I was poking about on the internet when I found a piece of my childhood online.
Originally I was from a small town in Litchfield county Connecticut, New Milford to be exact. Our home was an old clapboard house with an enormous barn and fields flanking both sides. A forest filled with all sorts of treasures lay behind our property. In front of our house ran the dirt road that was our sole link to civilization.
I remember exploring within those woods and finding a rusted out car that was something along the lines of a Model –T. The paint was long gone along with the seat’s upholstery and any padding it once had. All that was left were the rusted out coils of spring poking out of the moldering pile of leaves within. Since we couldn’t actually play in the car, it was only of passing interest, the numerous trash piles were far more interesting. We would find mysterious bits and pieces of metal, horseshoes and a large assortment of glass bottles. A few of the bottles were still intact and we would drag them home to clean them up. Some of them were milk bottles with the painted labels still legible. Others were pretty little colored glass bottles, probably for patent medicines, their labels having long ago rotted away. My mom saved a few of the prettier ones and lined them up along the window sill to glitter in the sunlight.
For a good five mile stretch our road we were the only year-round residents. We were surrounded by cow fields and had a small pond with a swamp across the road from our house. A quarter mile up the road from our house, the Conover’s had a little summer home and then another mile our so there was the Rush’s much larger summer place. Both families were very kind and gracious, we would frequently go visit them when they were about. In both families the children had long since grown up and moved away, but they still had some toys tucked away. The Rush’s in particular had a very good stash of toys. In one corner of the living room they had Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys and assorted small vehicles.
It just so happens that one of the Rush’s children is the folk singer Tom Rush. I was talking to Meryl the other the day and I mentioned to her that I knew his parents. This inspired me to do a little online searching and I found his web site. I poked about a bit and then I clicked on a link to his sister’s Bed and Breakfast, The Quid. And there it was a little piece of my childhood.
The Quid was their parent’s house. If you go to here, which is the living room, you can see the room in which my brother and I used to play. The toy box was about where the white arm chair with the large floral print is now. The furniture has been shifted about, but it is the very same room that I remember. And yes, there even was an old wasp nest hanging from the rafters back then. I really should drop them a line and tell them about my memories of their parents and of their summer home. It is nice to see that the land is pretty much the same now as it was then. A little bit wild and untamed.