We’re still basking in the afterglow of Caitlin’s visit, which included a classical guitar concert at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall Tuesday and her shopping spree Wednesday at Oliva, in the heart of the beautiful upstreet mercantile district of Lenox.
Speaking of fancy vinegars, already a devotee of Bragg’s raw – unfiltered apple cider variety (the one with the ‘mother’), now I’ve added Oliva’s blackberry ginger balsamic variety, which I’m told is delicious drizzled on ice cream!
Hard as it is to impress kids these days, especially kids of the au courant + vegan variety, of which mine is the model, veritably the epitome of all that’s good in the young youth of America, but I did – with a mesclun salad from my plot in the community garden.
I grew up in the midst of 50 or so first cousins dristributed between the families of my mother (Conlin) and father. Two of my mother's seven sisters became nuns the others married men named: Conlin women married men named Bennett, Crawford, Heintz, McCabe, and Walsh; my father's two sisters married men named Hall and Barry!
No better way to celebrate getting to 70 while yet fit enough to remain upright for hours at a time, regardless the terrain! Matthew and I first checked out the new boardwalk installed by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council just off Undermountain Rd. in Lenox. It affords access to sweeping views of Parson’s Marsh, which I’ve peered at from Kennedy Park for decades.
Since the Parson’s Marsh trail is a way to get into the wild without getting your shoes wet, much less breaking a sweat, we next went to Kennedy Park for a much more aerobic jaunt up to the gazebo, where we delighted in an awesome view of Mount Greylock. These are cell phone photos and video – good enough for such an event makes it is easier to leave the fancy Canon home, alas.
Maggie threw a 7 day party at her posh Berkshires retreat and we had a blast: Maggie, Mary, Phran, Cate, Kyle, Ryan, Cameron, Scarlett, Clover, Tristan, Matthew, Maureen, and me.
It was a week that’ll replenish me for a year, the year thus far being fun-filled, and interesting, a new sort of sadness losing a friend to dementia, a dear friend suffering a child’s death, the death of Uncle Billy (the last of my father’s six siblings), and the Leafs dropping another game 7 in Boston.
My six year friendship/tutorial with Donald Hall came to a close with his funeral and burial in New Hampshire the week before the BSO opened their 8 week Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood, so there was/is plenty to write about. I’m getting clued into things that may already be apparent to you.
Thinking about the effect on my ability to write profitably (in re: both Mammon and the Muse) my scant acquaintance with Don Hall only showed me that people are signifiers, not paradigms. And that a writer’s primary and unfinishable project is the fashioning of his own mythology – his best try at making sense, at writing in ink not pencil who I am, where am I, where did I come from, how did I get here, wherever here is, and why – why me?
I became a better writer during that span – in the midst of which sister Martha died, I got gravely ill, and cousins died, including Michael Crawford. Next, I need to revise the myth that I’d disdained writing as a career when I was 24. New version acknowledges the young man’s fear, and proceeds faithfully.
While there is no reconciliation with death, without it we are carefree; sometimes, death is a catalyst. And a week with seldom-seen family is all the replenishment I need.
Photos taken Oct. 1, 2017 by Dave Conlin Read, out “around the loop” in Oswego NY.
Photos of the Oswego River taken Oct. 1, 2017 by Dave Conlin Read.
Photos taken out “around the loop” along the Lake Ontario shore near Rudy’s, Oswego NY.
Snapshots from the wedding of Loan and Tam, June 25, 2017 at St. Paul’s in Springfield followed by reception in Ludlow.