Sunday, April 07, 2013

Working Hands

From time to time I pull a golden oldie out my hip pocket.   Such is the case with this one of a codger and his pen knife making a whistle from a pea pod.   We found our fun anywhere we could back in the hardscrabble 1830s I can tell you that. 

The scene was Old Sturbridge Village in western Massachusetts in the early 1970s and may have been at Thanksgiving.   We enjoyed several Thanksgivings at Sturbridge when we westerners gloried in the colors, tastes and rich history of New England.  New England became our true home, the place where we spent thirty years, our children became adults and my restaurant career flourished and flagged till I rode off into the sunset 10 years ago.

Our gambrel colonial home in Ipswich was the Dennis Dodge house built in 1740.  Replete with seven fireplaces, a Jacobean staircase and a walk in fireplace with a beehive oven in the kitchen the house was magic to me.  My drive home from my office in Burlington was a 45 minutes of freeway travel and never did I regret the trip or stop relishing my return.  Garrett was baptized by Edward French at the Episcopal Church down the street.  French who had been John Updike’s Harvard roommate drove a 1968 Mercedes convertible, my favorite vehicle ever, and was married to a fiery redheaded Ballantine heiress.  Updike had also lived in Ipswich but had moved to Georgetown, Massachusetts with his former mistress and now wife.   I could write a book.  Oh wait, Updike did that.  It was a potboiler called Couples.

Old Sturbridge Village is a living museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts which recreates life in rural New England from the 1790s through the 1830s. The Village includes 59 antique buildings, three mills and a working farm.  Customed interpreters like our old friend share the mysteries of early nineteenth century life with visitors from around the globe.
This image unlike the large format portrait posted on March 18 is from a scanned 35mm negative.


Daryl A. Black said...

Quite the photograph, and a great story. Have a copy of Couples to loan??? Stories can be told in different ways by different voices. Perhaps it is time for yours to be added to the mix.

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