Friday, December 15, 2006

Wow. Today was my second full day here at the MacDowell Colony, and I'm still getting into the swing of things. Let me start at the beginning.

Two days ago, I took a 5-hour bus trip from NYC to Keene, NH, watching the landscape become rockier, foggier and birchier as we travelled north. Note: avoid the Springfield, MA bus station. Not nice. I was met by the Colony minivan, driven by overall Helpful Person and tour guide Blake, and we drove the half hour back to the Colony, which is in Peterborough, home of the Peterborough Players theater and the inspiration for Grover's Corners. First, I toured the grand Colony Hall, a wood-timbered lodge with ping-pong and pool and a piano and an enormous Christmas tree, where I sit now (also the Colony's only wireless internet). Then, I was driven to my studio, a rare live-in cabin called Barnard, which is perfect. A bedroom, a front room (both with fireplaces) and a bathroom, plus two(!) screened-in porches. Pictures above.

Most amazing is the wall of "tombstones" in the front room, the wooden tablets where every previous tenant has signed their name and dates. One of the first entries is Dubose and Dorothy Hayward, who I believe were working on the Porgy and Bess libretto at the time. I literally placed the tablet on the piano and backed swiftly away like I had opened the Ark and was in danger of immolation. Also on the tablets is Michael Chabon, one of my favorite authors, who was working on "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" while in Barnard, one of my favorite novels. I know this because he told me over beers last night. Yes, kids, he's here, and wears Justice League of America T-shirts.

I'll post some pics, then continue.


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