Today I took a letter to the post office in Readsboro Vermont. I had a man’s address but didn’t think they delivered the mail to where he lived. Maybe he had a PO box. I left a note on the envelope for the postmaster to put the letter in his box, if he had one, as the post office was closed for lunch. Here is the story that might be used.
I wanted to talk with an 80-year old man who had been recording stories from people in the town of Readsboro, Vermont for many years. I thought he might help me to understand the town, as I was writing about Readsboro in a book about small-town New England. I drove by his house high on a hill hoping he might be home, but the shades were down and his driveway hadn’t been plowed. There were no footsteps leading to his door. Probably he’d left for the winter.
On the way there, I had seen a neighbor, an elderly woman, sweeping her walk. Perhaps she could tell me if he was away. She had just crossed the road to pick up her mail, her broom still in her hand. As she emptied her mail box, her back was turned to me. Maybe, just maybe this would make a great photo. But I had to hurry before she left. No time to focus or make any adjustments. Just take the picture while sitting in the car with the window down and hope for the best.
Then the lady turned and I called out to her. She came over. “Have you lived here long?” I asked. “Sixty two years,” she said, “and loved every moment.” Then she told me her neighbor, the 80-year old man, usually left during the cold months.
Now I was anxious to see if I was in luck. Would the photo be any good? Would it be in focus? Would it be interesting? I rushed home to see it in the computer. Here it is. I still don’t know. You decide.