An envisioning . . . 1939 and the house on Long Island.

Oh to be here.

Aunt Lily’s house and the Fourth of July weekend about to arrive. So many cookouts and picnics that no one can even envision a potato not coated in mayonnaise with celery stuck in it.

Cousin after cousin and summer friend. A new apartment each year, almost, but auntie’s house always the same.

The grownups sitting around talking about the stock market and war in Europe.

Not child things. No, children meant to have fun and turn brown in the sun and sit staring at the island off the beach until your eyes feel funny.

Screen door banging, and a path nearly worn in the linoleum back and forth to the refrigerator. Case after case of soda in the back porch and uncle saying he should just get his own coke machine. Funny, says that every summer but he never does. A teasing for otherwise he surely would.

A trip to the store for fireworks and then another at a different store. Father liking to set them off for hours and no one about to sell that many at one time. Buy twenty Catherine wheels and just as many skyrockets if he could.

Someone to row everyone around in the rowboat and another somebody to organize a game of hide and seek with every other boy or girl up and down the beach.

Everyone in their bathing suit and two days in the sand after before anyone has to go home on Sunday. Over then but a postcard from the store at the end of the beach where you can walk in barefoot and walk out with summer. . .the sun shining forever and a day till the end of time . . .who needs more . . .

Beach and lake, South Valley Stream State Park, Long Island, New York. 1930-1945.
Beach and lake, South Valley Stream State Park, Long Island, New York. 1930-1945. Vintage postcard. In the public domain. Tichnor Brothers Collection. via and


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