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December 05, 2016
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The time machine

The River Reporter offered visitors to Pumpkin Fest in Barryville the chance to appear in the Upper Delaware River Valley’s version of “American Gothic.”
Photos by Jonathan Fox

Hearing Judy’s voice on the other end of the phone (for the first time in decades) was cool, and I was amused that she was taken aback by me “sounding like an adult, rather than a seven-year-old,” as we worked out the details. Her step-son’s wedding was on Saturday, and I was booked for hosting The River Reporter’s photo booth (www.facebook.com/theriverreporter) at Pumpkin Fest in Barryville, NY, so we decided that Sunday would work, and I used the Internet to figure out where the heck she was. Pumpkin Fest was a blast, with a packed crowd of costumed kids, adults, and contests involving scarecrows, canines, a bake-off, and the always popular pie-eating competition. Co-sponsored by Thunder 102, (like ‘em on Facebook) Pumpkin Fest was spectacular, and I spent the day taking snapshots of the festivities, while calling in to the radio station to report live from the location (www.barryvillesportsman.com). Exhausted, I headed home, but made a pit-stop at the Fort Delaware Museum on the way to check out the “Haunted History Lantern Tour” (www.fortdelawaremuseum.org) and paused momentarily to observe the “Colonial-attired suspects” touring guests around the site, sharing spooky secrets and whispered conversations about “Who killed Joseph Skinner?” Present-day visitors peeked into the past at the fort, while I mused about my approaching trip and the upcoming visit with Judy.

In an instant, the past and present collided as she stood before me, all grown up. We hugged and held hands as introductions ensued, and I met Judith’s husband, their kids and friends, all of whom had gathered in New York for the nuptials. Our five-hour visit skidded by in a flash, as we reminisced, caught up and marveled at the time span that vanished in the blink of an eye. Childhood memories flooded our conversation as we made plans for the future, peppered with anecdotes from days gone by, while Dharma played football with the kids, gnawing on an apple and being admired. Living in the present is wise, but there is something special about reconnecting with one’s past and social networking makes it easy. Do thoughts of old friends cross your mind? Find them on Facebook and start making new memories. It’s fun to step into the time machine.