This old house once rang with laughter
This old house heard many shouts
Now he trembles in the darkness
When the lightnin’ walks about
I’ve always loved this Rosemary Clooney lyric. Very often – not always – but very often I have that sensation when I see an abandoned building. It’s the historian in me, I guess. Or what impels me to be an historian.
So when the lost cabin emerged from its brushy hiding place a few days ago, the lyric came back to me. The owner commissioned a veteran lumberjack to release the cabin from its woody prison. Part of the reason for his decision (it was a unilateral decision, I think, for he’s a widower now) was that his son had visited the lot recently, and had revealed plans to rehabilitate the property.
Other reasons may be that the neighbours on either side may have intimated that if the mature and aging trees on his property should take it into their crowns to fall on their side of the property line, and commit mayhem or massacre, they might have to have a serious chat with him.
Whatever the reason, this descendant of old Paul Bunyan has done a thoroughly professional job of targeting and destroying the poplar. A few conifer and birch remain upright.
Now when I drive by that property, my eyes are drawn to the cabin, no longer lost in the geographical sense, but still lost. For a building that ancient, it still sports clapboard siding of a startling white shade. Sort of like a whited sepulchre.
Whatever it once housed, is now gone. Ashes and dust.
(To be continued)