Tina dear, again I am going to try to describe the wonderful scenery that confronted me on my way to Vermont.
October 1929: Upon leaving North Adams, you drive towards the Green Mountains and say dear, you can not possibly imagine the sight that confronts one’s eyes – why it is beyond words. To start with, this morning it was quite snappy and also cloudy, it seemed that it were going to snow.
August 2019: On this humid but bright blue sky August day, I got back into my car, put my Grandfather and Grandmother back in the bag on the front seat and headed north on Route 8 towards Vermont. I quickly found myself on a curving road, where old brick mill buildings sat guard on the windy road, framed by full green trees and a bright blue sky.
October 1929: George Scronberg and I are together, for today so that makes it much more pleasant now to get back to the scenery.
August 2019: I am alone in Sage, my Mini Cooper Countryman. While it would be nice to share this scenery with someone else, I am also quite content by myself.
October 1929: I had the leading car with George right behind me, as we left the town limits, a large mountain climb confronted us, while climbing this mountain, you look to either side and see a valley with the most gorgeous coloring imaginable and as one climbs to the top, you see another mountain, with the peak covered with snow and it seems directly below the peak, the coloring of the different trees are trying to appear more beautiful than the other. It is just too beautiful of a sight to pass by! Farther along you strike a valley and all along side of the road are these overhanging trees with another set of colors and on your right there flows a stony brook, swift in some spots and slow in others, then again you begin to climb a mountain, approaching the top, you again look at either side and see colors with the sun coming out of the clouds for an instant and lighting up a certain spot which for an instant reminds you of a rainbow.
August 2019: My trip was a bit different as it occurred in August, where all the colors were still pretty uniform, and from afar, I spy a large peak not covered with snow, but with wind turbines. There indeed is a stony brook, but this brook is not flowing swiftly, but rather, it seems to take its time, meandering along slowly, with reflections of the white puffy clouds interspersed with irregular shaped brown stones on this hot summer early afternoon. The brilliant blue sky is simply gorgeous as I keep climbing to the top on this glorious late summer day.
October 1929: Further along it is a climb again, but this time when you reach the top, you see a beautiful sleepy hollow, and right in the center, it appears, there are small white slabs, with a clump of young evergreen trees surrounding it and as you get into the valley you notice that the mountains are surrounding it, with the same array of magnificent coloring, well I stopped near this cemetery for about ten minutes and thought what a quiet and dreamy, but lonely spot, if not for the brilliant colors, if would appear totally barren and would give you the shudders. The name that I gave this place was “Sleepy Hollow” and it sure was a long sleep for those that had been buried there. All of the slabs were of the same height and that sort of was striking.
August 2019: From reading my Grandfather’s letter from Wilmington, Vermont, I knew he spoke about finding a small cemetery. With that in mind, I was wondering if I would find this cemetery. Could it be completely overgrown? Would it be obvious from the road? It’s hard to both drive and look for a pretty obscure location at the same time. I knew that I would be on Route 8 for not that much longer and I hadn’t seen any cemetery yet. And then, perched on a hill on the right side of Route 8/100 North, there it was. I quickly stopped the car, backed up into a little side road, grabbed my Grandparents, my phone, and the letter and sprinted up the steep hill to the cemetery. I was beyond thrilled to be able to go to the same place that he found, and that I was able to find it through his wonderful description. While the mountains are still surrounding this burying ground, there were some changes. In addition to the white slabs that my Grandfather described, there were larger granite stones, and stones that had small flags, signifying that person was a veteran. The mountains still surrounded the cemetery, but on top of those mountains were the wind turbines that I had seen from a distance. I too, spent about ten minutes there and thought about my Grandfather. This set of letters for this Western Massachusetts/Vermont trips contained vivid information about the scenery that I had not seen in other letters. It was sitting on top of that 830 foot hill in a light summer breeze, that I realized for my Grandfather, who lived in Cambridge, that this scenery was probably really foreign, and along with fall foliage, it must had been so stunningly beautiful that he needed to pen what he saw to my Grandmother.
October 1929: All along it is just scenery that is a tonic for sore eyes and a burden for a lonely heart, that fills you with longing for the thing you hold, the greatest living thing on earth and that is namely you Tina dear.
August 2019: As I headed back down the hill to the car, I felt that this experience was incredibly moving. To sit in the same location and admire the same scenery as the Grandfather I never knew, filled me with a sense of connection with this man who loved my Grandmother so very much.
Post note: I really had no idea where this cemetery was actually located. From the GPS on my photos, it said Searsfield, but I wasn’t able to find any information on cemeteries there. I get sleuthing on Google and came up with a list of cemeteries. Finally, I found the name: Fairington Cemetery in Readsboro, Vermont. And the name of the dirt road that I pulled off on: Sleepy Hollow Road.