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Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22-23, 2015: Crowd-sourced Summer Getaways

[For many up here in New England, summer means a trip or twelve to the Cape—Cape Cod, that is (with no disrespect to the beautiful Cape Ann). So this week, I’ve AmericanStudied five Cape Cod stories. This crowd-sourced post is drawn from the responses and summer getaways of fellow AmericanStudiers—add yours in comments, please!]
Responding to the Cape Cod posts, Brianna Jaquette remembers, “Vacationed there every year as a child. Ordered lots of coffee-flavored ice cream. Thought it was a very sophisticated choice.” She adds, “Still stand by the choice but think I also made it because of the Cape, which seemed a little more polished than I ever felt.”
Greg Specter Tweets, “Make sure to visit the Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum. Never went until a few years ago. Now visit all the time.”
Michael Miles Tweets, “Gotta get fried scallops at the Lobster Pot in P-town.”
Responding as only a born writer can, Rob Gosselin writes, “When I was seventeen I went camping one summer in Truro on Cape Cod. I was with a group of about 12 people. A young woman came with us. She had long black hair and green eyes. I remember her name, perhaps one of the few things I remember about those wild and reckless days, but I won’t repeat it here. One night we all went walking on the beach. There was no moon. We all stood by the ocean. The green-eyed woman and I drifted apart from the rest of the group. Then the two of us noticed that there were small, bio-luminescent fish in the sea. Whenever a wave crashed onto the beach the space where the water met the sand would glow with a line of soft blue-green. If you looked down the beach, you could see the line of luminosity run like pearly lightning all along the edge of the ocean. The long line of running light went almost to the horizon. Then I kissed her. More importantly, she kissed me back. That was 37 years ago, and to this day whenever I see the ocean I think of that night on Cape Cod.”
Lifelong Cape Cod resident Amy Johnson writes, “I recently went on a graveyard tour in Sandwich. It was free! (I did not know there was a difference between a cemetery and graveyard. I thought they were one and the same.) One interesting thing I learned was about a former slave that is buried there. He was granted his freedom when his master died and he went on to become well respected in the community. The former slave (Titus) left his whole earnings to a church to purchase a black clock. It eventually broke and bonged hundreds of times in the middle of the night which is kind of hilarious to think about... I've driven by that church hundreds of times and had no idea of the symbolism behind the clock. I guess my reason for sharing this interesting tidbit is because there are still so many hidden facets and historical facts that I am still discovering depsite having lived on the Cape for almost 20 years.”
Offering her own summer getaway, Meg Koslowski highlights Lake Shirley, sharing, “The endless hours I’ve spent there with my husband over the past few years. Starting the day off with a drive around the lake, making our way to our favorite cove to float in the water for the day until the sun sets.”
Andrew DaSilva, another lifelong Cape Codder, shares, “Cape Cod is at its best in October when the tourist are gone. The tacky tourist traps have closed and only the locals remain. The fall foliage from the top of Scargo tower is pretty awesome and occasionally one can still catch a decent play at one of the local theaters in Brewster, Orleans or the big one in Dennis. That salty marsh smell is nice 'n crisp when watch'n the sun rise and no one cares if you pull over to watch it ‘cause all them tourists are gone and traffic is close to nonexistent. The bike trail is often empty which is great for bird watch'n and leaf peep'n. The crowds at the Truro Vineyards for wine tasting have disappeared and one can sample wine without being rushed by the yuppies that drive cars with New York plates. One can drive from Brewster to Sandwich and dine at the Bee~Hive Tavern without sitting in traffic. While dining at the Bee~Hive one can listen to the live music they play from time to time without the chatter and cackling of the tourists. All in all I don't really like the tourists if ya couldn't tell by now however I do very much like the Cape. I like how small town it is. We don't have a large supermarket where I live, just mum and pop sorta places. No traffic lights. I cast my ballot come election day in a church. The guy who cuts my meat at the market I went to high school with as is the lady who sells me my booze at the liquor store. When I do go fish'n I get my bait from a bait and tackle store owned by my best friend’s uncle. And chances are high if ya get pulled over (seeing crime is close to none-exsistant in Brewster, traffic violations such as speeding being the exception) it would be one of the fella's dad who ya went to high school with. It's sorta like that TV show Cheers where everyone knows your name. And well that's kinda nice.”
While Max Aelwyn shares a different perspective: "Having grown up there I'd say that the Cape is a cultural wasteland. The arts continually languish and year after year of kids there fall into drugs, booze or both. I remember growing up that if you needed weed you just had to go to the vineyard because there was nothing there and the cops didn't care. There are more and more stories every winter of people getting mugged, attacked, etc. as all of that tourism money goes away and people get desperate. Schools are underfunded because the people who own half the land for the summer homes continually vote against raising taxes to pay for anything. The Cape is dying and its future ain't great."
Kristen Liming notes, “For the Cape I automatically think of Martha’s Vineyard—we would visit the brass ring merry-go-round every trip!” And she adds, “For me summer is time spent on Lake Ossippee in NH! My family has a house up there and my father is a teacher while one of his best friends is a firefighter meaning they had long stretches of time off together! My father would take my brother and me up with his friend and his two children for almost every week going home on weekends to see our mothers! It was almost like our own personal summer camp often named ‘beach tour’ as we would try and boat a large variety of lakes throughout the summer. We were even christened with ‘lake names’ every year such as ‘Swamp girl’ or ‘the gnat’! Just thought you might appreciate since I know how precious your relationship with your sons is—I think the summer bonds made with my father really helped us later in life!”
Andrea Grenadier highlights “Little Boar’s Head, New Hampshire,” adding, “For many years, I went up with friends whose family owned a big house up there, as well as a fish house right on the water. Those were some incredible times with wonderful people! I won't be up there this summer, since I've just started a new temporary work gig at the Dept. of Commerce. So next summer, I hope!”
Karen Valeri writes, “York Beach (Long Sands), Maine is my favorite. I also love Hampton Beach, NH, but it tends to be crazy busy. The state park at Hampton is nice for camping.”
Ben Lieberman ventures “further north in Maine,” to “Popham Beach and Reid State Park.”
And Monica Jackson shares, “I just visited the Carlsbad Caverns in NM and the Grand Canyon in AZ. The Caverns were the best part though and we also drove through Roswell. We didn't get to stop there this time, so we might go back next summer.”
Next series starts Monday,
PS. Other summer favorite places you’d highlight?

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