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 Page 8 

THE MAY 2011  



By Carlton Hendricks


16 pages - 16,521 words - 33 photo pages

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Harvard Square and  University grounds

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Leavitt & Peirce 

Tobacco Shop

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Basketball Hall of
Fame, Springfield MA

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Harvard University Sports Trophies at Murr Center

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Yale Univ. Trophy Room
at Payne Whitney Gym

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Museum of 
Fine Arts Boston





PICT1571_1200x900.jpg (223371 bytes)After I finished my visit to Harvard I headed over to the Harvard Square area for dinner and more looking around....and walked into a major bonus!...As I strolled around I saw a tobacco shop called Leavitt & Peirce. The store front and interior appeared 19th century...I may have vaguely recalled hearing about it....or maybe it was intuition...but out of idle curiosity I stepped in for a quick peek and BLAM!!!....I hit the jackpot!!....phew!...It was pretty much like a Harvard trophy room...As I gazed thru the store in amazement there was tons of ancient Harvard sports relics...oars, photos, trophy footballs galore. 


They had the coolest little balcony loft area for playing chess you climbed stairs to that protruded over the counter area and PICT1562_1200x900.jpg (178996 bytes)looked out over the PICT1558_1200x900.jpg (202900 bytes)store. It was probably about 4 foot wide....and about 20 foot long....It was great, like something that wouldn't pass code today!...It had small tables for playing chess and the wall was packed with 12 foot long trophy sweep oars and team photos....Very clubby....It looked like something out of Sherlock Holmes...Here was the Harvard I wanted to see ....ancient....nearly crusty....



I feigned like a tourist and asked the clerk Paul J. McDonald if he was the owner and had he collected all the stuff himself...Yes hePICT1560_1200x900.jpg (203007 bytes) was the owner, but no ...the memorabilia had been there since the turn of the century or earlier he said....kind of like, are you kidding...I kept up the dumb tourist act and just smiled and said "Oh that's nice"...I figured I'd go into who and what I was doing there latter....I didn't want to disturb my focus past that right yet.....I just wanted to bask in it all for a while...Finally after I got the overload out of my system I came clean...I gave Paul the owner my card and asked him if it was OK to take photos for a story...Sure he said...and I cut loose with the camera. Below is a link to all the photos.


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The following day was Saturday and I had two very important things to do....sleep in...and pack my Brimfield finds. Getting antiques home across the country is something you play by ear; the more fragile the more hassle. The most ideal waySandwiched.jpg (349910 bytes) is to bring an item directly on the plane, which depends on the size, what it is, and the airline. In this case I had a bunch of large flat pieces. I didn't want to trust them to a packing store so I decided to cube them. By cube I mean sandwich between layers of 1" thick foam board, which is very time consuming.  


So there I was on my vacation....in a Home Depot parking lot cutting up foam board...not what I wanted to be doing on one of the few days I had free....then run to Staples, buy tape gun, tape, butcher paper, etc....then back to my hotel room and turn it into a packing room with the $60.00 worth of packing material. Just how I wanted to spend my day...But what else could I do, it had to get done.....What good is it to buy antiques if they get damaged...I knew once I got them packed up the right way they would be safe from pretty much anything....Then I could either mail them home or pay $35.00 to the airline for an extra bag and get them home with me. I ended up mailing it figuring the airline would tear it apart inspecting it and all my careful packing would be for naught. 





So after all that...by the time I got to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston it was about 3:00PM. Which gave me about 2 hours to tour the museum. How did I do it? By slowing down....the complete opposite I had just finished the previous four days!!...For one thing there's nothing to buy, you're not leaving with anything...you're not at a show....there's no competition, nobody to edge you out...you're just look'n...Somehow right as I started my tour I realized all that and I just took my time and took it all in and had an excellent visit. It felt a little strange but peaceful. Of course it helped I only wanted to see the American art which is but a small part of the MFA...But what a part...I just cruised and looked and read with no reason to rush...reasoning I'd much prefer closely observing a few works and getting to know them than seeing all of it in a meaningless blur...It was a good decision...it was the most meaningful visit I ever had to a museum. I so wish I could show you the 32 photos I took but the MFA wouldn't allow it...The ones of George Washington especially!



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