I really love your Blobs!

So I’m back home in Roxbury. Not the bad neighborhood in MA,  part of the holy trinity of the Breezy Point Cooperative in Queens NY – the Father (Breezy), Son (Rockaway Point) and good old Roxbury, the Holy Ghost. I made it just in time for the July 4th weekend festivities. Carlitos, Belle and I also brought Chelsea from Georgia to stay with us for a couple of weeks. It’s been so nice to see everybody. I don’t know how to explain this place in words, but I’m going to try. 

Roxbury is a gated community of about 450 houses, a bar/restaurant, grocery store, and a candy store. Remind me to tell you someday about the half houses.  There are no streets, just a couple of parking lots. Once you park your car you have to lug your groceries home in a red wagon or shopping cart. I arrived last Thursday and today is the first day I moved my car at all- sometimes I can make the whole summer on 1 tank of gas. 

264 Roxbury Terrace

The Taphouse family has been living in Roxbury since at least 1920, that’s around the date on one of the leases that Robert Taphouse (my great grandfather) signed for the original family home at 264 Roxbury Terrace.  My Aunt Phylis and Uncle Howie lived there for many years with their family, and my sister and I shared the house for a couple too. Now my cousin and his wife and 3 kids are enjoying the old homestead. My Dad likes to tell me about how he used to sleep there on the front porch right under the window that I had my colored bottle collection in, once my Aunt Betty and Uncle Garret would move in with his family in the 1 bedroom behind the old candy store.   

 The rest of us have plenty of places to stay- there are about 8 houses here that belong to Taphouse descendents- and that doesn’t count anyone else we’re related to here. Somebody really needs to make that Roxbury family tree and post it near the ballfield or something so we can all know who exactly is related to who.  I wouldn’t be surprised if 90% of the people here had connections to a few of the “big 5” families. My parents bought a bungalow here before they bought their first “real” house. I had to verify some facts with my Dad while writing this, and he came up with some stories about middle names and being named after saints, we’ll have to save them for another time.   

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Alot of the people here I’ve known or have known me (and the rest of my family) for most of my life. From toddler beauty pageants to softball teams, swimming and pie eating contests, sand sculptures, first jobs, showers, weddings, parades, christenings, card parties and funerals, these are the people who know me best. 

I asked Carlitos to wash the sand off of his face.

 

Nothing like a nap on the beachThere’s a general feeling of goodwill when I get here that you don’t see many places. Today we went to the beach (30 paces from the house) and sat in a group of about 75-100 people who have mainly known each other their whole lives. There’s always someone who is willing to squeeze their chair over a little more so you can get in to the circle. A couple of guys dragged down their gas grill and served hamburgers, hot dogs, steak and sausage and pepper heros. And no, they didn’t charge for them. 

 My friend Teri’s daughter was out a little too far in the water with my cousin’s granddaughter, and her Uncle swam out to help them in. We reminisced about getting caught out too far in the bay with Aunt Joan’s paddleboat and in tubes, and having to be rescued. My Mom piped in with a story about the time when she was a girl and she rowed out to the bridge with her friend Marilyn and stranded her there.  Did she get mad? “Oh no, she was my best friend!” And she still is today. On the 4th we spent the day at the beach, went home and showered, and went back and watched the Macy’s fireworks with our friends who were still there in their bathing suits at 9pm. I heard some of them stayed till 2am- that’s what I call living it up! I wonder what the poor city folks were doing? 

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Friday was a big beach party day, and alot of the family came down and sat in front of my parents house enjoying some frozen drinks and waiting for the fireworks that evening. The kids were collecting hermit crabs, and perfecting the art of making sand meatballs. The water is pretty cold, but they don’t care, they swim until their lips are blue and teeth chattering. Here’s the boys after they rolled in the sand and decided to bake in the sun to warm up. Ahhhh, summertime. 

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It’s like I never left. Family and friends, and now alot of us are on facebook, I feel like I see them everyday. My Aunt’s friend comes up and kisses me, “Debra, I just love your Blobs! Thank you so much for sending them to me, they just make my day. ” 

Blob, blog, what's the difference, let me have another pina colada!

 

I look down at my chest, a little confused as I have already had a couple of pina coladas and chi-chis (I was the bartender/beach waitress for a while). OH! The blog. A couple of people have told me they enjoy it, which makes me happy. It takes some time to write it, put in the pictures, and I feel like it’s a little piece of me out there. Keep reading and forward it on, subscribe and comment! I love it! I also now have people asking if they’re going to be in it- hey Deb, better take a picture of this, you can use it in your blog. Hey Deb, don’t put this in the blog please. OMG Deb, you CAN’T put this in the BLOG! 

You’d think someone besides my Mother was reading it anyway. HAHA. My cousin Joe Smith (wink wink)  doesn’t want people he works with to know what he does on the weekend. I won’t tell if he doesn’t 🙂 

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Back to the beach- the fireworks were awesome, the fireboat came and did a show right in front of the house, very impressive. The water is clean, no jellyfish yet. I caught Carlitos under the chair with a mouthful of sand- he swears he’s only eating the shells. I had one of those parental dilemma moments- should I let him jump off the lifeguard chair like the bigger kids? 

Ohhhhh, fine, what could happen, it’s soft sand. So there’s some shells, he’s only 38 lbs or so, it’s not like the impact if I were to jump.  Live it up Carlitos, live it up. 

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Saturday was Kiddie’s day. We marched in a parade around the beach, Carlitos fell asleep in the wagon and almost didn’t make it, but his cousin revived him with candy and gum. The Gladiolas is the name of the marching band here- traditionally they march on 4th of July, Mardi Gras weekend (Labor Day) and for the Mayor’s campaign parades. I have often longed to be a Gladiola- it always looked like alot of fun. They ramble around after the parade, playing their instruments in the local clubs, and then marching through people’s houses and drinking beer into the night. They split off from the big group, and it’s always fun to hear the sounds of a glockenspiel coming down the block. One time my parents had their friends from Howard beach over for dinner, and I said, “Oh, I think I hear a Gladiola!”.  Mom’s friend looked at me like I was crazy- she knew I liked to garden, but REALLY? Ha ha ha. 

Gladiolas, I'm so jealous!

 

So what is it exactly about Roxbury that makes you love it so much? It’s a real community, that’s what it is. These people and this place are like my family, they are a part of me. Sometimes I love them, sometimes they drive me crazy. But I wouldn’t trade them for anything. 

Nice hat Noreen!

 

Carlitos showing his cousin the fine art of bathing in a bucket outside

 

 
 
 

New summer friends…
 

Belle enjoying the view from the deck

 

I can't believe these girls are all grown up!

 

Oh and by the way- I’m still playing with the camera, thinking of doing a slide show of American flags/decorations on houses in Roxbury,  beach umbrellas, and maybe hats, so if you see me out there with the camera, smile and say cheese! 

 

Cheers! 

Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go

  

Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name. 

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name. 

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About debratap

Mom, artist, analyst- taking some time to figure it all out!
This entry was posted in Family, Free time, Friends, Living it up!, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to I really love your Blobs!

  1. Hannah Taphouse Richards says:

    Deb – i love your blogs too! :o) So your blogs are being enjoyed even here in England! We’re coming your way next April (Felix can’t be the only one in our family not to have met Mickey Mouse!) .. it would be great to catch up for a coffee and maybe even feature in one of your blogs! ha ha. Us Taphouses are all supposed to be originated from one family you know and it certainly seems like the family trait of having fun and being jolly exists on both sides of the Atlantic! Taphouses are great! :o)

    • debratap says:

      Thanks Hannah! We would love to meet up with you, Orlando is less than 2 hours from my house in Florida. My Aunt has some information on our family tree, Dad told me last night that my great-grandfather immigrated from England then to France, and then on to the US. I keep meaning to ask her, I will!

      • Hannah Taphouse Richards says:

        I’ve got part of the family tree dating back to 1700’s so if you have any names i’ll have a look! The reason they think we are all from the same family is that the name Taphouse was changed quite a few times from what it would have been originally … seems we wanted to fit in with the locals or someone made a spelling mistake way back then! The family did come from France to England originally around the 11th century so more English than French i’d like to think! ha ha.

  2. connie carter says:

    This was awesome! Thanks for sharing. What? No pictures of your neighbor Claude??????

  3. MOM says:

    It gave me a nice warm feeling.

  4. Ananda says:

    I am not on my computer, so I had to have another username….

    Love and Hugs to all of your family and friends. You are so very missed. In Ohio we had a bit of our own magic and tradition. At 5:30 am I began getting the boat and crew ready for their race back to Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada. By 7am, still in pjs, I crawled back into the aft bunk on my parents bunk and slept until my parents told me I had to get up for a sail.
    They didn’t know that helping the boats and people prepare for the race I had hit my head and even 5 days later I am still doing everything possible to address the slight concussion. It didn’t ruin the day though. We had a great sail and my childhood friends and now all their spouses and kids came for dinner on the boat before the fireworks. Playing with the kids made me miss Carlitos, Addison and John-John of course. Then there are the new families coming together that even though I only had a towel, the girl 12 leaned back against me, while her brother 10, lean next to us/against to all cuddle. The entire fireworks we had the most riviting conversation about the how, why, what, wow, and environmental reprocussions fireworks had in one day. Their parents giggled the entire time. We were “shhhshed” once, when we so engrossed in our little science thoughts. As all the families went to bed and I trundled back to crawl back into my bunk, a friend I knew at 10 through my best friend invited me aboard for a beer and we caught up about the last 20 years. So much love, easy conversation, community and tradition. Never in my life, aside from the Olympics, have I ever watched fireworks on TV. Sure enough, with my parents I was able to really enjoy both the Hudson River, NY fireworks and the Boston Pop fireworks. Mom shed a tear and it really felt great to stand to sing our national anthem. I hope we can catch up soon. I crave learning about all of your adventures and I am really excited to see what you discover with your flag/hat photos. I was thinking about you creating a collage that actually made that item with using the pictures, just like you cut the cloth for your butterfly…just with photos instead. Love and Hugs, L

    • debratap says:

      Wow Laura, sounds like you had fun too. I haven’t seen my phone lately, I’ll try and give you a call soon, what tome of day is best for you?

  5. Teri Gresser says:

    Okay, so now you’ve made me cry! I love reading your blobs. Keep it going, I can’t wait till your book! Love you.

  6. Aunt Dar says:

    Deb, This was great!!I just love reading the blogs and seeing the pictures!!

  7. rebecca says:

    Your blobs are the best blobs…Keep it up, sweetie!

  8. Jeanine says:

    Love being reminded of all the great times!!!!

  9. jackie donohoe says:

    keep them coming its just wonderful to see the world from you eyes. love you

  10. Pat says:

    Hi
    One of your Mom’s friends from JNF. Great job, Great talent & a delightful interesting story.

  11. Marybeth reid says:

    Deb – you are the best and so Is your blog. Keep it going and love having both you and Charlie back for the summer!

  12. Noreen Dengler says:

    We have to get you a publisher, you won’t have to get a job you can just keep writing!
    Keep Smilin’

  13. Sarah says:

    Hi Deb, Carlitos & Belle!

    You are missed! We’ve done a couple of Nemo pool swim dates & thought of you. After reading this blog, I know now why you spend the summers in NY. You could write a whole book on this stuff. Gives me the warm fuzzies & makes me reminisce about the good old days of neighborhood values, traditions & just enjoying life. Just thinking of you & wanted to say hi. Be well & see you soon!

    XX
    Us

  14. Linda McKinley says:

    Deb…..I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again……you really need to write a book……this made me cry and laugh! Roxbury is our past, our present and our future……thanks for reminding us! Love ya, Linda xoxoxo

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