Summer vacation, as a young child in New Haven, means days spent on the schoolyard, a local playground or on neighborhood streets. When my father isn’t too tired, outings by trolley to the beach on Sunday or to the amusement park at Savin Rock in West Haven. A supper of fried clams, soft shell crab or pizza ends the day.
Overnight trips away from New Haven are rare and short. The occasional one night stay-over in New York City to see the Rockets at Radio City Music Hall or a relative’s wedding in the Bronx.
The longest trip we take is a week-long vacation with my mother’s older sister and her husband. My uncle drives the six of us to the Desert of Maine. We share a two room cabin, my parents, my sister and I in one room, my aunt and uncle in another.
I am seven and my sister nine, and neither of us is diplomatic regarding the arrangements made by my aunt and uncle. The cabin is too small. Why is there a sink in one bedroom, a cooking stove and ice-box in the other? Why are the toilet and shower outside? The sand is too hot. I want to go home.
We whine and my aunt nags. She nags her husband, my mother, my sister and me. For some reason she leaves my father alone.
the lone man takes
a new direction
Presence, Winter 2011