There was a dinosaur on the Chappy ferry this morning. The reason that I mention this is that a few years ago one of my granddaughters made it a point to tell me that I was incorrect in telling her that there are no dinosaurs now. She is right. There are still dinosaurs alive today. In my defense my alleged erroneous statement of fact was well-intentioned. I was trying to calm her fear that a Tyrannosaurus rex might bust open the wall of her house and pluck her out of her bed. It’s true that there are no more big dinosaurs living today; however, there are many small ones. The dinosaur on the On Time II was a brown beetle about a half-inch long. He was crawling rather inefficiently along the empty deck. I had a premonition that he would meet his demise aboard the ferryboat. As one of Mother Nature’s fellow creations, I felt empathy for his predicament and decided that I would intervene. First I put him up on the steering console to get a quick photo of him so that I could look him up in my bug book later. Maybe he’s a member of an invading species and I was unwittingly participating in my own doom. Nonetheless, I then released him back into the wild among the beach grasses.

Whichever granddaughter was setting me straight then proceeded to list other dinosaurs still in our midst such as horseshoe crabs and sharks. Way back when, before bees and other winged pollinators were perfected by evolution, beetles did the work of spreading pollen around. Mother Nature seems pretty intent on the continuation of life!

Conversely, changing the subject now, Massachusetts drivers have long had the reputation for jeopardizing life. But a recent off-Island driving experience has prompted me to challenge the validity of that honor bestowed unofficially upon us by our surrounding states. A couple of weekends ago, granddaughter Emily and I headed up to the city to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra play Handel’s Saul. We allowed twice the time needed to make the trip. As we neared the city the traffic thickened. We usually drive pretty fast even in close quarters. I don’t know what was going on that particular Sunday afternoon, but I sensed an unfamiliar timidity in my fellow motorists. You never saw so much twinkling of brake lights as the folks up ahead tapped their brakes in apparent caution. As soon as that word came to mind, I questioned my sense of direction. Had I mistakenly wandered into Rhode Island? I was in a hurry and time was flying by. I figured there must be an accident up ahead. Nope, never saw any accidents.

At one point the road turned to three lanes and we got back up to hell-for-leather speed but soon a collective hesitancy overtook us and we were back to the actual speed limit. As the Prudential Center appeared around a corner, I figured that we weren’t going to make it; I should just turn back. Then I figured we could go to the Museum of Fine Arts if we were too late to the symphony. So I kept pressing on, changing lanes, doing a lot of swerving. For awhile we kept coming to a stand still. That’s when I noticed that I was the only one doing jack rabbit starts. Everybody else was just easing forward.

I roughly calculated that even if the road had been clear ahead I wouldn’t get to the concert hall in time. Once I got to the Mass Ave exit I really hoofed it. I squeaked through a few red lights, zoomed up the parking garage ramp, parked at the first spot labeled no parking. Emily and I jogged the half block to the BSO and our feet touched the first step just as the usher was unhooking the door to close it. They don’t let you in once the orchestra begins tuning up and I could hear them doing just that. We had tickets in the first balcony looking directly down onto the stage. But they made us sit in the main balcony with all of the other latecomers. The performance was phenomenal. I’m glad that we made it. But I’m still greatly disappointed in how Massachusetts drivers underperformed that day.

The next Chappy Community Center potluck will be held on Wednesday, May 18. Appetizers begin at 6 p.m. with the dinner bell ringing at 6:30. Please bring a dish to serve six. All are welcome.

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