15 May 2008

Thursday Thirteen #5

The subject of this TT comes to you courtesy of my 20th high school reunion, which I found out about yesterday, because an old friend found me on Facebook and sent me the info. It was kinda neat cruising the reunion website and seeing where people ended up, which naturally induced a bout of homesickness.

Consequently, I give you...




Thirteen Things I Miss About My Hometown
That Have Ended Up In My Fiction



1. Moe’s Italian Sandwiches. It’s the bread, I think. And the absense of lettuce. And the particular meat they use. Or all of the above. I dunno, but you haven’t lived until you’ve had a Moe’s. Fiction: One gets shared in Dragons - in Prescott Park, as a matter of fact (see #7 below).

2. The Brioche. A café, which isn’t actually called that anymore, but I can’t remember the current name… Anyway, it’s the café on the square where I spent half of high school, every morning of my college career before I caught the bus, and as much time as I can manage on visits home. Fiction: Bits of Dragons, One Night, Vampire Pie… ok, well, everybody shows up here at some point.

3. “Beaches”. In quotes because if you’re thinking of vast expanses of sand, you’re on the wrong one. I mean, yes, there are those kinds of beaches where I grew up, but I never went to them, because you had to pay to park usually, and my parents were too cheap to do that. So the beaches I went to had craggy shoulders of bedrock in between the sandy bits, more rocks than sand in most spots and, sometimes, just rocks. Fiction: A big, bloody fight scene in Vampire Pie takes place on one of those rockier-than-not “beaches”.

4. Graveyards. Really old ones. OK, old for America – yanno, early 1600s and such. Dunno why, but I just like ‘em. Fiction: There’s one in particular with a crypt down towards the water, that I like so much I made it Leo’s home in Vampire Pie.

5. The North Church. Right smack dab in the center of town, big white steeple, lit up at night and right across the street from the Brioche (see #2 above). Fiction: It gets a mention or three in Vampire Pie and will probably end up in Dragons by the time I'm done with it.

6. Walking. Everywhere. The house I grew up in was within walking distance of everything – schools, pools, beaches, mud flats, coffee, groceries, restaurants, bars (and home from bars…). You name it, you could walk there. Fiction: There’s quite a lot of walking in Vampire Pie, mostly 'cuz the undead aren’t allowed to drive.

7. Prescott Park. Local legend has it that the land that became Prescott Park was the red light district once upon a time. Then it got donated to the city, which bulldozed it, planted flower gardens, put in some fountains and declared it a wholesome place to bring the family. It’s awesome. Fiction: Like The Brioche (see #2 above), everybody shows up here.

8. Narrow Little Streets, Great Big Victorian Houses. There are areas of town where the streets are only one lane wide and the houses are butted right up against them (and each other). Some of the houses are huge and come complete with granite steps and a widow's walk. Fiction: One of my favorites is the basis for a vampire’s house in Vampire Pie.

9. The Salt Piles. No, really – great big piles of salt. Right on the edge of downtown and – hysterically – right across the street from the fancy-schmancy Sheraton hotel. Gigantic and decidedly un-scenic, the piles are there because that’s where some mineral company has their docks, and they got there first (i.e., before the Sheraton). Fiction: Ack! They’re not in my fiction! But I have a feeling they should be. And I miss them, so here they are, anyway.

10. Ice cream stands. Elsewhere in America, you have Baskin Robbins. In New England, we have seasonal, independent ice cream stands that compete with each other to give the most outrageous flavors and the most unmanageable amount of ice cream for the least amount of money. OK, you might pay 3 bucks, but you get a frikkin’ pint of ice cream perched on that sugar cone. Fiction: Hmmm, I don’t think this one is in any fiction yet either… how sacrilegious.

11. Seafood. Not stuff that was frozen 6 months ago and has been shipped halfway around the world and costs a bloody fortune. No, no, no. Stuff that’s so fresh it curls when you cook it and while it’s not as cheap as MickyD’s, it won’t break the bank either. Fiction: This shows up tangentially in Mutagens, because one of the walk-ons is a lobsterman.

12. The Friendly Toast. Best - and funkiest - breakfast anywhere on the planet (with the possible exception of Mike’s Breakfast in Kathmandu). Fiction: Scheduled to appear in Dragons and the sequel to Vampire Pie.

13. Cobblestone Sidewalks. Impossible to ride a 10-speed over, a menace to strollers and downright dangerous to joggers. But beautiful and homey in their own special way. Fiction: They get mentioned a lot.




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13 comments:

SandyCarlson said...

I like the way you write about your hometown! My reunion scared the pants off me--too many divorced, balding, paunchy middle-aged realtors. And those were the women!

Darla said...

I've been either out of the country or at least out of state during all my reunions. And I wasn't even tempted to take a trip back for them... but then, my hometown isn't nearly as interesting as yours sounds. :)

Bethanie said...

sandycarlson - 'and those were the women' - LOL! Too funny!

darla - I love my hometown, it was a neat place to grow up. I don't think we'll make the reunion, acutally, because my daughter starts 1st grade a couple days later and the trip is too long to make that close to the Big Day. :)

Janet said...

Lots of cobblestone left in downtown Lowell...hmmm...possibly I need to go shoot some pictures!

Vampire Pie?

Oh, the the cones here...really, I'd rather just one scoop, not a pint! I end up having to throw two of the scoops away. Have you seen the cones in Paris? Perfect size!

Bethanie said...

janet - I smell a photo-stroll... and yes, I HAVE seen the cones in Paris! And they ARE the perfect size! Mmmmm, cassis.... mmmm, mouth-watering goodness....

And Vampire Pie is an appropriately silly title in more ways than one... you'll understand if I ever get to publish it...

On a limb with Claudia said...

I don't actually know where you are from - just that you are in exile in the south! I don't really know - there's no place like home? My home town has exploded with growth - so even if I went "home" it's not remotely the same. Sad, but true.

Happy TT - mmmm beniets....

Bethanie said...

claudia - Yeah, I left out the name of the town thinking I'd make people guess, then realized that was silly, but forgot to mention it... figures.

Anyway, it's Portsmouth, NH - which has also exploded with growth so much that I probably wouldn't recognize it either... I think I'm more homesick for my memory of it than anything.

'You can never go home again' is so true...

Sue said...

I also love cemeteries, the older the better :) Great list idea :)

Happy TT and have a great rest of the week!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'd miss that hometown, too. Mine was in suburbia. Nothing at all to miss, especially now that I only escaped 30 miles away and go back often...

Thanks for telling me I'm brilliant about the contest blog. If it fails, will you still think I'm brilliant?

Bethanie said...

sue - thanks! me too!

susan - OF COURSE, I will still think you're brilliant! :)

Celticlibrarian said...

I miss my hometown, too. *sniff* Perhaps this is why I'm dedicating next week's TT to it.

Great. Now I'm hungry missing my fave restaurants.

Thanks for the fun list.

Lori said...

It sounds like heaven. Anything with beaches has to be great. Happy TT and thanks for stopping by:)

Bethanie said...

celticlibrarian - Can't wait to hear about your hometown!

lori - Beaches are the place to be!

Thanks for visiting!