Monday, April 19, 2010

The Plums Are Lost In The Past " Clue XIX "

Horrendous drivers dared to question if the Plums let Marley drive. As far as America was concerned he would have better highway manners. Marley wouldn’t have been constantly honking the horn or giving vivid arm signals.

This island is posh; people wear suits at breakfast and drink their orange juice with their little pinkie out. However at Little Vincent’s Pizzeria, pizza is ate on paper plates, plastic forks and paper napkins. Speaking of paper napkins, a local artist sitting at the next table, surreptitiously immortalized the Plums in pen and ink on larger paper napkins and presented them the portraits when he was ready to leave. America being an artist herself looked for something to draw on to return the favor but had to settle on taking his picture with the camera!

N 41 degrees 4.272 minutes W 71 degrees 51.515 minutes

The next day the Plums went to this township’s Clerk and Recorders Office. The aroma around the Town Hall was so strong; Mrs. Plum could not help but sniff the air. Was that aroma stale food? not just so many after shaves it overwhelmed even the scent of cherry blossoms.

While waiting for the office to open women with the facial features of Jackie Kennedy (it happens to be America’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name) expressed the need to get pooch passes and id photos for their pets to be allowed into the pooch park. America mentioned perhaps since this was the passport office also the photos could serve a dual purpose for the pets, Pass and

Once inside the office Mr. Plum explained his need of acquiring 4 death certificates. America’s husband was refused the documents he wanted. The state laws allowed releasing them to him, but this office in Farmingdale had their own ideas. One of the documents the Colonel needed was his grandmother’s death certificate.

After the disappointment of being able to get the burial site location the Colonel and America decided to drive the length of the island, to one of its tips. The island itself is fish shaped
On the way Mrs. Plum spied a canal that allows passage from north to south of the island, in that way saving the time and effort of going completely around the island to get to the other side.

America notices the stress of driving so far east is evaporating from her lower back, since Mr. Plum is now relaxed in his familiar surroundings. The Colonel came from a different type of rural community compared to America’s western rural towns; this area is similar to the San Juan Islands. Okay, one is west coast, one is east coast but still similar. While Mr. Plum wandered through old neighborhoods, with a different story for each block, street names like McDowell, Jamaica, Cairo and Pennsylvania passed by. The various accents in this community matched the variety of names of streets.

They passed through villages quite used to attracting tourists. Many antique stores, vineyards and a local favorite, chain, ice cream store named Carvel. America notes a building with the name Rugosa a type of rose, and the Colonel notes (in the same yard) a Sherman tank. They are incompatible but together just the same. Quaint, quaint, quaint names like toilsome lane, Baiting Hollow Road all with trees lined vistas and continually winding turns. A main street view shows you a pond and Dutch windmills behind a screen of varied shrubs. Old family names shout out to you, like Amaden Gay. The name rings of the Colonial heritage of the Island.

Exactly upon entering into an area named the Pine Barrens, America was tickled that MORE pine trees appeared. If something so short could be called pine trees. These were not the 80 foot trees in western forests, but 20 foot almost scrub pine trees. Ah, Mrs. Plum thought, perhaps it is not the pine trees which are barren but they cause the land to be barren of anything else but pines.

On an island surrounded by salt water they lose sight of any hawks. Hawks had been with them continually on this trip. Perhaps a reduction in food source and fresh water caused this. The great predators were replaced here by seagulls and terns that are used to a saltier diet.

The pines trees kept on shrinking in size and Mr. Plum stated that meant they were closer to the ocean, as salt air inhibits plant growth.
Here some birds remain familiar; America spots a heron fishing in a bog about a mile from the ocean’s shores. Down the road a sign stated turkey hunting or trapping was not allowed, the turkey being a bird from home too.

Not only do the place names reflect the shape of this land but the history of the original people, the Montaukett Indians. This far out on the island trees here have taken on a sinister wind blow appearance, maybe a better description would be wind ravaged. Strange creatures abound, Mrs. Plum used to the Pacific Ocean has never been around “blue” crabs, “blue” fish or oysters catching birds. Finally arriving at the point the Plums viewed fishing boats at work in the Bay. Mr. Plum thought they were probably catching blue fish. The season was still early for crabs, fluke and flounder.

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Billy Joel "The Downeaster Alexa"

So I could own my Downeaster "Alexa"
And I go where the ocean is deep
There are giants out there in the canyons
And a good captain can't fall asleep

I've got bills to pay and children who need clothes
I know there's fish out there but where God only knows
They say these waters aren't what they used to be
But I've got people back on land who count on me

So if you see my Downeaster "Alexa"
And if you work with the rod and the reel
Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis
And I still have my hands on the wheel.......

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