For me the most important place was Sunnybank, the former estate (now a park) of my favorite writer from my childhood, Albert Payson Terhune. He wrote many, many stories and is best known for the stories about his collies, mainly Lad. I got to know him and Lad long after their deaths, when
Some kids have superheroes and some kids have real-life heroes. I had Lad. Lassie was a silly TV character to me (though of course I watched the old episodes because
|looking from about where the house stood down to the gazebo|
and Pompton Lake
|Lad's grave, with the bench dedicated to biographer Irving Litvag beyond|
|Lad's headstone (1902 - 1918)|
Our next trip, after a day in the Philly area and a visit to Valley Forge, was to Chincoteague Island, Virginia. My daughter and I have both enjoyed Marguerite Henry's horse books since we were children, and I even had lunch with her once in Milwaukee. She's best known for her children's book, Misty of Chincoteague, and the islanders have capitalized (in a good way!) on that book's fame among horse lovers. We toured the island on our own and found various attractions that draw in tourists during the high season, which May is not (good for us!).
|I'm standing next to the actual (stuffed) Misty.|
Questionable decision here - taxidermying a horse...
|Misty's hoofprint and signature (written by Marguerite Henry)|
in front of the Chincoteague theater
|my daughter with the Misty statue on Main Street|
We also booked a "guaranteed pony-sighting tour" with island native Captain Dan, and we both recommend that (or one of the many other boat tours, though we were impressed with Dan and his knowledge of the ponies and their behavior). While I would have loved to sit quietly among or near any of the groups of ponies for hours photographing them, this was at least a delicious taste of pony life. We saw four or five bands of ponies, two of them close enough to get some decent photos, and two lone stallions.
I will probably write in more detail about these two trips in the days to come while I fight off jet lag, but I wanted to at least give a brief indication of where I've been in the last ten days.
|Chincoteague ponies, who actually live on the neighboring island of Assateague|
|my shelf of Terhune and Henry books|