Category Archives: Memories

Found Items: Dark Shadows Memories

A while back I cleared out part of the kneewall and pulled out my suitcase of teenaged memories. It’s mostly packed with Jeremy’s letters, but I found other memories inside. One of which was a stained manilla envelope labeled Dark Shadows’ Memories. Inside the envelope were pages I’d torn out of 16 Magazine and perhaps Tiger Beat too.

Stained manilla envelop labeled Dark Shadows' memories

I am not sure exactly when I first saw Dark Shadows, but I know that I watched it when I was in 6th grade. I think I’d heard about it and remember watching one episode alone in a dark room and was terrified.

It could have been Eugenia Mack who really got me into watching Dark Shadows. I remember running to her house after school so I could watch it. She lived a little closer to school than I did. It began at 3 pm so we always missed a little bit of it. Her parents worked, so no one was there to interfere with us watching a soap opera about vampires, witches and werewolves.

I stopped going to Girl Scouts, and therefore was not allowed to go on a camping trip.

I guess it was my first obsession, and a gateway to many related obsessions. Based on the last photo it looks like I still enjoyed watching it in late 1970. Or at least I still liked David Henesy.

My two favorite characters were Barnabas Collins (played by Jonathan Frid) and David Collins (played by David Henesy). Barnabas was such an empathetic vampire. You couldn’t help liking him. He was soft-spoken and gentle.

As for David Collins — it wasn’t so much his character, but the actor himself. I was madly in love with David Henesy. In fact, I remember that when I was in stressful situations at school I would imagine David was my boyfriend and living in New York. You see, we had a long distance relationship.

I mean, look at that face. I bet you are a little infatuated with him too!

I didn’t like all the characters. In fact I thought Quentin stank, at least in 1970. I guess I just didn’t like handsome werewolves.

Another Regret

A number of years ago I wrote a blog post about regretting not going to a wedding as a 6th grader. Over the Christmas holiday, while being shown around Atlanta, I realized I had another regret.

When we lived in Pittsburgh in the early 1980s I’d discovered the works of Anne Rivers Siddons. I’m sure I read her first three novels (Heartbreak Hotel, The House Next Door, and Fox’s Earth) while living in Pittsburgh. When I read that she was going to be visiting a local bookstore, I was excited and planned to go to the event which was taking place sometime in the middle of the day.

I am unclear on the actual date. If Siddons was promoting a book, then it had to have been Fox’s Earth because the next published book was after we’d left Pittsburgh. That would make it 1981. I am also unclear on the bookstore. My memory puts it in the ritzy part of Shadyside — an area I was not very familiar with. I don’t remember if I walked there or drove. Whatever, I am 95% sure the author was Anne Rivers Siddons.

What I am clear on is walking into the bookstore shortly before the event was supposed to begin. I looked around the store and saw no area set up for a book reading (although I’d never been to a book reading so I am not sure I knew what I was looking for). At the time I was incredibly shy and found new experiences to be painful. I am sure I was nervous just going into the bookstore, but I suppose I assumed there would be welcoming staff or at least a sign telling Anne Rivers Siddons fans where to go for the reading. Being shy, I was terrified of asking one of the book sellers about the reading, so, after a few moments of walking around the bookstore I turned around and began walking out of the shop.

As I headed towards the exit I saw a harried looking woman enter the shop. She said something to me as I passed her about it being hard to find the bookstore or something. I smiled and nodded and left. Moments later I realized it was Anne Rivers Siddons but I was too shy to go back into the store.

I’d mostly forgotten about that event/non-event until we were leaving for our recent semi-spontaneous trip to Atlanta. I ran downstairs to my bookshelf of books I’ve been meaning to read and grabbed my thirty-something year-old mass market paperback copy of Anne Rivers Siddons’ Peachtree Road.

Peachtree Road was the last Anne River Siddons book I read — and I never finished it. I picked up a copy of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver and fell in love with a new author. I remember telling people about it, saying that it had some of the same themes as Peachtree Road, but Kingsolver didn’t waste a word in her writing. Since I don’t remember much about the 170 or so pages I read in Peachtree Road, I don’t know if the themes were similar. I do think that Kingsolver’s writing is more concise.

The reason I grabbed my copy of Peachtree Road is because I always thought that the day I finally visited Atlanta, I would visit Peachtree Road and then read the book to the end.

My regret is that I didn’t stay to see Anne Rivers Siddons at the bookstore in Shadyside. If I had, perhaps I would have continued reading her works (and still discovered Kingsolver’s books). I regret that perhaps her only fan that could make it to the reading in the middle of the day in a work week was too shy to ask about the reading. That could not have been very pleasant for her (if no one showed up).

So to honor the author who I didn’t stick around to hear her reading, I posed near Peachtree Road in Atlanta with my copy of Peachtree Road. And now all I have to do is read the dam thing.

Art in the House

A few years ago at an arts and crafts show in Washington, DC a relatively new friend who’d never been to my house asked me if I had art in my house. It was a question I was unprepared to answer and said no, except for my daughter’s paintings and drawings, we really had no other art in the house. My friend went on to tell me about the art pieces in her house but I wasn’t listening. I was thinking of the art in my house and how I should have answered the question differently.

At the time I had:

  • Jeremy’s “Dona at Stonehenge” (as well as at least three of his other paintings)
  • Robert Addison’s “Moonlit Carousel”
  • Mary Hamilton’s “Wolves Dining Out (Observed)”, and “The Invitation”

We also had various pieces of pottery and carved wooden pieces handmade by artists.

Since my friend’s question we’ve obtained (mostly as gifts) several other pieces of art created mostly by artists we know.

Every time we do receive a new painting, print, carving or piece of pottery I think back to that question, “Do you have any art in your house?” and silently say to my friend, “As a matter of fact, I do. I have a lot of art in my house.”