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Mattapoisett (on Buzzards Bay) 1960-64
Chestnut Hill (Newton side) 1964-66
Brookline (two locations) 1966-1991
Wilmington, Vt 1991-2004
Stow, MA 2004-
One sister lives in Concord, the other lives in Harvard, MA. Most of my stepfather's family lives on the northshore (Salem, N. Reading, Danvers, Haverhill, etc) or adjoining areas of New Hampshire.
Only one reasonably close relative on my mother's side still lives in New England (small family) - Cambridge, MA, plus an in-law on Cape Cod (Yarmouth).
I spent my first 17 years in Springfield then went away to college in upstate New York. After that I went far away. I read about the civilization of the Northeast in The Nine Nations of North America and agreed with it. I have been to some beautiful places, but whenever I went back to the Pioneer Valley I was struck by the beauty of the rolling hills and the forests.
I declare my self a displaced Yankee. I have made a new home elsewhere. Occasional injustices here remind me of occasional injustices back there. There is political corruption in every municipality. Uptightness strengthens West to East, and I don't think I could live with the high drama of the East coast anymore.
I subscribe to Yankee magazine. I have gathered books about my homeland, some already entered in LibraryThing tagged massachusetts and yankee, with some buried in other tags. Transcendentalism is a New England phenomenon, and it is half of my philosophy of living.
My ancestral roots are not deep in the Northeast, but when nationality came up in childish discussions, I claimed I was American, and all I knew was my neighborhood and what I learned in school. My maternal grandparents were from England of ostensible Scottish heritage; my mother was born in Worcestor. My paternal great-grandfather was from Germany; my father was born in Buffalo, New York. I could never get a straight answer about my paternal grandmother's ancestry. Lack of ancestral depth and antipathy to the Mayflower settlers notwithstanding, I am interested in the historical and even prehistorical depth of the Northeast, including the non-white builders of our nation -- boo to Daniel Webster, hurray for Frederick Douglass. Northeast native Americans were not a part of living history in my childhood, but we heard briefly of King Philip's War.
Sometimes, I've thought that Western Mass. would be a good place to retire to as I have relatives farther east in Mass. and my wife has relatives in the Utica-Rome area. Long Island is too expensive a place to retire in.
Amtrak runs one trip in each direction from Pittsfield & Springfield to Boston or Albany, NY. Springfield has six trains a day to Hartford, New Haven & New York; also one train a day up through Vermont to Montreal,
Peter Pan Bus Lines runs fairly frequent service from Northampton & Springfield to Boston, and has a reasonably good reputation. (Hourly?)
When I was fourteen and when I was close to twenty I took the train from Springfield to New York City. The first time we hit a truck and were about eight hours late. The second time we were just a couple of hours late but for no good reason. I once caught a ride with a friend of a friend from Ithaca into the city and then caught a train to Springfield; I was amazed that it worked. This was before Amtrak.
I kinda deserved it, but I wasn't always up to asking my parents to pay for an airline (Mohawk Airways or Airlines) ticket from Ithaca to Springfield, so I would take the Greyhound bus. I hated it and don't think in terms of long distance bus rides anymore (urban commuting by bus is perfectly okay for me, however).
I think from May to October, the answer is a motorcycle. An old manual spark advance Indian Chief would be most appropriate. But it won't take you very far easily.
I have wondered how, like, Arlo Guthrie gets to the entertainment world from Great Barrington. I wonder if he catches flights from Albany.
I miss the public library. That was one of my favorite places to be. I could get lost in the stacks for hours.
Unfortunately, I live in Texas now. I love it here, too. But I miss the ocean, and hills, and fall! (Texas only has 3 seasons: summer, winter, and "can't make up it's mind") The library here is rather small, though they redeem themselves with how able and willing they are whenever I have an ILL (interlibrary loan for those that don't know.)
I also miss the Boston Museum of Science. I swear, that is one of the greatest places on earth!
also my sister moved from RI to New Mexico...she is like you and misses the ocean and fall. Where she is she has two seasons. Hot and not hot. When she and her husband come to visit they always try to come in the fall.
It was a hot humid day so we didn't take the trail to see all of them, but we saw perhaps 2/3rds of them. Some are 24 ft. high! If you haven't been to Fruitlands, it is a couple exits west of Rt. 495 off Rt. 2. They have a 'tea room' restaurant which this time of year is under a tent; fabulous food (a lunch will cost you around $15). Besides the Fruitlands farmhouse, there is the Harvard Shaker 'office', a Native American building, and a gallery sporting a lovely collection of art from the Hudson River school of painting.
The sculptures will be there for two years.
My mother believed that Amesbury was a mostly French-speaking town, similar to the larger city of Nashua NH farther north. (Probably an exaggeration, even for that time,)
My first name comes from the scholar Roland Woodwell, whose address was Whittier Hill, Amesbury. He was a scholar of poet James Greenleaf Whittier who lived in the part of
Haverhill MA that became Amesbury.
Have you been to Fruitlands, where the Alcotts headed a utopian community for nine months? There's the farmhouse where they lived, several other small museums, and a decent restaurant.
Sarah Orne Jewett, South Berwick, Maine (not that far from you really. Take Rte 236 North after you go over the bridge between Maine and NH and after some miles you get to South Berwick)
Hartford, CT area:
Harriet Beecher Stowe (also has a house in Maine, I believe)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Cambridge, MA but his childhood home is in Portland, Maine.
Hawthorne wrote about the House of the Seven Gables but he didn't live there. When you saw the Alcott house, did you see the Hawthorne house next door? He also wrote during some summer in what is called the Little Red Schoolhouse on the backside of the Tanglewood property in Lenox, MA. It's a private residence, not open to the public but good to know, especially if you are going back out that way to see Arrowhead, Melville's house.
My niece wants to win Best of the Valley honors again for her frame shop from The Valley Advocate. I want to vote for her, but they demand a minimum of ten votes. I wondered whether anybody from the Pioneer Valley area could tell me who my other nine votes should go to? Does Friendly's ice cream still exist? Is it still the best ice cream?
Herrell's Ice Cream in Northampton.
Small Beer Press and Interlink Publishing are both out of Northampton.
Herrell's Ice Cream in Northampton.
definitely! love the bookmill. and herrells :)
There must be a book store if there's a framing shop, so The Montague Bookmill is in. There's gotta be a restaurant or ice cream so Herrell's Ice Cream is in. If bakeries are separate I'll put in Hungry Ghost Bread, because I don't know where Turners Falls is. Small Beer Press and Interlink Publishing sound like publishers, so if that's one of the categories I'll put one in. With the frame shop that's five; I need five more.
There are so many categories that it would be a fool's errand to try to sample them here. If anybody is sufficiently interested this is the ballot. It doesn't take you straight to the ballot, but you could sign in with a lie, and it doesn't commit you to anything.