Monthly Archive: June 2015

Office of the Dead

Office of the Dead

News from far away. None of it good. A walk through empty streets. Light begins to fade. A long-shuttered restaurant. Something happened to the owner. Sign over the door says: “The Area’s Best Kept...

Self-Guided Tour

Self-Guided Tour

I stop by to pay a visit to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. I’m early. Visiting hours don’t begin for another half hour. I sit on the porch and look at the view....

Old Air

Old Air

On a whim I turn down a narrow and degraded lane called Memory. I wind up at a lonesome country club. I have been here before. It has been many years. It may have been...

Looking for Robert M. Coates

Looking for Robert M. Coates

The collie and I were on the trail of some literary ghosts. We were following directions provided in a letter written sixty-five years ago by Robert Coates to Malcolm Cowley. Along the way we...

The Town Tomb

It’s a beauteous Dour Hour, calm and free, down at Pandora’s Tavern. The early June sun is sinking low in its tranquility. The windows of the tavern are thrown open wide. I sit near...

Called Back

Around back of Emily Dickinson’s Homestead. Lots of visitors but they are very quiet. All of them are on the phone, just listening. Apparently there’s a number you dial for an official recorded guided...

Visitation

Here is where Herman Melville wrote Moby Dick. And Pierre. And Israel Potter. And The Confidence Man. And Billy Budd. The docent at this historic home in the Berkshires is a college student. This...

Seeking Roots

An email in my box from one of those genealogy sites, with this subject heading: “John P., experience a whole new Ancestry”. Okay. I take the bait and open the message. It’s blank. Nada....