Ivo's Ridin' Pages

Ivo in the air at Killington
That day a friend of mine came in the evening to take me over the tracks to the zone of the abandoned buildings in the old Rutland industrial area. He had a habit of barging into my life like Tyler Durden. And he also made soap. Plywood covered windows. Dark alleys. Peeling paint. Still, they looked much better than the abandoned property I saw in New York city. No broken glass and ghostly looking high rises, charred by fire, and piled up with trash up to the second floor. If I should be homeless, I would kind of rather sleep here than there. I must be living in the Rutland ghetto: in the racially most homogenous state in the union, I saw four blacks on the street in one day.

Rutland in 1940We felt like kids playfully jumping from tie to tie on the narrow railroad bridge. One can see the street below through the openings between the ties. The train might have come, of course. But it didn't. They say that it is all about gravity, but it is all about faith. And we had faith, so, we walked some more. The night was warm for December in Vermont. Guys were out on their skateboards, getting very technical on the wooden rails at the shopping mall parking lot. Bad sign. Must be no snowboarding going on up on the mountain if there are people out in the evening on their skateboards. Once we got deeper into the dark semi-abandoned flats of the shrinking city, way over the tracks and out of the view of Christmas lights that adored that two blocks of the town, that locals affectionately called the downtown, the vestige of the city, smart with its shopping malls, with shapeless shoppers pushing their shopping carts full of shopping goods slowly, disinterestedly, thinking of what they might have forgotten in their shopping quest, and 60 feet long top-to-bottom stacked aisles dedicated to soda and chips, those quintessential needs of the suburban Americana: WalMarts, with its guns neatly stacked in rows just above the mouse traps and cockroach extermination tools, crowded together with Suisse chocolate shops and a theater where good movies come and go quickly, while the stupid ones stay forever. Soon banks, with people in business attire having Christmas party on the ground floor, and the smell of coffee from the near-by Coffee Exchange, gave way to empty yet well preserved industrial buildings and smaller seemingly uninhabited residential housing, dimly lit streets - as if one walked miles away from the town. It is as if somebody wanted this to become a city once, but then let the idea wane entirely.

Tony laying it down in the powder at KillingtonWith the facade of the town, botched at birth, safely lost behind us, we walked quietly and relatively fast. There was that one retro-looking Coca Cola sign propped up on a yellow brick building, shone some light on the neighborhood, had some cars parked in front, and some people going in and out of the building. Belomo's was written right below Coca Cola. It was not that far from Price Chopper, but it was in a sense very remote from it. Price Chopper is as eclectic as Internet, so it has everything - .... - which makes it hard to find virtually anything that you really need there. Instead of the elevator music they should have opted for "I gotta lost in the supermarket, ..." Belomo's have the elaborate offerings of a modern industrialized shopping enterprise, almost parodying Price Chopper, while preserving the home touch. Joe, the owner was right there behind the counter, cashing your checks, renting you videos and ringing up your groceries, beer and fresh or frozen goods that you picked up from the elaborately set together labyrinth of antiquated store furniture. No shopping carts, though. The aisles were too narrow. The store was over one hundred years old. It was the first grocery store in Rutland. When you see Joe moves around to get you the bowl of chilli ($2 for an excellent chilli), answering to your question "can I get a bowl of chilli?" softly, after a brief pause, as if his mind was somewhere very, very far away: "I think so", Soprano's come in mind. Once old Joe dies, the store will die with him, since he has no kids and nobody else seems to want it. And we'll all be shopping at the Price Chopper...