I was in New York over a week ago for business and had a client meeting in Connecticut. I decided to make my way to my parents house for the weekend. I had not been home in 15 years during the spring or summer (I usually go at the holidays). I cannot tell you how magnificent it was to see spring. It made my heart skip a beat, made my pulse race, and left me breathless. How I missed my little town.
Growing up in a small town (population 5000), I couldn’t wait to get out dodge as soon as graduated from high school. I remember going to college and people would ask where I am from. I would say Chester, CT. They would say, “Cheshire?” The standard reply would be, “No, Chester, CT. It’s near Old Saybrook, down near near Deep River and Essex where the Connecticut River meets the Long Island Sound. Sounds crazy, but it was the only way people understood where little Chester was located. It became such a joke that my roommates in college made fun of me. I wish I could dig out the picture of my roommate Kallie visiting CT when she saw the Chester sign. It was like a scene from Miracle on 34th Street, where the little girl yells, “Stop the Car! Stop the Car!” I have a picture of my roommates under the Chester sign squatting down and pointing up to the sign, laughing of course. At one point, the town had a bumper sticker made that said, “Chester, CT…We Know Where it is!”
Like anything as you grow older, you always find your way back home. As a child, most of the stores catered to the townies as I called them. We had Robbie’s the local ice cream shop slash five and dime store and a tiny little market. Now, it’s home to many art galleries and talented jewelry designers as well as quaint boutiques. Our area was always known for artists but it’s nice to see the town building a community around it. Chester is becoming quite the culinary scene with River Tavern, owned by Jonathan Rapp, a fellow classmate of mine. He is also the creator of Dinners at the Farm, similar to Outstanding in the Field. All dinners are done at local farms in the surrounding areas, using seasonal and local ingredients, farm style. You can find the 2012 schedule at Dinners at the Farm.
See photos below of the center of town. I use to joke with my friends, blink and you’ve driven through it. For years our first grade teacher lived in this house, Mrs. Powell, I believe. I always loved it. Wonder who lives here now?
That dam pick up truck screwed up my picture LOL!
The Pattaconk is a local bar and restaurant. When I was in 10th grade, I worked here periodically for extra money. I spilled a glass of red wine on some guys pants in a not so nice spot. I will never forget it. Thank God he laughed.
Spring has sprung. Ah, how I miss daffodils. All the fields and yards were plentiful. I always loved how they randomly came up between rocks, along the streets, and in fields, etc. They always make me smile.
The street Peggy & Fritz lived on. My mom grew up here. They were one of the first people to build a house on this street. It was originally a large meadow and they lined the entire street with Dogwood Trees so the springs was spectacular. Sadly, whoever, had purchased the house has not taken care of the yard and it couldn’t be photographed. Thank God for my memories. I have many.
Near the center of town there is a beautiful pond that has this small waterfall that trickles into a running brook.
Stay tuned. I will be featuring a number of local businesses from Chester and the surrounding areas. If you live in New England, the shoreline of CT is worth a weekend trip or a day trip for locals. For more information on Chester, CT you can find out everything you want to know at Find it in Chester CT or the Local Galleries.