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I had just left off with us in Amherst. You’ll recall that we were dealing, grumpily, with the fact that the town wasn’t the town we’d known...a mere forty years ago. Gosh. You’d have thought they would have put the whole place into a deep freeze and kept it just the way it was. So that we’d enjoy it more. Seems only reasonable.

Okay, it isn’t reasonable. But I’m very rarely reasonable. Makes things more interesting that way. And it’s always fun to watch people’s eyes bug out when I go full-on psycho on them. Sort of like seeing Kermit the Frog. But with less green and more stare.

Where was I? Oh, yes. We made our way all the way down North Pleasant Street and came to the Unitarian Universalist Church. You’ll recall that I said we’d gotten married there.

It is a lovely place, with a huge stained glass window in the front -- specifically, “The Angel of the Lilies,” by the great American artist Louis Comfort Tiffany (see his Wikipedia entry here:, and for more on the window, go to the Church’s website here: It is an astonishing piece, Art Nouveau at its best, and with a long and complicated history of its own (it was originally in a church in Boston, and only appeared here by means of a series of amazing accidents).

I’ve already run images of the Church, but here’s a photo I’ve tried to make look like a watercolor painting. See what you think.

We’d picked the Church for our wedding because it seemed fitting to us, and Martha loved the place. We’d both been, at various times in our lives, members of Unitarian Churches...though we weren’t when we lived in Amherst. I, because I’d drifted away from Church in general, Martha because the Church had drifted away from her -- that is, some of the Unitarians she knew had become so removed from Christianity that she no longer felt any sense of connection to them. She is no fundamentalist, you understand, but by the early 1980s, she felt that at least some Unitarian Churches were more like discussion groups than religious institutions. And that just didn’t move her.

But, all those years ago now, we arranged to get married there. It was kind of amusing, really. The minister was a charming fellow with a shock of white hair. The only thing about his prenuptial counseling that I remember was that when he found out I was a writer he strongly urged me to get into advertising. “They can always use copywriters.”

The other story about the Church was that when my father met the minister he was...hmm, how to put this? Not excessively impressed. “He’s a nice Saint Bernard,” was the way my Dad summed him up. And, well, truth to be told, my father was a pretty good judge of character, all in all. Alas.

Anyway, our wedding had been a delight, and, guess what? We were to be in Amherst on August 7, our fact, our fortieth anniversary! So, of course, we walked down to the Church to see how it was getting along. I think we both had this idea that it would be open and we’d step inside and see the interior and have a snuggle on a pew and remember old times...

Except...we got there...and it was closed. The damn Covid, you see. So they weren’t doing any public showings of the church or its famous stained glass windows. And, since the University wasn’t yet open, there was hardly anybody on the street, so everything felt kind of deserted and empty. And the ice cream shop we used to go to near by had gone out of had the cafe that we used to go to across the street was gone...and...and...and...

It was all kind of a downer.

But, once again, we pulled ourselves together and went looking for stuff to do. We soon found a very cool toy store a few steps away and got the grandkids some presents (specifically the store was “the Toybox,” which is on the web here: Then we went across the street and found a new cafe, Share Coffee (, which was pretty darn good and a great place to get a rest and an iced Americano. And then, we headed out and noticed that there seemed to be more people on the streets. Maybe they were getting off work or something.

And for once having something to do with the story, here’s a picture of Martha looking wonderful in an Amherst coffee shop even though we were tired and the day was brutally hot.

Whatever the reason, things began to be a bit livelier and so we stopped feeling quite so depressed. Which is a darn good thing, in my humble opinion, though some people seem to enjoy that sort of thing... and even get careers out of being depressed and encouraging everyone else to be the same way ...and besides they eat way too much kale and then turn green from chlorophyll overload and get mugged by herbivores who think they’re ambulatory, you know, best to skip it entirely.

After a bit, we headed off to our hotel for a bit of a break before dinner.

Things, it seemed, were looking up.

More to come.


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I provide these blog postings for free. That’s fine and I’m happy to do so. But, long ago and far away, I was told that if you give away your material, that means you don’t really think it has any value.

So, to get beyond that, I’ve decided to make it possible for you to leave me a “tip” for my posts.

If you like what I write or the videos I produce, and feel you could make a small contribution to support my efforts, please go here:

That will take you to a Gumroad page where you’ll have the option of leaving me a few pence by way of encouragement.

Again, I don’t mind if you don’t. I just want to provide you with the option so that I won’t feel quite so much like I’m just tossing my works into the wind.

Either way, thanks hugely for dropping by the blog :-)




Copyright©2023 Michael Jay Tucker

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