It’s the fourth of July, it is very hot here for the sixth day in a row, and many people are heading for the beaches and parks. We are staying home, avoiding crowds, looking forward to going to the movies in what once was advertised as an “Air Cooled!” theater. I did always wonder what that meant before air conditioning came in.
After my mother died, my brother used a photo service to put all of the pictures in the family albums on DVDs. My mother was the only surviving child of her parents, so the albums also included those of my grandmother. Fortunately my grandmother, unlike my mother or me, was very organized. Her albums have carefully annotated descriptions of the people and places in each photo.
Here in 1928 her mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother, Jennie Durham are relaxing on Long Island on a family outing. My mother is wearing a bathing suit, but my grandmother and great grandmother are both wearing long cotton dresses. And someone–my grandfather?–has hauled a chair, a huge umbrella, picnic gear, blankets and all down to the sand.
Jennie sits in the chair, regal in her demeanor. I imagine she is wondering why she ever agreed to this expedition. She surely isn’t finding the beach a welcome respite from the heat!