I will take care of Logan. His buckle is jammed. The window next to him is shattered. He is so brave and so calm.

I unbuckle him and show him where to put his feet.

I try to open the sliding door that is now above our heads but it won't open. I know now it was only a few seconds of trying but at the time it seemed like a half hour. (I later realize that Logan usually sits on that side of the car but today I put him behind me.)

I move to Nan's door and open it. I realize that it is not going to stay open. I see someone's hands on the frame trying to get to us. I tell them to get back and shut the door. I roll the window down (sideways?) and push Logan up and out.

We get Nan unbuckled and get her up. The car is so precarious. The undercarriage is hot. She is a little bit dazed. She gets down and I hop up. Two men brace the roof so that it will not roll that way and two others brace the underside. I jump down and run to Nancy and Logan and we embrace.

I keep it together. Rescue people are on the scene so quick. A witness who was behind us shares her thoughts (and tells us she was coming home from spending the weekend in Massachusetts with her brother who is in ICU!)

I turn to look up the road at the car.

Nan says I commented to the EMT that I did not know that we had a spare tire underneath the car! Susan and my Aunt Anne come upon the scene and help keep us calm. My Aunt Sue called Lauralea (who teaches kindergarten in the town I used to teach in) who lives nearby and she came down. My dad was called and came back.

Eventually the state police came and the trooper verified my story through two eyewitnesses.

(Logan's toys and books on the road amidst the broken glass)

Dad took us and we followed the wrecker so we could empty the car. The man suggested we take the plates because we "won't ever see it again."

(The car getting flipped back up)

So now we enter the phase of dealing with insurance companies and making do with one car for a little bit.

But we are all safe. We are all together. And that is all that really matters.

Opening Day

Game 1: Yankees at Red Sox: Tonight at 8:05 PM

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