My family and I travel to upstate New York fairly often throughout the year to visit relatives in Sullivan County. The traffic leaving or entering the city is generally the worst part of the trip. The GW bridge is horrendous and patches of roadwork along the way sucks but it’s beyond my control.

I enjoy long drives. I know some people don’t but I do. If the children behave, which is rare but possible from time to time, and if the wife gets some shut eye, I can peacefully listen to music and recollect while taking in the scenic views of the road.

The last few times it elicited some images buried in the crawl space of my mind. A recollection of moments, snapshots of fallen rock zone signs and deer relaxing on the side of I87, with the beam of the headlights illuminating them under the canopy of the night sky.

I was 4 or 5 and there was turmoil in my house yet again. My mother who was pregnant with Megan at the time was fighting with my older brother, the third child out of four from our father’s first marriage. It was right before that sibling would leave for his first prison sentence. The memory is fragmented. I have it in bits and pieces and vague details that were told to me over the years. In any case, that night the alleged adults were out of hand, and my uncle, my father’s brother and his first wife escorted me out and took me to their house in upstate New York, sheltering me from the chaos. They resided in a town called Kerhonkson.

The mental Polaroids that presented themselves to me recently are from that drive, sitting on the bucket seat in his pick up between the two of them. It’s funny what the brain keeps and what it discards.

As a kid I loved going to my uncle’s house. I had two cousins, a boy and a girl who were much older but treated me wonderfully. They had a cool looking cabinet with even radder looking rifles and shotguns in the living room. They had framed pictures of women with big tits in bikinis posing next to hot rods in the kitchen. It makes me think of ZZ Top. I would stare at it, probably a little red in the face and not quite sure why I liked looking at those pictures as much as I did. They had a handful of cows, a gigantic Saint Bernard and a three wheeler, which my cousin would drive with me seated in front of him, hauling ass through woods he knew better than anyone.

Once he spotted turkeys on our ride and raced back to the house to drop me off and pick up his rifle, then headed back out to snipe one for dinner.

They were the only people I knew that had a home projection television, which seemed oddly cool then, futuristic, although the only film I can recall watching there was the 1985 horror-comedy, House. It might be not scary now, but for a little kid it was frightening, and let’s be honest that movie is fucking weird. The VHS had a pretty cool cover though.

The house to my knowledge is gone, having burned down allegedly as the result of arson, which my uncle did the time for. I haven’t seen those cousins in thirty years, I heard the boy did well for himself, enlisting in military and then a career in law enforcement but the girl passed some odd years back. It’s funny how people that you have no contact or interaction with still find ways to wander into your thoughts.

All I want is to live in the woods. I’ve grown impatient with New York City, resentful even. And now when we drive away from it, I take it all in, the vast rows of trees and the sprawling mountains, and the happiness of spotting an animal off to the side or hawk or eagle overhead, the crispness of the air.

I’d be fine with New York City being a far off place in the mind that I used to know and have it skip lovingly into my thoughts once in the blue, remembering how nice it once was, before we both changed and fell out of love with each other.

5 responses to “Kerhonkson”

  1. I do love upstate. I used to come up to Utica twice a year to see former friends and I took my fiancee to Herkimer for her birthday a couple years back since she’s always wanted to mine for diamonds. She did well. Syracuse and the NY state fair. Anyone else’s state fair is a fireman’s carnival by comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, Ray. I’m bound to the city for work but when the time is right I’d like to move upstate, somewhere with a reasonable commute. With the way things are going here it’s a better place for my kids to live. We’ll see.


      1. Hope it works out for you. I can say in upstate, I’ve never seen a better snow removal crew in my life. After the event is done, anyway, lol. People up there carry on with life in a full on blizzard. I was there trying to keep up in a blizzard, just for a church spaghetti dinner, lol. Much respect for upstate. Some of most beautiful territory on the east coast and I live outside of Baltimore.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never been to NYC, but I already know that I will not enjoy the crowds there when Mike and I visit someday. However, upstate NY sounds heavenly and more of my kind of place. I always enjoy reading about your childhood memories. You are an inspiration, so maybe someday I will write about mine. Thanks for sharing another great post, Sean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words. I truly appreciate them. You should absolutely write about them. I’d love to read it.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: