The Lash house has come down. It took Roger Allen six months to build but just two days for one man and a big John Deere excavator to demolish. And now only the sentinel chimney remains, but soon enough it too will be gone, tumbled down in a cloud of dust.
The house had been there barely more than half a century. Its demise offers a cautionary tale, about the impermanence of summer, summer homes and the transience of dreams. The couple who built the house are dead now, as are many of those whose passionate talk once enlivened the big living room on a summer evening. The Lashes imagined it would be a house for their children and generations to come. But they imagined wrongly. Their children and grandchildren had different needs and dreams from theirs, and so not long after they were both dead the house was sold. A new house will take the place of the old, shaped by a different couple with different dreams, different imaginings.
It is somehow appropriate that it should have come to its end as summer itself is ending. As the feverish rush to devour the fruits of summer reaches a kind of crescendo, with the carnival pulsing of the agricultural fair and the crowding of the beaches and farmers markets and all the signature events and enjoyment of August. And nature sends its signals, dry winds from the northwest, cooler nights and that peculiar golden light at day’s end. All of a sudden there will be less traffic on the roads, fewer yachts in the harbor, places to park in Menemsha when the sun sets.
So comes the end of summer, and where the Lash house stood there is but a great wound in the earth.