Tag: ridgewood

Embarking On Vree’s New Journey

I am preparing to write stories about Vree Erickson and her friend Lenny Stevens again. Lenny is a character I created 48 years ago. Vree soon followed. The above statement makes it seem like I have written for a long time. I have not. I spent most of that time painting and creating art. Even

Continue reading

New Ridgewood, 2

Wherever Vree was, she could not see much, just gray darkness similar to the warm and safe kind beneath her blankets when she and Zoey used them for tents in her bedroom. But she was not beneath her blankets. The grayness was infinite here, wherever here was, and she floated and rolled and swam in

Continue reading

New Ridgewood, 1

Ridgewood continues to change. The same goes for her characters. After all, real-life 2017 is a bizarre, stranger time than 1970 when I began creating the place and her residents. And no matter how fictional they are, they need an essence of reality to make them current and believable. I have told Vree Erickson’s story

Continue reading

Ridgewood Revisited, Part 4

The Quest Around us in air, water, land and fire, there are realms that for the most part go unseen by many. These strange and fascinating worlds exist beyond the fabric of our periphery, dwelling within the wilds of every race and culture, and revealed by the greatest unknown, to them with minds utterly open.

Continue reading

Ridgewood Revisited, Part 3

Revealing the Dragon The beautiful and single Lisa Franklin revealed to him that she was merely a Sunday painter. Still, he gushed uncontrollably about art and favorite artists. Somehow, he managed to impress her enough to exchange deliberations about society’s perception of artists in the twenty-first century. Spinning merry fancy inside his overactive mind, he

Continue reading

Ridgewood Revisited, Part 2

Revealing the Dragon They had met in August at Ridgewood High School while he was preparing the art room for another year of teaching. She was the new English teacher and had been touring the maze-like building with an entourage from the welcoming committee when she walked into his room and sent him back to

Continue reading

Ridgewood Revisited, Part 1

It has been a month since my last post, so I am breaking my silence to let you know that I’m returning to Ridgewood to look around and try to catch glimpses of things missed during my last visit, which I reported here in 2011 and 2012. There may be some retelling of past events,

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 26

The first childhood characters to crawl from my mind were Morty Twitchel (whose only appearance was brief and at the beginning of my Ridgewood tales) and Ademia Savakis. Now grown up, Mort meets Ademia, an unidentified woman in the story who now possesses magical power, from which he discovers there’s a devilish price to pay

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 25

Ridgewood, 1999: After my navy discharge I married and settled down to raise a family. Factories were leaving the country and jobs offering good wages were hard to find. I enrolled at college in 1986 and majored in art for four years. Along the way I wrote a few short stories for English classes; none

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 24

Starting Over, 1973-1975: The days of Creative Writing classes were over. Worse, I had lost my two best friends—the real-life models of my Lenny character. One had dropped out of school during our tenth grade year after a long illness; the other had turned to drugs, axing our friendship and banding together with a handful

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 23

The Pink Fairy. Five. Inside the hole, the air changed to a miserable chill that slid around me like a thousand icy knives moments before they stabbed into my body. Dim green light from crystals along the walls revealed a boxy chamber no bigger than my bedroom. Dave’s fall had been short, but far enough

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 22

The Pink Fairy. Four. Lisa caught up to where Dave stood and she saw that the house was gone. “How?” She looked at the empty lot that was now a large hole where the cellar had been. “I don’t know,” Dave said. He sounded stunned. “I—I really don’t know.” Lisa bit her bottom lip. After

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 21

The Pink Fairy. Three. “Maybe it’s your brother,” Dave said. The person who entered the hall was not Matthew Kendall, but he was another teenage boy. He was short and stocky, and with black hair cut close to his head. He had on a gray-blue T-shirt, black jeans and black and white tennis shoes. He

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 20

The Pink Fairy. Two. Inside the woods, the air cooled even more. Lisa pulled the damp towel around her. The path they were on was well trodden and it went past dense undergrowth and bushes and wound around curves made by hillocks and tangles of vines and thorny horse brier growths that sometimes seemed to

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 19

The Pink Fairy. One. Matthew Kendall fell to his oars to control the rocking boat. His sister had jumped overboard and was swimming to shore. Once the rocking stopped, he rowed to shore. Lisa was talking to a boy who appeared no older than them, though Lisa was fifteen months younger than Matthew’s sixteen years.

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 18

Margaret “Peggy” Louise (Garrett) Evans: Peggy Evans was 50 when Dave and Amy were born in 1957. She had deep blue eyes, red hair becoming gray, and was 5’ 4” when I met her. She had a lean physique and a pale complexion, and she was often smartly dressed in colorful dresses. Peggy was born

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 17

Changes, 1972–1973: The leap into the light took me home, back to my desk and typewriter inside my bedroom. I returned to the sinkhole right away, but the light was gone. I quit going on lengthy visits to Ridgewood after the police began investigating. To my knowledge, no one told the investigators how Vree had

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 16

Changing the Future. Four. Suppose lightning struck a place seventy years ago. And let’s say lightning struck the same place today. Would that create a time tunnel? “Believe in things much greater and far more mysterious than we can explain,” Nancy Pennwater Stephenson told me after she came from the house with Dave and Lenny

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 15

Changing the Future. Three. The next day, Dave’s two-person tent was up behind his dad’s place on Myers Ridge. He and Lenny were inside the house. Vree and I sat inside his tent where I shivered from the unseasonal fifty-degree weather despite a rich July sunshine that hurt my eyes as it glared off Mr.

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 14

Changing the Future. Two. I hoped the crowd didn’t notice I looked more nervous than usual when I took the stage and played the rhythm guitar intro to ARC’s first number, a cue to the band to take the stage. Vree was last from the storage room behind the stage as she followed Dave and

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 13

Myers Ridge, 1972, Fourth Visit: ARC was scheduled to play a Fourth of July gig at The Roundhouse, the old roller rink now owned by Vree’s parents. On paper, I played better harmonica and rhythm guitar than in real life, so I wrote myself as a visiting member of the band. Vree liked to sit

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 12

A Quick Look at High School: My Ridgewood visits lessened when ninth grade English class made demands on me beyond writing stories. When I found a few minutes at home, I wrote some very short stories about Lenny and Dave … and Vree. She became my imaginary confidant on paper, as well as my girlfriend.

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 11

Myers Ridge, 1971, Third Visit: Vree Erickson, the pretty girl who lived atop Myers Ridge, became my favorite fictional person to write about during the 1971-1972 school year. It was also when my stories took a turn for the unexplained. After our first meeting at Parker’s place, I saw her again one early November Saturday

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 10

Michelle: Michelle Evans was 25 when Dave and Amy were born. She was born and raised in nearby New Cambridge and moved to Ridgewood when she married Parker Evans. She dyed her auburn hair blonde (worn short), had blue eyes, was 5’ 6”, and had a fit and trim athletic physique, left from her days

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 9

Life at Alice Lake: Since Dave and Amy’s folks were separated, their mother chose to keep their childhood house at Alice Lake. The lake community was as large as the town north of it and once held the stature of being its own municipality, complete with a town hall and post office. Alice Lake became

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 8

Myers Ridge, 1971, Second Visit: Myers Ridge was well-known for its caves, abandoned mines, precipitous hillside, and sightings of Norman Myers’s ghost. But long before that, the ridge received its official name in 1801 when Jonah Myers purchased the property from the state. Jonah Myers and his family were sheep and goat farmers during a

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 7

Parker: Parker Evans was 28 when twins Dave and Amy were born. He was born in Ridgewood and raised solely by his mother Peggy Evans after his father died. His hair and eyes were brown. He was 5’ 11” and thin. He free-lanced as an illustrator for periodicals, and his proudest accomplishment was doing the

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 6

Amy: After I graduated eighth grade, I spent the summer discovering the ups and downs of playing baseball. I shared this passion in a story where I meet Dave’s twin sister, Amy. Amy had blue eyes; brown hair worn long past her shoulders and sometimes in a ponytail; never grew taller than 5’ 5”; and

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 5

Dave: David Nicholas Evans and his best friend Lenny were in the same grade at Ridgewood High, home of the Fighting Eagles. Dave began as my doppelganger before I gave him his own personality. He had blue eyes, medium brown hair, which turned dark and curly by 1973, and had a passion for drawing and

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 4

Myers Ridge, 1970, First Visit: I developed Lenny’s character further and discovered after several visits that he didn’t care for “Len” as a nickname, although his dad called him it all the time. I also learned that several pretty Ridgewood girls found his full, dark brown hair and light brown eyes “dreamy looking” even though

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 3

The Official Ridgewood Map and Town History: Over the winter I drew several maps of my fictional place and gave it a history. After several tries of cutting and pasting from local road maps, I settled on an arrangement in 2005 that would become my official Ridgewood landscape/topography map. At my typewriter in 1970, I

Continue reading

The Ridgewood Story, 2

The day I created Leonard Campbell Stevens, I played no sports. Fishing and listening to baseball games on my transistor radio were the only things close to being sports active for me. I fished to relax and have fun; so did Lenny, which is how we “met” in the first story I wrote. Lenny’s first,

Continue reading