Lake Nockamixon

Returning from “Our Lost Tohickon Valley”

FULLCOVERCYMK300dpiSIZEJULY7A year of research, interviews, and retracing the woodland walks of my childhood have resulted in seeing my name, for the first time, on the cover of a book. For all the journalistic bylines I’ve had in my life, there is something entirely different about acquiring the title of “author”.

“Our Lost Tohickon Valley” is a look inside the lives, families, homes, and farms of Upper Bucks County during the mid-Twentieth Century. Those halcyon days after World War II when the country was booming and the middle-class was growing.

For nearly twenty years there was a place tucked away at the base of Haycock Mountain in Upper Bucks County where no one locked their doors, where children disappeared for hours unsupervised, and where people earned respect through hard work and honesty.

Then the government came calling with their right of Eminent Domain. The result was shattered lives, lost legacies, and historic structures that met a watery grave.

Today, at Nockamixon State Park, families picnic and sail on what was once a place that, like the mystical Brigadoon, exists now only in our minds. Blu Arial view

As the book tour rolls out, my co-author, Marjorie Goldthorp Fulp and I look forward to sharing the many stories we have collected in the course of writing about “Our Lost Tohickon Valley”.

And we know of what we write; Margie and I both lost our family homes to the park.  This book has given us the chance to reclaim our memories…one last time. My thanks to the Haycock Historical Society for the opportunity.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Blu Arial view For the past six months I’ve been working sporadically on a “commission” for the Haycock Township Historical Society. The original assignment was to contribute several chapters to a book documenting what  life was like before the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decimated the township to build Lake Nockamixon.

What started as a professional writing project soon turned in to a labor of love: Labor because it has taken so much more time and energy than originally anticipated and love because Haycock is where I was born and raised. To me it has always been a mystical “Brigadoon”. When I tell people about it, they don’t believe me…they think it’s the softened, rounded remembrances of childhood.

I might believe so myself if it weren’t for all the old friends and neighbors who have come forward to offer their own stories and photos that mirror my own. Memories come into sharper focus when seen through the prism of a friend with whom you have not spoken in 40 years.

Now the deadline nears and there are still many tales to tell. So I’ll be gone for a while on a lovely but sad walk down memory lane, as I try to resurrect a time and place from its watery grave.

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