While traveling in New England, we stopped at the Waybury Inn, made famous on the Bob Newhart Show. It’s open for business and what a lovely place to spend a couple nights.
Accidentally opening the wrong door the first evening, I noticed a lady staring back at me. Standing with a headless doll, I wondered if she was related to the owners of the inn. Little else in the room and the doll’s head on the floor.
The room was a little larger than a storage closet, but a small window let in light and on one side of the room was a clothes rack with dresses hanging in order. Later I counted them, 6 colorful simple dresses and all the same type as she wore.
On the floor was a blanket and a pillow, and next to that was a smaller blanket and pillow, for the doll I assumed.
She stared at me, not in fear but an expression of curiosity. When I asked her a question or spoke to her, she’d answer with a single word. First I apologized for opening the door, and her answer: “Okay.” When asking for her name, “Julie.” The doll’s name? “Becky.”
She’d even speak to me with questions. When she said the word “Traveler?” she implied a question. I answered her in a short sentence, but the conversation seemed strange. “From?” and I told her Wisconsin. The strangest question? “Happy?” How do I answer that?
Every ten minutes or so she’d bend over in pain, like labor pain, but it would only last a few seconds. After, she’d stand up appear unchanged or unfazed.
Spending time with Julie
Over the course of the 3 days we were there, 2 nights, I’d stop in to check on her. At no time did I find her sitting or lying in her bed, so I’m thinking that was only at the dark time. To use the bathroom, she’d have to talk the hall past our room, but she was so light that Marilyn and I hardly heard the floor boards creak.
Marilyn entered the room and tried conversation, having some luck, but neither of us could figure out what they arrangement of doll’s heads was all about, on the wall behind her. The head from the baby stayed on spot all the time we visited her, but each day she’d be wearing a different colored dress. The 7 I’m assuming were for each day of the week.
Asking the owners, the Stashicks, about her brought an angry glare and no response.
One of the mysteries of our trip, something to take with us and think about as we eventually made our way back to Wisconsin.
Okay, this might be a story. You decide. The painting by Karen Appleton of Atlanta. www.karenappleton.com, shown with her permission.