Thursday, March 04, 2010

Holyland, The Punishment Due

The Holyland videos, parts 1-7. Story below.

When I was little, we'd go to Nana's house in Meriden on scenic Interstate 84, and one of the games we'd play was "first person to see the cross." In Waterbury, up in the hills, was a cross, along with the word "HOLYLAND," a la the Hollywood sign. My mom also brags that I knew my alphabet as a very young child, citing my telling her that it was not a cross, but a lowercase t.

Later in life, at age 23, my Waterbury-centric friend Brian told me what was actually up there, and we took a trip up there along with our pal Tim. Basically, someone had used the top of that hill to do a recreation of Bethlehem (or whatever) so that people could walk the path of Jesus' life (or something).

Little did that person know, the place would become an overgrown, broken down, decrepit would-be horror movie set! I don't know when they'd stopped caring for it, and I just found out now that the cross has been taken down--but what my videos show is from 1999, somewhere in between. Supposedly the road up to "the Land" had become a drug-dealing haven, so we made sure to go up during the day. It was cool to stand at the base of the giant cross, right next to the letters of the sign (by then changed to the less Hollywood-looking "Holyland, U.S.A." version). Not for religious purposes, obviously, but just since I'd seen them from afar my whole life. Enjoy.

[I found this video which tells all about Holyland and the cross and its 2008 dismantling. Is that narrator disinterested or what?]

I remember seeing "the cross" every time I zipped through Waterbury, which now is a tough thing to do with all the traffic. Frankly, I didn't know it was taken down. I'm going to the video now. Thanks, Jere.
I think I told you this but I had several of the nuns who helped found that place on my caseload. They lived at the bottom of the hill and had the property rights. Weirdest home visits.
Ha, I didn't know that/forgot about it.

Also, as far as I know a new cross went up. But it would have been crazy if you were on 84 driving past when the original one started flying.
The cross always let us know we were home form a trip to the Cape.....The new cross is there but not very visible..

I have lived in Waterbury for the better part of 37 years and have never been there, and most likey never will be there....

Jere, I am having Deja Vu , have we spoken about this before?
Sounds like somethin' I'd bring up...

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Location: Rhode Island, United States