Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bourne, Fishing And Stan Gibbs

Bourne is a nautical town. We are where the state decided to put her Maritime Academy. We're the first clam shacks and fish huts you see when entering Cape Cod. We're named after a guy who was named after a harbor... in fact, the harbor may actually be named for him, I've got to Google that some time.
Not only are we surrounded by water, we're divided by water. You can't go from Sagamore to Pocasset without dealing with that Canal. However, Bourne residents love their little man-made ocean river, even if it sort of curses us with gridlock every weekend.
One of the reasons we love our Canal is that it has some superb fishing. It is essentially a river between Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay, and all sorts of beasts (fish, whales, squids, sharks, tunas, dolphins, seals, and even, as far as we can tell, at least one bear) swim through it. You can make a case that, once accessibility is factored in, the Cape Cod Canal is the best surfcasting spot in Massachusetts.
If you had the right tools and the necessary will, you could fish a LNG tanker out of that Canal. It would require Herculean strength and Napoleonesque game-planning... but if it could be done, the Cape Cod Canal is where you could be doing it it. It is also the only place that a particularly deft surfcaster could snatch the cap off of a millionaire from 100 yards away as he piloted his Sea Limo through the Canal. You actually get a bench along the Canal named after you if you do that, it's in the small print of the Town Charter.
And if anybody could have pulled that off, it would have been Stan Gibbs, but we'll get to him in a second.
Those fish have filled many a tummy over the years, as the locals soon figured out that the Canal was essentially a Fish Funnel that could be tapped again and again and again. Her reputation grew, and it is now a Grade A surfcasting spot. 
A celebration of that Canal would be very problematic without Fishing placed up in the front row. After that, Natural Beauty and Ease Of Transporting Goods, the Canal sort of becomes a Catastrophic Traffic Issue... and, in an emergency of the right sort, a veritable Line Of Death.
But enough of that talk. We're talking about fishing today, and we're celebrating the Sea Dog, the surfcaster, the angler, the old salt... The Fisherman. 
A state stands in Buzzards Bay.. It honors the fisherman, and it has a very clever Rembrandt/Hemingway sort of title... The Fisherman.
The statue was funded via donations from private citizens (mainly the Stan Gibbs Fisherman’s Classic Fishing Tournament people), and it stands 10 feet tall. It was made by Hyannis sculptor David Lewis, and was bronzed in Arizona. It is placed near Buzzards Bay Park, by the railroad bridge. It will be surrounded by roses, fountain grass, and will even have a compass rose. As near as I can tell, the statue will be "aimed" at Sagamore.
The text reads:“The Fisherman. A tribute to past, present and future striped bass fishermen of the great Cape Cod Canal, inspired by local fishing legend Stan Gibbs." It cost $80K.
The statue depicts Stan Gibbs, and a famous photograph of Gibbs served as the model for it. I'm not the one to make the call on whether Gibbs was the best fisherman ever on Cape Cod and the Islands (I'm pretty sure we are where Quint and Captain Ahab are from, at least Movie Quint), but he certainly owned the Canal.

Gibbs was born in Easton, but the sea drew him to Sagamore. He was a giant man, but also a creative man. He became world-famous for the fishing lures he created, many of which (Polaris Popper, Casting Swimmer, Pencil Popper, Needlefish, and Darter) are still being copied and mass-produced by whatever companies make fishing stuff. His family (I think) still runs the business he created out of his love of fishing, Gibbs' Lures.

Check the Salt Water Fishing Lures Collection Club convention, at the Canal Room of the Trowbridge Tavern in Bourne.... just off the Bourne Rotary. It's going on today.
He also pioneered the use of numbered poles to mark his fishing spot. To this day, Canal anglers will say "254 was on last night" and so forth. I was completely unaware of this before I went out the other day and started bothering local fisherman.
Bothering the local anglers also provided the meat of this Story Sandwich... his legendary accomplishments. All legends need mythology, and Stan Gibbs has some amazing stories floating around about his skills. The possibility that locals were teasing a girl with ridiculous fishing stories can't be disregarded. I welcomed that, to be honest. Stan's dead, by the way, so he wasn't feeding me this stuff himself to sell lures. Primary sources are excellent and essential for real history, but they only get in the way of Legend Building. 
Here is what I've heard about Stan Gibbs, and mind you that I wasn't out collecting stories that long:
- The state catch limit on stripers is known as the Stan Gibbs Rule.
- Stan's record for Speediest Catch was 17 seconds, and that included beaching it.
- At least 20 people told me that Stan could cast completely across the Canal if someone put a C Note down on him not being able to do so.
- Stan knew the Canal's bottom well enough that he had names for certain troublesome spots.
- Stan not only fished during Hurricane Bob, he executed a 120 yard cast into the teeth of the wind. When he was casting with the wind at his back, he was somehow catching deep-sea fish.
- On a dare, Stan could snap-cast and hook a fish like an arrow shot if he had a clear visual and it wasn't windy. It required a special spear-lure that Stan refused to produce commercially.
- Stan could fish holding poles in each hand, and often did so just before Good Fridays during the Depression if the Salvation Army was planning a big supper. See "catch limits," above.
- Not only did Stan never tangle his line when fishing near others, but he could disentangle crossed lines with what I will describe as the same hand motion you use when winding up to shoot some dice.
- Stan didn't catch and release every fish in the Canal once just to intimidate them, but he liked to propagate that rumor once he started selling lures. He did it skillfully, of course. "Customers are just another fish, dear...."
- Stan was fishing for bait, caught some, and started reeling it in. A schooly striper than struck the hooked herring, in the process impaling itself on the hook. Most fisherman would have reeled that score in, but Stan- who had done it 20 or 30 times before- waited and waited... and a bluefish attacked the striper. Stan then reeled them all in, and had them for supper.
- The hat-off-a-millionaire story was actually told to me about Gibbs, but more in a "he casted so well that he could have..." manner than as something he actually did. They do say that he had a collection of Mister Howell-style hats in his shed that was completely out of context in comparison to his other trophies, but that he never ever ever answered questions about them.
- The shark you see in the New England Aquarium was caught by Stan, on shore, with a holiday ham as bait. He had a friendly boat haul his bait out a half mile, and Stan handled the rest.
- When Stan tired of eating fish, he would sneak up near The Seafood Shanty or wherever and surfcast a cheeseburger off of the plate of a tourist. He did it enough that the various clam shacks would comp meals if this was claimed by a customer, no questions asked.
- A guy accidentally dropped his keys into the Canal while swimming in from a boat. He had only a rough estimate of where they fell into the water, and the current was strong. Local kids immediately fetched Stan Gibbs. He weighted down a treble hook, asked the unfortunate soul about 3 where/what/how far questions, and then fished his keys out of the Canal on anywhere (I heard this story a few times) between 1 and 20 casts.
- Stan once hooked a Mako Shark in the Canal, fought it for 9 hours, brought it to the rocks, slapped it in the face, and let it go."Tell the others my name..." he was rumored to have whispered to it. This act- done the summer after a fatal shark attack in Buzzards Bay- is credited by some with the lack of shark attacks on humans in this area since. I think the shark who bit the guy off of Truro a few years ago was European, and he fled town the instant he heard that this was Gibbs Country.
- "Stan" is translatable to "Satan" in Striperese.
- The first thing you actually learn as a fish when you join one of those schools is to Not F*** With Stan Gibbs. The second thing you learn is "Swimming."
- I won't say with any certainty that touching the Fisherman statue before you go fishing brings you good luck when you're fishing, but I will say that it certainly can't hurt your chances. I was raised by Catholics, and thus have a very keen understanding of superstition and so forth. I want dibs on that if people start doing it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Wings Neck

Wings Neck doesn't have an apostrophe, and I checked more than once. It's a peninsula, which is actually a typo away from being a dirty term describing "a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland."
As near as I can tell from the Wikipedia, the big difference between a Peninsula and a Cape is that a Cape manifests itself as a marked change in the trend of the coastline. Essentially, Bourne to Provincetown is a Cape via her right angle hook, while the more Mexico-aligned Baja is a peninsula.
I think that Cape Cod is technically two Capes, with one running from the mainland to Chatham, and the Outer Cape sort of caping off of the Cape.
Keep in mind that I majored in Accounting when I am telling you all this stuff about Geography. I actually confuse Geography with Geology and even Geometry now and then, which is why I am rarely obtuse with people.
Wings Neck is a notable point where Buzzards Bay begins to narrow into the Cape Cod Canal. It is across the Buzz from Stony Point in Wareham. It's not as narrow as the Mashnee Neck/Codman Point bottleneck, but it's pretty narrow. If you've sailed north into the Cape Cod Canal, you passed Wings Neck on your starboard side.
It sort of sticks out from the mainland like a wing, hence the name. I'm guessing, and there could be some guy named Wing who may have a legitimate grievance with me.
The area was of regional importance before the Cape Cod Canal was dug out. The swampy area was rich in Iron, and the Pocasset Iron Company was powerful enough to greatly increase shipping traffic. Shipping into Wareham and Bourne/Sandwich had also increased heavily. Wings Neck merited a lighthouse by 1849. The original light was 50 feet above the water, and it cost a look-at-how-they-spend $3,251.
The first keeper, Edward Doty Lawrence, ran it almost uninterrupted through 1877. He was briefly removed in 1854 for belonging to the wrong political party. His daughter married the Keeper who followed him. John Maxim, who both replaced and preceded EDL as Keeper, was killed at Gettysburg.
Other notable Keepers were George and William Howard. The Howard brothers were noted lifesavers, and they saved 37 lives in their time running Wings Neck. One of the reasons that a U-Boat never attacked Bourne is that the Germans feared retribution from the badass Howard brothers.
It has a very lengthy history of lightkeeper's wives being the assistant keepers, doing the shift while hubby slept. At least one keeper's wife is famous for saying a prayer over her husband's newly-dead corpse, and then going up to run the light and clang the bell before the town doctor had pronounced him dead.
There was an 1878 fire that led to the 1889 construction of a new light, which had all that fancy stuff like a 1000 pound fog bell. They even floated an assistant keeper's house across the Buzz from Mattapoisett in 1923. It went from a fixed to a flashing light in 1928, and converted to electricity in 1934. This light was 44 feet above the water, and was visible for 12 miles at sea.
Wings Neck was once docked at by the US presidential yacht,Mayflower. The keeper, Wallace Eldredge, did a 21 gun salute with the fog bell for President Warren Harding. 
As a private residence, it once played host to the Von Trapp family of The Sound Of Music fame. Since former President Grover Cleveland vacationed in Bourne for many years and was an avid fisherman, he was most likely very familiar with Wings Neck. This is a ridiculous amount of clout for a literal backwater area where maybe 500 families live now.
Maps from vintage times show Wings Neck as a hazard to navigation, and it only got worse when the Canal traffic started floating by.
The lighthouse ran from 1889-1945, when it was deemed unnecessary following the construction of the Cleveland Ledge light. They then put up this Cape Cod Canal monitoring station in the picture above.
The monitoring station is the tallest thing around until you get to the Bourne Bridge. It has radar and CCTV monitoring. If you were doing some Love Boat as you were sailing up the Canal, they probably saw you. They may even have film of the act, which is why I never intend to run for President.
The station is essential to the flow of traffic through the Canal, and helps to prevent such nightmare scenarios as "LNG tanker collides with munitions ship as orphans and puppies watch from within the blast radius." Who needs to see that, right?
The hexagonal (you are either impressed that I know that word, or you know i just made it up) lighthouse still stands, and it is connected to a lovely 3 bedroom cottage by a charming breezeway.
It went up for sale, and is now a private residence. Those private residents (the Flanagan family bought it for $13K and change in 1947) use the place as a rental. You can stay there for the following rates.
Winter: January 4 – May 3 $2,500 per week
Spring: May 3 – June 14 $3,300 per week
Summer: June 14 – September 6 $4,500 per week
Fall: September 6 – December 31 $3,500 per week
Now, that's some good scratch, but it's worth it to live in a lighthouse for a week. You always say that you want to live in a lighthouse, and that's what it costs. It's a bargain, trust me. Go stay at that other lighthouse if you don't believe me.
There are few better places to watch a good storm from. If you loved ship-watching as a kid, you owe this place to yourself. It's also a top-notch Buddha Spot. If some people I know lived there, it would have so much smoke coming out of the top, Catholics would think there was a new Pope.
I don't know if they still have the bell, or if they let you ring it if they do. I was basically trespassing for these shots.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chic-Fil-A Approved For Hyannis

Not to be outdone by the arrival of Sonic onto the South Coast, Cape Cod is importing a national heavy-hitter for a trial run in our local fast food universe.

Chic-Fil-A gained approval from the Cape Cod Commission to open up a drive-thru/eat-in restaurant in Hyannis. The franchise will be will be Chickening Out at the corner of Enterprise Road and Iyannough Road (Route 132). The area was previously overflow parking for the Cape Cod Mall.

Chic-Fil-A (pronounced: "chick filet") is a Georgia-based 1400 restaurant chain which specializes in Chicken. Unlike most fast food joints, I didn't see a cheeseburger on their menu. They use Waffle Fries instead of regular fries. They put pickles on chicken sandwiches, a distinctly Southern thing which I approve of. They also have a chicken-dominated breakfast menu.

I have never seen one of their commercials, so I can't say if their mascot is a clown or a king or a little red-haired girl or even a Kentucky Colonel. If my girlfriend is correct, their commercials are the ones where a cow bothers people while holding a sign that says "EATZ MORE CHICKEN."

Many people only know Chic-Fil-A via their hard-line stance on opposing all things Gay. “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A,” is the chain’s mission statement. Mumbles Menino famously banned them from Boston in 2012 or so. They only use heterosexual chickens for their sandwiches.

Local reactions have been mixed, at least from the section of the community that we sampled. "Praise be to Jesus," said Osterville interior designer Jeff Nonesuch. "I've been searching high and low for a less gay-friendly chicken sandwich." 

However, as Hyannis Port retiree (and, she added, former Southerner) Anne Teechikfila said, "I'd sooner hunt and eat seagulls, and that's before you factor in Chic-Fil-A's odious bigotry."

Chic-Fil-A branches are closed on Sundays, which should hit them in the purse in an area of Massachusetts with about a 75 day peak season.

Due to mitigation costs (mostly traffic), the place may lay an egg early if they take off too many peak business days. The Cape Cod Times says that they will have to sell over 81,000 of their $3.49 basic chicken sandwiches just to pay off their traffic mitigation costs.

I do not believe that they will be open by July 14th, Cow Appreciation Day. That's a shame, because you can eat a free meal at any Chic-Fil-A on Cow Appreciation Day, provided that you arrive in the restaurant dressed up as a cow.

We'll let you know when they post their Opening Day date.

Right Whales In Cape Cod Bay, Warning Issued

Cape Cod Bay has a group of Right Whales operating by her western shores this week.

It's sort of a rite of spring. The ocean waters get to the right temperature and the zooplankton prospers or gathers or whatever zooplankton does to attract feeding whales. The presence of this plankton draws in the whales, who feed to their content and eventually follow the plankton to the next hot spot.

The whales being drawn in are Right Whales, which are among the most endangered creatures on the planet.

Because of this, the Massachusetts Division Of Marine Fisheries is issuing a cautionary notice to boaters in western Cape Cod Bay.

There are five mother/calf pairs within two miles of shore between Duxbury and Sandwich.

Did we mention that Right Whales are very rare? Right Whales get categorized into three, uhm, categories: North Atlantic, Pacific and Southern. All are very rare, with the eastern version of the NARW numbering in the functionally-extinct teens. Our own population of Right Whales number about 400.

Cape Cod Bay (and the nearby-in-whale-terms Bay Of Fundy) are major feeding grounds for Right Whales, and they usually put in work here right around this time of year. You stand a good chance of seeing one if you prowl along any beach between Duxbury and Sandwich. If you can get some elevation, at like, say, the White Cliffs Country Club, your odds of seeing one increase substantially.

They tend to hug the coast, staying within 2 miles of shoreline. They are surface feeders, although they will dive for meals if need be. Look for their distinctive V-shaped spout, which produces corresponding V-shaped spout spray.

If one is nearby, they shouldn't be hard to see. They go about 60 feet long, about the size of a New York City subway train. The whale is considerably fatter, weighing about 100 tons.


Win a bar bet or ten by knowing that, at about 9 feet, they win the Largest Testicles On The Planet contest. Said testicles weigh 1100 pounds, about what the entire Wyatt Family (including Brau Strowman) in the WWE weighs. This is probably why the female Right Whales only mate about every 3-5 years or so.

A contributing factor with the once-every-Presidential-Election-year lovemaking desire cycle on the part of the female may also be due to the fact that Right Whale calves are 20 feet long and weigh as much as the New England Patriots' front seven does... at birth.

She has plenty of time. While no one knows how long Right Whales live, a human-sized life span seems to be about the norm. A baby Right Whale photographed in 1935 was still kicking in the 1995, before being killed by a ship strike.

Speaking of which, you want to keep your boat far, far away from any Right Whales you see. You could injure the whale, and you could get your boat sunk.   For the safety of both mariners and whales, vessel operators in this area are strongly urged to proceed with caution, reduce speed (less than 10 knots), and post lookouts to avoid colliding with these highly endangered whales.

Right Whales get their name because they were the "right" whale to harvest during the Whaler days. Surface-skimming, lots of oil, weak fighters =  "Right."

On a sad note, a whale washed up dead on Duxbury Beach yesterday. I don't believe it was a Right Whale, it was about 15-20 feet long. I believe that the town is going to bury it.

Best Whale Songs

1) Moby Dick,Led Zeppelin

2) Nantucket Sleighride, Mountain

3) The Whale, ELO

4) To The Last Whale, Crosby/Nash

5) The Mariner's Revenge Song, The Decemberists

6) Home Of The Whale, Massive Attack

7) Shanty Of The Whale, K.T. Tunstall

8) Save The Whales, Country Joe McDonald

9) Moving, Kate Bush

10) Don't Kill The Whale, Yes

11) The Last Great American Whale, Lou Reed

12) Stove By A Whale, Scissorfight

Monday, April 25, 2016

Details Emerging In "Grand Theft Auto: Duxbury" Shootings

A shooting in Duxbury is a rare, rare event. Two shootings is even more off the chain. Three is absurd. What and why?

Lucas McPherson, for some reason that even he may not know, got in the Impala, drove to Duxbury, and spent part of Saturday night playing Grand Theft Auto: Duxbury with real bullets and real people. By the time the cops got a hold of him, he had shot at three people.

His first shooting was on Tremont Street, where he shot at a car as it passed him. He then went up Tobey Garden, where he shot a dog-walker. Both were hospitalized for non-life-threatening wounds.

At some point in his travels, he fired on a second vehicle. That person didn't report it immediately... Duxbury is the sort of town where you assume that gunfire is your car backfiring. I'd imagine that this victim came home, told her husband to fix her muffler, went to bed, got up, turned on the news, remembered the "backfire," walked out to the car, saw bullet holes and then fainted.

I may have it twisted somewhat, but the Duxbury Police saw the car speeding away after the first shooting (but before it was reported?), but lost it. They caught up to it after the Tobey Garden shooting, and took the suspect in.

His weapon of choice was a shotgun, which police found in his car.

For all the talk of cops being brutal, let it be known that Lucas jumped out of the car and went after the police with a hunting knife. Instead of killing him (which I would have done, most likely with however many bullets are in a police gun), they used the Tazer. He went after two officers at the station, too.

Duxbury cops aren't exactly battle-hardened city cops, which only speaks more of size of their Grapefruits when they bring the villain in alive. Props to the cops!

Lucas has more charges than my ex-wife's credit card. Among them are:

3 counts of Assault and Battery with a dangerous weapon
1 count of assault with a dangerous weapon
3 counts of attempted murder
1 count of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling
1 count of carrying a firearm without a license
2 counts of malicious damage to a motor vehicle
2 counts of assault and batter on a police officer
1 count of resisting arrest

He may be doing a bit of time, in a jail, in the rubber room, or perhaps both at some point. He is presently a guest of the Sheriff at the Plymouth County House Of Corrections.

So, that's basically what happened. The one thing we need to know is Why?

Lucas McPherson is from Presque Isle, Maine. He has no criminal record.

Here's what my lawyer and I hope is his Facebook page. There's no manifesto or anything. He likes dirt bikes, may have worked as a caddy or a landscaper, listened to the now-ominous Rooney And The Revolvers rock band, and he may have liked to blaze the cheeba-cheeba. That's what I got off of his Facebook page.

I scrolled through his whole FB friends list, ad didn't see anyone from Duxbury on it... so we can table any "Who invited THAT guy over??" discussions for the time being. For all that we know, he may have just pulled off of the highway at random.

There's no Duxbury, Maine town where he could have had a grudge with someone and then had an unfortunate GPS error occur which led him to Massachusetts. There is a Duxbury, Vermont... the only place in America where the dogcatcher is elected, a fact which most likely has no bearing on this case.

Anyhow, that's what we know so far. We'll give you an update when we learn more.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cranberry County Magazine's NFL Mock Draft

It's time once again for the Cranberry County Magazine NFL Mock Draft! The real draft is going down soon, so we're here to help you with the process.

We're linking to the DC Pro Sports Mock Draft Database.

Our panel of experts (Stephen, Stacey, Abdullah, Jessica, Cranberry Jones) split the teams up between them, loaded up on Marylou's Coffee, locked themselves away, created a cloud of smoke and went to draft-war against each other.

We're only going 3 rounds, mostly because the bottom falls out of the Patriots' draft after that. We also have only-so-many jokes about large men pushing each other about.

If you only care about the Pats and want to skip down and find out who we think they'll be adding to the squad next year, scroll down to Round 2 and Round 3 (60, 61, 90, 96). That should be easy enough for you, slacker!

The fact that no NFL expert of any sort has noted that we regularly kick Mel Kiper's ass all over God's jolly green earth should not deter you from accepting this mock draft as absolute football Gospel. If the actual real draft goes differently than what we tell you here, it means that They f*cked up and not Us... with the exception of Belichick, of course.

Round 1

1. Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee Titans)... Jared Goff, QB

If, in a few years, you see California sports pages with jokes like "They've developed a really bad Goff" or "retired, now playing Goff," this pick may have just doomed football in Los Angeles.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland Browns)... Carson Wentz, QB

This pick was looking very Cleveland, i.e. "Well, Johnny Football blew up in our faces, let's draft this big stiff out of Somewhere Dakota State." I was kinda shocked to see the Brow pick up a king's ransom instead. The "gaggle of picks for one guy" trades usually work out for the gaggle-of-picks guys. Again, if headlines in the future ask "I wonder where Carson Wentz," I wouldn't want to be in Philadelphia.

3. San Diego Chargers...  Jalen Ramsey, DB

An OT would be nice, but they seem to think they're All Set there. If that's the case, we'll shore up their secondary.

4. Dallas Cowboys... Ezekiel Elliot, RB

Tony Romo will have a hard time getting injured if he's handing the ball to this guy often enough. I may have missed them adding someone, but sans Ezekiel, they have a Darren McFadden/Alfred Morris tandem.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars... Myles Jack, LB

They have a few holes to fill in New Jack City, but "Jack, from Jacksonville" has a nice ring to it.

6. Baltimore Ravens... Laremy Tunsil, OT

A potentially great left tackle drops into their laps. He'll make sure that No Whacko smokes Joe Flacco like Toe-Bacco.

7. San Francisco 49ers... DeForest Buckner, DE

At 6'7", even if he can't get sacks, the other teams' QBs will probably have 3-6 passes a game deflected by his head if he's positioned well.

8. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins)... Corey Coleman, WR

Philly climbed through this team to get a QB. Cleveland trades away the chance to get a QB so that, once the dust settles, they end up getting a fine guy for their non-existent QB to throw to.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers... Joey Bosa, DE

"Joey Bosa" sounds like the guy who comes looking for you if you f*ck up a loan and fail to pay off a certain influential Sicilian businessman.

10. New York Giants... Ronnie Stanley, OT

"Two Manning brothers with neck injuries," sounds just fine and dandy to me, but I'm not running the Giants.

11. Chicago Bears... Vernon Hargreaves, CB

They have some prominent QBs throwing on them twice a season, so they could use some talent in the secondary.

12. New Orleans Saints... Shaq Lawson, DE

LSU did OK with the Shaq that they had, so we'll see if the Shaq Effect carries over to the pros.

13. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles).... Jack Conklin, OL

They have a hole at Guard, as well as a potential hole behind fragile OT Brandon Albert.

14. Oakland Raiders... William Jackson, CB

If you don't look like a good bet to score many points against Denver, you may as well try to keep Denver from scoring points. Make it all come down to a field goal, the little kicker people make the potential European viewers happy.

15. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams).... Taylor Decker, OT

This would give them bookend Taylors on the offensive line.

16. Detroit Lions... Sheldon Rankins, DT

They let two first-round DTs go last year, and it made them soft in the middle.

17. Atlanta Falcons... Leonard Floyd, LB

They get a Georgia kid, which will please the local yokels.

18. Indianapolis Colts... Jarran Reed, DT

Indy was, is, and may always be the easy whore of Mister Touchdown, U.S.A for all of eternity. Jarran Reed at least won't be easy.

19. Buffalo Bills... Reggie Ragland, LB

He's a good name to know if you get a lot of Rs and Gs from a Scrabble bag.

20. New York Jets... Paxton Lynch... QB

I wonder what Sam Bradford costs?

21. Washington Redskins... Chris Jones, DL

It never hurts to build along the lines.

22. Houston Texans... Andrew Billings, DT

They could use a better guy up front with Vin and JJ. I'd bet that JJ would enjoy mentoring the young fellow.

23. Minnesota Vikings... Josh Doctson, WR

I went to Bridgewater State, and was going to buy a BSU jersey for all of those games I don't go to. However, a Bridgewater jersey from the Vikings would be cool to show up in. My boy needs someone to throw to, though.

24. Cincinnati Bengals... Sterling Shephard, WR

They take him because there isn't a player named "Stop Taking Stupid Penalties In Playoff Games."

25. Pittsburgh Steelers... Vernon Butler, NT

The Patriots dominated the NFL with #1 picks on the front end of  3-4 defense, why wouldn't it work in Pennsylvania?

26. Seattle Seahawks... Ryan Kelly, C

They traded away their center to get Jimmy Graham last year, and they try to wipe that mark off the board with this pick.

27. Green Bay Packers... A'Shawn Robinson, DL

A run-stopper never hurts in a division with AP.

28. Kansas City Chiefs... Will Fuller, WR

They need people to catch the ball, and even a short-throw QB needs a speed guy. Shoot, even I can throw it 20 yards, and if this dude is fast enough, he should be all alone after 20 yards.

29. New England Patriots (Forfeited)


29. Arizona Cardinals... Eli Apple, CB

They stole our pick! Well, not really...

30. Carolina Panthers... Germain Ifedi, OT

Unless I was trippin' balls during what I thought was the Super Bowl, Carolina needs help on the OL.

31. Denver Broncos... MacKenzie Alexander, CB

It never hurts to be covered in the event of an Aqib Talib injury.

Round 2

1 (32). Cleveland Browns... Darron Lee, LB

If he gets a back injury, they can play it like Bewitched and just find another Darron somewhere.

2 (33). Tennessee Titans... LaQuon Treadwell, WR

"Ole Miss" sounds like what you'd call an elderly neighbor when you are beyond the range of her hearing aid.

3 (34). Dallas Cowboys... Jaylon Smith, LB

"Jaylon" would rhyme with "Whale On" with a Texas accent.

4 (35). San Diego Chargers...  Noah Spence, LB

He can make two separate tackles at the same time if the ball carriers are of the same species.

5 (36). Baltimore Ravens... Rashard Higgins, WR

They may as well groom a WR, seeing as Steve Smith is nearing 50.

6 (37). San Francisco 49ers... Pharoh Cooper, WR

"Pharoh" is my favorite name in the draft so far, although we may work a "Scooby" into the top 100.

7 (38). Jacksonville Jaguars... Cyrus Jones, CB

"Cannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn you dig it????"

8 (39). Tampa Bay Buccaneers... Robert Nkemdiche, DL

pronounced "Nkemdiche."

9 (40). New York Giants... Kevin Dodd, DE

If he has all ten of his fingers, that's a plus.

10 (41). Chicago Bears... Hunter Henry, TE

Their best TE plays for New England, so they may want to look into the position on Day 2.

11 (42). Miami Dolphins... Kenneth Dixon, RB

Miami has a giant hole in the backfield, and they can just truck this kid over from LSU.

12 (43). Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles)... Kalan Reed, CB

TT gathers up some booty from the #1 overall pick.

13 (44). Oakland Raiders... Shilique Calhoun, DE

This gives them a Khalid and a Shilique on the edges, something you don't see at Duxbury High School many years.

14 (45). Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)... Nick Martin, C

If you took a QB at #2 overall like TT did last year, you want to give him 1) a LT to watch his back (check), a WR to throw to (check), and a guy to hike the ball to him (check). They took the cornerback to keep the defense guys from complaining.

15 (46). Detroit Lions... Leonte Carroo, WR

There will never be another Calvin Johnson, but there probably aren't a lot of guys named Leonte Carroo walking around, either.

16 (47). New Orleans Saints... Sheldon Day, DL

If the whole football thing doesn't work out for Sheldon, they can always use him to plug a hole in a levee.

17 (48). Indianapolis Colts... Joe Schobert, LB

You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry... why? Joe Schobert is comin' to town.

18 (49). Buffalo Bills... Cody Whitehair, OG

Buffalo needs a young OL guy for Richie Incognito to bully.

19 (50). Atlanta Falcons... Michael Thomas, WR

Matty Ice needs some more people to throw to.

20 (51). New York Jets... Jason Spriggs, OT

He's a project, but they'll probably let him learn on the job while the future QB learns from the safety of the bench.

21 (52). Houston Texans... Joe Dahl, OL

He could be a tackle, a guard or even a center.

22 (53). Washington Redskins... Paul Perkins, RB

Better call Paul!

23 (54). Minnesota Vikings... Emmanuel Ogbah, DE

His last name looks like "bog" spoken by someone who doesn't 100% understand Pig Latin.

24 (55). Cincinnati Bengals... Austin Johnson, DL 

It never hurts, when you get into the business of drafting large men, to get one who is named after a city.

25 (56). Seattle Seahawks...  Johnathan Bullard, DT

DT is a job on the field where it is good to have it filled by someone with "Bull" in his name.

26 (57). Green Bay Packers... Jihad Ward, DL

You won't have to worry about Intensity when you draft someone named "Jihad."

27 (58). Pittsburgh Steelers... Karl Joseph, S

They could probably use a CB more, but they have an offense that can win shootouts.

28 (59). Kansas City Chiefs... Su'a Cravens, S/LB

He's a hybrid guy who might have a hybrid first name.

29 (60). New England Patriots... Scooby Wright, LB

White guy, believe it or not...

30 (61). New England Patriots (from Arizona Cardinals)... Hassan Ridgeway, DL

New England blew open a hole on the DL when Dominique Easley Hassan played with Malcolm Brown at Texas.

31 (62). Carolina Panthers... Kendall Fuller, CB

They sort of got their hands tied when they released their best CB.

32 (63). Denver Broncos.. Connor Cook, QB

I already hate him, so this pick seems natural.

Round 3

1 (64). Tennessee Titans... Vonn Bell, S

He should invent a fake first name and use "Vonn Bell" as a last name, sort of like Van Halen.

2 (65). Cleveland Browns... Derrick Henry, RB

If they aren't going to be able to throw it, they may as well prepare to run it a lot.

3 (66). San Diego Chargers... Artie Burns, CB

You never want to have a guy named Burns at CB, but you can probably get away with it in Southern California.

4 (67). Dallas Cowboys... Malcolm Mitchell, WR

They give Dez someone to hang around with.

5 (68). San Francisco 49ers... Shon Coleman, OT

As long as he doesn't retire after a year, he'll do better than some SF draft picks.

6 (69). Jacksonville Jaguars... Xavien Howard, CB

It never hurts for a team like Jacksonville to double up on CB.

7 (70). Baltimore Ravens... LeRaven Clark, OT

That's French for "the Raven." They, or he, should get a hometown discount for that.

8 (71). New York Giants... Keanu Neal, S

You don't have to kneel if you're Keanu, you just bend backwards really slow while the bullets miss you.

9 (72). Chicago Bears... Tyler Boyd, WR

Jay Cutler needs more guys to overthrow.

10 (73). Miami Dolphins... Miles Killebrew, S

He sounds look a good guy to hit a tavern with.

11 (74). Tampa Bay Buccaneers... Braxton Miller, WR

They actually have a couple of good WRs, but V-JAX is gettin' old.

12 (75). Oakland Raiders... TJ Green, S

Oakland gets themselves some Green.

13 (76). Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)... Jordan Howard, RB

230 pounds of running-straight-forward.

14 (77). Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions)... Dak Prescott, QB

How can Cleveland continue to be Cleveland? Hand the ball to some guy named "Dak."

15 (78). New Orleans Saints... Joshua Garnett, OG

He went to Stanford, so all of the Southern players will tease him mercilessly.

16 (79). Philadelphia Eagles... Justin Simmons, S

BC kid.

17 (80). Buffalo Bills... Carl Nassib, DE

He comes from a football family, hes 6'7", and he comes from a football family.

18 (81). Atlanta Falcons... Christian Westerman, OG

Keeping Matty Ice upright long enough to spot Julio Jones greatly increases the chances of success in Hotlanta.

19 (82). Indianapolis Colts... Joe Thuney, OL

I think some linebacker somewhere actually took Andrew Luck's spleen as a keepsake last year.

20 (83). New York Jets... Kyle Fackrell, LB

The Jets get themselves a Brady hunter.

21 (84). Washington Redskins... Charone Peake, WR

He can't catch a cold... but if he does catch one, he runs a 4.37.

22 (85). Houston Texans... Max Tuerk, C

They draft someone to hike it to Brock Osweiler.

23 (86). Minnesota Vikings... Jordan Jenkins, LB

Minnesota stocks up on another guy to eventually replace an older starter.

24 (87). Cincinnati Bengals... DJ White, CB

Pac Man Jones can't play forever.

25 (88). Green Bay Packers... Will Redmond, CB

Green Bay is going all-D so far...

26 (89). Pittsburgh Steelers..Sean Davis, CB

Pittsburgh should have addressed this position earlier, but they I got distracted.

27 (90). Seattle Seahawks... Jerald Hawkins, OT

The fact that Russell Wilson can run around does not mean that he should be running around.

28. Kansas City Chiefs (Forfeited)

Yeah, they lose a late third.

29 (91). New England Patriots...  Kolby Listenbee, WR

4.35 in the 40.

30 (92). Arizona Cardinals... Jack Allen, C

He's a regular Jack of all trades, wocka wocka wocka...

31 (93). Carolina Panthers... Willie Beavers, OT

HAS to be southern. Has to be. I'd be funny if he were somehow a Bronx Jew.

32 (94) Denver Broncos... Willie Henry, DT

A pair of Willie's go one after another.

33 (95). Detroit Lions (Compensatory Selection)... Darrell Greene, OL

Described as "a thick ball of power" in the scouting guide I read.

34 (96). New England Patriots (Compensatory Selection)... Spencer Drango, OL

Not giving a damn what Denver and Seattle do after this pick, we drop the mic and go get Chinese food.

Much love to our host, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy...

Gunfire Erupts In Duxbury

What the fuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?

For the second time in recent memory, there has been a shooting in Duxbury.

Details are sketchy, but a man in a car was randomly shooting people as he wheeled around the swanky South Shore suburb.

A man was shot as he drove past a car on Tobey Garden, and another one was shot as he walked his dog. I'm hearing "shotgun," "Impala, Maine plates," "non-life-threatening injuries" and "they almost had him after shooting #1, and got him right after shooting #2."

Duxbury's finest already have the man (25 y/o Lucas McPherson) in custody, so you can go about your business, citizens.

See more from FOX-25.

Duxbury is normally a quiet town. The only shooting is of Bull.

They did have a rapper (Benzino) get shot recently.

"It's getting to be like Brockton-by-the-sea," as Cape Codders say of Hyannis or Wareham now and then.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hulk Smash(ed)!

I'm not a Trump supporter, and would vote for him only for economic reasons (i.e. "We get paid to write comedy on this website"). However, I'm here today to speak out against a damaged Trump sign.

I would vote for Trump if I was told to do so by The Incredible Hulk, of course... also for economic reasons ("I can't afford the hospital bills were I to be smashed into pulp by a big green gamma ray monster"). Vote early and often, my friend.

A home in Halifax had a TRUMP sign damaged last night, right in their own front yard. We're not cool with that. If you hate a candidate or the sitting President, hit back by peaceful means. Vote against him, aid the campaign of his/her rival, start a blog and mouth off all day... that's all good.

If your hatred leads you to invade and destroy someone's private property... well, you're an @ss clown.

My man in Halifax had a sign up... hanging off of what looks like a ten foot high Incredible Hulk statue. Because it's in Halifax, the Hulk had a really cool hat, too.

My friend decided to hang his TRUMP sign off of his Hulk statue, probably to attain greater visibility and probably not to reference the Trump SMASH! meme. He doesn't get in the streets and yell at people, nor does he go to rallies and sucker-punch Bern victims. He just hung a political sign off of his 10 foot Incredible Hulk statue, just like the Constitution says he can. I actually checked with the police, and found that 0.00 people were harmed by this sign.

That respect was not returned to the Hulk. Some butt-munch, most likely striking when a calmed Hulk was in his more-easily-messed-with Dr. David Banner personification, tore the sign down. Because the sign was tied to the statue by something stronger than what the statue was made off, the villain(s) tore the feet off of the statue in the process.

If you did this vandalism, here's why you suck.

The Hulk actually pre-dates Donald Trump in my friend's yard by a few years, and most likely viewed Trump as a potential VP candidate during the brief time that they shared the yard. The reason that the Hulk hangs around a Halifax front yard is because a mother took a lot of time to stitch the Hulk together. She did so because she had a child, a guy we'll call MADD MIKE.

(Editor's note: We're not sure if MADD MIKE is a drunk driving reference, and we don't plan to ask)

MADD MIKE passed away, and the Hulk was left up as a sort of tribute. A tribute to a lost son, in case we didn't hammer the point home hard enough earlier.

Now, someone who prefers Hillary or Ted Cruz might snatch a sign here and there. "Hey, what harm could it do?" or "How was I to know that the sign was something special to a grieving family?

Well, that's why you don't destroy the sign, pal. You never know...

There is a reward for information leading to the identification of the people responsible. I'm hoping that the owner of the Hulk, who I can assure you is not a man to be trifled with, understands the difference between an "A reward will be given if an arrest is made" legal bounty and an "A reward will be given once I break this kid's jaw" agreement (known among people who specialize in these matters as a "blood money contract") which the detectives will visit his house for.

Just to play it safe... if you know something, talk to the Halifax Police. You can reach them at 781-294-8713. If you worry that the police won't rough the perp up... understand that this is a small town, know that word gets around small towns, and karma is a bitch Hulk.

Multi-Vehicle Accident On Bourne Bridge

Traffic is jammed as the authorities work to clear a multi-vehicle accident off of the Bourne Bridge.

I just crossed, it took me 25 minutes to get over.

There were two cars involved, one with the tire smashed off, one with the front end caved in. It may have been a head-on, although the vehicles were a few dozen yards apart.


Monday, April 18, 2016

The Battle Of Marshfield

As we approach April 19th, it is easy to view the American Revolution as a US vs. England thing... even if most of the Americans still thought of themselves as English (Paul Revere never shouted "The British are coming!" during his ride, entirely because of this phenomena. Paul actually was shouting the less poetic "The regulars are out!") when the fighting started.

The US/England thing is easy to understand now, a few hundred years after the fact. What is less-known is that there existed considerable static between towns during the pre-revolt period.

The basic cause of this discord was the issue that would launch the Revolution. Some people thought that the colonies should break free from the crown, while others thought that we should remain in the kingdom. As that famous American we know as Mel Gibson once said, "an elected legislature can trample your rights just as easily as a king can." 

Others disagreed with Mel, and there was thick tension in the air throughout the 1760s and 1770s. If you voiced the wrong political opinion at the wrong tavern, you might be chased from the town by a mob.

Here are a few examples of what would happen to you if you failed to say "Screw The Crown" quickly enough in pre-war New England. Its a lot of reading, but it should prove entertaining.

- "At Taunton also, about 40 Miles from Boston, the Mob attacked the House of Daniel Leonard, Esqr.,3 one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace; & a Barrister at Law. They fired Bullets into the House & obliged him to fly from it to save his Life."

- "Peter Oliver Esqr., a Justice of the Peace at Middleborough, was obliged by the Mob to sign an Obligation not to execute his Office under the new Acts. At the same Place, a Mr. Silas Wood... was dragged by a Mob of 2 or 300 Men about a Mile to a River in Order to drown him, but, one of his Children hanging around him with Cries & Tears, he was induced to recant, though, even then, very reluctantly."

- "The Mob at Concord, about 20 Miles from Boston, abused a Deputy Sheriff of Middlesex, they making him pass through a Lane of them, sometimes walking backwards & sometimes forward, Cap in Hand, & they beating him."

- "All the Plymouth Protestors against Riots, as also all the military Officers, were compelled by a Mob of 2000 Men collected from that County & the County of Barnstable to recant & resign their military Commissions. Although the Justices of the Peace were then sitting in the Town of Plymouth, yet the Mob ransacked the House of a Mr. Foster, a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, a Man of 70 Years of Age, which obliged him to fly into the Woods to secrete himself, where he was lost for some Time and was very near to the losing of his Life."

- "A Jesse Dunbar, of Halifax in the County of Plymouth, (was) ordered it into a Cart, & then put ... into the Belly of the (slaughtered) Ox and carted him 4 Miles, with a Mob around him, when they made him pay a Dollar after taking three other Cattle & a Horse from him. They then delivered him to another Mob, who carted him 4 Miles further & forced another Dollar from him. The second Mob delivered him to a third Mob, who abused him by throwing Dirt at him, as also throwing the Offals [innards] in his Face & endeavoring to cover him with it, to the endangering his Life, & after other Abuses, & carrying him 4 Miles further, made him pay another Sum of Money. They urged the Councilor’s Lady, at whose House they stopped, to take the Ox; but she being a Lady of a firm Mind refused; upon which they tipped the Cart up & the Ox down into the Highway, & left it to take Care of it self. And in the Month of February following, this same Dunbar was selling Provisions at Plymouth when the Mob seized him, tied him to his Horse’s Tail, & in that Manner drove him through Dirt & mire out of the Town."

- "In November 1774, David Dunbar of Halifax aforesaid, being an Ensign in the Militia, a Mob headed by some of the Select Men of the Town, demand[ed] his Colors [flags] of him. He refused, saying, that if his commanding Officer demanded them he should obey, otherwise he would not part with them: upon which they broke into his House by Force & dragged him out. They had prepared a sharp Rail to set him upon;12 & in resisting them they seized him (by his private parts) & fixed him upon the Rail, & was held on it by his Legs & Arms, & tossed up with Violence & greatly bruised so that he did not recover for some Time. They beat him, & after abusing him about two Hours he was obliged, in Order to save his Life, to give up his Colors."

- "A Parish Clerk was taken out of his Bed in a Cold Night & beat against his Hearth by Men who held him by his Arms & Legs. He was then laid across his Horse without his Clothes & drove to a considerable Distance in that naked Condition. His Nephew Dr. Abner Beebe, a Physician, complained of the bad Usage of his Uncle & spoke very freely in Favor of [the royal] Government, for which he was assaulted by a Mob, stripped naked, & hot Pitch was poured upon him, which blistered his Skin. He was then carried to an Hog Sty & rubbed over with Hog’s Dung. They threw the Hog’s Dung in his Face & rammed some of it down his Throat;"

- In Freetown, they used to paint Loyalists yellow, as "the Mob found that paint is cheaper than Tar and Feathers."

- "Patriots from Duxbury did kidnap Marshfield Loyalists Paul White, Dr. Stockbridge and Elisha Ford, and carted them to the "Liberty Pole" in Duxbury. There they were "forced to sign recantations" of their Tory sentiments, likely in response to mob violence."

By 1768, the crown deemed it necessary to send 4000 troops to pacify Boston, which was also getting ugly. Other than the potential for a Lexington-style suburban incursion by British troops, the countryside was (mostly) left on her own.

You know how it went from there. In 1770, the redcoats fired on the colonists, in what is known as the Boston Massacre. In 1773, the Boston Tea Party went down. In 1775, on April 19th, warfare broke out at Lexington/Concord.

As you can still see in modern occupational wars like Iraq or Afghanistan, the occupiers tend to stick to the cities. You have airports and docks to move supplies in, and cities usually sit astride rivers and highways that other trade flows through. The countryside tends to belong to the rebels.

This was the case in Massachusetts. Remember, the Revolution didn't start until the redcoats marched far enough out into the countryside to find farmers crazy enough to pick a fight with the world's best light infantry. While they may not use exactly those terms, every schoolkid in America can tell you the basics of Lexington/Concord.

What they can't tell you about (unless they read this column, of course) is the Battle of Marshfield. There's a good reason for this... there was no Battle Of Marshfield.

Brant Rock, MA
However, history is often drawn by tricks of fate, coincidence, miscalculations and itchy trigger fingers. An itchy trigger finger set off the Boston Massacre, started the Revolution, and was still happening when the National Guard went hippy-hunting at Kent State almost 200 years after the redcoats landed in Boston Harbor. If Marshfield in 1775 had been visited by ol' Mr. Finger, our history lessons would have been very different.

While an apt high school kid could tell you that Boston was occupied by the redcoats before the Revolution, they might not know that Marshfield also bore this status. Marsh Vegas, as it was then not known as, was a Loyalist hotbed. People in Vegas had no problem at all with the crown, at least the ones with the money and influence. They preferred change through diplomacy over revolt.

Even noting the fact that Marshfield patriots in 1773 had their own Marshfield Tea Party (on Tea Rock Hill), Marshfield was the most Loyalist town in New England.

This put them at odds with the neighboring towns. Duxbury and Plymouth were hotbeds of Patriot activity, and you saw with the Dunbar brothers how Halifax handled Loyalists. Not wishing to be mashed in Hog Dung, the loyalists in Marshfield sent a letter to General Gage, who was in charge of Boston. They demanded protection, and Gage complied, sending 100 men and 300 muskets on two schooners (the Dianna and the Britannia) down to Marsh Vegas in 1775. They were under the command of future Parliament member Captain Nesbit Balfour.

These redcoats disembarked at the mouth of the North River and marched 6 miles to the Nathaniel Ray Thomas estate. He was only the second most famous occupant, which is why you know it today as the Daniel Webster House. You can see a picture of it here, or you can drive down Washington Street in Duxbury to see a similar house in person. It looked like the mansion from Django Unchained.

The redcoats set up their barracks on the grounds of the estate, and proceeded to piss off the locals. They would go to taverns or private homes in Duxbury and Plymouth. They behaved well enough, but they would have been hated in Duxbury even if they walked across water to get there. There is at least one story of a mob chasing a British officer into a Plymouth store, and not letting him out until he surrendered (and they broke) his sword.

Naturally, the entertainment in Boston served to get the locals' moxie up. Duxbury had already hosted Stamp Act protests, burned a dozen Englishmen in effigy and kidnapped Loyalists for Liberty Pole parties. The presence of 100 redcoats a town over was, as they liked to say then, intolerable.

You didn't see a lot of South Shore people at Lexington. Paul Revere went west, not south. By the time that word of Lexington/Concord got to Duxbury, they would not have had time to get up to Boston for the battle. We did send some men up to Lexington/Concord, but most of the South Shore got off no shots at the redcoats fleeing Concord.

They didn't need to march to get at the regulars... they had 100 of them right there on the South Shore, sleeping on the lawn of a Marshfield mansion.

The South Shore towns had militia, and they had been training for this moment. They dropped everything on April 19th and gathered at what is now known as the John Alden House in Duxbury, under the command of  Colonel Theophilus Cotton.

No one knows what went on in the John Alden house that night, nor on the day of the 20th, when a council of war was held. What we do know is that Cotton, of Plymouth, failed to attack. He may have hoped that the British would leave on their own, or he may have feared a rabble-vs-regulars fight, or he may have been waiting for more people.

He got more people quickly enough. Companies arrived from Rochester and Plympton to join the Duxbury, Plymouth and Kingston patriots. Fishermen from various local harbors, always fixin' for a fight, threw themselves into the mix. Colonel Cotton soon had five hundred men, five times the number of the British they wished to oust from Marshfield.

They marched to within a mile of the British regiment, not without some argument.  The cautious Cotton still refused to attack. A company from Kingston (led by Capt. Peleg Wadsworth), perhaps seeking to atone for their now-unfortunate town name, advanced without orders to within firing range of the British camp. Ish was about to get hectic.

However, there were no British to kill. The British garrison, who would have surrendered if fired upon, had instead run like a scalded dog.

The schooner Hope, along with two smaller sloops (the sloops had been "prest" into service, and were two of the first AmRev prizes taken by the Brisih Navy) arrived at the mouth of the Cut River in Green Harbor. They gathered up the soldiers and whatever Loyalists they could find and fled for Boston. The citizens of Marshfield alerted the British to the arrival of the ships by firing guns from Signal Hill. These were the only shots fired in the Battle Of Marshfield.

Then, the ass-kicking began. The South Shore is interesting, if not unique, in that our violence goes down after the troops leave.

Marshfield had 1200 people at the time, and only a few of them could get on those ships. Everyone else was left to fend for themselves, as the British Army and Navy were at this point bottled up in Boston.

Marshfield, a Tory town without the necessary Tory army to keep it safe, exploded in an orgy of assaults, tar-n-featherings, jailings, property confiscation, business boycotts and exile. Whoever could afford a boat ride to Nova Scotia fled. Everyone else stayed, and suffered abuse for it.

"Our fate now decreed, and we are left to mourn out our days in wretchedness. No other resources but to submit to the tyranny of exulting enemies or settle a new country," said Sarah Winslow of Marshfield not too long after the British surrender at Yorktown. Her father said, "I was the butt of the licentious, and had received every species of insult and abuse, which the utmost rancour and malice could invent."

People were more cheerful in Patriot towns. "Returning to Duxbury fro' Brant Rock, Lt. Colonel Alden paused, and to the Delight of the assembeld militia, doth dropped Trou and thusly disparaged the grounds of the traitorous Winslow house by dropping a most malodorous and sizable Steamer near the well of the property," one Revolutionary diary didn't, but should have, said.

Those who did get away weren't always welcomed back. A ship from Nova Scotia, loaded with returning Marshfield Tories, was refused permission to disembark in the Neponset River by the town of Milton. The Tories eventually were let off at the North River, where they were promptly arrested.

Marshfield, much like someone tied to the Liberty Pole or being made to run a Gauntlet, finally caved in. Three months after the British Army was chased from Brant Rock, a town meeting resulted in Marshfield agreeing to support the Revolution. They sent their men off to fight, just like other towns.

Marshfield, for a long time, had more subdued celebrations of July 4th than neighboring towns did. Some years, they didn't celebrate the holiday at all. This sort of got played out in the 1950s and especially 1970s, as the demographics of the town were wildly altered by urban immigration. The incoming Bostonians loved July 4th, and by the time of my childhood, the Vegas coastline represented as hard as anyone.

Duxbury and the surrounding towns contributed mightily to the cause. Taking the 300 British muskets they found at the Thomas estate, they marched to Boston and joined up with George Washington. Duxbury men were involved in fortifying Dorchester Heights, which forced the British out of Boston. Unlike just about everyone involved in the Siege of Boston, the Duxbury men had already seen the British Navy flee before them once by the time the Limey Poofters sailed away from Boston.

Duxbury men served with George Washington at Valley Forge, and fought with him at Germantown and Monmouth. Washington was known to favor the fishermen of coastal Massachusetts as rowers. Duxbury men also manned a fort built out on the Gurnet. It saw no action in the Revolution, but they got to let off a few shots during the War of 1812.

It is interesting to ponder how the Brits would have reacted if Capt. Wadsworth had decided to charge the overmatched regulars. We know how the immediate battle would have worked, as Captain Balfour told us himself. The Brits would have surrendered with the first Rebel shot.

There's a difference between 100 soldiers and the entire Royal Navy, however. As we saw during the Battle of Wareham in 1812. the British would sail a squadron into town and burn every ship in the harbor for piracy. How wold they react after the loss of a whole garrison, especially if the battle which lost them turned into a massacre? Probably not well.

Duxbury did not embrace shipbuilding until after the Revolution, but they did need their harbor, and had nothing beyond a crude fort to keep the British from sailing in to set the whole town ablaze. Duxbury was a backwater, perhaps not meriting an invasion, but Plymouth was a high-profile revenge target.

Taking Plymouth would effectively cut off Cape Cod and the South Shore from contributing to the war effort, and would have the Brits very well positioned for a march on Rhode Island. The South Shore would have almost certainly got some Grey's Raid kind of action.. Never drink Earl Grey tea, it's associated with the son of the Grey's Raid captain who attacked Fairhaven, New Bedford and Martha's Vineyard.

The Battle of Marshfield may have indeed proved to be a Phyrric Phirryc Pyrrhic costly victory, and the whole war effort may have been jeopardized by the desire of some Plymouth County farmers to seize a contested Marsh Vegas front yard.

However, all of that never happened. Colonel Cotton, viewed by many as a wussy, was actually a fine leader. He went all Sun-Tzu on the English, not moving to attack until victory was assured. He cleared out one of the two English-occupied towns in Massachusetts, and he did so without wasting an ounce of gunpowder.

Colonel Cotton is actually twice-famous, as he led a group of patriots in 1774 who tried to move Plymouth Rock to a better viewing area. He split the Rock while doing so, and you can still see the split today. That's a story or another day.

So, as you do something 'Murica today to commemorate the Patriot actions in Boston, Lexington and Concord, lay back and twist one in honor of the 500 South Shore bad-asses who chased the British away.
Old Glory flying on Duxbury Beach, facing Marshfield.