In 1951, John O'Hara published a novella--The Farmers Hotel--that involves some travelers and passers-by stranded by a blizzard in a small hotel that was just in the process of opening. I liked the book when I read it some months ago. It's an unpretentious tale of love and ambition and race and how circumstances often alter our well-planned lives.
I had read in some of the biographical material that the building O'Hara had in mind (not an exact duplicate of the cover art) was on Beckville Road near the small town of Cressona, PA, not far from his boyhood home in Pottsville. The O'Haras also had a farm they used for a summer getaway on Panther Valley Road, which intersects with Beckville Road. When the O'Haras went out to their farm, they would have passed right by the building.
|former home of Katherine Delaney,|
mother of John O'Hara
But we had failed to find the old hotel on our trip into town, and I was preparing to head back up PA 901 to a building I'd thought might be it when we entered town. But when we turned left onto 901 from Panther Valley Road, we almost immediately saw the building--somewhat changed, now a private home--but still very clearly the place that had once been the Farmers Hotel of O'Hara's novel.
|the "Farmers Hotel" near Cressona, PA|
And off we drove to our hotel in Pottsville (a Ramada, not a Farmers), feeling that euphoria we've felt for years, driving country roads together, searching for something we love, in company with someone we love.