Quick weekend recap

Working backwards, well, today was a strange day. We woke up at 6 AM in Sparta, New Jersey, at Millie and Joel’s house, had coffee and orange juice, and were on the road at 7:02. We took the back road north from Sparta up to I-84 over the NY line, partly because we like that route anyway and partly because Millie & Joel thought there would be a lot of commuter traffic on I-80 at that hour.

We stopped for a late but big breakfast at the Blue Colony Diner at exit 10 on I-84 in Newtown, Connecticut. We’re not familiar with the place, but we’ll remember it. It reminded Arlene of our favorite cafe in Utah, just for being authentically itself and for having local customers who know the waitresses and talk to them.

Just before Hartford we saw signs “I-84 closed at exit 48. 3 mile backup. Seek alternate route.” We got into the backup, got off at the first exit, and stopped at a gas station when we could. The little girl at the cash register didn’t know how we could get around the traffic, but I saw a van outside with a sign “Deed Transport”, well, probably not that but some “Transport”. Sounded like someone who might know what roads went where, so I looked in. “Do you like DVDs?” said the driver, showing me a carton of possibly bootleg DVDs he had for sale. “No, thanks, I was looking for directions,” I said. “Where you going?” he asked “Boston.” “Phew!” he said. Transport, maybe, but it didn’t sound as though he makes the trip from Hartford to Boston very often. But he did tell me which way to go.

Traffic was crawling through all of Hartford. We gradually got several blocks farther and came to a point where traffic was coming off another freeway exit. Evidently everyone was getting off the highway wherever they could. We passed the Mark Train house, which we’ve seen signs for all the time but never stopped at. We passed a big stone edifice, perhaps inspired by Monticello but lots bigger, that belonged to the Hartford Fire Insurance Company. We headed towards an entrance ramp to I-84 close to the river, but the ramp itself was still blocked by the police. Finally we got onto I-91 north and crossed the river on I-291 towards Manchester. I finally got to work around 2.

Continuing in reverse! On Sunday we had gone to a memorial service for my cousin Irving Wolfe, who had died two weeks earlier a little short of his 96th birthday. We left Millie & Joel’s at 1:15 and got to the Unitarian Society of Rockland County at 2:30. As soon as I had used the men’s room and settled down in a seat a youngish woman came over and asked, “Are you Dean? Evelyn asked me to find you.” So Arlene and I spent 10 minutes talking to Evelyn, and met a woman from Ethiopia who considered Irving her foster father. She had traveled from Belgium to be at the memorial service, and brought 150 copies of a short biography of Irv she had written. We went back to Sparta for supper, evening religious services (which they asked me to lead), and to sleep.
Saturday we had driven from Newton to Sparta and spent the afternoon with Millie, Joel, their kids and grandkids, and two of Joel’s sisters and their partners and the daughter of Joel’s third sister, and Yechiel. They’re basically sitting shiva for Joel’s mother. Pictures to follow.

One Response to “Quick weekend recap”

  1. Paul Handley Says:

    Ok A friend sent me a blueprint from your blog’s image gallery. It was an Inkle loom. Very nicely designed, BTW. With your permission, I would like to build this loom, but I have a question. The tensioning device looks like a block of wood that pivots in place. This looks simpler to build then the dowel moving in a slot. My question is What are the two projections in front of the block? and (2) how long and what diameter is the screw that attaches the block to the frame?
    Please get back to me at the above email address. I will be forever in your debt!