July 13-15, 2017, Saugus-
As I awoke, each morning, bright and early, in my old bedroom, thoughts went back to various points in my life.
I recall the woods, in Lynnhurst, a neighbourhood of Saugus, where we lived before moving to my mother’s present home (62 years, she’s been in the same house). I think of Russ, a year younger than me, who would walk everywhere with me- when we were three and four, respectively.
When we moved to the present home, I used to go over to one or another of the horse farms in our neighbourhood. Old Pierre’s farm was north and Mr. Conrad’s, was south. Both ended up subdivided, and became known as “the Projects”. These were different from the housing projects in Lynn and Malden. Saugus’s projects were made up of single family homes. Red-lining was in full force, back then, and the only African-Americans I met were the cafeteria ladies, at the Junior High and the three or four classmates, in high school, who lived near the quarry, on the south side, near the Malden line. Times have changed, and this town is now far more diverse.
It’s also more crowded, with the town office and Board of Selectmen wanting more growth, still. The roads really can’t handle the traffic, so I look for a hue and cry, for more infrastructure, before a whole lot more housing gets built. People in power seem to learn more slowly than many- and sometimes, it’s too late.
Some things don’t change, though. The Beach that runs from Swampscott to Nahanbeat, through a segment of Lynn, has been the primary place for us to cool off, for over a hundred years. Of course, to park in most sections of the beach, one must pay a $10 day-use fee, far cheaper than in Connecticut, Florida or California. Still, I found a free spot, so brother and I were able to just get out and walk, of a Saturday morning, from one bath house to another- a distance of 2 miles, round trip. He’s legally blind, but far from crippled.
The views, even of low tide, bring the comforting memories of when my tide was high, and young women were my primary interest.
This intriguing outcropping is Egg Rock, a favourite of those in sailboats and kayaks.
One of my main purposes, besides spending days with Mom, was to meet my youngest grand-nephew. The blessed little family, with his Mommy, Daddy and two big sisters, lives in a large and comfortable home, about six miles or so from our family house.
You can guess who my nephew’s favourite character was, when he was small.
Saugus, like life, is not the same as it was, when I was the small one. The house is much the same, though, and the area still has great restaurants, offering everything from signature seafood, through Italian, Chinese, and Mexican, to Brazilian. We did Italian on Thursday, at a place called Victor’s- delectable food, in slightly disorganized establishment. Saturday lunch was at a nearby branch of the Boston-based Legal Seafood- good fare, though at prices reflective of the name and reputation. The rest of the time, we did the frugal thing and indulged ourselves with what was in the house.
This time, I feel thoroughly pampered though, and Mom feels blessed to be able to still spoil her oldest. She did what she had to do, when I was growing up, so now-why not relax? I would have the chance to pay her back a bit, just before leaving, on Monday.