The work on the film has occupied weeks. Here are some highlights and lowlights from the intense days of blog silence.
- My emotional reactions were far more intense than I expected. Mostly it had to do with listening to people who had known those great ladies Bertha James Lane, Helen James Chisholm and Anna Louise James.
- I didn’t have the same ferocity when people talked about my mother, but I did have one “back in time” experience. We visited a house with a great many items from the store, from my grandparents’ house, from my parents’ house. I happened to look on a shelf in the kitchen. A note rang in my head. There was a bell about eight inches tall. I picked it up and let the clapper fall against the side. It was the sound of my childhood. My mother used that bell to call me for dinner. It has a good home.
- Old Saybrook has two spectacular coffeehouses. I didn’t eat anything at either place, so here’s the comment on the basic commodity. Caffee Toscano offers an intimate setting and serves mostly takeout. With Lavatazza on the menu and the owner behind the counter, how could it go wrong? A plus is that it doesn’t offer those fruit- and vegetable- flavored drinks that claim to be coffee. Ashlawn Farm Coffee [typed “coffee farm” the first time] tries for hipster cool. The little attitudinous witch that pretended to be in charge did not inspire a return visit. But the actual beverage I tasted has good robust and smooth flavor. Plus, if one waiting at the train station because the Amtrak app has screwed up, one can park for two hours in spaces that used to welcome actual passengers.
- One of the joys of living in New England is the ubiquity of lobster rolls. My deprived California cousins made up for lost time, and I got to eat at an O.S. institution for the first time. Johnny Ad’s opened summers only when I was a little kid as a tiny shack with a couple of tables. It has gone through at least three expansions that I could see, but I’d never been there until we had our first lobster rolls on October 22. A revisit is in the cards as it was among the best on the Shoreline.
And just so folks don’t think Ash, Kathryn, and I did nothing but eat and drink coffee, here’s the beginning of a brief summary what else we did:
- October 18 [Saturday]: revise schedule
- October 19: scout artifacts and ephemera from the pharmacy, grandparents’ house and parents’ house
- October 21: scout artifacts at the Old Saybrook Historical Society archives. Carry lots and lots of film and audio equipment – mostly not me; drive to Clinton to purchase fabric for keeping glare off picture frames; revise film schedule
- October 22: set up film equipment; pick up two scholars from the train station; entertain the scholars at dinner; review their schedule
To be continued…