Jennifer on 6/7/2010 12:41:03 PM wrote:
I did not know Jim as a rascally youth, a Navy pilot, or a high school principal, I only knew him as my dear Grampa. I have many stories and photos of the years I got to spend with him. I am grateful for the time I got to spend with him growing up, for all that he taught me, and for sharing in his work and play.
I apologized to him on his last day that I had not picked up the hang of sailing, but it was only fair, as he told me "I'm gonna show you once, gal, you get us back to shore". I got us back to shore, but don't remember how, lol. It's ok, I think I am more of a beach girl like my gram anyways ;) I did however, learn more things than I could list on this page, but most importantly, one simple mantra, "one foot after the other". It's how you get through the tough times, through the work, through any challenge, to solve any problem, and when you reach the other side, you can see your strength and all the things you learned along the way. My Grampa gave me that.
I am grateful that my children had a chance to get to know him. I love watching my kids play at their various games and sing the songs I/we learned from Grampa Jim, amazed when they figure out challenges and tinker away at things, designing solutions and building the right tool for the job, yup it's genetic:) I feel privileged to have received that gene as well!!
I love you Grampa, it was obvious how much you loved us & how much you loved Gram. and also obvious, your fondness for dessert:)
David & Marcia Burns on 6/8/2010 8:40:35 PM wrote:
We, so much, enjoyed reading about the long life of a man we've known for only a brief ten plus years. A great man, and for Marcia and I, now an even greater individual-soldier, pilot, and family man. God Bless
Sam Reed on 6/9/2010 3:15:36 PM wrote:
As we say in Ireland, I was a "blow in" and so I met Mr A. when my parents were enrolling me as a Junior in CHS 09/63. I was fortunate to be arriving not only in a new town, but in a new "plant" as he would proudly refer to it. When graffiti appeared in the boys' toilet, the Principal went ballistic. With righteous indignation he assembled the whole school together and spelled out literally what had been written. The passion in him impressed upon us how ungrateful we were to the citizens of Chatham, who had provided us with this fantastic facility. To deface it was totally unacceptable. We all had a duty to help with his enquiry. He was hurt by the vandalism, but determined to discover the culprit. That's one reason why I admired him.
There was then the time when we in the chorus had been rehearsing at nauseum, a few songs for a concert to be held in the middle school. "This Is My Country" was one of them. Jim called me in to his office to inform me that Whit Tileston had taken ill and would not be conducting the choir in the concert! He then handed me the mantle and asked would I conduct for the sake of the school. I was shaking, but knew I couldn't let him down. The kids were brilliant and our two or three songs were great. Sure we could have done it blindfolded, but I got the kudos. My only mistake was in welcoming the audience, I said how (un)fortunate we were that Mr Tileston was ill and could not be with us this evening!
Mr Alcock and Mr Turner did not want me to become an undertaker! So thanks to them I headed off to teachers' college to study geography (George Peabody/Vanderbilt) I have never looked back and have spent my days as a geography teacher, Head of Department and Head Resident Master in Wesley College, Dublin.
Jim and I had a lot in common. His roots went west, mine went east, both are Celtic.
I am much indebted to Big Jim. Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.
Ruth Vesenka Lewis on 6/10/2010 12:03:49 PM wrote:
I remember my Uncle Jim, in the little things in life that we did when we came to visit Aunt Jane and Uncle Jim in Chatham. As a child I recall the he would wake early in the morning when everyone else was seemingly asleep. He would fix us cinnamon toast fingers or squares. He would take us out fishing but always remember to buy a dozen donuts on the way(just in case we didn't catch any fish). My young sister and I loved hiding in the bunk beds that he made in the guest bedroom in the basement. We were so impressed that he had made them, but still couldn't convince my father to do the same. He would take us clamming and patiently show us just how to dig for the clams or work like the dinkens with my mother(his sister Anne) to open the scallops they had caught. He would take us out sailing with him, and we would sit out in the front of their beautiful trimaran on the netting getting splashed by the waves. He always made the time to spend with my mother,my father and my siblings. He was so gently with my mother even after she started having memory issues. He never said an ill word to her. He was so supportive of my family knowing what we were going through. I will always remember Uncle Jim for his integrity, love for life and of course his love of desserts!
James Vesenka on 6/12/2010 11:52:58 PM wrote:
Uncle Jim's cinnamon toast fingers were the wake up smells before a day of fishing or scalloping in Little Pleasant Bay off Chatham. We would go "jigging" for flounder and sometimes bring up fish on both hooks. Dragging for scallops was another treat, not so much for the scallops but the bycatch I was challenged to toss back into the ocean. Ever tried to figure out the non-business end of a sea robin? I never did, but Uncle Jim did get a good chuckle watching me try to figure it out. The other hearty laugh I got out of Uncle Jim was when he asked me to unscrew the drain plug in his little motor boat while darting about in the Bay. I was so scared that we would sink and was amazed to see the water drain from the bottom of the boat as we zoomed over the bay. Year's later, as a physics teacher, I shared Uncle Jim's wisdom with my students on physics tests by giving that very same Bernoulli Principle problem.
Uncle Jim's candid description of his war experiences were honest accounts of trying to do his best when the situation appeared bleak. He always believed in God's deliverance, and his life was a testament to his belief.
jane donnelly on 6/13/2010 3:56:53 PM wrote:
I send my condolences to you and your family.
Although I have only stayed at your home a few times, I have memories of being impressed by the strength of your marriage. Whether you were going to the theater or making lobster bisque, the two of you seemed to have similar interests and to really enjoy each other's company.
I always really liked Mr Alcock's looks - tall, lanky, freckled, and above all, seafaring. I don't think I've every been around anyone before who loved the ocean as much as he did. It was such a part of his appearance.
My thoughts are with you
Gael Alcock on 6/15/2010 1:22:07 AM wrote:
My house reminds me of my father's hands, and of one of his strong notions: a guest is someone who visits on vacation, and family is someone who visits and pitches in.
He and my mom came out to our new, old (1916) house in Berkeley when our son was just born, and instead of going sight-seeing, he noticed that the dining room windows needed adjusting. He completely dismantled and replaced the rope workings the first day of the visit. The next day he started in on new window screens for all the windows and a screen door. That led to discoveries about the kitchen drawers that slid off their grooves. After a few days, the house was up to his standards, and he began on the back yard. The sight of a huge tree stump from a Eucalyptus bothered him. He was delighted to borrow my neighbor's chain saw and reduce the stump into a mountain of woodchips. I began to be alarmed when he eyed the decrepit garage; he had barely sat still for an hour the entire visit. It took all my persuasion to get him to take a walk in the Redwoods on his last day.
Now, I think of him whenever I open a drawer or a window, and when visiting friends, to look out for Eucalyptus stumps.
Jim Eldredge on 6/17/2010 3:16:57 PM wrote:
Im May of 1963, when I was graduating from Cape Cod Community College, Jim called me and said the First National Bank of Cape Cod was opening a branch in Chatham and suggested that I apply for a job! I did and now have been in banking for over 47 years, presently with Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank as Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor for the Government Banking Department. Mary Ellis, my 6th grade teacher, said I was going to be a banker and when Jim called me I remembered what she had said and jumped at the opportunity! I thank Jim, especially, for what he did for my future! God Bless you, Jim!
Jamie on 6/26/2010 9:33:35 AM wrote:
“On the job training”
In the military the term is “on the job training”. This best describes the way knowledge was passed down in our family.
My earliest memory of helping my dad was as a small child washing dishes as he dried. It seemed as though each dish or cup was inspected and many were returned for a rewash. We eventually graduated to fixing the car, dad was underneath replacing the muffler and I was the tool getter. What impresses me most about this recollection was the “Yankee Ethic” he used and instilled in me. The rusted nuts were cracked with a steel chisel and the hangers were reused. He often said that “the day after you throw out that old part will be the day you need it!”
We had the good fortune of growing up on Pleasant Bay. Dad bought old “fixer-upper” boats and with love and craftsmanship brought each boat back to life. We learned how to sail and fish by going out with dad on calm “Janie” sailing days when we would “scratch the mast” for extra wind but dad was always happier on the days when the wind was strong enough to put the lee rail under. As for fishing, he gave us an old tin boat with an antique outboard as well as a pair of oars for insurance and off we would go flounder fishing. In our teenage years, we graduated to bass fishing (larger boats, of course) and mom would kiddingly calculate the cost of each striped bass we caught.
His guidance in school was wonderful. I was an average student and before graduating my dad suggested that I attend Cape Cod Community College (a great place to start). When it came time to transfer to a four year school he sat me down to discuss my future. He reminded me about their wonderful life as educators on Cape Cod and sent me to watch Kevin Foley, a local friend and surfer, teach. That’s all it took to start my 35 year career in education.
I never had a gift for woodworking… then the day came in the 1970’s that dad told me to buy land and he would help me build my home (most people know that he build the family home in Chatham). Dad designed the house on graph paper and we scoured the Cape for reclaimed windows, doors and unusual driftwood timbers to use in the construction. He always referred to the three years it took for us to build it as a “bonding experience” between us as he gave me the experience and knowledge to work with wood.
Dad, you made me the man I am today, the gift of love for family, friends, and the sea. You gave me the ability to use my head to solve the problems that the world presents as well as the use of my hands to carve my niche in the environment. I am forever grateful to you for the things you shared with me and I am glad you had a chance to meet your new grandchildren.
Strong winds and fair tides, Dad!
Anne Isaac for Grace (Wallace) Thompson on 11/20/2011 5:02:03 PM wrote:
Jim Alcock was my 'big cousin'. My father, James Shaw Wallace was his uncle, his mother's brother.
Every second summer when I was a small child we would drive from our home in Toronto, Canada to visit Dad's sister Mary and her family. I looked up to my big cousin Jim. He was the same age as my sister Margaret, and his sister Anne was my age. I remember walking through the garden and woods where Uncle John was gardener, to the beach where we would swim and play for hours. My most vivid memory is of Jim digging into the sand to make an "airplane". Anne and I could climb down into it and sit on the seats he had fashioned out of sand. It was so wonderful to have a big boy paying attention to two little girls. Even as a teenager he was kind and generous.
The war in 1939 brought an end to our trips to Aunt Mary, Uncle John and our cousins. By the time the war was over we were grown and our family trips were a thing of the past but I have many happy memories of Cape Cod and my Alcock cousins.