Roundup of June 2021 Posts

As we noted in our June 2021 posts, the country is waking up again. The combination of warm weather, a vaccinated population, and careful behavior got us to the point where we could take off our masks and breathe again. We all welcomed this change with its return to something approximating normal life.

Covid-19 vaccine, syringe, December 2020States with low vaccination rates are fighting a new battle against Covid’s Delta Variant, however. That could take them back into the dark days of overcrowded emergency rooms and death tallies on the news. The difference is that vaccines are now readily available. When we got ours, we had to fight to get appointments. Now people get free beer or doughnuts, lottery tickets and other goodies as incentives for getting their jab. How quickly things change.

On the Tour Guide Trail

With the reassurance that outdoor activities are safe, walking tours have returned to the streets of Boston. (Also trolleys and duck boats, but I don’t do those.) While I have done just one tour for Boston By Foot, I have the regular Saturday night slot for Haunted Boston’s ghost tours. Join me Saturday nights at 7:00 pm for some fun, fresh air and history.

Every week I meet people from all over the United States. Really. I have been checking in a full house of 30 people per tour and I always ask where they are from. Their hometowns range from Los Angeles to Manhattan, Seattle to Orlando, Minneapolis to Dallas.

Central Burying Ground, Boston Common, Boston, Boylston Street, Haunted BostonThey are getting out of their homes and coming to Boston for cool weather (hah!), history, seafood, baseball, and fun. We have a good time on the ghost tours. I give them a mixture of spooky stories, historical facts, some acting, and a few jokes. The round of applause when I finish gives me a nice feeling of instant gratification.

Also, I get tips. Just FYI: when you go on a tour remember that most of a tour guide’s remuneration comes in the form of tips. We’re kind of like restaurant wait staff in that regard. Your tour guides are giving you hours of their time, the benefit of a significant knowledge base, and some sweat equity to make sure you enjoy the tour. Please reward them accordingly.

Pandemic Writing Time

Army of Darkness, Bruce Campbell, Dan Chmielewski, Sam Raimi

This is the poster Dan saw in my office

The tours eat into my writing time but that’s okay. The pandemic actually helped me write because, well, what else was there to do? It reminded me of a poster I had hanging in one of my work offices. From a movie theater lobby, it advertised the film “Army of Darkness” and the tagline was “Trapped in time, surrounded by evil, low on gas.” That kind of described how I felt during our extended national lockdown.

I tried to make my pandemic time count by editing one completed novel and writing over 40 chapters of another. It worked. I also received a piece of good writing news. An anthology that includes one of my short stories — Trickster’s Treats #4 — made the finals for a competition in Australia. Woo-hoo!

Plus, this blog, of course. Suze and I kept it rolling through lockdowns and disinfecting, hand washing and scary news stories, sheltering in place and missing our normal lives.

Roundup of June 2021 Posts

Today marks the start of our national Independence Day celebrations. People will be traveling for the Fourth, holding cookouts, oohing over fireworks, running road races, and watching parades. While the country many not have achieved 100% normality yet, we’re getting close.

While you’re chilling—or sweating under a heat dome—you can catch up on the things we wrote about last month. This roundup of June 2021 posts gives you a pretty broad spectrum of topics because Suze and I are interested in a lot of things.

Jump in and read more on any topic you like.

Boston and History



Food and Cooking

Friends and Family

Health and Safety

Lifestyle and Culture


The News in July

Now we move forward into July and, I hope, some good news. About what? About everything. Please. I would really love to have a slow news day. Wouldn’t you?

This entry was posted in Boston, Environment, Food and Cooking, Health & Safety, History, Lifestyle & Culture, Susanne Skinner, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , by Aline Kaplan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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