Getting There

Driving to the ocean from inland, particularly in days without AC, one was sure to notice a change in air quality near the coast.  As a kid, our ocean trips ran from mid Sixties to early Seventies.  After that, as too often the case, things changed and our yearly tradition ceased.*  But while it lasted, who could catch the first smell of the salt air, was forefront in our minds as we neared.  It was a contest of sorts, one based on honor of course, since anyone could claim to smell the ocean back in, say, Nebraska.  But that was fine.  When I was a kid, the world still held things like honor.

To go from inland to the ocean proper, we crossed a bridge leaving the mainland.  Once across, we were officially at the Atlantic.  Those two things, smelling the ocean and crossing the bridge heralded ocean magic in the near offing.

*What ended these vacations for my family were inconsiderate neighbors who, purchasing mini-bikes for their kids, allowed them to buzz back and forth incessantly shifting quiet sea-side getaway to aggrevating suburb.  (I was blessed with a mini-bike too at some point, but my parents were considerate of others around us and engaged in actual parenting.)

The author in red jacket, by his direct gaze, already shows intensity. c. 1967

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