Northern Connecticut Sky

CT skyThe sky above Enfield, Connecticut

Enfield and Harwinton Connecticut, Feeding Hills Massachusetts.  These are now the homes of three of my step children and, consequently, the foci of my visits now to northern Connecticut.  It wasn’t always that way.

From 1942 till 1956 I spent my life for the most part at 220 South Marshall Street in Hartford.  Jean and Judy Snow lived across the back alley.  Freddy Adams (whose last name was actually Garcia) lived next door to us on the second floor.  Tommy Shortell–his dad was a fireman–and his sister, Patty and Johnny Harvey and his sister, Maryann lived two buildings to the north.  Joe Tobin, who’s father was a real policeman, lived a few buildings south.  Steve Perlmutter lived across the street.  His mom was our Cub Scouts den mother.  Ronnie Bernard and Maurice Jacobs–they were French Canadians–lived in wooden three or so family houses a little further up the street toward Farmington Avenue at Case Street.  (Before I could read I thought that was Kay Street.)  Mom, Dad, Sister Barbara and I lived in a three room apartment in a series of three story redbrick apartment buildings that then, as now, looked like this:

220 South Marshall Street

These being the tallest buildings not just on the block but in the whole neighborhood, the sky seemed always visible, and, for me now employing that device so favored by the aging, euphoric recall, it was always beautiful.  Whether seen from curbside (where the Google truck grabbed this image maybe two years ago) or walking south on Laurel Street to play ball in Pope Park, deep clear cobalt skies regularly set off great, tall piles of white cloud that felt like they stretched up to the end of the earth’s atmosphere.

In 1949 my Dad’s brother, Uncle Jack, bought the family’s first car, a dull, gray Chevy–Connecticut plates PD803.  Only then did I come into contact with the sky beyond the city and discovered that the same absolutely spectacular canopy we knew from South Marshall Street covered all of north central Connecticut.  There it was when I attended Boy Scout Camp Pioneer at West Hill Pond outside of New Hartford.   It was clearly evident from that point on Forest Road in Merrow where, in 1964, the paved road became a dirt road and I struggled to remain at UCONN.  In the early 1990’s it gloried over Hammertown Road in Salisbury when friends I thought would be my friends forever and I biked our weekends away through Litchfield, Berkshire, Putnam and Dutchess Counties.

I remember great cloud pillars holding up the rich blueness when my wife-to-be, Bobbie and I drove north to South Windsor to celebrate our wedding in 1998.  The rain held off until the last guests had gone.

Just how and how much that sky influenced the events occurring below will always be a welcome mystery and meditation for me.  How many times did I, as a 10 year old sit on the branch of a tree in the lot across from 220 South Marshall staring up at bits of sky between the branches just to do it?  Or lie on my back after a ballgame at Pope glorying a rare great catch at first base?  How many hours did I spend on Forest Road in Merrow in that fall of ’64 looking up for traces of my dead father?

1-IMG_0535

And now, how many visits under that sky to the United Synagogues and Old North Cemeteries to spend pleasant time with family gone?   And certainly, equivocally, yes!  How wonderful on the way further north to pass through Hartford under that brilliant blue sky?

Hartford RR Sta.

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Published in: on January 4, 2015 at 11:57 am  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Enjoyable
    Edgar

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  2. beautiful azure memories framed by cotton clouds of imagination- Kim

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  3. A fine piece painted in blue

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  4. Happy New Year!

    I can’t believe you remember all those names and numbers.

    –Esther

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  5. Thank very much to you.
    Best
    Yungchen Lhamo

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  6. Thanks for those wonderful pictures. And, hooray for brick houses. I will always hold them dear to my heart since it was a brick apartment house to which I was taken after my birth in a maternity ward at Hartford Hospital.

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  7. Always a pleasure to read Goldberg!

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  8. From Emily Beaton

    funny how we remember in different ways. I remember trying to see shapes in the clouds, but didn’t think of it in terms of the blue sky. Of course we wouldn’t have seen any shapes if it weren’t for the blue sky between the clouds. It’s like learning to see the negative space. So thank you, Dick.
    love, emily

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  9. Always a joy. Write on!

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  10. good one.

    happy new year,

    alan heim

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  11. Ah, yes….”euphoric recall”. The Great Forest in our neighborhood was a place of mystery and wonder. Only in later years was it revealed to be only an overgrown vacant lot. Let’s hold onto our childhood dreams.
    Happy New Year!
    John

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  12. thanks for the memory tweaking. I forget so much of that time and Hartford(312 Sargent St.).Maybe because my skies have been over different mts.(cascades) and rivers(Willamette) and ocean(Pacific) but the joy and AWE of looking up never fades.

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