Tuesday -- September 1, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Busy day... departing campers in the morning... Peg Thomson with caterers and tent renters to
sort out the advance planning for John Thomson's memorial event... and the Park service brought
a huge machine to continue digging out the canal. Interestingly, in a conversation with one
of the Park Service people supervising the work, Timothy McCormick (301-248-0359), he suggested
they would try to re-water the canal in mid-September. It also came up that he was a painting
sub-contractor after hours, so he was invited to the Island to check it out and to also
investigate whether or not he would want to put in a bid to paint the Club house.
Later in the afternoon Johnna Robinson and Betty Burchell came down and took me off on an
adventure to discover and survey the Indian fish weir above Ruppert's Island. It is a very
large structure, perhaps a 120 yards on one side, but there is no doubting what it is, or
why it is only visible during low water (6.78 today), and it is one of those things that one
could easily pass everyday and not notice unless one knew where and what is, and then it is
Wednesday -- September 2, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
David Winer was down this morning to install the new thwarts on the Old Town canoe. He made
them at home from a plank of red oak, and you will have no problem seeing which of the three
Old Towns it is as it looks so much better than the others.
Thursday -- September 3, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Yesterday afternoon several teenagers who were not associated with the Club were observed using
the swimming float. Afterwards they swam to the Island where they were told it was private
property and that they could not stay because of insurance liability. It should be noted that
because of the great popularity this year of the rope over the water on the towpath side, this
has happened several times.
Friday -- September 4, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Susan Richardson came down today, pulled her canoe out, put it up on a couple of saw horses,
sand papered it, and painted it. Watching a single woman do all this on her own is enough to
make certain caretakers skulk about, feeling inadequate.
Monday -- September 7, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
We received a call around 0940 from Cecily Abram who had encountered a person on the trail who
indecently exposed himself to her and a friend. The man (black male, turquoise shorts, running
shoes, no shirt) then followed them back up to the parking lot where they fled in her car. She
had just enough battery in her cell phone to call us to report the incident. We immediately
called the Park Police sub-station at Glen Echo, but there was no answer. We then called Park
Police dispatch ((202-619-7300) where they did not know where Sycamore Island was and were slow
to grasp the details or the fact that because Cecily had just used a cell phone the perpetrator
was still in the parking lot. Unconfident about their response, we then called the mounted
dispatch to talk to Office Bill Thomas, who came to the last monthly meeting to speak precisely
about this type of incident, but he was not on today. We then called 911 dispatch, who were
very competent, held us on the phone while they called the Park Police, and then came back on
the say units had been dispatched. We were shortly thereafter called by the Park Police asking
for more details and informing us that the Park Police Chopper had been dispatched. Definitely
the first call should have been to 911 instead of the Park Police... which the Caretaker's Wife
had maintained all along.
Tuesday -- September 8, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Tryon Wells came down yesterday with 4 new fans to be installed upstairs. Today he came down
and spent several hours assembling them and drilling holes into the steel beams to which they
can be attached. He has thus done everything short of what a certified electrician should do,
and this should save the electrician considerable time and the club considerable money .
Friday -- September 11, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
I met the wife of the owner of the house behind the Roger's Sycamore store as she was putting
a "for rent" sign up. This is where we have been given permission to park our car on
Walhonding. She assured us she would speak to whomever the new tenants would be, and that
it would be unlikely they would want to use the street parking in lieu of the garage at the
back of the house. Rental price is $2800.
Saturday -- September 12, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Ann Zahn called to say that she would like to donate a portrait to the Club that she has
done of John Thomson, and will bring it down before next Saturday's memorial service.
Despite messages left and e-mail attempts, there has been as of yet no communication from
Mary George Kronstadt about the time of Arnold Kronstadt's memorial service next Sunday, or
about the set-up logistics.
Saturday -- September 19, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
It was a magnificent day for the John Thomson Memorial Picnic. There were 227 people logged
in on the ferry. The tent was splendid, the bag piper was stirring and could be heard all
the way up at MacArthur blvd. calling the people down. Our own Peter Jones and brother Steve
provided music for singing later. A pleasant time was had by all and many stayed until dark.
The Thomson Family then did a great job cleaning up the Island and preparing it for the next day.
Sunday -- September 20, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
The caterers showed up at 0800 to bring stuff down the path and prepare for the Arnold Kronstadt
Memorial Service. At 0900 the Monk Jon Randolph and Member son Victor Crook arrived to man the
ferry for the event, which started at 1000. Valet parking was provided across from the Sycamore
store and a string quartet provided music in the tent. Johnna Robinson was here to represent
the Club. The family insisted on bringing a wheelchair bound person down, and 911 was called
to "make the return trip safer and easier."
There were 138 people logged in for the Kronstadt event, and with Members arriving in the
afternoon the total for the day reached 174. There was again trouble with the toilets being
clogged, but this seems to be because of excessive use of toilet paper and not because of a
Monday -- September 21, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Busy day for a Monday... about 35 people. The upstairs toilet clogged yet again. There are
many guests, and one wonders if women guests are flushing strange things unknowingly or
uncaringly. This is maybe the fourth time in a month it has happened, always after large
numbers of people with guests are on the Island.
Tuesday -- September 22, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
We were startled at night, around 2045 hrs, to hear the sounds of men at the open door of our
quarters. This was quite an adrenaline rush for Phyl, myself, and my Mother, as the last
person had left the Island hours before. It turned out to be George Malusky, apologetic at
being so late in bringing a kayak down the river. The caretaker's opinion is that he should
have fallen on his sword, or gone over Little Falls, or just about anything except show up
unannounced at our door long after dark. I have reason to believe that the "Strange
Encounter" of last spring is not the only time strangers have been on the Island after dark,
and I will ask at the next meeting for permission to keep a shotgun on the Island.
Wednesday -- September 23, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Our electrician, John Tucker, showed up early and was met by Tryon Wells on the Parkway with
the key to the towpath. The Caretaker's Mother was visiting and so a vacation day was in
effect. Jon Randolph showed up to be the substitute caretaker, but not before John Matthews
and Johnna Robinson, who were here to consult on the major project underway in the clubroom.
Four new fans have been bought, and three new lights. The upstairs is being rewired to
Thursday -- September 24, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Tryon Wells was here again all day supervising the two electricians, and pulling wire
alongside. This is two days of hard work he has put in for the Club. We now have six fans
upstairs... all on variable switches. We have three new lights... very stylish... all with
separate switches and dimmers. The two old fans with lights attached are on separate switches
that also control the lights below them. One of the problems from before was that kids of all
ages were jumping up to grab the pull strings for both fans and lights, and thus they were
frequently broken. Now all control switches for lights and fans are hard wired at the wall.
Friday -- September 25, 1998 -- The Club is OPEN
Again the electricians showed up about 0830 to complete the upstairs work on the fans and
lights and to install the new, hard wired, smoke alarm system. Before they left at 1645 they
had also installed a new front porch light outside the Caretaker's door, newly important
considering the experience of the men appearing out of the dark at our door last Tuesday
night. At that time it was difficult to look out of our lighted front door and count, much
less identify, the figures in the dark.
John Matthews and his son brought down 275 pounds of grass seed around lunch time. It rained
shortly afterwards, but later that afternoon he returned and drafted Jim Drew, here to make
shelves for his locker, to use the lawnmower to try to mulch the fallen leaves on some parts of
the Island. John then used a wheeled broadcast seeder he had brought down to seed much of the
Island. The type of seed is the tall fescue, Kentucky #31.