My dad and I usually make a point to get out to New York for a week or two every summer to visit his parents (I told you a little about that in this post). To this day, my grandparents still live in the same house my dad grew up in on Long Island.
My dad recently shared some photos with me of himself, his older brother Ken, and my grandparents – all taken on Fire Island when my dad was very young. My grandparents had a vacation house built for the family there, only a short ferry ride away from Bayshore, the town my dad grew up in on Long Island. When my dad and his brother Ken were kids, the whole family would spend their summers on Fire Island. And my grandfather would commute via ferry to work every day.
Although their vacation house was only 30 minutes away from their home in Bayshore, my dad still talks about those summers spent on Fire Island with nostalgia. He talks about how cars weren’t allowed anywhere on the island. Seriously, no one drove. If you needed to transport groceries, toys (in my dad’s case) or anything else, you rolled it to where it needed to go in one of those little red wagons. My dad also told me about the neighboring beach towns he and his brother would go exploring on their own. It sounds like Fire Island was a very safe place back then if litte kids could go wandering from town to town without cell phones. And he talks about his dad taking them out on his boat for the day and them arriving home with some big fish his mom would cook up for dinner. She’s a great cook.
I’ve been to Fire Island a handfull of times myself. My dad has taken me to see where their house used to be (it’s since been destroyed in a storm, long before it was devastated again this year by Hurricane Sandy), and all the other places he used to tell me about. But it was always hard to picture my grandparents there, and them spending so much time together there as a family. For some reason they never decided to come with us when we would take the ferry ride over there.
And that is part of what made me so grateful to see these pictures. I’m not sure why it wasn’t until recently that I’ve started seeing more photos of my dad and grandparents when they were young. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention before, but now I think it’s fun to look at photos like that. My grandmother was so beautiful. (AND stylish – check out those swimsuits!) My grandfather so handsome. And look how happy they all look together!
So because I’m on a family vacation right now, with some family that is newer to my life – but still oh so important – I thought I’d share some photos with you of the family that I’ve known since I was born (at least my dad’s side), taken in a place that I know was (and still is) very near and dear to their hearts!