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off topic: the loss of a special place (St. Catherine's Hill)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: off topic: the loss of a special place (St. Catherine's Hill)
  • From: plb123@psu.edu (Paul and Heather Bruhn)
  • Date: Fri, 28 Feb 1997 19:28:24 -0700 (MST)

Graham said:

><< (of Winchester) St. Catherine's Hill (an old Iron Age hill fortification)
>Since spring of 1992, this hill has been sliced in two by a by-pass. ))-:

Well, after I found this out, I sat down and had a good cry.  I was on
exchange in Winchester, England (at the art school on a printmaking
scholarship) for a semester in Spring 1992.  When I ran out of ideas, out of
energy, or was just feeling down in the dumps, St. Catherine's hill was one
of my many destinations.  The first time I found myself there, was a day so
foggy that even the traffic from the nearby A-road was muffled.  It was a
great, spooky walk up the hill, and the fact that I couldn't see a damn
thing was actually great for inner reflection.  Somehow every time I took
that same walk up the hill I found something different.  I was living in
Winchester when construction on the new bypass was begun, but as I
understood it, the road was supposed to go through a wetland area called
Twyford Down (another favorite walking place).  I went to the
demonstrations, but since I felt too much an outsider to actually
demonstrate, I documented the destruction of Twyford Down in my prints.  The
one thing that helped my mood when it came to this construction was that I
had been told the hill would be untouched.  Apparently it was an important
Iron Age site with earthworks all around, and some artifacts had been found.
I never dreamed that it would be lost as well!  When I talked to my husband
Paul about it I tried to make him understand.  For me, the loss of St.
Catherine's hill would be like Paul hearing that the river where he used to
do white water rafting had been dammed up.  Or if we heard someday that the
place where Paul proposed had been bulldozed.  St. Catherine's hill was my
quiet place, my escape when I lived in Winchester.  Now I guess all I have
are my memories, my prints, and my photos.

Heather Bruhn
Paul L. Bruhn            plb123@psu.edu            Heather McCune Bruhn
Pennsylvania, zone 5 (almost zone 6 but not quite!)
If you have multiple copies of this message, blame the mailserver here at
Penn State!

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