New England Turned Up Side Down
One word I used only once at the beginning of this chapter (Part Six- New England Turned Up Side Down – (A)) is ‘congested’. I turn attention to this word. New England, after discourse on rummaging, ransacking, looting.... with additions of ‘pitched’, ‘right side up’ and ‘up side down’... is... too... congested... now. This state of congestion INCLUDES all of the previous discourse and all of that all (pitched gravestones, et al). It is the force that eases ‘forgetting’ and camouflages ‘not knowing about’. It is the paved parking lot of New England with the rest being... ‘run off’. Congestion is the increasing density of... New England. It is the packing in, piling on, putting in, pushing back, clearing away, opening up, constructing, building and... cul de sac circle ...establishing of the progressing and fluid borders of ‘progress’ that are... moving NORTH ‘into’ New England.
Do we all know what we are experiencing... or must I present selections on platters for a reader to ‘graze’? How about... ‘it is’ the Black Dog of the Cape. The new port of the old port. The historic parking garage. The condominium complex in the ‘low land salt marsh’ that ...has the same view of the sea Winslow Homer had... when he died. The ‘new services’ most often noticed as ... lawn care and landscaping utility trailers towed behind title emblazoned ‘trucks’. The strip-mall-esque drug stores, dollar stores, franchises and their green sign ‘next exit’ ‘services’.
Green sign exit
The parking lots that are the surround ...and sound... visual plateau... with white and yellow lines designating space that ANY old village’s elected fence viewer may STAND ON. In the drainage ditch at the edge of ...so many of these ‘lots’... I spy the cluster of cattails growing ‘there’ ‘in spite’.
“There is a chemical spray we use to kill that. Comes in a plastic jug”.
The men in the truck towing the lawn care equipment sent ‘the boy’ back to that truck to ‘fetch’ the ‘pry bar’ they used to ‘pry up’ the gravestones at the edge of... the continent of North America.
And is there... headless horsemen empowering... and empowered by... ‘all of this’ ‘congestion’. Yes there is.
It is big and white in my rear view. It used to be black or ‘charcoal’. Now ‘white’ is, apparently, the choice. It is the big and white SUV traveling the former cow paths of New England. “She’s driving”.
The interweave; the tying back upon and weaving in... of these cow paths creates a web of narrow twisted meandering curved NIGHTMARE of foot-to-brake ‘road’ now traveled by ‘over kill of power to say the least’ top heavy, tinted window chrome grilled blond haired sunglasses step on the gas “suburbanized” zombies... in the rear view.
“Where did you put that box of your grandmother’s china?” her mother asked.
“OH... I know... IT’S out in the GARAGE on the STACK of stuff by the whatchamacallits”.
Helen addressed ‘congested’ directly during our first meeting: “Oh my God I say; it’s OVER. ..... I know that look. I don’t wish upon a star anymore. I can’t. She gave me a cell phone. That is what means something to her.” That notice of ...congestion... in New England... becomes Helen’s greatest personal observation for her role in the Savage estate. Helen, when I met her, already understood the enemy and that the Savage family estate could not survive the ...attack. I understood this when SHE first said it. SHE, as our first meeting progressed, understood that I ...understood... this... too. I also understood that ...although taking a considerable amount of time to accomplish... the destiny of the Savage estate was to ‘fall back and then fade away”.... into the forests of (Northern) New England. To ‘fall back and fade away’ is the English ranger’s primary ‘encounter’ tactic used in the Colonial Wars when confronting the French and Indian war ‘forces’. Roger’s Rangers not only perfected the tactic but ...wrote it down. Too. Confronted by congestion... New England... is... ‘falling back and fading away’. Should one know this it is best to not ‘forget’ it. “Not knowing of” is the pervasive and dominant ... ‘whatchamacallit’.
The way this is working is by a turning of Colonial New England... up side down. During the era of the Colonial Wars, New England interior settlement; settlement away from ‘the coast’... evolved as single ‘families’ traveling one bit further past ‘the last (dirt floor log) cabin and ...making their ‘the next’ log cabin. This process was toward the ‘north-north-west’. The French and their Indian allies came from that direction and traveled... south-south-east in their effort to... by ransacking, looting, burning, killing and scalping... ‘drive’ the English settlers ‘back into the sea’.
The English response ...by the 1750’s... and as a result of a full century of ‘conflict’, was to successfully encourage the construction of ‘a line of frontier forts’ across the north-north-west settler’s border as a... moderately unsuccessful obstacle to ‘slow’ if not ‘stop’ the French and Indian ‘raids’. From Coastal Maine’s Fort Western at Augusta, Fort George at Brunswick across to Charlestown’s No. 4 on the Connecticut River then over to Fort Massachusetts on the Housatonic at Williamstown... they did this; make a ‘line’ of ‘forts’. Some of these forts were not only ‘a bit remote’ but ... didn’t have... many ... ‘there’. That is an aside from the obvious ‘just go around them’ tactical ‘advantage’. Surrendered after being surrounded and starved out... also... ‘worked’. Who cares; that’s not what I am looking at. I am looking at the notion of this ‘line’ of forts ‘on the northern border of Colonial English New England... to ...protect... its settlement.
To protect; a forlorn effort that DID take place. Turned up side down, I find a NEW ‘line’ of ‘settlement’ coming north from the ...south-south-west. The ‘new line of settlement” is the boundary of the... ‘establishing of the progressing and fluid borders of ‘progress’ that are... moving NORTH ‘into’ New England’; the boundary of congested New England. Traditional... and picturesque... New England has a new ‘line of forts’. The line drawn by I is from New Castle, NH; the 17th century island buffered from the congestion found at Newington, NH, et al, by ‘historic’ Portsmouth... diagonally south west to the Concord, MA ...area... then west-south-west to ...Kent, Connecticut. Kent is on the same north-south line that Williamstown’s Fort Massachusetts once was. It is ‘Route Seven’
Route Seven from Williamstown south to Kent is a spectacular scenic PRIVATE ‘forgotten’ or ‘not known of’ New England drive that even includes old style urbanity (downtown Pittsfield), New England authors’ homes (Melville and Hawthorne), mountains, rivers, bridges, riverside vista, side road diversions (Ashley Falls below the Stockbridge-Lenox-Tanglewood-Gendale aside TOO ...amongst this over blanket (quilt) of a ‘New England’ route. One is... IN New England... right side up... all the way to Kent.
After Kent; a scant few miles south of ... Bull’s Bridge... the congested New England (the Wilton-Ridgefield etiquette... with this spawn edge before its east-west [into NYS] and ever more horror show grade southward ‘to the sea’) ‘wins out’. Kent... is the border fort of New England ‘left’ at the this ...end of the line.
The original line of forts understanding was that ‘above’ the Colonial fort line, one was ‘beyond’ the settlements and ‘on your own’. So... when Susannah was taken captive and ...Indian trailed north... she was ‘beyond’. When she went into labor at Knapp Brook she was ‘on her own’. When she went into the small bark covered hut the Indians made for her a half mile up Knapp Brook... to give birth to her fourth child... she was on her own. She was twenty-five years old... when she gave birth in a ...bark covered ‘wick-up’ hut... beside a brook in the... wilderness. Should one have found oneself THERE, on August 31st, 1754, and lifted the bark door flap, one would have seen twenty-five year old Susannah inside. She would not be wearing a popped collar polo shirt and a pair of “go to Hell” ‘Nantucket reds’ pants. She would have been wearing no pants at all and... told the peeking visitor to ‘Go to Hell!’. Dropping the bark flap back down and reflecting on what one just saw ‘inside’ the hut, what one now saw; the bark flap door of the hut and what one was just told; ‘go to Hell’, one, logically, would conclude that ONE SHOULD GO TO HELL.
When one goes below Kent, Connecticut, New England... ‘goes to Hell”. Below Kent... New England is ...fully... ‘congested’. Above Kent, New England is fighting back by ...falling back and fading away. IF one lifts the flap and peeks inside this ‘fighting back by falling back and fading away... one gets told to... go to Hell. JUST LIKE Susannah said when she was ...on her own... above the settlements... in a hut... by a brook... with no pants on. One should never forget this ...quality... of New England... EVEN IF one is driving a big white SUV ‘too fast’ on old cow paths and ‘don’t know of this’.