Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Connecticut Home for Imbeciles

Post contributed by Amy Lignor of The Write Companion

Everyone has the story.  All folks who have put pen to paper can sit among over-priced cups of coffee and tell others what exactly it was that made them begin their journey into writing. Since we are just beginning with each other, I wanted to open up and allow you into my brain. Here is a world where Freddy Krueger rolls his eyes as he has to take a backseat to annoying vampires and their boring girlfriends, while Scarlett OHara dumps Rhett and travels to the world of Jane Austen in order to kidnap Mr. Darcy and take him home to Tara. After all, HE was the good-looking one.
I'm a Connecticut Yankee who has traveled far and wide to find my niche, which means anywhere without snow. I sit, staring out the window at sun and sand, remembering the very moment in my life when I KNEW there was a God who had a sense of humor, and he really wanted me to write down the things I had seen.
I had gone to a champagne breakfast at an old, renovated inn in small-town Connecticut when I was about sixteen. Suffice to say, I was not having the time of my life, as I listened to people drone away in slightly haughty tones about the local gossip. I know now that they must've been practicing to be a part of the yet-to-be-seen Real Housewives of Litchfield County. I picked up a large book off the coffee table to tune them out and a page fell out and fluttered to the floor.
As I reached down to grab it and hide it (because there was no way I could afford to replace a million-dollar book), I looked down at a black and white picture that showed a young girl leaning exhaustedly against a sign post. She wore a look of utter disgust, but there was a small smile pasted on her face like she knew something she wasn't telling me.
The caption underneath said that the renovated historical, high-priced inn I was sitting in was once called the Connecticut Home for Imbeciles, and the girl in the picture was leaning against a diamond-shaped sign embossed with big, black letters that read "Dip." That's when I knew these few things: 1) The higher powers were enjoying a good laugh; 2) The inn pretty much still served the same clientele as it had way back when; and, 3) It was time to leave home. We traveled the country, my daughter and I, and the humor that I found along the way was the very foundation that taught me to document it for posterity and a whole lot of fun.
Next week: The Lone Sap State.


  1. On the Oregon coast there's a small motel where all the units have a theme, Hollywood, the arts, etc, and are decorated in that theme.In Arts I found a diary that was there for guests to write about their stay or why they were there. I spent the first night reading the diary before I left a note and I left the next day with a greater appreciation of my chosen career and people in general. Your post reminded me of that and I wanted to thank you.

  2. You're very welcome. I know, I have to say, that moment when I read that book and the page fell out I will always remember as the reason - the "spark" that made me want to travel, meet people, write and dream. Have a great day!