Mid July, and it was at about his point that you had really settled into your summer. The camp softball team was pretty set, and you were doing better than you’d hoped all winter long, though not quite so well as the new kid on the colony, whose surprise presence had upset your plans on being the pitcher, having you settle, instead, for playing second base. You’d had your eye on the new kid’s sister, who was a year and a half younger than you, but cute, all the same, with curtly red hair and a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose, and you didn’t half mind the half pound of steel she was carrying on her teeth, because her smile was brilliant all the same. You’d been too long in the pool earlier in the summer, when the sun was sub-tropical, and your shoulders had burnt so badly that they’d blistered, and you were sure you’d never escape the ubiquitous scent of the Noxema that your mom gobbed onto your reddened skin every day. But there were other things that were going especially well. You’d made the record score on the colony pin-ball machine, winning an unheard of 15 free games, consecutively, managed to even impress your dad in the process. Your grandparents had already completed their annual summer sojourn to the colony, and left you with a tidy stash of cash, that you were tapping into regularly to consume egg creams and malts in the colony concession. You had even adjusted to being a half day behind on box-cores, because the Daily News and Post didn’t get the late boxes upstate, and the Record was always a day behind, anyway. But there was news of great concerts upcoming at Monticello raceway–Jay and the Americans, Ike and Tina, maybe even Chuck berry–if only your parents would let you go. And in August they were throwing a big thing outside of Monticello, with a lot of groups-The Who, Santana, Hendrix–but no way your parents would let you go, at 12. They were calling it an Aquarian Festival. Woodstock.
And you get postcards and letters from your buddies in the city, who are going to day camp or just hanging about, playing ball on the asphalt and chasing the Good Humor man, and stifling in the humidity, not knowing what it’s like to slam shut the screen door of the bungalow and saunter over to the pool, your arm slung through a big, black inner tube, the world at your feet.
And have we thanked our parents for such great memories?
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