The Adventures of Vitas Povilaitis
A Poem: The Rocking Horse
by Heather Harrill
Sturdy and strong
it sits silently,
its painted eyes brightly staring.
its one purpose;
to bring joy.
A child so tiny
her eyes full of glee,
peals of laughter,
as she rides upon her silent friend.
All too soon she grows,
and leaves her wooden friend behind
But from his lonely corner,
the rocking-horse still stands strong,
his eyes, once so bright
have faded slightly.
As she walks by
paying her old friend no mind.
But still he stands,
sturdy and strong,
to bring joy once more.
This year I've decided to be more open and personal about the things going
on in my life. I've collected some of my favorite memories of the year
into this letter. I hope you'll enjoy them and will share your own stories
[I've added additional comments on May 10, 1995 to bring you up to date.
You can find these in the square brackets.]
Welsley Island (State Park), New York
I started the year with a camping trip with a small group of friends, Gregg
(one of my best friends from high school), Jackie (my romantic friend),
Greg, Kevin, Stephanie, and Mary Louise. [Also, I forgot to mention Don
and Elizabeth.] It snowed on the way, but the rest of the days were
nice. Once we heated the cabins with the wood-burning stove, all was well.
We played games, danced, sang, told stories and ate all the time. It was
the best New Year's Day I've ever had.
I visited my friends, Heather (one of my best friends from earlier adventures),
and Sarah, and met Heather's new husband, Mark, and Sarah's boyfriend,
Keith. (Sarah and Keith are now married.) My fondest memory is the trip
we took, from Austin to the beach in Galveston. It was a long drive, and
we stopped at the beach. It was beautiful--it was completely dark, we could
hear the waves splashing against the shore, a cool breeze blew off the
gulf, the moon shone in the sky, and a few waves sparkled its reflection.
Heather is one of my best friends, and I was happy to see her achieve her
driving goal to get married. I went in April, and I found Austin was warm
and green. When I returned to Rochester, it was snowing. I also learned
that, sadly, the historic merry-go-round, at Sea Breeze Amusement Park,
Syracuse, New York
I was upset because I didn't go to Sea Breeze for a long time, and missed
a chance to ride the old wooden merry-go-round before it burned down. My
friend, Jackie, also felt the same way. I learned that another old wooden
merry-go-round, which was taken from an amusement park that was dismantled,
to the Carousel Mall in Syracuse. So, we drove there and rode the merry-go-round.
I even saved the token we were supposed to use to enter the ride as a souvenir.
I visited my best friend from high school, Steve. My fondest memory is
the trip we took up a mountain. We drove on a dirt road with the mountain
face on one side, and a drop-off on the other side. Steve drives like I
do (with controlled recklessness), which is both reassuring and scary.
We hiked part of the road, and came to a point where Steve said we could
get to the top of this mountain if we went off the road. So we climbed
through the shrubbery and reached the rocky top. From there it felt like
I was in an airplane because I could see so far around me, including a
tiny highway with tiny automobiles to one side of me, and a rocky drop
on the other side of me. We could see clouds passing over the top of the
other mountain tops. To this, he said, "We didn't reach the clouds, but
we sure were high." I love this quotation. It's such a simple observation,
yet so deeply philosophical.
My trip to Europe was the biggest trip of the year. I met my European relatives
(on my father's side) for the first time, and enjoyed their hospitality.
I also visited a friend, Sigla, who visited America last year. I will save
this trip description for later because it's so valuable to me, I want
to justly convey what made it special.
While I was in Lithuania, I also travelled to visit my relatives in Poland
(on my mother's side). I've been there twice before over my life time,
and I was glad to visit the familiar company again. I will also save this
trip description for later because it's so valuable to me, I want to justly
convey what made it special.
During my return trip from Lithuania, we had to stop in Helsinki for a
day because we had to wait for our flight back to America. From what little
I saw, I think Helsinki is a beautiful city. We stayed at a big hotel which
was across from a beautiful lake. I wandered around and absorbed the beautiful
architecture, vegetation, and bright sunlight. I would love to take another
St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
I visited my friend, Phyllis, and her fiance, Gerry. (They are now married.)
I am most fond of having visited their small cottage which they are still
building. It's a a beautiful piece of land, surrounded by wild growth,
which is surrounded by trees. Beyond the trees is the ocean shore. The
beach makes a U-shape which gives the area a sense of privacy. Only one
other group of people was there--it's isolated from the general public.
I remember the dark jut of land sticking out into the water, and the sun
hovering above it, reflecting of the water and making brilliant shimmering
Sebago Lake, Maine
I visited my friends Jackie, and Mike. We visited a lighthouse where the
fog quickly rolled in, then rolled out. However, the most memorable part
of the trip was when I rode a horse for the first time in my life. I told
my friends that I never rode a horse before, so they decided I should ride
a large and temperamental horse named Bill. I rode with Mike, but I was
scared, because the horse tended to try to go where he wanted to go, instead
of where we wanted to go.
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada
I visited my friend, Audrey, and her husband, Rich. My visit to Peggy's
Cove sticks out in my mind. Here, a light house stands on bare, smooth,
ocean-worn rocks. Nearby, there is a carving of sea men in the rock. Also,
we visited a marine museum where I saw ocean sea-life and old boats. We
talked about how we seldom visit the places near our homes, because, as
long as they lived there, they never visited the museum in their own town.
I agreed, and vowed to explore Rochester next year.
Poughkeepsie, New York
I visited my friends, Paul and Jennifer, and their family. They held a
cook-out for family and friends who were at their wedding. We hadn't seen
each other for a long time, and I was glad to be in their company. During
our picnic, it began to rain, and we could hear faint lightning. The women
ran inside, but we manly-men stayed outside--after all, it was only a little
sprinkle. Then it started to rain harder, and even we manly-men had to
go inside, but only to the covered porch. Paul, being a real manly-man,
went out to the grill every few minutes, when the bell on his timer rang,
to flip the hamburgers, in spite of the weather. After he came in, I was
talking and saw a flash out of the corner of my eye, then heard a load
clap of thunder. I quickly turned my head and saw a clump of leaves drifting
down from the tree near the barbecue. Then the timer rang and Paul decided
not to risk his life to flip the hamburgers until the storm passed. When
it was safe, we found a dirt trail in the grass leading from the grill
to the tree, tracing a path the lightning took. Whew!
Watkins Glen, New York
I went with my friends, Jackie, and James. We stayed at a bed and breakfast
overnight. In the dark, under full moon light, we went for a walk on a
long dirt road. It was quiet--very quiet; living in the city, we weren't
used to the total lack of noise. There were trees on one side of the road,
and conifers on the other side. This is strange, that two different types
of vegetation grew on two sides of the road. As we walked, a fog creeped
behind us, just as in the horror movies. We got scared and ran away from
the fog until we got tired. We thought it'd be fun to see what the dark
woods looked like, so we left the road and walked into the woods. James
commented on how people tended to walk straight into danger in horror films--just
like we were doing! This scared us more, and we returned to the road.
The next day, we visited the gorge. This is a deep carving in the rock
made by glaciers a long time ago. water runs through it, and trees surround
it, which makes this a beautiful park to visit. Especially because it was
autumn, and the leaves were changing color--fiery reds, glowing yellows,
and subdued browns.
Sodus Point, New York
I went with Jackie, and her family for a camping trip. We were at a small
clearing by the rocky beach by the lake near Jackie's mother's house. Jackie
and I slept by the beach under the stars, which we thought would be romantic,
however, the rocks were uncomfortable, we found an ugly bug under the pillow,
and I had a few bug-bites, so we decided to go inside for the rest of the
morning to sleep.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I went to Toronto many times with different people. Last winter, I went
with my friends, Jackie, Heather, Sarah, and Steve. We toured the city
and stayed at a nice hotel. I especially liked the heated indoor swimming
pool, which went partly outdoors. It was a fun experience to feel the warmth
of the water and the chill of the cold air. We even ran around the pool
outside in the cold then jumped into the warm water. During this trip,
we got stuck in the hotel's new elevator for an hour. Though we didn't
really panic, we shared nervous humor. The managers of the hotel apologized
and treated us with drinks and snacks when we came out. Jackie and I demanded
a free night at the hotel, and they gave us certificates that we could
use in the future.
I went touring again this year, and stayed at the hotel with Jackie,
Paul, Jennifer and Paul's friend, Larry. Larry has a great deal of knowledge--
he never visited the city before, yet he know more about it than any of
us. We visited Casa Loma, which is a modern castle built early this century
by a wealthy man. It is now open to tourists. It was closed when we visited
it, so we snuck around looking into the windows. There was a wedding party
there, we saw, and when someone saw us peeking into the window, we got
scared and ran. This trip, Jackie and I went to see the musical, Phantom
of the Opera. It was wonderful!
I visited my cousin, Grace, her husband, Valdek, and her son Chris. Grace
is a joyful woman, and it's a pleasure to visit her because her cheer spreads
to the people around her. We visited an underground cavern, which was once
converted to a chapel, and now serves tourists.
I went to Boston to pick up a computer which I bought for a good price.
While I was there, I visited my friend, Don. Don and I share our philosophies
with each other. I commented on how we tend to limit ourselves, even after
we went to a personal growth seminar--we just shifted our limitations.
He disagreed because he became aware of more things through the seminar.
I invited Don to visit me in Rochester later in the year, and we went
to Niagra Falls. Niagra Falls is a common sight for me, so I don't think
it's special, but it is amazing to people who haven't seen it because it
is a very wide waterfall, and it thunders as the water falls to the river
Countries and States I've Been Through, So Far
Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland,
Washington, Washington DC, Texas, Puerto Rico, Canada, Lithuania, Poland,
City Towers I've visited
Toronto, Seattle, Vilnius.
Graceful Boot BBS
I run an electronic bulletin board service. This is a computer with a modem
which people call to exchange messages, exchange applications and data,
and play games. I'm frustrated because my computer is unstable, and it
doesn't work as often as it should. I push the system to its limits and
it tends to break down at those limits. I hope, next year, to find some
time to change things on it so it will work better, or to get a whole new
system to replace it. It works for now, and you can call it with your computer
at this number: [not up anymore so it's not included here]. I support Amiga
computers, Internet e-mail, and on-line games.
New Computer (Sun, Free!)
My friend, Harry, gave me an old computer--a Sun 3/50 workstation. I'm
excited about this because it uses Unix, an operating system that is powerful
and flexible, and with which I'm most knowledgeable. However, I need more
equipment to get it to work, and it's taking me some time to collect it
all. I find it's very hard to make time for hobbies when I work full-time
at my job.
[I gave up trying to get this to work and gave it away to a co-worker,
plus I sold the additional equipment I bought trying to get it to work.
I found the TCP/IP software I needed for the Amiga, and the computers at
work make up for what I don't have.]
I am moving yet once again, though you can get in touch with me through
my parents' address and phone number. A friend-of-the-family is visiting
Lithuania, and I took the opportunity to watch his house while he's gone.
He also invited me to live there until he sells the house and moves to
Lithuania. I'm excited about this because my family visited him when I
was a child, and I enjoyed playing and exploring there. Now I find the
house to be big and luxurious, and can only wish to afford a house like
[Some "friend-of-the-family." When he returned, he told me "I
changed my mind, get out." So I moved back in with my parents.]
New Internet E-Mail Address
For those of you on the Information Super Highway, my new electronic mail
address is [updated April 17, 2000]
Magic: The Gathering
There is an addicting game here called Magic: The Gathering. It's a card
game much like the card game "war" (where you try to beat the other player
by playing better cards) with more elaborate rules, and additional rules
printed on the cards. These cards have beautiful original artwork. This
game is marketed as a collectable card game. It's very clever because the
company (Wizards of the Coast) can sell these cards to collectors and gamers,
each of whom see different value in the cards, and driving up the collector's
price of each card.
Wizards of the Coast makes a card game called Jyhad. It is based on the
Vampire: The Masquerade role-playing game. This is a card game like Magic:
The Gathering, based on vampires. I'm interested in vampires now, and I
find the artwork of these cards to be nice and dark.
I've been meeting with a group of friends every week to play role-playing
games. This group has changed members and games many times over the last
year and a half. Currently, my friend, Mark Alamo, is the dungeon master
(who moderates the game), and we're running a campaign to desecrate the
Temple of Elemental Evil. I play Vytautis, an Elf fighter who has joined
the party to rid the land of evil.
[I've changed to playing with a different role-playing group now, and
the last character I played was Oliver Hardy. :-) This group
is upbeat and more into the role-playing than the gaming, and that makes
it fun! ]
I plan to take all the photographs and videos from my trip to Europe, and
combine them to make a short and entertaining video. This project will
take much time and equipment, so I hope to do this early next year.
[Maybe later in the year.]
I want to make a fictional story on video as I had done in college.) I
really want to work on the technical aspects of video production, and I
have friends who want to act in it and write the script for it. This is
a major project, and I've been putting it aside until I can truly commit
[Maybe later in the year.]
I want to buy a house. I want the stability of a permanent residence, and
the space to keep my possessions.
I figured that this would be the best year to travel because I am making
enough money, but I don't have any major debts yet. However, I'm finished
travelling for a few years because I want to save money for a house. I
still plan to make driving trips (to Boston and Toronto, for example),
to go to important events (to Austin, so that I can be god-father to my
best friend's, Heather's, child), and to explore Rochester.
I hope I'll get to have you as a guest.
I want to directly connect to the information superhighway. I am ready
with this goal, once I get the last bit of equipment for the Sun workstation.
With this I can grab interesting files, and present a "home page" to computer
users around the world. I would share my interests this way, and I hope
to enhance my BBS with this ability in some way.
Happy Holidays, and Best Wishes for the Upcoming Year!
Contents by Vitas Povilaitis
email to vitas@GracefulBoot.com