I had forgotten(though clearly I couldn’t have remembered) that my first visit to Pike came in the summer of 1947 when I was three months old. Here my father practices the time honored exercise of making faces at a baby while the baby(me in this case) practices making them back. Even now, whenever I am around a baby I find myself making faces and watching to see the baby’s reaction. Babies work very hard to mimic expressions, and if you give them enough time, you can watch them try to arrange their faces to copy yours.
One of the constants at Pike was a hammock hung between two elm trees in the front yard. Summers in Pike were often hot and humid, and some of my best later memories were of lolling in the hammock, avoiding having to do anything helpful. Fortunately, with both my mother and grandmother present whenever we were in Pike, two people in the kitchen were already one person too many, so I didn’t have to contribute as much as I would have at home.
It’s a hot day today in East Hartford, and the first hot day of summer here always brings memories of Pike back in a visceral sense. Of course there was no air conditioning, so the evening breeze was especially relished. Even more so from the comfortable perch of the hammock.