During our trip to Pennsylvania this past weekend, my brother-in-law brought out his collection of antique postcards, newspaper clippings, and photos depicting his hometown. As he recounted the stories behind them, it brought to mind what I consider my hometown; Westport, NY.
We only lived in Westport briefly when I was a baby, but it was my maternal Grandparent's home, and a place we returned to time and time again. A place you were excited to visit, welcomed on the front porch with open arms, where unconditional love lived, and a place that brought tears to your eyes as you drove away. My grandparents' house on Main Street was home.
Growing up, we spent a good portion of each summer in Westport. My Grandparents owned a house on Lake Champlain. Their backyard had a scenic view of a gently sloping meadow that led to an old towering white birch tree. On one side of the birch tree, was a wooden staircase, that led down to the beach and the lake. Across the lake, the majestic green mountains of Vermont.
I have a permanent photo collection in my mind's eye of this tranquil community. I can picture Main Street where the drug store was located, the little gift shop called Bessboro, and across the street was the lawn of the library. The library was a stately wooden-shingled Arts and Crafts style building with a large clock tower. I always thought it looked a little out of place with it's otherwise Victorian surroundings. Heading up the hill was the post office with it's tall steel flag pole proudly flying the American flag. Heading down the hill and back across Main Street was the "lane" that led down to the lake and the marina. Back when my grandfather was growing up, his father and uncle owned the marina and it was a much busier place with steamships regularly docking in Westport's harbor. I loved to hear the stories my grandfather would tell of his youth and growing up on the lake. During my childhood, the steamships were replaced with luxury boats with many of the town's visitors coming down from Canada.
I could probably write a book filled with the memories I have of those days. The photos above are old and out of focus, but my memories are clear, remembering a place that was filled with peace and love.