New York Years - Dunham Hollow Road


Our house nestled against a steep hill. My brothers and I had more fun on that hill! We'd play Indians, capturing each other and escaping. Once we slept under two big fir trees. Just as we were settling down, our dog, Sandy, began growling. At first, we worried about a wild animal (skunk, porcupine, raccoon,etc.) but we could hear footsteps in the underbrush. They came closer and closer. We could see a flashlight. Sandy was really barking by then. We almost cried with relief when my father said, "How are you guys doing?" We would have been better if didn't come check to see if we were okay! *smile*

Another time, my brother showed how he could make a snowball and let it roll down the hill. The snowball grew and grew, until it was at least a foot in diameter. It landed with a nice SPLAT on the road below us. We had fun, but got in trouble later. Even though we looked for cars when we pushed the snowballs, the balls took so long to reach the bottom, they would still be dangerous.

My brother climbed to the top of the trees and could see houses on the hill across the way. I climbed a ways, but never as high as he did.

The road followed a winding stream which was another favorite playground for us. I loved hopping from stone to stone. We liked to make little dams to form pools and watch little minnows swim there.

Upstream, about a half-mile, the water tumbled over huge rocks. In the spring time, the rush of the melting snow made it so loud you couldn't talk to each other. It gave me a sense of silence because you were alone with your thoughts. You had to walk under a huge dead tree trunk that was caught on the limbs of another tree. It always frightened me, but it was the easiest way to the Falls, and I ran quickly under it.

The Falls was a popular swimming hole, but the water was ice cold. My mother called it iced-tea because of its light brown color. Paul, the storekeeper at Hoags Corner, (around age 70) jumped in the Falls on the first day of spring since he was a young boy. We often walked there to cool off on a hot summer day. Although, we were hot and sweaty by the time we walked back home.

The hills and stream of Hoags Corner was one of my favorite places to play as a child. I made it one of the settings in my novel, A Home for Phoebe.

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