Saturday, October 27, 2012

1991 Perfect Storm and the Frankenstorm

     The 1991 Perfect Storm, also known as the Halloween Storm, was followed about a month later by another huge Atlantic Ocean storm.  The second storm stirred up the Atlantic Ocean even more than the first one.  Then, in the beginning of January, Edgar and I took a trip to Atlantic City, on a beautiful day, to walk on the boardwalk.  What a surprise greeted us.

     The beach was covered with clam shells from the ocean line to the boardwalk, at least a foot deep, and as far as we could see, from Longport to the Inlet.  The clams were still alive and were spitting out water.  We later found out that they were called "pisser" clams.  We took photos of this massive covering of shells and marvelled at the restauranteurs who were loading up bucket after bucket of the live clams.  The specials of that week turned out to be clam stew, clam chowder, clam pasta, etc.

     We stopped at the Philadelphia Inquirer building on our way home and the photo editor could hardly believe his eyes.  He asked for permission to print Edgar's photo, not only in the local papers, but also for the rights to syndication for national distribution.

     A day or two later, we received a phone call from a geology professor from the University of Pennsylvania.  He was both delighted and full of questions and wanted to know where we took the photo, and where did the massive collection of shells occur, and so on and so on.  He told us that our photo helped to solve a problem that geologists had puzzled over for years.  There are banks of sedimentary rocks, interspersed with other rocks, that seemingly had no business being there, and now, the professor felt, the mystery had been solved.

     We also collected some conch shells which we took to the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences for authentication.  The expert told us that those shells had not been on the Jersey Shore for more than a million years.  He too wondered at our experience and told us that we had, indeed, a veritable antique and relic.
     I have a tangential relationship with a young women who is working for Women on Waves.

Quoting from its website, "Women on Waves sails a ship to countries where abortion is illegal. With the use of a ship, early medical abortions can be provided safely, professionally and legally. Applicability of national penal legislation, and thus also of abortion law, extends only to territorial waters; outside that 12-mile radius (or 2 hours sailing) it is thus Dutch law that applies on board the ship, which means that all our activities are legal. Millions of women worldwide have used Mifepristone and Misoprostol to terminate pregnancy with impressive safety and efficacy. Therefore the medicines have been on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines since 2005. Women on Waves has already created enormous public interest in its efforts and has completed successful campaigns in Ireland (2001), Poland (2003,) and Portugal (2004), and Spain (2008)."

     If, and it is a big if, Romney gets elected, or even worse, if a Republican Congress gets elected too, the WAVE organization won't have far to go. They can anchor their ships off the Jersey Shore.

      I remember the olden days when back alley abortions resulted in the death of the young woman.  Polly Bergen said that she had an abortion as a teenager and the resulting butchery left her unable to ever have any children. There was a major tragedy tragedy in the Philadelphia area when the daughter of a prominent family became pregnant. Her mother did not approve of the social standing of the father and, even though they were in love and wanted to get married, the mother took her daughter to a back alley for an abortion. And the daughter died. Mediczlly approved abortions were not available.

      And all of this hoopla over women's reproductive rights is being generated by 17th and 18th century thinking men. Their thinking must be that women don't have the right to express an opinion. Is their next step to deny women the right to vote? We must keep the narrow minded politicians out of office.  

     Hooray for the people who have strong moral principles and adhere to them but part of that morality must be not to infringe on my freedoms. Those zealous, fundamentalists must be kept out of office. You know how to read. Protect everybody's rights.