July Road Notes, Day 18: Raging Cascades and A Thriving Work Ethic

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July 22, 2021, Du Bois, PA– The earnest young lady seemed not to take more than a moment’s rest, as the crowd in D’s Diner enjoyed their somewhat late Thursday evening dinners. I got there around 7:30, having decided to take I-80 West, instead of New York’s Southern Tier-as it was getting towards dusk-and familiarity counts for something, at night. I enjoyed a dish I have not eaten in 35 years: Chicken croquettes-and they were every bit as good as I recall. The AC issue has been fixed, and both of the owners were in the dining room, reminding me of my friends at Zeke’s. The hostess/all trades person, whom I mentioned at the top, was also making sure that the operation was top shelf. She has “cover girl” good looks, but it is always personality and ingenuity that stay in my mind, when encountering a new person, anymore. That young woman is going to go places; initiative matters.

The day started in Concord, NH, with a walk around the Capitol District. The seat of government is undergoing some renovation, as you will note.

New Hampshire State Library
New Hampshire State Capitol, from an alley.
New Hampshire’s pre-eminent statesman
New Hampshire State Capitol, Concord

After leaving Concord, it was time to head towards Vermont. I made a drive through Hanover, NH and Dartmouth College, briefly noting the Ivy League institution’s architecture.

Summer classes are in swing, Dartmouth College
Main Chapel, Dartmouth College

Then, I stopped in the small towns of Springfield and Bellows Falls, as it was around lunch time. I went into Flying Crow Coffee Shop, complimented the owner on the touch of class that her shop brings to Springfield, and shared her joy at the lovely park, behind the shop, that celebrates the Cascades of the Black River.

Comtu Cascades, Black River, Springfield, VT
Flying Crow Coffee Company, Springfield, VT

As there was no food being served at Flying Crow, and since none of the restaurants she mentioned were open, I headed to Bellows Falls, and came upon Little Lisai’s Corner Deli. It is a smaller operation of the Lisai family, who have been in Bellows for several years, and who once had a larger market. Brent Lisai and his small crew offer top notch salads, soups and sandwiches, in the tradition of the great delicatessens of New England and Upstate New York mill towns. Yes, I grew up in such a town, and this deli passes muster.

Crossing southern Vermont and into the TriCities of the Hudson Valley, I made note that Albany, although the butt of many hipster jokes, is full of exquisite architecture, and would be a great place to spend a day or two, in the near future. Maybe it can be on the return leg of an anticipated Cross-Canada & northern states jaunt, next May and June.

After the aforementioned dinner, I drove across Pennsylvania’s northern tier, and ended up at Du Bois Mansion Motel. The titular mansion is seen below, a remnant of Du Bois’s paper mill days.

Du Bois Mansion

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 53: Commonalities

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July 23, 2020-

I was just sitting around today, writing two more chapters of my memoirs, and musing about what it is going to take to push the dry air out of our area, after two days of looking at heavy, dark clouds that are five miles to the east. (Prescott is alot like Ojai, or Reno, a dry bubble in the middle of a rainforest).

I also think about what I like about the two seemingly opposite groups, on our social scene. Here are things I like about progressives:

  1. Value of courtesy
  2. Acting from the heart
  3. Thinking of others, before themselves
  4. Planning ahead
  5. Work ethic
  6. Inclusivity

Here are things I like about conservatives:

  1. Value of courtesy
  2. Acting from the heart
  3. Thinking of others, before themselves
  4. Planning ahead
  5. Work ethic
  6. Inclusivity

The differences are there, but we need not dwell on them. Individual initiative may be found in both groups. The welcoming of change is greater among progressives. Cherishing of tradition is greater among conservatives. Yet, both groups find room in their worlds for adaptation and preservation.

That’s where I find the state of what matters most.

The Road to 65, Mile 167: Safe/Unsafe

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May 14, 2015, Chino Valley- I spent today supervising graduating high school seniors, who chose not to join their Class Trip to Orange County, but were in school to do- nothing.  Their tests finished, their year’s work accomplished, the kids sat and quietly either socialized or played cards, while I read more about building a natural diet, in a largely ersatz economy.  There was to be a semi-instructional video shown, but it was not at the school.  The saving grace was that their parents could rest assured that they were in a safe environment.

Anyone who has raised teenagers knows the feeling, that these people who look like adults and, in the best of circumstances, carry themselves as adults, are still our babies.  I was as likely to fret over our son when he was in high school, or for that matter, when he was in college, as I was when he was younger.

Imagine then, the horror felt by the mother of a 16-year-old boy, an honour student, a self-starter who took the initiative both around home and at his part-time job, when he was killed-at a bus stop- by a wayward pickup truck trailer.  The facts are still being gathered, but there was a collision between the truck that was hauling the trailer and another vehicle.  One was turning left and the other was going straight.  It’s still not known for certain, who had the right of way.

Some things ARE certain, though: The student had the right to feel safe at his bus stop.  His mother, who is visually-impaired, had the right to reasonably expect that her son would come home after school, and help her around the house, as he had done for several years.  His sister, and cousins, had the right to expect, all other things being equal, that he would continue to make them proud, with his consistent achievements.

We never know when the “bell will toll”.  Many of us have heard this, week in and week out- at our places of worship, at  school and at the neighbourhood gathering spot.  I’ve had my own brushes with death- and so far, so good.  Having seen my youngest brother, then my wife, go through gradual declines just underscored my understanding of this concept.

I am not sure I will ever really comprehend what almost seems a capricious taking of life, however.  The life of a child, or of a teen, seems almost sacrosanct- and yet…..