October 19, 2013: Big Pond, Birdsall and the Wadsworth Grill

This morning the task was to get the oil changed in the Chevy Spark.  This is easier said that done because the oil filter is an impossible to find part.  Yesterday dad spent a few hours trying to track one down for me.  It wasn’t easy, no parts places had one.  Had to get one from the Chevy dealer and even they seem to not have that many of them.

So this morning I got up at seven thirty, showered and did a little Spiceworks posting before dad got back from his Saturday morning men’s prayer group.  Then we headed right up to Ideal Chevy just past the old house in Geneseo.  It was weird driving up that way realizing that it has now been ten and a half years since we first moved into that house.  It’s been a really long time since I actually drove by it.  Very little has changed there.  What we thought was going to be a rapidly developing area really has stalled, for the most part.  The area behind the old house is just as rough and uncleared as it was when we lived there.  I don’t see any new houses in the area.  Ten years and all they did was finish the immediate tract of houses that we were a part of and that was done just as we sold the house anyway.

We got the oil filter and then drove back down to Geneseo and went to the Omega Grill for breakfast.  It was not even ten yet when we got there.

At eleven we took the Spark in to M&R right there in Geneseo who have been taking care of my car for about a decade now and they still know me by name.  It probably took about half an hour to get the oil filter changed.  They wanted to put in a new air filter too but, of course, they had no way to get one as no one has one in stock anywhere.  So that didn’t happen.  Will need to deal with that rather soon.

We stopped at Walmart for just a minute, I needed to get a card for Michael, my Godson’s, sixteenth birthday party which is this afternoon from four to six at Art and Danielle’s house.  Dad is going as well.

Got home and had a few hours to just relax.  Dad and I took a walk in the woods which I have not walked through in I don’t know how many years.  We walked all of the way back to the “big pond” as we have always called it which I really have not seen in a very long time.  We know that the pond was essentially inaccessible since the big ice storm of the winter of 1991.  So the last that I could possibly have been there was the fall of 1990 and very likely I was not there then.  It’s conceivable that I have not been to the pond since the 1980s.  Twenty three years or more!  The woods and the pond were an incredibly significant component of my young childhood and that massive ice storm in my early high school years brought down one out of every three trees in the woods and made all of the paths completely closed off.  That whole part of the property just “disappeared” to me right around the same time that I entered high school.  No one that I know from high school ages like Art, Josh, Phil, etc. have ever seen it or probably even know that it is there.  That is so bizarre to me.  Such an important part of the family farm and it just vanished.

Dad and I were talking about it and trying to put it into perspective.  We bought the farm in 1976.  The pond was a huge part of the property that we used all of the time, even in winter, for those first fourteen years.  In thirty seven years, though, only fourteen of them was the pond and the majority of the woods accessible.  But it was a very important fourteen years.  My parents planted spruce trees out there that they harvested for our Christmas trees for many years when I was young.  It was where we went for picnics, had school functions, where I would go to get away and play on my own, where we would once or twice take the rowboat out on the pond and where my grandfather taught me how to fish (something that I never did without him.)

At four we went down the hill to Michael’s birthday party.  We had about three hours there before Art had to take off to go down to Birdsall to set up for a gig that his band is playing down there tonight.

Dad went back up to the house at seven.  Danielle and I worked for a little while at their house till around nine when it was time to drive down to Birdsall.  That is not a short drive and it is way, way out in the country in Alleghany County.  Really remote.

We arrived and discovered that neither of us had Internet access on our phones – neither her Verizon nor my T-Mobile phones had anything, not even phone service.  So we could not stay long as Michael was home without any adults and no way to reach anyone.  I am not actually sure that I have ever been to Birdsall.  I probably have but it would have been long ago.  I’ve been nearby on 36 and 19 but not on 15B/16 for sure.

We had a couple of beers and watched Art’s band “Bad Habit” play for a little over an hour.  They did a good job but the venue was tiny making the sound loud and muddy.  The ceiling was only eight feet, I would guess, which is okay for a house but crazy for a live music venue.  There were probably thirty five people at the bar.  A good crowd considering we were miles from a house.

We went back north and swung into the Wadsworth Grill which, believe it or not, I have never been to.  The Grill opened more or less across the street from my high school in York around the time that I was in high school.  It is really a bar, not a restaurant although they do have a little food there, and I moved away when I was eighteen so it was never a place that I would have gone.  But it is the regular hangout for everyone who stayed behind, especially with the years right around mine in high school.  So going in there was an adventure.

Literally every person in the place that I saw was someone from high school.  I knew everyone and there were easily thirty people there.  It was as if I had stepped back in time, except that everyone was really old.  Not like I remembered them.  Everyone was familiar but nothing was quite right and obviously, no one remembered me at all.  Not even sitting there with Danielle did anyone have a guess who I was.  I did see Justin Grant and talked to him for a while.  But otherwise I kept a low profile.

Went back to the Ralston’s and worked for another hour before returning to dad’s and going to bed.

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