Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dog Tag Memorial - Boston

Asmall garden memorial by the Old North Church in Boston, 2010 -- dog tags representing fallen military personnel.

Dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chester, Vermont Train Depot

Another Chester, another depot...

A couple of weeks ago we covered the Chester, Connecticut filming locations of the movie "It Happened to Jane" (1959).  Among those photos was the whistle stop Chester depot.

Here's another cozy train depot in Chester, Vermont.  You can stop here on the Green Mountain Flyer.

Like this one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dancing at the Island Ledge Casino - Wells Beach, Maine

A piece of history hanging on the wall at the Forbes Family Restaurant, Wells Beach, Maine. The ghost of summers past, and of another May.

The site of the Ledgeview Inn, built in 1988, was where formerly had stood the Island Ledge Casino, since about 1909. It was a huge, ramshackle barn of a building with a second story veranda, big enough for a 450-seat movie theater, and dancing, and bowling.  This poster possibly dates from the 1930s or '40s.

Another summer season is about to start, but ghosts of season past walk along the beach. Some of them are us in younger days.

For more on Lafayette's Oceanfront Resort and the Forbes Family Restaurant, have a look here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Starring Chester, Connecticut

Welcome to Cape Ann, Maine. Or, as we in New England call it, Chester, Connecticut.

As part of our annual celebration of Amtrak’s National Train Day, which falls this Saturday, May 12th, we have a look today at the filming sites for the fictional Cape Ann in the movie “It Happened to Jane” (1959). This Doris Day/Jack Lemmon film is going to be discussed this Thursday on my Another Old Movie Blog. I hope you can join us over there.

Chester, Connecticut was a movie stand-in for a fictional Maine village, where Doris Day and Jack Lemmon run up against a nasty mean railroad owner played by Ernie Kovacs. It’s a charming movie, and its many outdoor shots of a seemingly idyllic New England village in a lush 1950s summer are a huge part of what makes the movie so pleasant.

A lot of townspeople were used as extras in the film, its own town fife and drum corps appeared in the movie, and Chester still identifies with the film to the extent of showing it in the Meeting House of an occasional summer evening. Larry Bloom, a native of Chester, writing in the New York Times January 25, 2009 noted, “…it is eerie, in particular, to watch the scene of town meeting that takes place in that very building, or watch Lemmon and Ms. Day argue in front of the nearby waterfall on High Street.”

It must be eerie, too, to catch glimpses of long-passed relatives “voting” in town meeting.

Have a look at then and now. You’ll see that not a lot has changed in Chester over the last 50-odd years, that perhaps the biggest change is reflected in the seasons. The movie was shot during summertime, with all the trees leafed out. You can almost smell the mowed lawns and hear the crickets. These present-day shots were taken in March, when things are still apt to be pretty colorless and the sunshine weak.

Doris drives to the center of town. 

Chester Center, photo by JT Lynch
The green building is still green, the stone building next to it has an addition.

Doris Day runs from Caldwell's general store.

Chester center, photo by JT Lynch
The store is pink now, and it's a resaurant.

The church.

United Church of Chester, photo by JT Lynch

Doris and Jack coming out of the Meeting House

Doris and Jack fighting in the car in front of the Meeting House.
Chester Meeting House, now a theater and concert hall where "It Happened to Jane" is sometimes screened.  It has been in continual public use for over 200 years.  Photo by JT Lynch
Doris Day and Steve Forrest visit the cemetery.
It's probably this cemetery, just across the village green from the Meeting House.  Photo by JT Lynch
Jack Lemmon drives his convertible down High Street to catch up with Doris at the waterfall.
This is High Street, Chester, looking down on the waterfall from the other direction.  Photo by JT Lynch.
Doris fighting with Jack at the waterfall.
A new stone wall barrier on the bridge built in 2001, photo by JT Lynch
High Street waterfall, Chester, CT, photo by JT Lynch
The "Cape Ann" whistle stop.

Chester, CT whistle stop, photo by JT Lynch
A little closer, photo by JT Lynch
Doris and Jack's train arrives in "Marshaltown".
Funny, but that building with the gold dome in the distance looks familiar.  Could it be the Connecticut State Capitol Building?
Now that you mention it, the "Marshaltown" train station looks a lot like the Union Station in Hartford, Connecticut, photo by JT Lynch.

 A closer view of the Connecticut State Capital Building in Hartford, photo by JT Lynch.

The train from the "Eastern & Portland RR" no longer exists.  However....
...you can ride one very similar on pretty much the same route Doris and Jack take at the Essex Steam Train.   Photo by JT Lynch.
In the movie, the train runs along an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maine.
But that's really the Connecticut River. Photo by JT Lynch.
Chester, Connecticut has a huge role in this movie, playing stand-in for the fictional Cape Ann, Maine, and adds such personality and warmth to the film that it deserved an Oscar...if they gave them to villages.

Have a look at this previous post on the delightful Essex Steam Train.
Please stop by "Another Old Movie Blog" on Thursday for a closer look at "It Happened to Jane".

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Photography Exhibition - Gretje Ferguson - Wellesley, Massachusetts

Today, a photography exhibition showcasing the work of Gretje Ferguson opens at the Wellesley Free Library for the entire month of May. The title of this exhibit is called “Authors Among Us”. Black-and-white fine art portraits of 15 Massachusetts writers are included in the show. One of them is yours truly.

Next Wednesday, a reception celebrating Ms. Ferguson’s exhibition will be held, free and open to the public as an opportunity to meet the photographer and authors. I’ll be there, too, and if any reader of this blog in the Wellesley area can make this event, I’d love to meet you.

Time: Wednesday, May 9, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Place: Wellesley Free Library, Wakelin Room
530 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA
781-235-1610 781-235-1610

Featured authors: Robyn Bradley, Lilian Cheung, Kyle Darcy, Steve Elman, Anita Diamant, Juliette Fay, Bob Halloran, Dello Iacono, Daphne Kalotay, Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, Jacqueline T. Lynch, William Martin, Peter H. Reynolds, Neal Sanders, Katrin Schumann, Alan Tolz, Gail Van Kleeck, Raffi Yessayan

See you there.