Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: Thoreau's 195th birthday

BENNINGTON -- Henry David Thoreau turned 195 years old today. He died 150 years ago. He walked miles and miles a day so it's strange to think the writer died at 44. Most people associate Thoreau with his book "Walden" and other notable works. To celebrate Thoreau's 195th, @TheAtlantic tweeted one of the naturalist's essays called "Walking" in which he pontificates that one of the biggest travesties for a "vagrant" man is his sitting home doing nothing. The saunterer, on the other hand, Thoreau said, is free and flows like water seeking the sea. By 4:40 in the p.m., after playing shopkeep for almost 7 hours in the art gallery, I needed to saunter the streets of Bennington. Many months had passed since the last saunter in Bennington. The 112-year-old dog was on a leash then. Deoge is now dead.

The sun washed over Bennington today. Made for a great saunter, made great light for photos during the saunter. The photographic theme was people walking. Halfway up Main Street I strayed from the theme because Main Street's complexion has changed vastly since I lived here in part of '95, all of '96 and '97, part of '98. So I snapped photos of new business shops or shops that stood in one spot but moved up the street. At one point I laid on my back to shoot a church. Soon after I lost focus on the photographic themes and started to snap anything, everything. The sun washed over Bennington. Made for a great saunter, made great light and magnificent shadows for photos. There was no Walden Pond moment, but I stopped on the bridge over the Walloomsac River to snap the meandering water.

At 5:40 I stopped ambling the streets of Bennington. It relaxed me. SportsCenter is on. I'm totally vegging out like a vagrant. Sorry, Hank. But Happy 195th. YOLO.

This photo essay starts with the final photo and ends with the first.

Bank of Bennington; one of 6 banks within a minute of each other


EarthyCrunchyMama was not around in the '90s

The Crazy Russian Girls were not around in the '90s

Neither was the Gamers Grotto

Dunkin Donuts then, Chinese buffet now

I call it "Old Lady 9" -- the most satisfying 44-mile drive in America

Spent hours and hours a day there, when it was Geanellis

Panache: used to be on the other side of Main Street

Benner's: great bagels that weren't around in the '90s

Ryan's: around for decades

Chinese food then, no longer now

Middle School: now near Upper Willow ('thrilla at Upper Willa")

Ramunto's Pizza; used to be Alldays and Onion's;
friends tell me "Gotta have Ramunto's"
I tell friends "I really want a Neal from Alldays"
A Neal was hot pastrami & tortellini sandwich (the best)

Bernie Sanders: He's everywhere