Treadwell, NY—Ever stay at a B&B? A Bed and Breakfast? Who had this ridiculous idea to start calling Hooverville era shanties charming? Was describing a dilapidated country house as “charming” the way city people aching to be viewed for their erudition were lured? It’s like staying at the YMCA but with hardwood floors, distressed furniture and figurines everywhere. A little context.
My wife and I were invited upstate to hang around with a bunch of pretentious douchebags. At least that’s how I refer to my wife’s cousins. Apparently these cousins had discovered some B&B outside of Oneonta. That should have been my heads-up right there. Oneonta has suburbs? Grudgingly I agreed to come, and when I say grudgingly, I mean drinking the 10 gallons of “go-lightly” death juice before a colonoscopy grudgingly.
My one request in exchange for having agreed to go, was that I get a couple of hours to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown-about an hour away by myself. To take my time and linger as I wished. And linger as the Mets occupied First Place. There is a fantastic new exhibit devoted to the history of Hispanic players from all over the globe, recognizing this group for its undeniable impact on the game. Roberto Clemente, Juan Marichal-I stood and read plaque after plaque in the main hall. I found Mel Ott’s plaque and lingered. Ott was my late Dad’s hero as a kid.
When my wife and I pulled up to this B&B, the first thing to hit me was the fact that this “house” was eerily similar to those where I’d lived as a student at UB 30 years ago. Like 45 Merrimac in Buffalo those houses were dumps-but honest dumps. This B&B was a dump, but pretended to be something else-like all of its guests. From its rickety front porch with an ancient rusted swing, to its narrow hallways covered with plastic left over apparently from the great Consumption epidemic of 1899-this “home” was depressing, old, and tiny. I felt like I couldn’t turn without breaking something. Our room “featured” a Full Sized bed, a chest of drawers with no drawers, a fun house mirror and tiny lamps everywhere. Yes-a full sized bed. As in the one between “twin” and “Queen.” What the hell I was expected to do with a “full” bed was beyond me. My wife-having consumed the toxic nonsense her cousin “Doug” and his Crohns suffering wife were dispensing agreed with them that this place had charm, character.
I couldn’t sleep a wink. The “bathroom” was down the hall outside of our room and like my wife’s cousins-was also small and uninviting. I smashed my head on the charming medicine cabinet door. I knocked over 4 of the tiny lamps in our room-but broke only 2.
Brunch, as you’d expect was the showstopper. Cousins were coming out of the cracked woodwork. Each more full of himself than the next. I never felt more proud than when my wife announced somewhat abruptly mid-Brunch that we were leaving. The next stop, she explained, was taking me back to Cooperstown, where she treated me to an amazing afternoon of lingering-this time with her. That’s a great baseball story. Spent with my hall of fame better half.
Thoughts and Prayers for Junior’s Dad on the way…