Adios Procopio’s

Adios Procopio’s

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

The gas station that didn’t sell gas is going away. The roof came off this afternoon and the tank removal people are pulling the remains out of the ground.

I used to fill my bike tires from the air pump (before they made you pay a quarter for air) and all day long you could hear the ding-ding of the bell that went off when the cars drove in and ran over the pink rubber hoses. Every so often the sweet “ping” of a dropped wrench would come up the street and onto the porch.

Pete Pells was the gas station attendant in the 60s. My grandmother taught him how to swim. Then the Procopios moved in and festooned the place with cardboard signs like “We Mow Lawns.” Mister Procopio was a weight lifter and quite a strong man. I recall a photograph of him towing a B-52 bomber down a runway with a rope held between his teeth. Or something similar.

Now it is all ghosts and memories. Torn down and paved over to provide more parking for the dipsomaniacs at the Kettle-Ho and the weekend crush of Town Dock traffic. They should have dug it up and turned it into a mini-park. I’m glad there isn’t a big tank of gasoline in the ground a few hundred yards from the harbor. I always wondered where the gas and oil drippings went when Mrs. Procopio hosed off the pavement in front of the pumps.

Ospreys are back in Cotuit

Ospreys in Cotuit

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

Walked the dogs down to Handy’s Point on Wednesday night and heard the shrill keening call of a weird bird. “Where have I heard that before?” I wondered.

Looked up and there on the Starter Castle on the point, atop one of the chimneys like an onion dome on a Swiss church, was a pair of ospreys, the sea eagles that cruise the shoreline picking off herring and menhaden.

Neighbors Nicole and Jeremy said their favorite nesting pair are out of luck thanks to one of the neighbors who knocked down their nest. Shame, amazing birds that were not around when I was a kid due to the DDT issues which made their eggshells too thin to support the mother’s weight in the nest. Duxbury resident Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring,” got attacked by the chemical industry,  but made her point, people became conscious of the effect of insecticides on fish and birds, and at some point in the 1990s the birds made their return.

Getting licensed to fish


Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

The discussion on Reel-Time about imposing saltwater fishing licenses on Massachusetts residents used to be one of the most predictable fire-starters of massive flame wars among those piscine libertarians who wanted no regulations to the fish-huggers who wanted everything declared a gamefish and shut off from commercial sale.

This morning my buddy Curt Jessup, guide and Sea-Tow man, posted on Facebook page that there are federal license requirements to be aware of, as well as a forthcoming Massachusetts last year, passed into law by Governor Patrick last November.

Forewarned I went to and filled this out. No charge. I needed to fill it out in the off chance I am more than three miles off-shore in Federal waters looking for mahi-mahi or tuna (which happens a couple times per year).

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