I grew up in a small town, so small, the dogs used to have to wag their tails vertically. That didn’t seem to matter much, when you are young and your bodies are small, the world is a big place. Even if that world consists mainly of a couple of counties and a piece of another state.
I grew up in a time when you made your own fun. For me that was spending my time in the woods just exploring. You see, back then, boys were expected to be in the woods. It kept them out of the way. Dad used to say, “why don’t you boys go play in the traffic?” when we were bothering him. Yah, dad, what traffic?
This was before bicycle helmets were invented, penny candy meant you got two pieces of candy for your penny, Bazooka Joe was two cents and it really hit hard on our allowance when it was raised to a nickel.
We had toys such as darts with real metal tips, played with toy guns and built forts in the trees. Our friends had barns and tractors. We built dams in the brook, played baseball, caught lightening bugs in jars at night, after dark, without parents near by. Yes, we were boys, we got dirty, lost in the woods and played outside until dark.
Somewhere along the line, we became teens and discovered cars. We got through high school and went our separate ways. Some stayed, I went north to attend the University, go married and headed out to L.A. to get our first jobs. I lived in L.A. for three years (yah Toto, I wasn’t in Kansas any more) then Boulder Colorado, Tennessee and now Massachusetts.
Now I live five hours away from my childhood home, Wells, VT. Friday I had a floating day to take off, the weather was perfect and I got a bee in my britches and headed across Rt 2 over to Brattleboro and picked up Rt 30 to visit my old stomping grounds to find out, can you really go home?
Well here it is. These are some of the landmarks that I think of when I think of my home town. This shot was taken from the top of Lake Hill, over looking the Little Lake. Behind the lake in the picture is Pond Mountain which overlooks the village.
At the outlet of the Little Lake is a damn that raised the level of the lake. This spash of color was nice because it is still a little early for the fall colors.
Down in the center of the village is the library. It was open so I decided to see what it was like inside.
I went in and except for a little extra seating, it is exactly as it was when I was school. I had a great chat with the new librarian.
This is the Episcopalian church where my family went on Sundays. It was built by the first bishop in Vermont. Take a look at the top windows. They are not windows, but are painted to look like windows. This church was actually struck by lightening once, not in the steeple, but in the back along the chimney.
It’s not hard to see that this building is the grammar school. This is where I went to school from the third grade through the sixth. Back in the day, there were six grades in three rooms.
Today, the school has been extended in the back. I was shooting the building late in the afternoon and was fortunate to be able to talk with one of the teachers and one of the sixth grade students about student life, the state of the school and life in Wells. The huge piles of wood chips you see are the remains of the ash and maple trees that we played under when I was young. They were taken down two weeks ago. Sad, but hey, they were old 40 years ago when I when to school there.
I felt strange driving through my old home town with Massachusetts plates. How ironical! I’ve become a leaf-peeping flatlander. My time was short, I had to get back down to Brattleboro and meet up with my brother and his wife.