Living on Dugway Road ....part five .
How well I remember the summer nights now , all too many of them unfortunately , in my teens I laid in my twin bed alone , the old wooden double hung window as wide open as it could stand . A cutoff piece of a rejected grade stake from the old sawmill next door , holding the window sash all the way up . And yet only to let in even more of the hot ,humid , august evening air. Yet , in one sense I was lucky , my Father had finagled a deal to buy an old run down farm house and a small barn right on the edge of the only whitewater river in our area . The wild Ammonoosuc river , yet the fields around it were wide open , a few acres of open pasture on our side of the river and across that little heavenly piece of white water was an old air field . Long since deserted but for the occasional emergency landing of a small plane .
I remember well though , the long, long hours of night ..... you know the ones , as a teenager I had lain awake until the wee pre dawn hours , dreaming , listening to a transistor radio as it faded in and out making the volume seem to rise and fall , listening to far and away broadcasting towers delivering the latest hits to me , imagining the strange fears of the night world outside . But just once in a while , the magic of the young boys mind will still surprise me , even now ! Once, I awoke to the image of , well, just too much light in the room I guess ! And ,as I moved to the foot of the bed and looked out of the screen window , I saw the strangest thing ......."northern lights " , I think it was maybe the first time I'd ever seen them .
And yet , there they were , red ,white and even green tints flashing slowly across the darkness of night and yet, as below them the fire flies lit up the mist over the pasture below my elevated perch high above the river banks . A long winding river reflecting that moon light , the soft cooing of the water as it circled a thousand car sized boulders and then careening along the jutting overgrown river banks........That image remains as one of those that , above all else , symbolizes the endless hours of night , that night that seems to just have been so eternal in our youth .
Even to this very day though , this one image comes to mind , the fireflies , the river mists on the meadow grass , those mystical and magical nights . And yet , I would like to remember them that way only , the sixties and seventies were a turbulent time and anyone that was there new that . Yet , we were semi isolated from alot of it , a couple of miles out of town on a small single lane paved road . My kingdom as it were from twelve years old ,when we moved there , until I left home at 19 , for a young teen though , it was heaven in some ways and hell in others I suppose . I was a real a loner as a kid , a perfectly good day for me was when I could spend the days of summer unchained from the old school books , building or improving on another tree house . or just lazying the hot summer days away one at a time in an inner tube on the river
And that river , from a young age it collected my dreams and the river sometimes would even bring them true , The river collected my tears and delivered them to the sea , never asking why or laughing at the boy -child , So many times I would sit there and just wonder about where time began and ended , where water came from and dissapeared to , In my youth I wondered if the sound of the water went away while I slept , like the falling tree in the deep woods , "doe's it make any sound ?" I also watched as the autumn ice built up from the slow polls and below the boulders in the eddys, and finally when the maple and oak trees dropped thier leaves and the woods turned grey ,before the snow fell , the early darkness of November turned the river silent , until spring ! Nothing to be heard all through the winter except the rumble of expanding and contracting river ice .
Hey ! Old Ahorseback even had his own river raft ! An old, big red , discarded barn door , with inner tubes from a truck tied beneath the raft to make it float . Huck Finn never had it so good , I could pole it up through the slow water behind the old sawmill dam , a quarter of a mile into the beginnings of the whitewater and turn it loose for the slow drift down to the sawmill again . Pure heaven ! At times anyway , Once I awoke in the night during the January thaw to a roar , much like an approaching train , until I realized , oh man ! The river ice is breaking up , when that happened , much like a ice maker crushing up ice cubes , the entire river of broken ice and water backed up for a mile would begin to move downriver ! That was really something to see , standing at the edge of the field while the moving river of car sized chunks of river ice , like a fast glacier moved down the rivers channel .
Such memories now ! And even more seem to come back to me in thinking about those days ! Thank you for bearing with me !.............:-}