Friday, July 27, 2012

Spending time in 11968…

My jobs require me to spend a good amount of time in the 11968 zip code (Southampton Village) each week.  Each Thursday I spend about 12 hours away from 11713 and in this famous South Fork Village. 

(Note:  there is a claim that Southampton was the first English settlement on Long Island.  However, I have it on good authority that Southampton is actually the SECOND oldest English settlement…after Southold founded in 1639 (in part) by my ancestors, the Horton and Budd families.  But that is another story.)
There are a few hours of free time between my Thursday jobs.  Since summer traffic in Southampton is laborious, I usually head for a local spot where I can park and enjoy the summer weather; such as the park at the head of Lake Agawam.  I may walk about or sit and read or just ponder.  Yesterday I sat and pondered. 

(Henry's Bench)

This day I chose to sit on the Henry Barclay bench; it was shaded and offered a nice view of Lake Agawam.  The small plaque affixed to the bench gave me pause.  You see, it tells me that in 1906 Henry was born on Lake Agawam.  Interesting choice of words.  Was Mrs. Barclay on the lake, unable to make it to shore when she gave birth to babe Henry?  Was she on a boat?  Was this an early 20th century "waterbirth"?    My mind easily wanders when given such fodder. 

Henry Barclay’s name appeared many times as a result of a Google search.  However, there was no reference to a Henry born in 1906 on the lake or any other such dramatic entrance into this world by any of the many Henry Barclay’s I found. 
Perhaps a Google search of Lake Agawam would offer some information.  The search resulted in many entries including a link to Southampton Patch where there appeared a short video tour of the lake from a helicopter by Jeff Cully of Cully/EEFAS: 
You can see that there are many amazing homes on the lake; I wonder if Henry was born in one of these homes.  Note:  I was sitting at the end of the lake looking south towards the beach and great Atlantic ocean.

(Lake Agawam from Henry's bench.)

Still, nothing was revealed about this man born on this lake.  Filling in the blanks was left to my imagination. 

As I sat considering Henry, his birth and his bench, eventually a group of fowl gathered near by.  No doubt they assumed I had food; I did not.  If I had had food, unlike the folks sitting on the other benches in this park, as a Weight Watchers Leader/Member I adhere to that unwritten rule:  when counting PointsPlus Values of all foods consumed, there will be no sharing.  I wonder...were the ancestors of these birds on Lake Agawam when Henry was born? 

(Fowl of Lake Agawam)

So I think about Henry's circumstance and enjoy the bucolic setting of Lake Agawam.  I will continue my search for more clues on this bench worthy citizen of yesteryear…and continue to spend free Thursdays at this great little park.

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