Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Do you remember the milkboxes that sat by our doorsteps?   Such a common item.  I was rather surprised to see one in a MUSEUM recently.  Good grief!  Am I getting old?

I took this photo to share with Danvers readers because it reminds me of another story from my youth. Stay tuned.   I had planned to write my August column about another raccoon...  But now the milkbox story has my attention.

[My column about Aunt Millie and the milkbox was published in the Danvers Herald August 5, 2010. See Milk box holds surprise for Aunt Millie.]

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paw prints

The day before we said goodbye to Danny Coon, we invited him to sign the family guestbook.

For clearer images of raccoon paw prints, visit   http://www.bear-tracker.com/coon.html

I remember Danny's paw prints all over the dark blue linoleum on the kitchen floor, especially when he had been eating Pablum baby cereal, which was very sticky.

Three years later, Rackety, our second coon, left paw prints all over my father's station-wagon.  In the early morning he'd walk in the dew on the top of the car. Then he'd push open one of the small ventilator windows (if it have not been locked shut) and walk around inside the dusty car, leaving muddy prints!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Raccoon photos

Here are some photos to accompany the columns I have been writing this summer about baby raccoons:

I carried this photo in my wallet for years (note fold line).

Another saved photo from my wallet is much older, from the summer of 1953.

I am at a day camp at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, a place of many happy memories.

My friend Jonathan Caron is holding a young raccoon that probably belonged to the nature camp.

Here's an early photo of Raquety, a coon I found and raised in the summer of 1960.  I named him Rackety because of the sounds he made.   His cries caught my attention. At first I thought I was hearing a bird call, but the insistent cries continued to come from exactly the same spot, high in a tree outside my second-floor bedroom window.  He seemed stuck and in need of help, so I sent my father (with tall ladder, gloves, big bag...) to the rescue. Daddy was not happy about this, neither was the baby, who backed away and fell off the branch, landing stunned on the ground. I picked him up and gave him a temporary home in Danny's old cage.  This time we kept the cage outdoors and left the door open, so Rackety was free to come and go.  He remained with us for at least two months.  

Young Raquety 

Rackety in a travel bag
One of my favorite pictures captures the moment that my mother tried to introduce Rackety to her horse, Sherry.  Rackety wasn't so sure about this...    

Locust Lawn barns in the background, and between them a boat rack.