Just as in Colville, when we lived in New England my family liked to go for drives on the weekends. We took in New Hampshire in the fall. Entering the state by the notch near the Old Man in the Mountain, we were mesmerized by the valley laid out before our view. I suppose the adult mind would see it all as a grand mosaic. It put me in mind of a box of gumdrops, the crown of all the trees gave them that shape and their various colors completed the image.
Most of our trips were closer in, and limited to Essex County. Going north we would stop in at Rockport where my grandma grew up in nearby Pigeon Cove. We would visit my Dad’s Aunt and Uncle who lived out on Halibut Point. You had to park some distance away and walk into the property. Everything was overgrown, bushes overflowing wildly. The house was weather-beaten. I don’t know how old it was, but to give you some sense, there were no metal nails in the structure, just wooden pegs holding everything together. The Atlantic was somewhere in back of the house and probably contributed to the wear. My siblings and I went down a path in back to try to find the sea, but we had to turn back on account of the sticker bushes. My Dad told us that it was a rocky coast, and that in fact, besides the surf during storms one could hear rocks clacking together. I was wondering if the stones in the walls that made up the fences thereabouts were from down there. One of my Dad’s relatives said I should ask one of their new neighbors, who knew all about fences – Robert Frost.
Going south from Salem, and not quite to Boston, we would check out the amusement park at Revere Beach. Here were my sister’s favorites – rollercoasters. Not to me though, I still had an issue with such things, probably as a residual effect from my Monroe Street trauma. Among their rides they had one contraption, the like of which I have not seen anywhere else – the Virginia Reel. The cars were similar to those in the whip ride but in this instance they traveled a path up to the top of the structure, then zigged zagged down an incline, all the while swinging around a pivot on the device that pulled it.
And if we held on to our lunch, a stop on the way home was sometimes called for at a movie theater in Watertown. There I recall seeing the exciting adventure Flame Over India (the sun never sets on the British Empire), and the rather strange comedy – Visit to a Small Planet, with my favorite Jerry Lewis. Not on the same bill, but on separate occasions.
And then a New England moon chased us home.