The [Former] Blog Ian

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Next Stop, Shelburne Falls

After our adventures on Long Island and Manhattan we headed north--ultimately to Maine, but first we made our way to Shelburne Falls, MA, to visit Marysia's junior-high-era friend, Kara Ballentine and her family. In order to avoid the NYC traffic, we decided to take the ferry from Port Jefferson, Long Island, to Bridgeport, Connecticut, home of the creator of Pogo, Walt Kelly.

Also home to circus entrepreneur, P.T. Barnum, which is why the ferry was named...

...and why Pogo included a blustery character named P. T. Bridgeport, who, in this particular strip is trying to convince Pogo to run for president (which he often did and continues to do).

While riding the ferry across Long Island Sound, we had a bit of lunch.

From Bridgeport we drove north through Hartford and Northampton (where Marysia used to live and co-run a day-care) to scenic Shelburne Falls. The Falls themselves can be seen in the background of this photo of Kara, Marysia, Ian, and Bob. The town is known for its scenic beauty and for the many artisans in the area. Bob chairs the English Department of a high school now, but for five years he was a glass blower here.

Bob and Kara live in a cool, 19th century house that is walking distance from the Falls and a excellent restaurant, Martin's, where their daughter, Paula, works and where we all had a fine meal.

'Course, just because the house was built 150 years ago doesn't mean that it can't have a few amenities. Here Ian had his first-ever swim in a pool--wearing cool swimming-suit diapers! Bob looked on in amazement.

Also on hand that night was Wiley's son, Brian, seen here with Paula and your humble narrator. Brian and Paula have been friends since Maria Galbraith baby-sat them 18 years ago.

From Shelburne Falls we took a day trip down to Northampton to see Marysia's old haunts and to have brunch at Sylvester's, where she used to wait tables.

Marysia sighed a few times as she thought about those halcyon days.