In search of trout lily and castles

troutlilyAs many years as I have lived on The Planet Ann Arbor, I have never walked Eberwhite Woods. Even though we performed a play in their gym/auditorium/cafeteria/whatever back in my YAG days.

Neither of the beach urchins could drive yet and I schlepped them and a bunch of neighborhood kids back and forth every evening during tech week. Two memories stand out during that period. One is when a little altercation occurred backstage during a rehearsal. I’ll leave the details out. Tech week rehearsals are long and often difficult and actors (and their parents!) are tired. We were on our way home and I had every seat filled in the loverly old Island Teal POC and it was pretty quiet and some tears were shed (not mine, but I felt like it!) and then someone said, “[sibling], I’m sorry that I kicked you!” After a split second of silence, somebody (me?) giggled a bit (tentatively) and then everyone in the POC exploded with laughter, even those who may have been shedding tears a few seconds before. We’re all in this together and some days are better than others.

The second memory is that I totally, utterly, completely ran OUT of toilet paper that week! And then, during the ensuing emergency toilet paper buying run, some nosy old biddy at the Westgate Kroger had the nerve to ask (shrilly), “Why are you buying so much toilet paper?” Because I don’t want to run out at an inconvenient time (or ever, fer kee-reist). She’s lucky I didn’t strangle her. How the heck did she know anything about my life? What if I had eight kids? Sheesh!

Nevertheless, I have never walked Eberwhite Woods. I suppose I could have snuck out of a YAG rehearsal there to walk. But I was shy about that. Why? Because, in the mid-1990s, a serial bludgeoner/killer bludgeoned his first victim in that woods. A 50-something woman taking the walk that she probably took EVERY morning, if she is anything like me. She recovered from her injuries but I bet (if she’s still alive) she never recovered enough savoir faire to be able to walk in that woods again, as friendly as it is without a serial bludgeoner/killer’s possible presence.

He operated in my general area of town and although I wasn’t terribly afraid I would encounter him on my solo walks, I was always watchful. But then, I am *always* watchful. I call him a bludgeoner because his modus operandi was to beat a woman up and leave. He didn’t rape and didn’t seem to care whether he killed or not. Some of his victims died, others did not. Alas, even though he was caught and put behind bars in 1995, in 1999 I was still leery of entering Eberwhite Woods alone.

I got the idea to go there this weekend via the Damn Arbor blahg, which posted earlier in the week that Eberwhite Woods was filled with trout lily. And yes it was! I have seen this spring wildflower only in small patches before, in the yooperland with Radical Betty out on the North Country Trail at Naomikong Point. In Eberwhite Woods, Trout Lily is almost like a ground cover. It is everywhere.

5 Responses to “In search of trout lily and castles”

  1. Paulette Says:

    There are trout lilies just east of the yellow cabin. I share your enthusiasm for this wildflower. A fond memory for me was the abundance of trout lilies at Pendill’s that I noticed when Reg was fishing for brook trout.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I love the woods and hate that we have to be so watchful of walking anywhere secluded these days. The serial bludgeoner sounds like someone who HATED (was angry at) women.

  3. Pooh Says:

    I can’t believe we never took you over to Eberwhite Woods when we were growing up. Did we take you over to the “Indian Trails”? That’s what we called the wooded hillside on the South side of the football field at Slauson. I’m sure the homeowners on Liberty were amused (or annoyed) by the kids running through the woods pretending to be Indians, but it was a magical place for a few years.

  4. kayak woman Says:

    @pooh, you probably don’t remember how obsessed I was with those little playground merry-go-rounds. When we stayed at your house on Crest, I always made you take me up to Virginia Park to play on that one. And there was one in Allmendinger Park too, which we stopped at during our walks home from the football stadium. We weren’t exactly deprived of playground equipment up in the yooperland but the only place I remember having a merry-go-round was at Brimley State Park and the parents would rarely take us in there because of the entrance fee — like 50 cents or something 😉

  5. Jay Says:

    I think that was where we would skate on the pond.