A Day At The Lake
A couple of weekends ago, when I was home helping out after my dad’s bypass surgery, I had a free few hours on a Sunday afternoon.
It was a breezy, but warmish day, the Northeast Pennsylvania mountains were yelling with color. I pointed my truck north and decided to take a drive around Harvey’s Lake. (Apparently, it hasn’t been decided if it should be with an apostrophe S or not. I’m using it)
You may remember I took my kids up there for a few hours this past summer. I thought this would be a nice day to take a drive and see what I could see.
There was a sheet of gray clouds over the lake, but I didn’t sense rain. It was just holding over it, opening just slightly now and again to through a splash of light down on the water and trees. In both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the foliage has been very vibrant this year, it seems to me. Quite grand, actually.
As I was driving around, I decided to do some exploring. An old building jutting out over the water seemed like a good place to start.
As I walked around it, I noticed the door at the top of the wooden steps was ajar. (well, it was a door, not a jar, but you know what I mean.)
When I pushed it open, the hinges squeaked….and the two people, painting in front of easels, looked up.
Guess others had the same idea to be creative on this fine Sunday afternoon.
Not knowing if I was trespassing in THEIR building, I asked if they minded if I shot some photos.
“Oh no,” the older woman said. “Go right ahead.”
As I shot, I chatted with her. She told me they had gotten permission to paint here from the owner. In fact, the reason the door was unlocked was because people keep breaking the lock anyway.
The woman told me that the building we were in used to be a roller skating rink on the upper level, bath houses on the lower level, and part of the Hansen’s Amusement Park which was popular at Harvey’s Lake. It opened in 1891 and closed in 1984
I don’t remember ever going to Hansen’s as kid, but I did hear about it.
Anyway, turns out, the woman was Sue Hand, a local artist/celebrity who has been painting and teach in the Wyoming Valley for year. I asked if I could shoot some portraits of her while she worked, to which she agreed.
I didn’t want to bother her too much, instead shooting some documentary images of how the old building was now. You could almost still here the clack-clack-clack of the skates, the music and the laughter.
Sue told me this old building was going to be renovated into a house, and that would start to happen in a few weeks. I’m glad I got to document it before it was gone.
She also pointed across the road at another old structure. It too had been part of Hansen’s and was a dance hall. She said that was slated for demolition.
Since my camera seems to often precede the wrecking ball, I thought I should check it out.
Inside and out, quite a state of disrepair. I had to step around with caution. The wind through the eaves and the quiet contributed to some pre-Halloween angst on my part.
Soon, bulldozers, earth movers and pavers will inflict their will on this area.
Beautiful light and some free time helped me to capture some of the history that was left. All that will soon remain will be the memories written in the wind.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014