Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fourth of July

We went to York Beach in Maine. The holiday happened to coincide with the day last week's hurricane came up our way, so it was rainy and chillier than usual. Of course it also cut down on the crowds. On a regular warm and sunny July 4, the beach would be shoulder to shoulder with people.

When we first got there they weren't even letting people go in the water--the lifeguards were standing at the edge of the water keeping you away--but after about an hour they abandoned their posts and anyone could go in.

One of the famous amusement halls along the shore at Short Sands beach.

The even more famous Fun-o-Rama (with child #3 running down the steps). Both of these buildings are at least pre-war and are built like old barns. Once glance up at the rafters and psychologically I am transported back about 28 years, to the impression I had at that time of being transported back fifty or sixty years while being simultaneously more fully engaged in the moment than I am now. That is to say, I am really thinking of all that has changed and passed away in this area since 1986, but even in 1986 I was thinking the same thing with regard to 1936.

Four of the five children playing or picking things up on the beach. #4 is out of the picture. They were all in the picture when the button was pushed. Our cameras all have 2-3 second lapses which means you need to have luck to get a good picture of the children.

#5 doesn't like having sandy hands.

Here is #4 inside Fun-o-Rama. This composition was another victim of slow camera syndrome.

Cashing in the game tickets.

Mechanical fortune-teller (and my daughter).

It stopped raining and they letting people into the ocean again, so we went back to the beach.

Some relatives of my wife's used to have a house here, a little further down from these off to the right, which is one of the reasons why York is one of the main beaches we go to. They sold it off some years ago and naturally the new owners knocked it down and built a bigger house. The old house probably dated from the 30s or 40s and was a real classic New England, Summer of '42esque beach house, no air conditioning, whipping white curtains, creaking screen doors, a bookshelf that hadn't been augmented since before I was born. By the end though the surrounding atmosphere had changed enough that it almost felt like it didn't really belong anymore. Keeping it more or less exactly as it was for so long, pleasing though that was in some ways, seemed to suggest either ambitions or financial limitations on the part of its owners that were unacceptably modest for contemporary times. Feeling this way about things that don't change or innovate eagerly and rapidly enough, even when one is sympathetic to the laggards, has become second nature to me, and I would presume many people who have absorbed the dominant attitudes of the past twenty years.

Child #2 draws a map of the northeast in the wet sand.


Climbing on the rocks. Another time-honored Maine pastime.

Back at home, but a good picture of daughter by #4, who seems to have something of an artistic temperament and flair about him.

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