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Discovering Connecticut, both past and present


The Chance Vought F4U Corsair

Saturday morning was a day that took a toll on my endurance.  I dragged myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning to be at the CT Air and Space Center by 6:30 am.  It’s unbelievable that I would even agree to this, considering the fact the weekend is the only time I can sleep in.   It was cold this morning, and with the damp, raw drizzle that made for soggy weather, it wasn’t pleasant in the least. From the moment the alarm went off, I tried pleading with my husband to let me sleep in late for just a few more minutes. 

No such luck.  He had a duty to be there at a specific time, and there was a team of men he was working with on disassembling and restoring some of the older model aircrafts from World War II.  I told you in an earlier post that you may one day find me here talking about the F-22 Raptor.  That’s a viscious name, isn’t it?

Raptor.  But I’m not talking about the ones featured in the Jurassic Park Motion Picture series. I actually meant the twin-engine fighter aircrafts which use stealth technology.  See the photo below from the March 29 post.  Not to disappoint anyone, but they weren’t working on an F-22, but something more infinitely precious; the Chance Vought F4U Corsair;  a huge project endeavored to restore these fighter-aircraft artifacts that’ve been collecting corrosion and rust over the last 50 years in the hangars near the coastline.  At this time, they’re disassembling the Corsair in order to restore it, and it took several hours just to remove the rudder.  My purpose for being there was to take some photos.

So here I am saying that it took a toll on me.  Think of all the men who worked religiously and tirelessly and above all virtues -without complaint to restore an artifact that gave us great gains against the Japanese in World War II.  In his April 17, 2010 post, ‘Marking Time, Rediscovering the Forgotten’, our good friend Drew discusses the details of this project with more technical finesse http://monumentman.wordpress.com/

Isn’t she a beauty? Right in the center of all blackness is the atmospheric discharge of florescent white; the beady little eyes of head beams trying to get safely home. As sinister as the view may have looked, no heavy storm rolled in, just a light tapping of showers that broke in periodically throughout the afternoon.  But since I’m here for a greater purpose, I couldn’t let it deter me and had to forge on.  Besides, it was an hour ride home from where I was at the moment, and I was determined to get what I came for.  I’m taking pictures in an effort to organize and import them for a book trailer I plan on developing.  I know just from living here my whole life that the Connecticut River Valley offers some quintessential views of New England.  I’m not the ideal person to capture them, but figured I should at least try.  I just wish we had started this journey earlier because by 3:00, just shortly after we got started, we were already exhausted, the bulk of our energy expended the morning of at CASC.  

Some people look for cotton-candy blue skies for the sunny sky landscape that smiles upon them.  Not me.  I think the sky, like humans, is so very loaded with emotion.  Like so many of us, it has mood swings: mutable and unstable.  And like many more of us, its expression is readable, decipherable.  When the day turns instantly dark, you know there’s a story behind the storm (packed with so much energy charging within).  The kind that tips off the radar.  The kind of overcast where the sky comes in with an attitude, bullying its way in to rattle and menace the populace beneath.  To quote Star Wars, there is a ‘disturbance in the force’ couldn’t be more true than the weather.  When I was little, I was actually afraid of the sky, a phobia I never quite understood and which I imported onto my lead character in order to rationalize this fear for me.  There was something intimidating about its vastness that had me drop my head low to steer my eyes away from the very sight of it.

In any case, the fear is no longer and off we went to take my pictures.  So much thanks is given to my beautiful husband for driving me wherever I needed to go.  Patiently, enduringly he is always at my side.  I couldn’t  have asked for a better companion to wander with on these escapades. 

Eventually, we moved on to Mount St. John in Deep River.  While browsing the Internet through town sites, I came across several photos of the campus and just had to see it for myself.  There’s something very mystical and gothic about these buildings, and the landscape surrounding the campus.   

When that was done, we headed off to Ivorytown, the quaint historic district of Essex for dinner at the Copper Beech Inn.  We’ve been meaning to visit it for so long because celebrity chef Tyler Anderson works there.  In 2009, he competed on ‘Chopped’, a realty culinary show produced by the Food Network, and won the $10K grand prize.  Pretty impressive, considering how competitive the show is.  He was wonderful, personable and even came out to say hello, taking time out of his busy schedule to greet his ever growing number of fans. 

It goes without saying that the food was also outstanding.  There are two sections within the Inn that guests have a choice of dining in, Copper Beech Inn and the Brassier Pip.  We opted for the Brassier Pip as the more informal dining option.  The staff was attentive, courteous and professional.  I must be honest and say that if given the chance, well, I’d go back in a hearbeat.  It was a nice way to top off the day.  Overall, the afternoon was long but a smashing success.  I took the photos I needed and a got the chance to meet a talented chef.  But more important, time spent with my husband.  Have a sparkling week and I will see you again in a few days.

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2 Comments to “Discovering Connecticut, both past and present”

  1. Loved your version of the recap of the day. I will have to keep an eye on your blog in the future to see what all you have to say! I wish I had known you were that tired, I would have never bossed you around to work on the plane. Like Rob, I am very lucky to have a great wife that lets me work on this project and I know how hard she works, so her days off are just as precious. Your assistance is always appreciated, and let me say thank you again for your effort and for showing up so rudely early on a cold, wet Saturday morning.

  2. Louis J Esposito

    A GREAT ARTICLE, BUT SHE DID NOT INCLUDE HER NAME? THIS IS THE EXPOSURE WE NEED. THANK YOU FOR SENDING IT TO ME LOU.

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