Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More Pages from an Unkept Journal


I was wrong - there was a 3-year period, from 1969 to 1972,when I didn’t live near any woods. We began our married life bunking in Bonnie’s parents’ basement, but quickly discovered how untenable the situation would be, since Bonnie’s father had a fully stocked bar in the basement and was wildly enthusiastic about showing it to his frequent guests. This, you may imagine, made for some uncomfortable moments, especially late in the evenings. We rapidly began searching for an apartment (I sometimes wonder if that wasn’t his plan all along - to gently oust us.)

We moved into an apartment complex in Rochester, which was quite an adventure in itself. Our neighbors (6 apartments to a building) represented a variety of personality types, some of which we had never before encountered (this may call for a separate entry.) We lasted there for a little over a year, and then moved to a mobile home park in the bucolic town of Palmyra, home of the Hill Cumorah Pageant, an annual Mormon ritual held to celebrate their religion. Since we lived only about two miles up the road, and our park was converted into a temporary Mormon parking lot and we couldn’t have driven anywhere if we had wanted, we attended the 1971 Pageant just to see what the fuss was all about. It was quite entertaining, but didn’t persuade us to convert. I seem to remember that the Pageant’s producers claimed that it never rained on the nights that the pageant was held. If so, they lied. We got thoroughly wet that night.

Also in 1971, we experienced our one and only tornado. It wasn’t a very big one, but it was big enough to cause substantial damage. The park was situated to the east of Route 21, and there were cornfields both west of the road and east of the park. All that flat land gave the tornado room to swing, and we were treated to the sight of storage sheds being lifted 50 feet into the air, and carried out into the cornfields. Airborne sheds are a daunting sight, especially to a young married couple who never expected to encounter such a meteorological marvel.

We lived on a corner lot in the park, and in the winter of 1971-72 we received a goodly amount of snow, and discovered that the outfit contracted to plow the park’s streets thought that corner lots were a dandy place to put the excess plowed snow. We arrived home from work one night (we commuted to Rochester each morning) to discover our driveway obliterated, buried beneath a solidly packed edifice of snow that stood as high as our trailer.

We decided to move.

(I’m sorry. There were no woods in this entry. There were some woods a couple miles up the road from the park, but we were too busy to explore them. They will return in the next installment.)


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