Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 4 - Death in the Valley, Free Boats, and Some Fancy Wine

Day 4 -
Today I spent much of the day hunting for the elusive wild plastic chair along the shore of Cochoran's Pond.
This shy, retiring creature is difficult to locate and to capture one requires cunning, patience, and oh, I don't know - more patience, I guess?

I prepared myself mentally by spending the morning painting a true-life action scene from my youth.
Yes, it really happened. You can read all about it in my autobiography: I Was A Childhood Dino-Rider.

When I thought I was prepared, I hopped on my bike to begin stalking the elusive purple chair. I was focused. I was determined. Nothing could deter me from my–Oh! Look! Something shiny!

I was briefly sidetracked by this street name, which alluded to great things for those willing to follow.

Who could possibly resist?

I wound my way down the lane for about 50 feet and was greeted with this.

It is larger in real life than it is on your computer screen.

Why? I asked myself. Why, oh why would somebody build a 30 foot stone tower here?

And then, all was made clear.
I have decided that the Rev. J.M. Buckley is somebody I would dearly like to have met.

After gazing for a few minutes and pondering the advisability of constructing a ruin in my own yard, I remembered my mission and headed townward to stalk the purple chair.

Once situated in a good location, I began my search. My cunning, patience,  and more patience were rewarded when, after about 2 seconds, I spied my prey.
Can you see it? Off in the distance? It's camouflage is incredible, making it invisible to all but the sharpest, most well-trained eye.

I raced after the chair, which put up a spirited, but ultimately futile escape attempt. I settled myself in and began to work, knowing that I must be ever-watchful for the next threat I was sure to face - the lady who was eyeballing me yesterday.

Hard at work, but ever-alert for the lady.

I got several pages of rough layouts finished while enthroned in the purple chair.

I was taking a brief break from my work and walking through the water when I spied a piece of trash floating around. I reached in to fish it out and was rewarded with this.

Yay! Except that the boat rental place has been closed all week.

I decided to pass along my good fortune and share some luck with someone else. This treasure is buried somewhere in Waterville Valley. If you find it, it's yours! You're welcome.

I worked on a few more drawings before heading off to explore some of the more remote regions of the area.
Don't ask.

Go ahead and ask.

My explorations led me to the Waterville Cemetery, where I found some very amusing, touching grave markers.

The cemetery.

I really wanted to find another marker to the left of this one labeled, "Port!"

And, my personal favorite:

(For the NH impaired, Loon is a nearby ski mountain in direct competition with Waterville Valley.)

At the far end of the cemetery is a small path that, if followed, leads to this:

I sat for a while and enjoyed the quiet and the beauty. Then I decided that quiet and beauty is for suckers and loped off in search of adventure. I found adventure, albeit other people's, at Waterville Academy, where the freestyle skiers were practicing. I was glad that they had inflated the mat before kids hurled themselves into the void.

They would not let me try no matter how desperately I pleaded and whined.

It was fun to watch, but I couldn't stay long because my lovely host, Chris had invited me to join her on her lovely river deck for some lovely wine and lovely snacks and lovely conversation.

All of which were lovely.

She was even kind enough to send me home with the remains of a bottle of wine that might better fit in my wine rack.

Very fancy.

But it still doesn't fit.
She asked me if I enjoyed a particular wine and began to very intelligently describe it and I started laughing. She asked why I was laughing and I explained that my wine typically comes in a box and is red. That is the extent of my wine knowledge.

She sighed and handed me the bottle, probably guessing that I would wrap it in a brown paper bag and drink it with a straw.

Which, naturally, I did.

So thank you, Chris.

I told my wife, Kerri about the wine episode on the phone and she said, "It's good that you can laugh about yourself. Because everybody else does."

With that warm sentiment I headed off to bed, tired from my long day of chair-hunting and being a sophisticated wine-guy because the next day I had a school visit!


Michelle Cusolito said...

Marty, these posts are cracking me up. Thank you.

WvMCT said...

Starboard! Is an official sailing rule warning used when you are approaching a mark on starboard tach and another boat is on port tach. You yell it out to establish your right of way in this situation, and the boat on port tach has to get out of your way. My husband Chick was a sailing champion in the 1960's and I think that Starboard! Is representative of his approach to life!

WvMCT said...

Yeah, Leonard is mine too! He chose those comments for his gravestone himself. He was a brilliant man and a very talented keyboard player and entertainer, as well as an author (plays, lyrics, book of poems) and was the longest resident of the Valley prior to his death. He was on the first chair every day of ski season. There was a third line he wanted on the stone that did not fit. Get off my ash!

marty said...

I'm so happy to find out about those grave markers. They were such an uplifting celebration of lives!