hennessey’s grove

week 12 in my  “this is where i am from” year long project:

(click the image for a larger view)

Growing up in a small town in the 70’s afforded even a very small person considerable geographic independence. It was a reckless time when children rode bikes without helmets, were unrestrained in cars and open truck beds, cigarette smoke was everywhere and loosely supervised by an older sibling or absorbed into the roaming neighborhood pack – one could be out of sight  and earshot of adults for considerable stretches of time and at considerable distance without causing concern. Hennessey’s grove was a favorite place to play, past the house next door and headed up the hill, the forest got thick and deep. A wide path opened and if you followed it you came to the grove – a shady, pine needle covered clearing concealed from the street, industrial size, limb crushing, wire spools everywhere. They were intended as picnic tables for grown up gatherings but irresistible as playthings, fun to roll and ride and climb on and it’s a miracle we all emerged with fingers, arms and legs in tact.

For next Wednesday’s post I’m going to follow one of the little paths on the far side of the grove: one trail led down a steep hill and further into the forest through purple trillium (skunk flower) and wild rhododendron to a weird little pond and the other led to Mr. Hennessey’s rhubarb patch.


  1. I love this. I just had a conversation with a friend comparing our childhood “free-range” adventures playing with, on, in, and unsupervised around things that are considered off-limits now. What a lovely image!! totally recalls childhood’s hidden adventures again.

  2. Ann…so right there with you! Growing up all those years ago didn’t seem as dangerous as it does today…..neighbors were there for each other because they knew each other!!! Didn’t come home until the street lights went on!

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