Sunday, July 5, 2009

Somehow I got the idea that the town needed a flag. So I offered to make one, and Constant Quilters agreed to be the consultants for the project, gratis. I approached the town administrator, who said, "By all means." I asked him what I should use for the logo, and he suggested that I use what was on the Town's letterhead. So I obtained a copy, and it seemed like a slam dunk. It is a simple pen and ink drawing of a covered bridge set against a mountain. I could embroider it onto a white background, and letter the "Andover, New Hampshire." However, in the back of my mind I remembered a conversation with Jeff Miller, in which he said that he had designed the logo. So I called him to see whether he had any suggestions or comments. That was when I learned some amazing news. In 1990, Jeff Miller and Justin Freeman (of Olympic skiing fame) designed a town flag as part of their 8th-grade social sciences studies. They presented the design to the Town of Andover at town meeting and their flag design was adopted as the official flag of Andover. As things go, the idea was dropped when they learned that it would take about $700 to have a copy made from their design. Now, 19 years later, here we went again. Well, the project became much more complicated than I had anticipated, and a lot more expensive. And like a lot of projects, it took a lot of time to make the necessary contacts and purchases, and to get the original artwork. So long-story-short, I ended staying up all night July 3rd to complete the task. Along the way Justin's mother helped me to design the hames for the flag. (Andover used to be the hame capital of the world.) I rushed the finished flag to the reviewing stand on the morning of the 4th with five minutes to spare. If you click on the photo, it will open in a larger window, so you can see the detail. Here is the original design. Clearly, I had to finesses a lot of things, but I tried to stay as true to the design as I could. It took over 100 hours and $100. Glenn and Kim flew home with Tate (4 months-old.) It was the first time we got to see and hold him, and he is a wonder! He loves to verbalize, and often sings (especially when he has his binky in his mouth.) He is such a good-natured baby, and his parents are just so relaxed and nurturing. Kim has sprung right back to her pre-preggy shapeliness, and Glenn is just bubbling over with happiness. While they were here they got to visit Edna. It was so sweet to see her, who used to hold little Glennie, hold Tate. And he just looked so happy and content in her arms. They also participated in the best Fourth of July on Earth, here in Andover. Even though it had rained for days and days, the fun went on. The Town Common, the flag raising, the pancake breakfast, the 5K run, the parade, the midway, and then, in the evening, the fireworks. And Glenn met and talked with many of his old friends and teachers. Friday night we went to a Red Sox game at the Fenway. They lost to the Seattle Mariners. It was my first game at the Fenway, but more importantly, it was Tate's first as well. Art had been twice, so this was only his third time. We were seated in right field. Yes, here I am. The only other "real" game I ever attended was a football game the Wisconsin Badgers played in Madison. There I had a beer poured down my back. Not great memories, but a great vocabulary builder. I heard words there, I'd never heard before! So I approached the game with trepidation, especially the subway ride. However, it all turned out to be SOOOOOO much fun. I even got some Cracker-Jacks, and the crowd was polite, dignified. Here is little Tate Willem Makechnie, wearing the proper attire, and seated in the new bleachers of the Fenway. He is practicing the Papelbon Glare. At one point the game turned into a real nail-biter. Tate was a hit with all our neighbors in the stands, and he was great at "raising the roof" and jive dancing. He also got really into "Sweet Caroline" at the bottom of the seventh. The game went to eleven innings, and he only cried once. He was hungry. Here he is amazed by one of the fastballs pitched. "Wow! Look at the heat on that ball," he gurgled. "That was 98 MPH! Someday I'M gonna do that, TOO!" As we left the stadium, I got this awesome photo of Art, outlined against the Fenway lights, with the famous Coke Sign behind him.

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