On July 3, 2006, I was in Franconia, New Hampshire. Someone mentioned that the famous American poet Robert Frost loved the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Frost, in fact, lived in Franconia from 1915 to 1920 and spent nineteen summers there as well with his family.
I discovered that the Robert Frost Museum was only three to four miles from my motel and was open from 1pm to 5pm. Immediately, I decided to make the sacred pilgrimage to the house where Frost lived. You can find out more about the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire, on the website, http://www.frostplace.org.
Walking along the road, I was struck by the beauty of the flowing creeks and the mountains in the area. Here are just some of the pictures I took on the path which had clear signs to the Robert Frost Museum.
It had been a long hike in the sun but the goal was now in view. Sweating profusely and thirsty I arrived at the Frost House.
I looked for a water fountain in the yard but there was none in sight. The first person I met was Sara Brickman, a student at Smith College. Sara was busy arranging Robert Frost books and T-Shirts and other memorabilia that visitors buy. Sara welcomed me warmly, told me that she was a Frost Place Intern for the summer, and would be happy to answer any questions and show me around.
Upon my request, Sara kindly supplied me with a tall glass of cold water from the house. Water never tasted so good! Sara introduced me to Professor Robert Farnsworth of Bates College who was reclining and reading a book on the porch of the Frost House.
Professor Farnsworth is a highly distinguished and well published poet. He is the 2006 summer’s poet-in-residence at the Frost Place and will be doing a number of readings there. I told Sara and Professor Farnsworth that I taught at Bryant University and was a Frost enthusiast. Soon we were all on first name basis, smiling and laughing, having wonderful conversations. I requested Professor Robert Farnsworth for some pictures and he kindly obliged. We took turns taking pictures.
I probably spent an hour and a half to two hours at the Robert Frost Museum. Part of it consisted of watching a 20 minute video on Robert Frost’s life and poetry. I saw only four or five other visitors to the Frost House during that time. Sara and Professor Farnsworth told me that the day before, July 2, had seen a much larger inflow of people who had come for the poetry reading and the music concert. July 2 is Frost Day, which is an annual celebration of Robert Frost, and was established by an official act of New Hampshire Governor Hugh Gallen. The following pictures show Robert Frost’s portrait, the chair that he sat on while living in the farmhouse, and his handwritten poem.
As I was getting ready to part, Professor Farnsworth generously offered me a ride back to the motel in his car. Since the memory of my long and hot walk earlier to the Frost House was still fresh in my mind, I gratefully accepted. Professor Farnsworth and I continued our conversation during the car ride and he told me that he had grown up in Rhode Island and received his initial academic training at Brown University. Later, he had gone to Columbia University.
My afternoon adventure at the Frost house reached its conclusion when Professor Farnsworth dropped me off at the motel. Back in my room, I turned on the air conditioner and took out some ice tea from the refrigerator. As I slowly sipped the drink, I marveled at how perfect the afternoon had been. I had gone to the Frost House with nothing other than my enthusiasm for the poet and his poetry. What I had found was an afternoon of good conversations with two people I had never met before. At the end of the day, what remained with me was the warmth of friendship and good will from Sara Brickman, the student intern at the Frost Museum, and Professor Robert Farnsworth of Bates College, the 2006 summer’s poet-in-residence at the Frost Place. Thank you Sara and Rob!