When I was 12, somewhere in New York state

The name Whitehurst brought to me the smell of a summer house. I remember about it a lake in New York and blue skies above it. We stayed on the top or perhaps the third storey of the farmhouse, my brother and I: a wide space, sloping walls under the roof, a long room. The smell was the peculiar smell of heat and wood and pungent like sawdust, but not fresh sawdust.

It is a vivid memory coming to me in the night, and I regard it. I remember there was a dog there: Meg. She had a tennis ball that she would chase. I remember throwing it for her, throwing it into the lake and watching her fetch it back all wet. I remember first observing how her lips were black, and the edges on the side sagged out and had regular ridges. She was a black dog, gentle, perhaps a dog for herding sheep.

The sailboat on the lake we swam in; the creek must have come out of it for I remember a bridge over it with a part all covered over so the sheep that had to walk on it would not know it was a bridge—that was explained; a vaguer memory of the large farm house; the moment we were shown where our towels were; that is all . . . but that we stopped there for a VBS and one project was to collect pennies. And I remember drinking cool-aid in a kitchen at the church, the walls of painted cinder block.

The name Whitehurst is not at all part of the memory, and I do not know why it should have awakened in me the memory of the smell that brought the rest

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