I am a member of the Poughkeepsie Street Team—readers and friends who support, promote, and otherwise flail over Debra Anastasia’s novel about a girl who falls in love with a man she meets at the train station.
In April, 2013, I was fortunate enough to have been a stop on Blake’s Cardboard Piano tour, and as a local to the Poughkeepsie area, there really was no question where I’d take the piano for my photo shoot. I’m sure Debra’s got the characters busy while she finishes up Return to Poughkeepsie, so I took the piano back to the station for a welcome-home visit. And we made a couple of little detours while we were there.
It’s one thing to read a story and to visualize the scenes in your head, and with Debra’s writing, that’s easy to do. But it’s quite another to walk along the path of the character and trace his or her footsteps, seeing what they saw, hearing what they heard. If you know the story, you know that Blake has an aversion to sunlight, and for someone who’s pretty much homeless, that’s an issue. But there are some nice shady spots at the station.
There are so many references to stairs, running up them, down them, hiding under for shelter. And there are several different sets of stairs, but I’m pretty sure these are the ones referred to at least a few times. Don’t worry, like Blake, I wouldn’t leave the piano on the stairs unattended. This picture is one of my favorites; it’s simple, yet it speaks of the despair and loneliness that was his life before Livia.
And here’s a nice shady spot with a bench. Can’t you just imagine Blake and Livia sitting there?
The shade would keep Blake safe from the sun, and it’s more private–set apart from the rest of the station. I can imagine them sitting on the bench and holding hands.
On a cold day, Blake might have stepped inside the station, although he might have been too proud to seek warmth.
There are quite a few warm corners in the station, some offering a pretty backdrop for the piano. There is a large, not-t0-scale rendering of Dutchess County down one long hallway and a bright sitting area for the weary traveler.
Tomorrow we’ll leave the station and make two other stops. First we’ll wander down to the park, and then we’ll see Cole’s church. Then we’ll stop back at the station to say goodbye before sending the piano off to its next stop.