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A little Nostalgia
Author: TriSec    Date: 07/17/2010 01:26:57

Good Morning!

[Posting this Friday pm so I don't have to turn on the computer Saturday.]

We're heading up to the North Country for what amounts to a 48-hour vacation. A curious thing happened...about 6 weeks back, Mrs. TriSec got an email concerning a visit to Conway Scenic Railroad by our old friend "Thomas the Tank Engine".

Well, young Javi saw it, and decided that he wanted to go so he could "feel like a kid again." (He's 9.) I suppose I can't blame him; Thomas was a favorite around these parts until he hit grade school and it wasn't "cool" anymore. We're still tripping over the dozens of die-cast Thomas toys that we never got rid of.

I'm thinking about the entire Mt. Washington Valley these past few days. I too spent a lot of time up there when I was a boy, and Conway Scenic is an old favorite of mine, too. But we're not quite headed there straightaway; this morning we're heading up I-93 to Clark's Trading Post. Curiously, I had never visited this place as a child, so it's got no "nostalgia factor" for me. We were more into natural things, thanks to the Scouts.

I tried once in our pre-Javi days to hike in to Arethusa Falls with Mrs. TriSec. I don't think it's that hard of a hike, about a mile and a half over some moderate terrain for a great payoff; New Hampshire's highest waterfall. I had gone in there many times with old Pack 61 (Saugus), but Mrs. TriSec and I never made it. Mrs. TriSec derided climbing over boulders 'the size of Buicks", so we gave up.

Storyland is another one of those places...in fact, a local TV commercial has a young father "morphing" into a young boy and running over the place with his own son, then changing back at the end of the ad. It's playing on that whole "nostalgia" thing....but again that isn't doing it for me.

I am looking forward to the brief drive over the Kancamagus Highway from Lincoln to North Conway. We'll take Bear Notch Road down into the tiny hamlet of Bartlett, NH Somewhere along Route 302, I'll have my eyes peeled for the "Skidaddlers" lodge. Some of our adults in the Pack were founding members of the ski club...so the Pack always got to stay up there a few weekends in the summer as a "freebie".

So....what does it for you? We all have our cherished childhood memories. In today's throwaway and mobile society, the likelihood that any of us live near where we grew up is small, and the probability that any of our old favorite places still exist is smaller still. I'm fortunate that I live only 15 miles from my ancestral homeland, and my mother still lives in my grandparent's house...so Javi gets to play in the same yard and wander through the same woods that I did.

I'm hoping these are the things he remembers....instead of sitting in front of the computer arguing with his games.

We'll be back Sunday night!

3 comments (Latest Comment: 07/17/2010 16:05:43 by livingonli)
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Comment by BobR on 07/17/2010 13:03:42
spent my summers as a boy in a tiny house in a tiny town in the north Adirondacks, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border, a short walk from Lake Chateguay. My parents owned a tiny strip of beach on the lake about 50 feet from the boat building shop owned by my mom's cousin. My dad bought a small outboard (aluminum dinghy), and we'd swim, row or putter around the lake, cook red hots, and play with my uncle's pet raccoons. My uncle lived next door. He drove an 18-wheeler to Montreal every day. Sometimes he'd park it in the driveway. He'd also bring fireworks back from Canada.

I went by there about 10 years ago. The little house had long since burned down. My uncle had moved, and I couldn't find which was his house, despite the indelible images in my memory of it and the place across the street. The little grocery/gas station on the corner had become a private residence. The little beach front now owned by someone else looked a lot smaller and sadder than I remembered. The boat shop looked abandoned, my mom's cousin having died years previous.

We were in a hurry and didn't stay long. I'd like to go back again sometime and see if I can find things again. However, I'm not naive enough to think I'll be able to find my youth there.

On a slightly less dramatic track, we are back in Atlanta this weekend, so we can revisit some of our old haunts.

Comment by Will in Chicago on 07/17/2010 14:01:05
I was a city kid growing up, so I had the rare trip to the country and the forest preserves. I seldom went to amusement parks, so I don't think my body ever adjusted to them. (The few times I have gone as an adult have been difficult, and reminded me to skip breakfast.)

I love nature, but my allergies as a child limited some of my enjoyment of it.

In the bad news, the car is still in the shop. So, I am hoping for good news on Monday.

Comment by livingonli on 07/17/2010 16:05:43
Hal Sparks is on WCPT right now.