Afterwards I was off to roam with camera,
looking for images, wonders and thoughts. There was the Valley Hospital,
mental institute. I 've been wondering for a long time about those buildings
up there on the hill, overlooking the Connecticut River, across from the
A lost world there, sort of mysterious and forbidding. And so I drove up that hill, parked and began to wander among the old buildings, taking photographs of wonderful, billowy clouds from the hilltop. But I felt uncomfortable, at first, as if I was trespassing in a place I shouldn't be.
I roamed the sidewalks and backyards, visiting this remnant of an earlier part of the century, thinking of the lost souls who once lived within the dark walls of buildings that were now wracked with arthritis.
Eventually I came to a cemetary, two of them actually, side by side. There were veterans in one and local citizens of Middletown in the other. I was surprised by the number of statues of saints, deities, and child angels.
Click went the shutter - click again. And what to do with the images.
Tired, after an afternoon well spent, I slid back into the car and went off for a visit with my Mom in North Haven, to share with her and any visitors, photos I'd taken of the Labor Day Road Race. I bypassed the Durham Fair, too many cars, too many people -- a line of cars stretching into infinity. Maybe later, on the way home. . .
Aunt Mary and Ruth were at Mom's and they enjoyed the road-race photos.
Then it was time for supper with Val and Clem at Morris Cove in New Haven. We ate and talked with Clem about her recent paintings. Then Val and I made a short trip, camera in hand, to photograph sunset at Stony Creek. After that, one drink at Sullivan's Irish Pub in Branford and I was on my way home.
I turned off the highway and thought to drive straight on, a bit tired and ready for a good night's sleep. Yet at the turn-off where I should bypass the fairgrounds, I made a decision and headed straight toward the fair. I wanted to see it; what was it like, those echos after the fair?
When the last of the patrons had gone away, when the cattle were being driven home, when the tents were empty and the ground covered with leftover litter, and the rides, standing quiet and alone. Were there ghosts there and who were those ghosts? Quietly, the days images came together in my mind and suddenly I knew what to do.
"Hey! -- wake up you guys!".
"Stretch -- Yawn"
"Come on! Get up!"
"Hurry up! Hurry up!"
"Awww! Let's play for a while -- the clouds are so juicy today."
"Come on -- I'll beat ya slidin down the big one."
"Me says . . ."
"I'm first . . ."
ZOOM! ZOOM! . . .
"Its over -- the fair's over!"
"That's not right!"
"We got here too late!"
"But . . . "
"Never mind . . . "
"But . . ."
"I SAID Never mind . . . "
"I never got to ride . . ."
"Or to dance!"
"Never! Not at all . . . ."
"Did you sing? . . ."
"Only a few songs"
"But you played!"
"Yes, I played . . . in the clouds . . . "
"Okay! There's lemonade!"
"And hot dogs . . ."
"There. It says . . . "
"Awww! Can't you see -- its closed up too."
"Just one ride then..."
"The dragon -- I want the dragon."
"No! I want the spinning wheel!"
"Well, if you insist."
"Then go. Do it!"
"But . . . but, they're turning off the lights -- make them stop."
"Yeah, I wish I could buddy."
"Animals then -- there must be horses."
"Rabbits and chickens!"
"Kids too -- lots of kids."
"No. They're gone."
"Oh -- all gone?"
"Yep! -- "
"We gotta go. Now."
"Back there . . . to the place?"
"But . . . I don't like it there."
"Too bad. It's where we live."
"Because! . . . That's why -- because."
"Anyway: It's no fun here."
"But I like the lights."
"And the rides!"
"Time to go home."
"What do you want to do now?"
"I don't know!"
"Let's make our own fair."
"Yeah! That's a good idea."
"Me too -- me too!"
"Okay! Everybody's in -- Let's go . . ."
"Yahoo! On with the fair . . . "
". . . and don't let the bedbugs bite."
"Ha!ha!ha!ha! . . . ."
"Hey you guys -- wake up!"
"What we doin today?"