February 22 - 1934: Orleans citizens are Methuselah-like

1925: Famed illustrator and author Edward Gorey born on this day. 2007: Joan Kennedy's trash or treasure? Jackie warns Joan. Coast Guard remembers Cape Cod helicopter crew lost a sea
Jackie O's letter to Joan K on the auction block in 2007.

1934: Praise for longevity of 'biblical proportions' among 'Orleanals'

New motto: "Come to Cape Cod and live as long as you please"

On this day in 1934, as expressed in an editorial titled "Cape Cod" in the Morning Herald of Philadelphia:

Whether it is cranberries or the succulent Cotuit or the tonic quality of the tea shoppe industry that may account for it, the fact stands that longevity as achieved by the inhabitants of the town of Orleans on Cape Cod is of virtually Biblical proportions.

Had Methuselah been an inhabitant of the Cape he would doubtless have exceeded even his own tidy record of nine hundred years, since the average age of the Orleanals appears from the record to be seventy-four. Once you pass twenty-one on the Cape you have a more than even chance of seeing a comfortable eighty-five or a ripe ninety, unless "The Boston Evening Transcript's" correspondent errs.

In an admirable article some months ago in "The American Mercury" Jonathan Norton Leonard opined that Cape Cod was the last place in America where individuality was not penalized and where authentic eccentricity flourished, and if this is the case - and it probably is - it may be that the reason for longevity on the Cape is simply that life is worth living.

Not being hectored and badgered by the fatuous design

Not being hectored and badgered and regimented by the fatuous design of high-voltage civilization, the Orleanals, their gastric juices unimpaired by the spectacle of the social, political and economic times and their being nourished on oysters that rank among the finest known to this world, continue peacefully and happily toward ultimate but postponed disintegration.

Next to its cranberries and oysters, the Cape's most characteristic asset is what has been described as its "loud-speaking indifference." Directed against the discordant tempo of a brash and unmellow age, this indifference would seem to be a quality which should interest the statisticians of the life insurance companies.

"Come to Cape Cod and live as long as you please" may soon be a motto exploited by up and coming Cape chambers of commerce.

1925: Famed illustrator and author Edward Gorey born on this day

The famed illustrator and author Edward Gorey was born on February 22 in 1925 in Chicago.  Zany and macabre at times, Gorey excelled in all things artistic from writing and illustrating to set and costume design.

He is perhaps best known for this illustrated creations including "The Doubtful Guest" and "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" and his animated intro to the PBS series "Mystery".Edward Gorey House, Yarmouth Port, MA.

A well-known recluse, Gorey lived in Yarmouth Port until his death on April 15, 2000.  Following his death, his home on Strawberry Lane was transformed into a museum honoring his life and works. The museum features permanent and special exhibits depicting Gorey's work. The Edward Gorey House is also dedicated to supporting a cause close to Gorey's heart, animal welfare.

A new generation of fans were introduced to Edward Gorey when America got a peek at local American Idol finalist Siobhan Magnus' tattoo depicting "The Gashlycrumb Tinies".

(Above: The Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.)

2007: Joan Kennedy's trash or treasure?

Relics found in storage set for the auction block

On this day in 2007 a pair of terrycloth hand towels embroidered with a pink-and-orange monogram is going for about $500. A canvas-covered life ring with a hemp rope bearing the fading name Victura is up for about $5,000. Two handwritten letters, one with incendiary allegations, are on sale for about $7,000.  A Connecticut auction house that hopes to sell the items this weekend says they are relics from Joan B. Kennedy's multimillion-dollar home in Hyannis Port, which the former wife of US Senator Edward M. Kennedy sold in 2005...

Panagopoulos said his company (Alexander Autographs) already has received dozens of bids for the memorabilia, which include Jacqueline Kennedy's old hand towels, a life ring from John F. Kennedy's sailboat, Victura, and letters Jacqueline Kennedy wrote to Joan while she and the senator were experiencing marital turbulence, he said.

(Photo on right is of Jackie Kennedy's camera which was also auctioned.)

2007: Jackie O to Joan K: Rein In Your Man

A $7K letter between two Kennedy women

Kennedy buffs rejoiced this day when what's thought to be the biggest-ever cache of JFK and Jackie O memorabilia was heading to auction, including a racy letter from Jackie to Sen. Edward Kennedy's former wife, Joan, urging her to rein in her wandering hubby, a life preserver from JFK's sailboat Victura, and the former first lady's own 8-mm movie camera. We've noted auctions by Alexander Autographs before, but this one, online February 24-25 is really rich. Just consider the Jackie-to-Joan letter, worth an estimated $5,000 to $7,000.

In the unsigned letter, Jackie tells Joan to take charge of the family and balk when Teddy spends too much time with his siblings or worse. "This is the 20th century-not the 19th-" she pens, "where little woman stayed home on a pedestal with the kids & her rosary." The best part is how the goods became public. Seems a former helper recovered the items from Joan's Cape Cod home and put them in storage. But she forgot to pay the bill; the stuff was auctioned off, and the top bidder is cashing in.

2007: Coast Guard remembers Cape Cod helicopter crew lost a sea

Four died in 1979 crash during rescue attempt

On this day in 2007, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod remembered four shipmates who died in 1979. A wreath was dropped into the sea from a Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter in remembrance of the crew of the HH-3F Pelican helicopter, the CG1432.

The Pelican crew was lost February 18th, 1979 during a rescue attempt 260 miles southeast of Cape Cod. While attempting to perform a medical evacuation from a Japanese fishing vessel, the weather started to deteriorate.

The helicopter lost power and was forced to land on the water. The heavy seas quickly overturned the downed aircraft and only one crew member was able to escape. Each year, the members of Air Station Cape Cod remember their fellow Coast Guardsmen lost nearly 30 years ago, by laying a wreath at a memorial on the air station or in the sea.


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