From Bristol, Connecticut, the Mind’s Eye Group went south to Sleeping Giant State Park. The “sleeping giant,” also known as Mount Carmel, is a narrow ridge—700 feet high and approximately three miles long—that is mostly contained within the park. Those with an anthropomorphic bent have identified formations that resemble various features of the human figure. Though Laetitia wasn’t especially interested in comparing rocks to body parts, it was a great place to hike with a variety of scenery and wildlife.
New Haven, their destination, is the second-largest city in Connecticut. It’s a port city on Long Island Sound and the home of Yale University. After checking into their lodging, the group went to several local museums: the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery. Afterward, they walked through New Haven Green, a 16-acre area of parkland that reflected the wisdom of the city’s founders, who planned its development rather than just letting it happen. They had a group picture taken at the New Haven Green Fountain.
After dropping her guests off at their hotel with a designated time for meeting in the lobby, Laetitia found a bar near the Yale Campus for a pre-dinner libation. She sipped a glass of New Zealand Marlboro sauvignon blanc and listened to a group of Yale cinematography students talking about La Dolce Vita, Fellini’s comedy/drama that rocked the art film world in the 1960s. They were discussing Anita Ekberg’s famous scene at the Trevi Fountain in Rome and how often it’s been imitated. Their conversation moved on to Under the Tuscan Sun, a film with the same title as Frances Mayes’ book, but with little other resemblance. They spoke with amusement about the gratuitous additions to the film, including the Fellini Fountain scene, a pregnant lesbian, and an Italian lover for the Frances Mayes character.
Just as it was getting to be time for Laetitia to finish her drink and join her group, the students’ conversation provided the limerick of the day. The gossip was about Clare and Rita, two businesswomen who had had a bit to drink at a convention party in town and decided to do a reenactment of Ekberg’s scene at the New Haven Green Fountain. They didn’t want to ruin their dresses, so they took them off.
‘Tis said that a lady named Clare
One night on a New Haven square
Played La Dolce Vita
With her good friend, Rita
As they romped in a fountain, quite bare.