Dead End

It says a lot about me that the local cemeteries are my favorite place in Batavia. As a kid I spent many summer days, alone, riding my bike over to the cemeteries, and the industrial ruins that sit like a wedge dividing our town into a North & South side. I don’t know why, but it has always drawn me to it. I’d walk the rows of headstones, and read the names and dates, and wonder about the history and the lives that went before. The three cemeteries on Harvester Avenue, are among the most sylvan, and shady spots in town, and I have always felt at peace there. Maudlin children, and Gothic kids everywhere can sympathize, but sometimes life was easier among the dead, than it was among the living.

This past Sunday, I drove over to the cemetery to pay a visit to Dad’s grave, and ended up wandering those shady lanes for an hour, alone, looking for something that I felt like I lost once. It was still there. The emptiness, the peace, the silence.

When I started this blog in 2009, I felt like I had so much to say, and so many stories to share. Now, in the summer of my 44th year, I find myself returning again, and again, to the same places, only to find that the words I have already written about them, sum them up so well I have little left to say.

So I’m saying goodbye. Again.

I’ll still be working to publish the book of historical fiction based upon the E.N. Rowell murder from 1883, and once that is complete, I will most likely move onto compiling the stories, fragments, and memories that I have written here, into some sort of cohesive whole that I also hope to publish. Thank you for all the time you’ve spent reading 20 Prospect, and stopping by the front porch to chat. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

So I leave these words like footprints, pressed into cement, and recorded for posterity. May they someday inspire another introverted child to pick up a pen, and go exploring.

Go Dogs Go!

I’m back in Minnesota again, after a wodnerful whirlwind of a trip to Western New York. There is no better time of year to visit than early June. The weather was perfect, and the lushness of WNY never fails to surprise me. Who knew there were so many shades fo green? Minnesota is far from being a desert, but there is just no comparison to the verdant shades of green that you see in Upstate New York in early summer.

Last Friday night the 20 Prospect clan descended upon Dwyer Stadium, home of the beloved Muckdogs, to watch them play the Jamestown Jammers. If there is a better way to spend a small town Friday night than watching baseball with 1,000 of your closest friends, then I have no idea what it might be. It doesn’t get anymore Norman Rockwell-esque than this…

alas, they lost. But they always lose when I see them play. It never seems to spoil the experience though.

20 Prospect Jr. nabbed a foul ball while we were going to the concession stand for some Stewart’s Rootbeer. I gotta say, the Rochester Red Wings, who are currently operating the club, are doing a great job with the place. RC Cola, ON TAP!!!!! Not a Coke or Pepsi in sight! It’s like they knew I was coming.

There were fireworks after the game, which were only enhanced by the sound of my niece’s 3 year old squaeling with delight at each explosion. It was so great to share the memories with another generation of the family, and to see that it is still just as wonderful as I remembered it being. May there always be baseball in the summertime on the corner of Denio and Bank Street. And may there always be a 20 Prospecter there to enjoy it.

On the Maid of the Mist

There is no better way to experience Niagara Falls than from the deck of the Maid of the Mist.

Well, maybe a barrel, but your chances are better on the boat.

It was 90 degrees in the shade, and getting pummeled with the effluent of Lake Erie felt wonderful. Finished the afternoon with footlong charbroiled hot dogs and curly fries at Louies in Tonawanda, then spent the evening on Big Bruddah’s back porch sipping a beer as the streetlights came on.