Almost everyone in these environs got rumbled out of bed this morning. I heard the racket but didn't see the lightning which I understand was extensive . . . This afternoon Bob (with Eric W.'s help) bought the laptop computer that Rick May approved of. Now all he has to do is learn how to use it . . . When the big silver maple in front of 706 Green comes down tomorrow the last vestige of Ruth DeGroot will disappear from our block. Ruth was already a long-time resident when I moved here in 1963. She was a hair stylist (fancy term not used back in the old days) and had operated a salon in her home, but by the time I arrived the place was a men's rooming house . . . She was a neighborhood fixture and swept the sidewalk and gutters almost daily. In the summer at day's end she would sit on her stoop and enjoy a large "ice tea." Bob was treated to one of those "teas" one afternoon and discovered that the water glass was filled with bourbon (and very easy on the water) . . . Ruth loved her trees, and when one died she planted two silver maples. She was warned that they would damage the sidewalk but she shrugged off the warning. She was, by that time, in her late eighties and said she wanted the shade of mature trees before she died . . . She got her wish and even in her late nineties she could still be seen sweeping the walk and enjoying her tea. She lived to be 101 or more, if my memory is correct . . . Having tests at the hospital tomorrow morning, so we may be late in opening . . .