If you have reason to leave Route 17 at Roscoe, New York (Trout Town USA and Home of the World Famous Roscoe Diner) and begin to wind your way through hamlets like Walton, Masonville and Norwich, your head will swivel dangerously as you check out the sights. The Cannonsville Reservoir on Route 10 is breathtaking, particularly in dusk’s early hours. My friend Chris is fascinated by the number of houses that have not one, not two, but three grills on the front porch. It is truly inexplicable.
My car tends to veer toward more traditional and irresistible attractions. These stands of wildflowers may be innocent grass pink or some type of Frankenflower, a highly invasive species biologically engineered to destroy all other plant life. They are beautiful and in full bloom the first weekend in June when I head to Colgate University for my reunion. The administration extends a formal invitation every five years; however, my friends and I have made it an annual occasion since graduation.
Although I’m anxious to get to campus as quickly as possible, I can’t help but stop at at least one of the “antiques” shops that are on the Main Streets along my route. Folk wisdom indicates that one man’s trash is another’s treasure. If it’s true, this gal’s a pirate by now.
As I make the final approach on 12B, the scent of cow fills the car. I don’t understand cows. They appear to have 50 or 60 acres to wander around, yet they always huddle together by the roadside fence, like guests at a party who won’t leave the kitchen. I open the car windows and breathe deeply. This familiar perfume with notes of earth and grass and sun makes my nose wrinkle with delight.
Within minutes I’m in the collective embrace of a simply wonderful group of friends. We drown in each other for a couple of days, laugh until we’re exhausted, talk until we’re mute. As I head home on Sunday, Bessie gives me a look that asks, “Same time next year?”
I wouldn’t miss it for the world.