When I originally conceived this annual feature, the idea was to link pictures of the places I visited with ideas for stories, favorite movies or strange/funny anecdotes. Well, have I got one for you folks this year.
While spending some time at Big Bass Lake in the Poconos Mountains, jaunts through Gouldsboro to grab provisions were inevitable. It was on one fateful evening when we first got a glimpse of this saucy mannequin gracing the roof of a house like a pin-up model atop a Corvette’s hood.
We laughed, but then noticed that mannequin was not alone, and a whole family of mannequins were strewn about the yard in various poses, like they were a family.
We laughed nervously now, and then on the way back I tried to convince the others to stop so we could grab some pictures. Suddenly, to our horror, a man (who looked like he walked off the set of True Detective Season One) was coming out of the side of the house (likely for the nightly inspection of his Mannequin Family) just as we were passing…prompting us to keep on passing (praying he didn’t see how slow we passed, with our shocked gawking), only to pass a few moments later an abandoned double-wide trailer in the high weeds out of which came stumbling three tottering, torn-up, turned-out characters who looked like they wanted to hitchhike if only they could find the road five feet in front of them. I imagined the trailer as part of the same Mannequin Cult Compound where meth-heads and drunks were lured by the Yellow King of Carcosa to be murdered and turned into mannequins to join the family. The next morning I forced my significant other to pass by the site again, and this time we noticed another shop that had a creepy mannequin in the window (clearly the other boundary of what I was now referring to as The Poconos Mountain Mannequin Murder Cult Compound).
This time we got some pictures (like the ones above) – and narrowly escaped by the skin of our teeth (alas, no shots of the double-wide trailer were taken for fear of our lives). And one day, a screenplay will be written.
Oh, and there were also more mundane, relaxing, less horror-movie-like trips to Saratoga Springs, NY (which included a stop at the lovely Yaddo Artist’s Retreat); Washington DC; and as always Cape May and Wildwood.
With a big trip to France next month (and an excursion to Chicago already in the past), it’s been a wonderful, weird and wild traveling year, with the best hopefully yet to come.
Enjoy the photos (presented in chronological order of trip):
Written and Photographed by David H. Schleicher