mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF maps & memory


Yesterday's cure for summer cabin fever: Jim and I hopped into his car and drove to Ithaca, about 90 miles away.

There is no place like upstate New York on a perfect summer day. The terrain is hilly, the roads are lined with wildflowers, and the little towns mostly have their Main Streets intact. If you stop to look, you can feast your eyes on awesome gorges and waterfalls.

Ithaca is the home of Cornell University. It's a liberal, cosmopolitan island among all the cow towns. We had no agenda. Ate lunch and wandered through the shops. Jim drove me by the frat house where he lived circa 1950. Delta Phi. The gorgeous hilltop mansion had originally been the home of Ezra Cornell. Jim was there is more regulated times, but I shudder to think of today's unlaundered frat boys leaving their pizza boxes and beer cans all over the place.

While Jim was recalling how he necked with girls in the cemetery across the street from Llenroc ("Cornell" spelled backwards, get it?), I was remembering that my first husband went to Cornell too.

After 1st hubby P and I moved to Rochester, my family came to visit from St Louis. We took the countryside tour. I best remember Robert Treman Park because it showed how different my two adolescent sisters were. There was an icy stream full of rapids and mini-waterfalls. Ellen jumped right in and began bodysurfing over the smooth rocks. Kathleen was horrified at the thought. I haven't thought about that for a long time. In lives shaped by children, husbands, and other obligations, I wonder how those young traits are reflected in their adulthood.


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