I arrived from South Station by taxi. The driver was a friendly Egyptian Chemistry student who told me all about his plans to return to Egypt and work in the oil industry around the Red sea. Things at home were a bit frantic at points, and obviously sad. But the following pictures will show my home town of Milton, some of Boston and family and the final trip out to Williamstown for the burial.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral. My dad converted to the Orthodox Church of America in his 50’s. There were two services there, one Friday night and one Saturday noon. I can’t really do justice describing the “panikhida”, but it was intense and beautiful as well as brutally honest and of a marathon nature.
After the Saturday service most of the extended Carter family met up at my cousin Tamara’s house in Cambridge. She and her husband Philippe were excellent hosts. Above I pose with my cousins Chris and Peter. It’s been a long time since we were together. I’m wearing a St. Mark’s school tie in memory of my dad. The service featured the St. Mark’s hymn in accordance with his will, he worked for many years on the board of the school. Peter, Chris and I all attended, as did Michael below and many other Carters throughout the years. Preppies.
My dad’s brother Michael and his sister Alice.
Tamara, Liza and Betsy.
I think I’m trying to scare a small child.
After the gathering Betsy and Ken and I went back to her childhood friend Jackie’s house in Boston. That’s Jackie’s excellent husband Mike looking at their new dog. That’s one sweet dog.
Jackie has mostly forgiven me for shooting her with a pellet gun when we were teenagers.
Betsy’s friend Lyca came down from Canada to support her. Notice the comfortable furniture. I haven’t had such an enjoyable and relaxing evening, in the sense that I had zero responsibility for children, in a long while.
Ken, Betsy and Jackie. Ken is a great brother in law.
Lower Mills, Milton. The Baker chocolate factory has been converted to condominiums.
Looking down the Neponset.
Taking a picture of Ken taking a picture of the marshes.
Our old family cat’s gravestone.
On the way to Williamstown for the burial.
Betsy eating an orange in the limo.
The rectory. Notice the horrible modern addition attached to the back.
It’s owned by Williams College now.
My Great Grandfather John Franklin Carter, 2nd rector of St. John’s church, brought up his family of seven children in the rectory, later it was divided into apartments and my grandmother lived there until her death. It was always home port for his numerous offspring, my dad grew up for much of of his childhood there, and was able to attend Williams college because of his residency in the town.
For those who have a passing interest in turn of the century Williamstown I heartily recommend my Great Uncle John Franklin Carter, Jr.’s book “The Rectory Family”. I spoke with the current rector, Rev. Peter Elvin and he confirmed that it is still required reading for all rectors of the church!
The rear rose window and panels of are dedicated to my Great Grandmother Alice Carter’s memory.
The front panel is dedicated to my Great Grandfather.
Always nice to see your name in lights.
The rose window.
This is what passes for a main drag. I started to understand why my dad left for the bright lights of Boston.
Betsy on her phone.
Again, on her phone.
The lobby of the Williams Inn.
Remember this old style of room key?
It really was a confluence of vintage and tacky…
The morning of the burial I had breakfast by myself in the dining room.
Real maple syrup and Cabot butter.
It snowed a couple of inches in the night. So I walked around and took some more pictures.
Everything looks better in the snow.
Except a parking lot butted up against a church.
The burial service was held at the family plot in Westlawn cemetery, just down the block. Afterwards I walked back to the inn with my sister and cousin Deb. It was picturesque.
Ron picked us up in his limo for the ride back to Milton. He drove my dad a lot after he stopped being able to drive himself. A great guy and good driver.
More pictures to come of the next day’s walk around Cambridge and Boston…