From The Troubled Spirits of John and Irene. While firmly convinced there are no ghosts, some strange activity has been noticed at the abandoned Groos farmhouse near the Brickyard Trail. Hmm, that pitchfork wasn’t there last time we looked.
Like millions of northern Californians, I live vicariously through Talker of the Town, the magazine Tweets richly woven into the fabric of our lives.
I am personally blessed to have a special relationship with Talker. I have know him my whole life. I am his sister. And I have known the magazine’s occasional contributors — Dean Tucker, doubling as staff photographer, and Bruce Kay, our foreign correspondent — for decades.
With a joy inexpressible in paltry words glowing on a computer screen, I and my beloved daughter Audrey were invited to visit some of the magazine’s haunts in my now immortalized home town — much like how Joyce made early 20th century Dublin a city of the ages.
My beloved husband Justin tearfully could not make the pilgrimage to Brighton. But he and members of his prestigious law firm — winnowing their client schedules down to the barest minimum — are following our every footstep.For weeks, Audrey has been beseeching me: Mama, what shall we see first? Mama, what shall we see first? After much hand wringing and indecision, Justin provided the answer: beloved family, in my absence go to the Brickyard Trail.
Of course, we had read the nostalgically-tinged account of the ground breaking of the Trail. And then about Brighton Memorial Librarian’s Matthew Bashore’s fascinating exhibit on a 1922 murder in Brighton and with it a harrowing and mysterious tale of misbegotten spirits roaming the Trail.
But Mamma, Audrey beseeched, is it true that the ghosts of the murderer and his victim still haunt the Trail and the old Groos Farmhouse?
As I am a scientist and a rationalist, I reassured Audrey. My dear, no. The magazine staff have merely created a suburban myth, much like when Orsen Welles pretended martians had invaded the New Jersey countryside. And in the process they hoodwinked the whole town of Brighton. There are no ghosts on the Brickyard Trail.
And when your uncle acted as Jack the Ripper at the Rochester Candle Light Ghost Walk, it was just a historical and theatrical re-enactment.Upon our arrival in Rochester, my brother was delighted with our choice. Alas, he could not accompany us. After having met at MCC the followers of Ted Cruz, he has reversed positions, now a fully committed “gold bug.” Today he was spreading the golden gospel to the unenlightened electorate, with Dean tweeting and posting pictures on Instagram (now that the magazine has joined.). Just the two of us, Audrey and I first visited the Rockpile, the collection of large boulders resembling Little Round Top at Gettysburg and the site of the Crab Apple Wars of the 1970s (Brighton-Pittsford Post 2009) There, Audrey played the role of a young nurse tending to the fallen blue and grey. I fancied myself the famous Civil War photographer Matthew Brady, recreating his iconic portrait of those dead soldiers from July 2nd, 1863.
Next, we went to the very spot where my brother made his daring leap of faith across the creek. Herself containing some Talker DNA, Audrey — like a Flying Wallenda — never hesitated.Bathing in Brighton sunshine, Audrey and I continued our early spring picaresque. Suddenly, Audrey heard a noticeable rustle in the woods. Mama, what is that noise? Dear, just squirrels like ourselves enjoying the earth’s springtime renewal.
But the noise grew louder and closer. Until . . .until . . . until . . .I am a scientist and a rationalist. I needed more evidence. Disappearing back into the woods, the sheeted figures had dropped their pitchfork to which the cell phone was attached.
We took the phone back to Talker headquarters. It was cleverly encrypted. But, Mama, it took the government’s team of scientists months to break Apple’s code?Returning in a few minutes after inspecting the phone — I too have much Talker blood in me — the code was broken.
As I examined the evidence, the case became clear. It was humans underneath those sheets. Humans hired as henchmen by our rival blog, Dear Rachel’s The Rochesterian. She wanted to spook Talker. And failed decidedly.
There were no martians in the New Jersey countryside. And there are no ghosts on the Brickyard Trail.
By Leslie Frances Kramer
NOT A SINGLE WORD OF THIS IS GHOSTWRITTEN
WITH BRUCE AND DEAN AND OTHERS BELOW
THE FIRST SIGHTING OF THE GHOSTS
OTHER BRIGHTON HIGH SCHOOL CONTRIBUTIONS Jonathon Caws-Elwitt, Stephen Shapiro, Justin Gastel, Ernie Clement, Brad Rosenbaum, Eric Kemperman, Michael Raff, Mary Brzustowicz, (the last three also magazine subscribers,
ANOTHER GHOST WALK