I woke up this morning feeling a little blue thinking about all of the people who are no longer with us.
Of course, mine is not a unique situation, everyone will miss someone dear this holiday season.
So rather than dwell upon who was missing, I decided it was better to think about what we did. The memories we made and the good times we had.
Whenever I want to make myself smile, or even laugh, I think back to those early days we spent at “The Beach” – otherwise known as Edgewater Park. But we just called it The Beach.
There were three ways to get to The Beach. The first way, was to cross the railroad tracks at the bottom of our street and then carefully make your way down a steep hill that was covered in trees and shrubs. Miss one step and you’d arrive with a skinned knee – guaranteed.
The other two ways, was via a tunnel. There was one on West 65th Street and another on West 76th. Neither one was my favorite option as they were full of sewer rats and the occasional wino and they (the tunnels) reeked of urine. So over the tracks was the preferred route for most people.
If you looked at the steady flow of people up and down the hill from afar, you’d swear there was an escalator.
Once on the beach, fleets of cyclists with refrigerated boxes pedaled up and down the beach selling Checker Bar ice cream. One bar cost a quarter. Eating ice cream on The Beach was rather messy and you often ended up eating some sand as well.
No one had beach chairs; instead we spread blankets on the sand and ate lunches out of a picnic basket. Kids would dive head first into giant waves only to find that when the waves quickly rolled back, they had face planted into the sand. It didn’t take long for us to learn that Lake Erie is a shallow lake.
Lake Erie got me to thinking that people are a lot like waves – they come and they go. But memories just like the lake — they are always there.
And so for the people who will be with us during the holiday season and even those who won’t, I’d just like to say…Thanks for the memories.