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by Eva Pasco

Louisa May Alcott _ Orchard House 

My fondest recollections growing up in the Sixties settle upon those day trips taken during my father's two-week summer vacation. Thinking back, it was hardly a vacation for my parents.  My mom would load the picnic cooler with utensils and food staples road-ready for my father to cook on the portable stove at a campground enroute to our destination. 
Leaving home at sunrise, my father drove while my mother plotted the daily excursion on a road map which never left her lap. My sister and I sat in the back, two prim queens who would inquire from time to time as children do, "Are we there yet?"  No need to get into the antics of two backseat barbarians, a previous article unto itself... 
Throughout most of the decade, from our Rhode Island point of origin, we traversed all over New England and beyond in our Plymouth Suburban station wagon: Cape Cod, Storyland, Santa's Village, The Polar Caves, White Mountains, and even Niagara Falls.  We even attended the 1964/65 World's Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens--the largest world's fair to be held in the US, occupying nearly a square mile of land.  An old post card refreshes my memory as to the fair's theme. A stainless steel model of the earth called the "Unisphere" symbolized "Peace through Understanding."  I vaguely recall the fair's preoccupation with space technology and its cultural and technological implications--coming to your neighborhood soon, sort of thing. 
The day trip I petitioned for which made a lasting impression on me till this day, bored my younger sister to death, and flabbergasted my father for its lack of thrills, was our visit to Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts.   I had previously finished reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, a fictionalized biography of the Marches, based on the lives of the Alcotts.  Well, I was in heaven...a visit to Orchard House was like walking through the book, both written and set inside the author's home.  I saw the shelf desk where Ms. Alcott wrote the novel in 1868.  I had the privilege of walking inside May's room (Amy March) to gaze upon the sketches I'd freshly read about.  Indeed, no structural changes had been made and most of the furnishings were authentic and intact as described in the book. 
To each his own, that's for sure.  Growing up in the Sixties, an introverted bookworm, and now years later, a writer of books, I will always cherish my visit to Orchard House for making my visions of such an endearing story come alive.  

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Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco  An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco



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