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Trip to Bountiful

On Tuesday night we went to see the ArtsEmerson production of Trip to Bountiful starring Cecily Tyson. Thank you Horton Foote for writing it in 1953.

It was wonderful (closes this Sunday). After a while, especially in the second act, it was almost like I was seeing the real thing instead of a play.

It reminded me of several trips to see places where I lived in the past. A few years ago we visited the summer house in Deal, NJ where I spent the first few summers of my life. It was pretty different of course 50-60 years later, but there was some familiarity - the side yard where we used to play croquet had another house there. The owner told me that she had sold it and the new owners were tearing it down to build a new house.

Another time we visited the summer house in Stormville, NY that I spent time in middle and high school years - and my parents lived in about 8 months a year during my college years. When my parents bought it there were lots of fields including a huge blueberry field. Now the site of the blueberry field is Blueberry Lane and there are a bunch of houses on it.

The House was white, and the porch didn't have those railings. The window was the same.


And then there were my 2008 and 2010 visits to Camp Killooleet in Hancock, VT where I was a camper in '48-'51 and a counselor in '59-'61. It really looked so much like I remembered it. The buildings were the same color and much of the layout was the same. In 2008, the lake was empty because of hurricane damage to the dam; in 2010 the lake was in good shape. It and the dam looked much like I remembered it and I took out a canoe (I was canoeing counselor). The biggest difference was that the trees were bigger. This camp was run by John Seeger (Pete's brother) who was also my all-time favorite teacher (geography in 5-8th grades). Now the camp is run by Kate, his daughter, and her husband Dean. The 2010 visit was the occasion of John's memorial service. (I got to chat with Pete a bit - I'd been to his house in Beacon, NY many years before when one of my co-counsellors was housesitting there.)


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You're showing us that in some ways you can go home again.

I so wish I could have seen Cecily Tyson in "Trip to Bountiful". At 88 years old, it's unlikely there are many chances left to experience her extraordinary talent.

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