Jaws

Summer

My parents used to take me and my three brothers to the Jersey shore for a week mid summer. We rented a bunglao by the beach and lived the life. I remember the street names like Pelican lane or Dolphin drive, cute, simple, easy summer living. I was at the age where the look of a bikini on a teenage girl was just starting to make me feel a certain way, but not enough yet. Childhood still had me, and wasn’t letting go yet. What was infinitely more important was the walks with my brother to the store to buy some wacky pack baseball cards. Cards with drawings of goblins and creatures playing baseball or football, my ten cents buying me hours of wonder along with a brick hard slab of gum rolled in powdered sugar. Walks filed with conversations about Planet of the Apes and what we would do if it happened. How dr Zaius would actually like us, because we were different.

Jaws had just come out, ruining pools, lakes and streams for kids everywhere, not to mention the ocean. The great shark swam in the waters off of New Jersey, I knew it.

The boardwalk was the pinnacle of the trip. The big night out. Cotton Candy. The stuffed doll I would never win, and the smell of roasted peanuts. Small wooden roller coasters built in 1917, that no sane person would let their child ride, and the cool salty breeze that came in from the ocean.
I had no fear of tanned skin back then. We would play in the sun until we were caramel colored. I had no fear of anything except math and spelling.

My parents, to this day have no idea how much these little things would mean to me in my life. How much those memories would sneak in on a warm summer breeze and fill up my nostrils, and take me back even for just a few seconds. Just like those of you with kids are unaware how much of a warm summer night is going to stick in their little subconscious and wait to come out.

I hate that I don’t feel like that anymore. I live day to day in the drab world of the here and now. Bills and work and the future are on my mind. Those moments that used to fill my everyday with wonder and excitement are gone. Just small memories, that flood in and out. I know in my heart it’s why having kids is so great because they bring it back to you, and you get to hold their little hands and watch them amazed at a snail or a turtle.

I had one of those moments just a few minutes ago. I was sitting reading, and that feeling of youth and my life, and summer snuck in and nudged me. It’s why a write this. It all came back, and me sitting here remembering these things is a week attempt to hang on to it.

The great shark still swims off the coast of new Jersey, waiting for a kid to take his raft and go swimming.

Have a great Summer out there

your pal Randy

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