"The view coming down Cass Hill."
© Mark W. Ó Brien 2015
I only knew it from Cass Hill really, you can catch a glimpse of it over your shoulder along Cass Hill Road. Off of Cass Hill Road was Dunbar Hollow Road, more of a path than a road, as I recall it. I remember being told by my buddy that the road was closed, part of the year, when the weather was bad. I believed it. His old Plymouth had trouble enough climbing the hill to get to Dunbar Hollow, and that was in good weather. It couldn't be any other way. Cass Hill was a place that held a situational attraction at a certain time in a young man's life, in my case, me and my best friend's life, both of us 18, who wanted to have a swim and privacy on a summer night and a bonding with the universe.
There was a sportsman's club on Dunbar Hollow Road. My friend's parents had a family membership at the club, which allowed us to use the grounds without thinking we were doing anything wrong. I never once in an entire summer saw anyone else there. No hunters. No fishermen. Nobody. The pond on the grounds was small, but it never was weedy, it had a dock with a diving board, and the water was deliciously cool on hot summer nights. We would listen to the crickets, the cicadas, watch lighting bugs fire up their flickers as night descended on the day. We would stay past sunset, watch the stars reveal themselves and tell their stories. We would smoke pot, eat pretzels, chips and bags of popcorn, drink Genesee Cream Ale, and we would talk about the meaning of life, whether it was about the Vietnam War, rights and privileges for all Americans, who was better, Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, what girls in our graduated high school class were prettiest, and who was the greatest guitarist who ever lived.
It was Hendrix, of course,
Ononta'kahrhan? Never came up.
But I heard voices.
My spirit brother,
was it you in the stillness
that said to rebel?
©Thomas E. Bonville 2017
Thomas is a lifelong resident of the Hudson River Valley. He writes, reads, listens and discusses poetry with The Rensselaerville Poets and the Posey Café.