And I wondered what happened to Darcy after he was run off of Pemberley for feather spanking that chambermaid. He’s peeling potatoes in the shadow of Mount Okemo in Ludlow, Vermont.
Today we found a place that served not only crispy french fried potatoes and sweet belly clams but was a haven of sorts for writers.
It’s an anthology based in South Deerfield, Mass., and we’re now a part of it.
If you’re going to leave your name behind, it’s probably better for longevity’s sake to put it down in stone rather than wood. I remember the escarpment high above the Hudson River at North-South Lake, the site of the venerable long-gone Catskill Mountain House, which a hotelier built there to take advantage of the views up and down the river. That was in 1823.
One Victorian guest observed, on reaching “the broad tabular rock upon which the House is set”:
“We could hardly realize it. After threading in the dark for two or three hours in a perfect wilderness, without a trace save our narrow road, to burst thus suddenly upon a splendid hotel and, glittering with lights, and noisy with the sound of the piano and the hum of gaiety – it was like enchantment.”
Long after the hotel was razed, in 1963, we spent a July 4 on those flat rocks, watching the bursts of firework displays in the little communities north and south along the river. The pyrotechnics looked like tiny faraway flowers blossoming briefly in the darkness.
Carved in the stone beneath our feet, the names of visitors, a guest book that reaches back to the beginning of the nineteenth century.
The older the calligraphy, the more likely the letters are to be engraved in a serif font. I’ve always thought that in the quiet that surrounds this spectacular vista you can hear the voices of the people who etched their names above it all.
I can even see Fitzwilliam Darcy here, in a frock coat, politely tapping his chisel into the stone.