Daily Archives: August 11, 2006

My Travels with Charley: Boston or Bust Part V

My Travels with Charley: Boston or Bust Part V
Delhi, Bovina and Woodstock
The nearest town to Bovina, is Delhi, N.Y. which we found easily and then Bovina Center, both rather pristine and relatively unmalled.  (Delhi has a Rite Aid and a McDonalds outside the main part of town, and a new supermarket in town, but aside from that, it looked very much the same as it had 40 (40!!!) years ago.  There was a sushi restaurant and a pagan new age crystal store which were new, The five and dime where we bought penny candy and balsa wood, rubber band toy airplanes was gone.  The hardware store was still there.

A rainy day in Delhi, my sister, my brother and me, circa 1965_photo by Al Loeb @ 2006 All Rights Reserved
Bovina Center was untouched, including Russell’s general store, which I used to ride my bike to.  It was about three miles from the farm, and I tried to remember my way back, but couldn’t.

Russells General Store Circa 1968 Photo by Al Loeb_©2006 all rights reserved

Emma in front of Russels General Store 2006. Photo by Andy Griggs @2006 All rights reserved

Russells through the window ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
The resort, known as Red Pine Farm, was also a dairy farm.  It was essentially a bed and breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Families would rent out one or two rooms for a week or two and spend time, up from the city, resting, swimming, hiking, collecting berries, catching tadpoles, frogs and salamanders in the pond, building dams in the stream with the slate rocks that cover the region (glacial debris) tagging monarch butterflies, going on hay rides, visiting Cooperstown’s Farm Museum or the Baseball Hall of Fame, visiting maple sugar farms or watching the cows get milked.  It was an amazing place, not a corporate vacation, but a small family business with soul and heart. The first year we went, several families were there from New York.  They had children the same ages as my siblings and me, and my parents are still friends with them to this day.  We vacationed with them every summer.  Down the road from the farm was a small. one room school house, no longer in use, always locked, but well maintained, and a small creek that was the very beginning of the Delaware River.  It wasn’t until I realized that we would be near enough to visit and perhaps find this farm that I understood how important it had been to me; more important than visiting college haunts, maybe even more important that the home I grew up in.
We had gone to the farm every August, driving for five hours from Philadelphia, our bikes strapped to the roof of the car,  until the Linggs, who owned it, sold it in the late sixties, to of all people; Bob Denver (aka Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island.)  My parents stayed in touch with the Lingg daughter, Joanie for many years.
We spent about an hour trying to find the farm, but I had forgotten the way and didn’t have an address.  I almost gave up, and Andy, with hours of driving ahead of us, was so patient.  Finally we asked a local farmer if she knew where the farm was, that it had been the Lingg farm also known as Red Pine Farm and then Bob Denver’s farm.  She gave us directions, and ten minutes later I was standing on the road in front of the large farm house.  It was now the Shuman farm; still had dairy cows.  I pointed to the room we had stayed in, the garage we had practiced plays in, the pool, the pond and the building where the dining hall had been.

Red Pine Farm circa 1967 Photo by Al Loeb ©2006 All Rights Reserved (The view from up on the mountain, taken during a hike, collecting berries.)

Shuman Farm 2006 Taken from the road.  ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

Shuman Farm 2006   ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

The road to the milking barn circa 1967.  Photo by Al Loeb ©2006 All Rights Reserved_My sister, my mother, me and by brother

The road to the milking barn ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

The Barn 2006 (As seen from the house.) ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
I took pictures, then we went down the road and found the school house, still locked, still maintained. the little Delaware and the barn full of cows.

The Old School House ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

The Old School House ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

The Old School House ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved

The Little Delaware ©2006 Emma Rosenthal All Rights Reserved
Two roles of film later, we left to get back on the road.  We had dinner in Woodstock and arrived in Chicopee late, crashing in a Motel 6 outside of a truck stop and a fifties diner.