Today I was going to write about “Social Media” so I set off to Fort Niagara to write because my street was being repaved. As I pulled into the parking lot my mind reframed from social media to social life…
So many memories here…we called it “the beach” and while I laugh at the thought, in my 8th grade world it was everything a beach should be. It had water…but in the 1970’s swimming was frowned upon. There was a little sand, ok, very little, but it had a wonderful bank of mowed grass where a towel could be thrown for suntanning. A snack shack sold all the junk food we could want and there was a great public pool where my friends with perfect eyesight could lifeguard.
My June birthday meant I often had a New York State Regents Exam (back in the day when testing well meant an actual Regents Scholarship) so my birthday was often celebrated along with the last day of school. One year, after I got contact lenses (a very big deal for me) I remember getting thrown in the lake. That was the first time I went in that water. I was programmed to think it so dangerous that I would emerge glowing in the dark from some residual chemical stuffed in there during WW2.
When I could drive I would come down here by my self and contemplate life…high school style. Does he like me? Will I make the cheer leading squad? Is AP English as hard as everyone says?
My husband and I bought our house in 1983 on a little street in the back corner of the village of Youngstown. We still live there. I know it’s corny but I love living at home. I grew up in Lewiston, still attend church there and do much of my shopping and dining there.
But Youngstown is my home. The two villages, while distinct in many ways, creat a lovely lifestyle for those of us who live “below the hill.”
Back in 1988, the morning my son died I came down here to the beach. My high school muses replaced by life altering events led me to the rock behind the Fort. This is home. We all need home.