Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

martes, junio 22, 2010

Local News From The Last Century

Garrison Keillor reminds us:

On this day in 1878, Walt Whitman took a steamboat ride up the Hudson River and wrote a letter to his niece Hattie. He wrote: "I came up here last Thursday afternoon in the steamboat from NY — a fine day, and had a delightful journey — every thing to interest me — the constantly changing but ever beautiful panorama on both sides of the river all the way for nearly 100 miles here — the magnificent north river bay part of the shores of NY—the high straight walls of the rocky Palisades — the never-ending hills — beautiful Yonkers — the rapid succession of handsome villages and cities — the prevailing green—the great mountain sides of brown and blue rocks — the river itself — the innumerable elegant mansions in spots peeping all along through the woods and shrubbery — with the sloops and yachts, with their white sails, singly or in fleets, some near us always, some far off — etc etc etc..."

He went up for a visit with John Burroughs, who Whitman said had "plenty of strawberries, cream etc. and something I specially like, namely plenty of sugared raspberries and currants."

Yes. And today there were strawberries for sale at the side of Route 9-G in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York. And the traffic passed the stand by as if it were a mirage. The last century lingers, but it's virtually invisible from a car. The idea, I think, is to get the juice all over your steering wheel, so that it is sticky, and smells sweet, and makes a sucking sound.

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