The Smuggs Chronicle, Part Ten
Tenth Day: August 27, 2013
We’re in a booth at 158 Main. Mira’s first cup of coffee is so full that she can’t add milk. Our breakfast arrives. My first bite of pancake is a taste of pure butter.
rising steam from a cup of
Frankie chases every chicken in the barnyard at Shelburne Farms. He finally grabs one. Then another, and finally a third. He names them Pearl, Lamoille and Fiorella.
A sheep bleats during the cow milking. It doesn’t stop Frankie from taking his turn with the bovine.
Or Mira from buying a fresh-baked croissant filled with chocolate.
Frankie picking up chickens
for the last time
We return to Burlington after the farm. Stroll down the Church Street Marketplace for the first time in two years. We see the same trendy shops and sidewalk cafes. But the cows we photographed Frankie climbing upon are gone.
clanking beer glasses
over plain pizzas
The Adirondack Mountains rise west over Lake Champlain. The setting sun gleams across the water. But it bears down on us as we sit on a swing bench along the walking path of Burlington’s waterfront. While we huddle on a small bench in the shade that overlooks a small dock, Mira says the unthinkable:
“Let’s go for a dinner cruise. What the hell!”
the Adirondacks through
a summer haze
We board the Spirit of Ethan Allen III. The theme for the dinner cruise is Italian. Two southern woman in black flank a third in an Islamic headdress. One asks for a photo as we ascend the stairs to our deck.
We sit near the stern with a view of the lake. I order a bottle of Chianti, and while Mira takes pictures on the aft deck, I arrange a birthday pastry and announcement
the crash of fresh-water surf
against the Breaker
Three southern couples sit next to us. I snap a photo for them while on the aft deck. We chat during dinner. They quiz Frankie on state capitals. He answers all but one correctly.
As we return to port, one of them — a white-haired retired professor — gives Frankie a twenty!
sips of Chianti
“Happy Birthday” to Mira
sung with new friends
read from the beginning: Pre-Smuggs Insomnia, the Prequel
more by FRANK J. TASSONE
photograph by Jez Timms
photograph by Garbiel Gurrola