the Early Years, Part 1

My early life (in Upstate New York) was not too outstanding.  I was just a normal kid who drew on walls with crayons (because it was pretty) and plastered himself with a whole tube of toothpaste pretending to be a wild native tribesman.

My early life was quite rugged.  For a long time (before Dad went into the ministry), we lived in a six room “cabin” in Pleasant Valley, NY, that my father built on land my mom’s dad gave them for a wedding present.  No running water … well, not true.  My brother and I “ran” for it in buckets from a hand-cranked well about 200 ft up the trail (and on my grandfather’s land) from the cabin.  Two buckets for the bathroom, two for the kitchen.

How did music fit in here?  Well, I’ll take that up on the Music History side.  But, it did.

Once Dad had gone into the Ministry, we finally had places with running water.  Food was sometimes a worry.. haha.  But, it was that period that rooted my interest in music deeper than ever (think church, organ and piano).

To name some spots, in order of residence: Carterville (near Camden), Leonardsville, Utica, and Stittville.

Now, it took me awhile to find it, because the town is long gone.  But, in Carterville we lived in a large house on the corner of Hillsboro Rd and County Route 17, right across from Carterville Pond.  Part of the house was said to have been a tavern in the earlier days (who knows if that is true, I’m just saying what I’d heard).  It was a wonderful old house, with a tunnel under the road and strange things in the attic.

Unfortunately, it’s gone.  And from the looks of the building replacing it (thanks to Google Street view), it’s been gone for a long time.  Gone, too, the gazebo on the other side of the driveway.  And most likely the spring-fed cistern out back.  And, no more grassy hillside covered with wild strawberries.  But, it looks like the old barn is still there, maybe. It was fairly new when we lived there.  So, that old barn could be it.

A little ways up Route 17, on the pond side, was where I went to 5th grade, in a one room school house, complete with a hand-pumped well and the infamous pump handle.  The school mistress, Mary, lived in a trailer next to the school.  About 8 students, 3 from our family, went to classes there.  All that is gone now.

So, many stories .. *sigh* … I may get back to them.  For now, I will close, since Real Life beckons.   Until, then, enjoy yourself and those around you, no matter which Life you are in.

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