Friday, November 16, 2007

October 4, 1931

The tops of the trees are turning bright yellows and reds. Thinking of it, the colors must be brilliant at home. The first weekend in October is always best for foliage in Saratoga. There's nothing like riding one of dad's horses through the fields in the fall.

When I woke, I found Hewitt Hall completely quiet. Dottie came home as day was breaking. She washed herself up and by 8 was heading for the train home. I'm not sure if Abby accompanied her or not. She doesn't share this kind of information with me lately. Since our night out a few weeks ago, I think Dottie looks at me as an embarrassment. She's distant and I have a feeling the story of my fainting spell has traveled, especially at the hand of Abby who is a vicious gossip. I can't help but think all of these girls see me as awkward and stuck-up.

I'm afraid this all amounted to terrible homesickness and an awful case of self-pity. So I took a walk this afternoon as a remedy. I wandered north on Broadway. I found myself in a patchwork of tenement neighborhoods with a variety of languages being spoken on the streets. They were Italian and German mostly. It was a thrill to see this people side-by-side peppered with the brogues of Irishmen. The more I thought I should turn around and head back to campus, the further north I walked. To my delight the terrain became varied. There were steep hills abutting the neighborhoods and rock formations like I’d never seen. Almost like buildings themselves.

I made my way up a street called Fort Washington Avenue which ran along a series of steep cliffs that looked out on the Hudson. At its zenith was a high-walled park. A plaque commemorates the spot as Fort Washington where Revolutionary troops where defeated by Hessians in November, 1776. It says years later, Washington and his army marched back to the fort triumphantly and reclaimed it when the war was won. How I would have loved to have been there. To fight for that incredibly noble cause. How thrilling to think of the history that drenches this island. There is so much hope in history.

I turned south and slowly walked back to campus, new, hoping for my noble cause.

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