THE OFF SEASON
-van wycke brooks historic district, plainfield nj-
Delightful in its own way, the air around the Van
Wycke Brooks Lake smelled of evergreens and ferns.
On each corner of the closed-in expanse stood a great,
white-washed house from other years back. There were
stanchions and horse-sprays, stables and some barns and
carriage-houses. Every window had a yellowed light.
'By November of that year we had closed off the
house for the season and sealed the wells and drains.
It had been a very wet Summer and many of the low patches
in the yard had never fully drains and dried out. As it froze,
early in the season much of the ice had backed up already,
close to the house. We had dig a pitched ditch to allow
for run-off, and all we could do was hope and wait for a
December thaw while we were gone. It was no different then.'
'Yes, it seemed to freeze right after All Hallow's, and remain
that way so long. What we called Winter was a serious thing.
If one was not prepared for it, the consequences could be
disastrous. When Mr. Brooks lived here, I would often see
him walking in one of his great fur-coats, full length. In every
weather, even the most very cold, he would saunter these lanes,
as if thinking or perhaps conversing with himself, always
alone. Odd it seemed, in a way - but that was what
everyone knew of Mr. Brooks.'
'Funny it is, that now this is named after him. There's a golf
course, and that horrible high school - filled with ghastly
specimens and noisy all the time. many of the greater homes
are gone now - some have simply fallen in and been taken away.
It's like that in these times. Name me five students in that school
who could even name Mr. Brooks as anything. There's no one to
do so. We've lost everything away, and now we are but the ghosts
of the ghosts that once were. Sad, in a way, but that's all that's left.'