This is a web site dedicated to the H.C. Auletta clan: Harry Sr., Lillian, Harry Jr., Richard, Marjorie, Suzie, Jeanne, Melanie, Judy, Blayde, Jimmy, Janice, Danny, Kerry, Ricky, Brian, and Lisa - and all our kids and their kids. We've drifted apart over the last few decades, and maybe this site will be a way for all of us to feel connected again. Or at least take a pleasant stroll down memory lane. This site is currently under construction, but I'm leaving it up as I add to it piece by piece. The only people I expect to be visiting it are family (although anyone is welcome to browse it’s pages), so they can see what I'm trying to do, and hopefully get inspired to add to it – just write down your reminisces and e-mail them to me. Ill see to it that they get put up on the site. Somewhere. And send me any good photos you have, from childhood to now. In New Hampshire, on Long Island, or from FLA. Or anywhere else. So let’s start this thing -
We all grew up during the sixties and seventies, on Long Island, New York, but the real center of our childhood was "The Cabin". Every summer, the 12 cousins, Mom (Aunt Marje), various other aunts and uncles as were available (usually Uncle Harry), assorted friends and/or relatives, and of course Granny, would pile into a caravan of cars and leave the hustle and bustle of Huntington, and head off to a magical old forgotten corner of the world called Derry Hill. It was located in southwestern New Hampshire - Sullivan County, Town of Acworth, to be exact; South Acworth, to be more exact. It was here on the gently rising slopes of the mountain that Harry (Grandpa) and Lillian (Grandma) Auletta purchased 12 acres, “more or less”, from the Reed Farm, and proceeded to build a dream. The price was around $250.00, the year was 1944, and the war was nearing its end. The land had an old, run down share-croppers shack on it that was about to fall down. It used to be used by French Canadian migrant workers in the maple sugar industry - the place is surrounded by massive old sugar maples that cover the hillsides and line the back roads, along with their close associates, the New England stone wall. Grandpa rebuilt that shack, inside and out. And his wife, daughter, sons, friends and relatives all helped. It was a small, sway-backed, happy old place, sided with cedar shakes painted barn-yard red, and bright white trim. The inside was covered in knotty pine boards, personally planed by grandpa himself, and tinted orange from shellac. It sat all alone on the side of the hill. Our own personal paradise. Grandpa's original intention was to retire up there, but life has a way of not quite working out the way you planned. He died just a few short months prior to retirement. But his wife and children certainly kept the dream alive.
We all had many a happy time in that place, with many a happy memory to accompany us well into our later years. I think the happiest part of my entire life was the two summers I spent totally alone living in the Cabin. The first one I was 16, and had our dogs Lily and Simon there to keep me company. Every few weeks someone would come up for the weekend or maybe even a week or two. I can remember Uncle Rich and Rheba coming up from Florida and taking me out to dinner at the diner in Charlestown. Uncle Rich would always ask me how I could live up there all alone, "What do you do all day?" he would keep asking me, with that big grin of his. I'm not sure what I did. But it sure was nice. Peaceful. Quiet. I guess some of us are just meant to be alone. The next summer I didn't even have the dogs. It was just me. All alone. And at peace.
Some of us got to live there as adults. I think Jimmy and Jamie and Sarah were the first. Back in 1981 or 82. They lived there for about a year. Then Peggy, me and Jessica took a turn in 1985 or so. We stayed for about a year and a half. I worked for the Elm Research Institute just outside of Keene. And also as a freelance writer for the Claremont Eagle, the local daily newspaper. In fact, Brendan was conceived up in the loft. On a cold winter's night, no doubt. We left while Peggy was pregnant with him, so she could deliver under a more modern environment - our house in Little Falls, MN.
The Cabin was sold in 1991, to my mother's cousin Louie Auletta. I'm still not sure why or how. But at the time it seemed like the right thing to do. I don't have many regrets in my life, but not buying the cabin then is one of them. Not that I could afford it. Plus I had just moved to Oregon, so the timing was a little off. Be that as it may, such is fate. And I'm glad it got to stay in the family, even if it is a slightly removed branch. Louie seems to love it, and he certainly takes good care of it. But as I get older, I do miss it more and more, as I'm sure we all do. So enjoy these pages, and some day, late at night, while you're browsing down memory lane, raise a glass and make a toast to the Cabin we all loved, and Grandpa and Grandma, Aunt Marje and Uncle Merrill, Uncle Rich and Aunt Nick, Uncle Harry and Aunt Dot, and all the good times we had in a childhood so far, far away, in the sweet New Hampshire mountains of our youth. Enjoy.