BOTTOM presents
a Vignette of a
Wethersfield neighbor:

Ray Esposito, magician
"Raymond the Great"

Dr.Ken Sokolowski


Most of us are creatures of habit, some good and some not so good.

On Main Street, I live a little more than a mile south of the Wethersfield Cove (a diverticulum of the Connecticut River). My habit is to take a walk up to the cove and back in 30 minutes or less.

When motivated I can do it in that short time. However, there are so many distractions, pleasant that they are. Friends and neighbors to chat with. Sights and sounds to be appreciated, some to be captured with my digital camera.

My small shoulder bag was loaded: my PDA, my cellphone, my digital camera (with extra rechargeable batteries), my mini-notebook, house keys and other utilitarian items. It was another perfect September-in-July summer afternoon, just right for a short, fast walk to the cove and back.

Yeah, right!

As passed the Firehouse #1 on Main Street, I entered the nucleus of Old Wethersfield. No time did not stand still or even regress. It's just a feeling.

I passed The Red Onion Restaurant and the adjacent Old Towne bar. Rounding the bend, I noticed a woman, across the street, reading on one of the benches which flank the Fountain of Service in front of the Keeney Museum and Cultural Center. Her legs and feet rested on the bench, her back against one of its arms, the fast falling sun warming her face.

Click zoOM; [BACK] return.As I approached the Webb Deane Steven Museum, I looked ahead. A group of people was sitting on the lawn, legs crossed or pulled up, watching someone.

There was a guy dressed in black, a steamer trunk, a small black table on spindly legs and an attentive audience.

Click zoOM; [BACK] return.There goes my 30 minute walk! I stayed to watch and pulled out the camera.

A magic act! Ray the Magician seamlessly moved from sleights of hand, to illusions and other tricks of the prestidigital trade.

Click zoOM; [BACK] return.Ray Esposito had been invited to entertain the customers of the Main Street Creamery and passersby this evening. His uncle, who frequents the Creamery, saw the sign that Paula Larsen put up: entertainers wanted. He thought of his nephew Ray who is still in high school.

Click zoOM; [BACK] return.After a long gig and multiple encores, Ray exhausted his bag of tricks, his steamer trunk and the boot of his car. At the end of his rope, as tricky as it was, he had no choice: he just chopped his hand "off."

The group of 30 or so applauded.

There was nothing more to do.

I refueled at the Creamery, the smallest, most intimate and friendliest ice creamery in Old Wethersfield.

Heading north, I passed the famous Village Pizza of Wethersfield at the very center of Old Wethersfield, the intersection of Main, Marsh, and Church Streets.

No where else in town is there such a consortium of friendly souls.

Yes, the sunset at the Cove was beautiful too.

One hour, 15 minutes. But it was worth it!

Click zoOM; [BACK] return. Thanks, Ray.


Raymond the Great
- Revised -


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