You know me by now. After The Red Lion Inn, where do I enjoy visiting the most? Yes, Old Sturbridge Village, I was there again last evening. In October 2017, I became a member during my first visit in about a decade. On that visit I also wanted to see their evening production – SLEEPY HOLLOW EXPERIENCE – based on Washington Irving’s classic, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I had an amazing time, and you may wish to relive that post as I have.

With regulations covering events during COVID-19, the Sleepy Hollow Experience could not be staged this year, but OSV came up with a twist – Phantoms and Fire 2020 – a family friendly outdoor event with seven professional Fantastic Terrors of Edgar Allan Poe staged around the village; Clues and Candy their 2020-version of Trick-or-Treat where you must gather clues throughout the Village; the Headless Horseman; and more. So, tickets purchased, and visit made with a neighbor 28 October 2020. Click the logo below for a link to the event.

The entrance to the village was appropriately dressed.



And, scattered along the way were these 19th century lanterns, positioned just as they were when I visited in 2017 for Christmas by Candlelight — did I tell you I love OSV?

Below are two of the “Clues and Candy” stops. The youngsters would get their forms stamped, and upon leaving turn in their filled form for a bag of treats. You can click on the images below for large sizes.


Outside the Bullard Tavern – renamed for this event Prospero’s Tavern, this actress gave a great performance of Poe’s Masque of the Red Death

I believe it was THE BLACK CAT this actor was relating. The director of the theater company wrote his own adaptations of Poe’s works for 10-15 minute one-person shows. Remember, I wrote my own successfully staged adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol?.

and, extremely well-done at the Freeman Farm was The Tell Tale Heart,

A comforting reason for me to visit and revisit is to interact with the period interpreters. George, below, has really made my visits special. He is quite a raconteur sharing great stories of the village in the 1830s, and he knows people in Walpole. His nephew even works for our road department.

And, then there is Susan, Susan is special and exceptional. Here I found her. outside the wonderful Bixby House, where I boarded with her and others in September 2018. Gary and I chatted with her in August. This evening she was relating to visitors the folk tale from the 19th century about a vain young woman (Charlotte) who froze to death while traveling to a New Year’s ball in an open sleigh. And, to “win that next drink at a bar,” “Frozen Charlotte” is a name used to describe a specific form of china doll made from c1850 to c1920. The dolls had substantial popularity during the Victorian era. Full disclosure – WIKIPEDIA – not to worry, I send them a donation every year.

There is always something warm, toasty and mesmerizing about a fire…

Something special, not usually seen is the village at night. Here is the front of the Freeman Farm house.

and, the Freeman Barn


Food and beverages were served outside at the rear of the Tavern. By the time we were leaving a massive line had formed, and confirmed the decision to leave the crowds for an nearly empty sit-down tavern elsewhere in Sturbridge with just a few patrons.

The village has posted on Flicker a collection of images for the event, so click this link to view.

It was nice to get back to OSV. With COVID-19 in mind tickets for specific times were purchased on-line in advance to regulate “crowds”, and were sold-out. Visitors were wearing their masks, and families/friends stayed in groups; but in reflection strict adherence to socially distancing was attempted but not achieved. I worked to maintain my distance, we were all outside (no buildings have been open at the village during the pandemic). It was particularly difficult when watching the performances to maintain distance. Because of my concerns, I may not attend the Christmas event this year.

I do hope you got this far, because it is time to get serious, and time for “early voting” as I need your vote in my decision making. In my last post I told you I was thinking of getting a “canned ham” – a vintage 1950s-60s camping trailer. Well, I did buy one last month, but since it is still “mint in the box” I will not be playing or traveling with it.

BUT — Heading down US 5 in Deerfield yesterday I had to make a quick turn-around. I had passed a parking lot of vintage trailers that I had overlooked the past couple years. Yes, I learned this restoration facility had been there for four years, but a “canned ham” had not been on my “radar screen” as yet.

Pulling in I saw this beauty – just what I want. I met the owner of Two Feathers Restoration and Design (pretty sure he was Brian), and told him that was just what I wanted. He said it was a 1963 (or 4 – I forget) Shasta Compact, easily towed by GiGi (my Granite Girl). But alas, this was donated to his traveling museum for the RV/MH HALL OF FAME.  Bet you also never knew this interesting looking museum existed.

Brian opened this little doll so I could see the original interior

He also had on hand for restoration this larger model

I learned a great deal in my brief visit here with Brian. He also has a Model A Ford truck, and I will send him my for sale page when done on my ’29 Roadster – he may have a friend just waiting to adopt Lady RAB. But in telling me the little girl was a Shasta Compact, I googled using that term last night and found (just 3 1/2 hours away) this little girl – a 1964 Shasta Compact.

and the interior in a gallery that you can click to enlarge

So…now your help, and YOUR VOTE.  I have tried contacting the owner of this little girl to see if she is still available. Since I plan to divest myself of one engine and four wheels, do I go ahead and buy two wheels, no engine (and no bathroom in this little model)?  Even if enjoyed in the back yard, I am ahead, and just think of the small journeys.

So, YES, get a Shasta Compact, or, NO, start a duller trajectory? Maybe the results will end with an adoption. Stay safe, and stay well, as always, yours, RAY

This entry was posted in Old Sturbridge Village - OSV and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to HAPPY HALLOWEEN — 2020

  1. Chris says:

    Yes! Absolutely go for the Shasta!!! BTW! I used to have a frozen Charlotte but sold it to an antique dealer ( did I mention dolls creep me out in any form?)

  2. Marsha Franty says:

    What a fun time! I’m very envious!

    Stay well!

  3. tarasad says:

    I vote yes! It’s really sweet, and in great shape. But….no bathroom? Hmmmm.

  4. Maggi Suttles says:

    YES! Why not, it’s so cute!

  5. George Lush says:

    …there came a tapping
    As if some one gently rapping, rapping at my [canned ham’s] door.
    In stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore
    Then quoth the Raven: “Thou shalt own it and call her Lenore.”

  6. Carolyn says:

    voting yes on the canned ham, and saying thanks for an enjoyable day and evening exploring and OSV..

  7. Sue says:

    There is a whole community of these renovated Shasta in Texas. They have such a good time with them, so I vote “YES”, buy one!!

  8. Shirley Boas says:

    Are you going to utilize the camper frequently
    Will you want to give up the comfort of b & b’s
    We had a camper and thoroughly enjoyed it
    Went cross country two times
    Went to Canada several times
    We really enjoyed the experience
    It is an investment but you must decide if you want to camp or enjoy the Red. lion or other B and B’s
    Having no bathroom would be an issue for me,
    Also, you have enjoyed having experience with guests at the inns,
    Your decision
    Good luck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s