Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Going Over Town

It’s August already. The month of slow dread for grammar school students, because we know the end of our summer vacation is slowly heading our way. For us, it was time to go Over Town.

That meant going to Bridgeport, the nearest city, leaving our car in the railroad station parking lot, and walking to Howland’s Department Store, Thom McAn’s Shoe Store and maybe lunch at Leavitt’s or Read’s Department Store.

Lunch with Mom! And doing it Over Town! As I remember, the restaurant was in the store’s basement and we took a ticket from the turnstile as we went in. I don’t know why and it’s been a long time, but that seemed to be the drill. We’d have a leisurely lunch, then either continue shopping or go back to the parking lot with a brief detour to the railroad station (it was elevated, so we climbed up the stairs and, in this warm weather, got a good whiff of the creosote-soaked ties). After I watched a train or two go by, we left for our home out at the edge of the world.

It also meant that we had about four weeks left. Ok, that’s a bit of time, but as sure as I could see the locomotive coming toward us from a distance at the railroad station, I could also see the first day of school approaching. We never, ever, went Over Town except for things like school shopping; it was the first cool breeze in our warm summer life. But for now, there was the boat, the beach and catching bait in The Gut, a place too smelly for outsiders, but like perfume to us.


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