I leave Kinnelon today for home. It's been a magnificent trip. I met so many wonderful and accommodating people who generously gave me their time and information. While I was a little nervous coming here - after all, I was here to talk about a woman who was having an affair with one of the town's benefactors - but everyone was so supportive and interested in the project.
There are few stores and places for entertainment here. But then I guess having those things would defeat the purpose of being here: to appreciate and love nature, to read a book, to fish, to walk and listen, to be present and contemplate. Daisy loved this place, and after being here, I can see why she gravitated to Kinnelon, or Bott's as she and Henry called it. After a week listening to the buzz of the city, putting together a national weekly magazine, reading hundreds of manuscripts from rookie writers and trying to come up with ways to make the stories readable so she could use them, and tolerating the badgering of management, this place was a haven.
For around ten years, from around 1930 to 1940, Daisy and Henry fled the city and drove up here on the weekends. Back in 1930, it must have taken them a few hours to get here, maybe longer depending on the condition of the roads. They cleaned and cleared the area surrounding the houses, planted trees, cleaned the windows. Daisy relaxed and doted on Henry, who relaxed and smoked a pipe in the hammock hanging in the trees out front. For decades afterwards, after Daisy had retired to Port Washington, and Henry to Bott's, Daisy would think of this place. It was her haven, the place where she could let down her hair and even smile once in a while.
After I return to California, I'll post a recap of some of the places I visited, which included a tour of one of the houses at Bott's. And I'll try not to get depressed because I had to leave.
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