Thursday, October 10, 2013

Donna and I had lunch in West Brookfield (Salem Cross);Longfellow's The Wayside Inn

Longfellow's Wayside Inn is painted pink, or so it seems; we only drove around it and I wouldn't know if it is open as a restaurant, but adjacent to it is a beautiful church, Martha Mary Chapel and an old Grist Mill, with a waterwheel, that seemed abandoned, but was still operating. The Mill, open to the public, had s staircase to the second floor and is preserved as it was when it had been in use. It's pretty enough to visit if you don't know what to expect. We then continued for what would be a 200 mile ride to a farm Phillipston, Massachusetts. We had lunch at the Salem Cross Inn in Westbrook, Massachusetts. The restaurant is on the national historic register as being built in 1705, and it provided an imginative account of it having a Hexmark from the "Queen Anne War". Part of the romance of our dating is to find "historic" places. The hexmark is a roman numeral ten with a vertical line through the middle. I did notice Holy Lord hinges in the interior, if that is in fact what they are in New England. The dining room is post and beam and there was actually a wooden peg driven into one of the beams: it is a colonial tavern (hip roof). To quote the menu, "this mark was used to protect the inhabitants against, 'ye evils of witchcraft and diverse other manifestations of devilltry.'". "Inhabitants" is a word frequently used in the handwritten history of Brookfield from that time period, although all I found was the town records of their committee of selectmen, which, although written with quill,only describes land grants and that white oaks marked with three initials or letters were used to mark off where began each property, which is only of so much interest to someone who would skim it thoroughly- but they seemed to be self-governed colonists in certain respects. There are artifacts in the restaurant, although I didn't notice any muskets or pewter. The thing was that "She liked it." After dinner, we looked into the other dinning rooms. I told her that it was probably ok to peek into them while people were having dinner and they were like museum rooms and it got her interest, to where she kept exploring until I mentioned that it lead to what seemed to be the entrance private residence. But, most importantly, the atmosphere held her interest now that we had finished dinner. After having before visited a fishery to see trout, which happen to grow fairly large in size before they are restocked, we found Enfield, Massachusetts. We watched a television clip of a brief fragment of a silent film photographed by a theater owner from the twenties of the town. It is now the Quabbin Reservoir and looks like an ordinary lake. Four towns were flooded and have long since been completely submerged, the residents having been relocated during the thirties. My later explanation at first was rural poverty during a time of small companies; but then postpone historical context. We continued to a farm in Phillipston, where other than my having coffee and Donna having cider and donuts, there were rabbits. She remarked that two of them were sleeping together in a basinet and that like us, were inseparable. From this blog, you wouldn't know that its been approximately ninety-six to ninety eight percent, of every hour for the last year, and a similar year before that, which is the only way by which you would prepare to do that, it being almost too long for her to now mention it, but very endearing. It would be more, not less than ninety eight. In the paddock, with a bull and several goats was the first sheep Donna had ever seen. It was black, as were the many cows and calves we had seen earlier this afternoon, and their not being brown, my not knowing whether they were gernseys or holstiens. The sheep does in fact have a unique sound when it bleats. Yesterday, I was in a bookstore on the otherside of the river and left a very inexpensive copy of English Poetry 3 of The Harvard Classics (Colliers or Scribners?) there which could have been seperated from the set, thinking that most of the other volumes are, except the Donne, are from too ancient a time period and that I had a public domain copy of them on the internet and that I not yet finished with what I'm reading. It's an exceptional anthology and truly would have been a souvenier that includes Tennyson if you've ever seen a copy from 1911. I would have had it with me but then again, its not an old enough copy of the poetry itself and I didn't know we would be going to The Wayside Inn.

Scott Lord