Tuesday, September 2, 2008

After the Boys of Summer have gone........

It's been a long time since I was part of the "closing committee" in the mountains, but this weekend I was fortunate (or unfortunate) to take part in that experience.
I have been a steady patron of the Catskill Mountains since I was The People's Tot. I have experienced summers as a child in a bungalow colony, camper in sleepaway camps, counselor and lifeguard at bungalow colonies/housing communities, ran a grocery store as well as some other odd jobs (including Professional Handicapper at Monticello Raceway). This was my first Labor Day Weekend in 15 years and my first all-day Monday stay since....well, not even sure if I ever did that.
It was kind of surreal. Perfect weather. 78 degrees with clearest sky you can imagine.
Most of the colonies cleared out Sunday AM, some straggled around till the evening. I was actually shocked when I went to shul Monday AM and saw a pretty large crowd. I figured maybe this place was different because there were winterized homes and a lot of snowbirds who actually live there 4 months out of the year. Well, I took my 6 year old to play some golf at the local course (Lochmor). Place was relatively empty. A walk on tee time (something unheard of in the greater Met area) was done, no problem with a 6 year old no less (another no no before twilight in normal season) without issue.
We then took a ride to our favortie pizza store (Fialkoffs on Broadway in Monticello). Usually a 30-40 minute wait on a Sunday afternoon, we walked right in and ordered. Place was pretty much closing up for the season. We then had some ice cream and headed back to the ranch. Driving through Swan Lake, White Lake, and Liberty, we saw the depressing signs of the Exodus and the proof the summer was coming to a close. Most places we passed were virtually empty, just rows of bungalows and houses with no kids running around, no cars parked in the lots. Just desolation. When we got back home we headed back to an empty basketball court, an easy spot in front of the pool (a virtuall impossibility and other day), and about 10 people sitting around the pool, when on a normal Sunday you would have had full tennis courts, hundreds by the pool, and a full court game with at least two teams waiting for next.
Well, July 4th Weekend is just around the corner......................

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