Peter Chapman Poetry

Early Life

From:  Polly Chapman Parker
Subject:  Cherished Memories
To:  Tim Chapman
Date:  Monday, December 8, 2008

Every day I receive these and I thought I would send this one your way.  What was your favorite place to play?

I think we were certainly blessed to have the woods in our back yard, and Pultneyville to explore. 

I hope you enjoy your day,


"Think about your childhood for a moment. What was your favorite outdoor place to play? What was that environment like? Do your memories evoke specific sights, scents, and sounds? What did you do there? What did it look like and feel like? Did this place change along with the seasons? What sort of games did you play and what did you discover there?

"Unfortunately, these days many children don't have the kinds of opportunities that we had not so long ago. Our fast-paced culture now places greater emphasis on going, doing and becoming, less on wandering, searching, discovering. With modern urban and suburban development, natural or wild areas are less available.

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Thanks Polly.  Of course the woods, walking down to the river and the railroad tree house, and sailing/praming at Pultneyville, the wonderful drive to and fro on the lush forested winding Lake rd. with shafts of sunlight breaking through every so often, the sweet smell of the lake and all the vegetation, the feel of warm wind blowing into the opened windows of our 1960 Ford Country Squire wagon, and years before that in the powder green Buick Roadmaster convertible with my arms outstretched feeling it all sift thru my fingers.....and of course Palmyra @ A&UC's, that place, the front porch, wicker furniture, big green and white striped canvas awnings, Auntie's strawberry shortcake, the basement cedar closets stocked with ceramic bottles of maple syrup and turkish cigarettes, their property, the gardens with beautiful rows of Iris, the crushed stoned pathways, the buzz of the locusts....Locust lawn, the constant mechanical whisping sound of the sprinklers sending showers of rainbow-filled water across that expansive front lawn, mowing it....trailing behind Jay the gardener, talking to him about life as he grabbed an unfiltered smoke in between doing his chores, always wearing his denim overalls and a railroad cap, peering over the fence, bushes, at the Griffith's house wondering who lived there that I could/would never see, this mystery of a recluse, going down to Gooney's crossing, feeling the power of the locomotive trains screaming around that 6` banked sweeping turn, drawn to the thundering loud visual experience, but afraid to get too close, still inexorably drawn to it, as close as I could without being run over, with Auntie warning me "Don't you get too close Timmy"...exploring old barns, farms, antiquing with mom, driving thru the Finger lakes, The Castle on Seneca lake, the fall colors and scents, rows and rows of ripe plump grape vines running up/down the hillsides, the Bromley's cabin, cutting down our xmas tree in their back meadows, hiking up to Jess's pond above them, always on the lookout for wildlife...buying apple cider, biting into sweet crisp apples exploding with flavor....learning to ski, figuring out for the first time the Powdermill park rope tow with Bobo, watching him do snow plow turns in front of me and behind me, watching him smile and laugh, going to the ski shop and watching him outfit us, his pleasure in doing it and joining me on the slopes...feeling good and tired afterwards...and wanting all of this to never end, to never have to grow up, be a care-free child forever....I'm thankful I got to experience all of this and so much more...thank you mom and dad and auntie and uncle all was the world to me.