I love how scents can evoke a memory whether it’s the smell of food from your child hood or a cologne from a loved one. Today’s run by the bay brought back so many memories. As I came down surprise hill in Colt Park (Bristol RI) I inhaled the unforgettable scent of sea air. Suddenly I was back in 1960 something riding the Prudence Ferry to Hog Island and summer camp. Where we’d march to swim lessons and free swim and had the time of our lives and when the day ended we boarded the ferry once again singing songs and anticipating which lollypop flavor our camp director would give us, but there was much more we’d all sit on pins and needles wondering if this would be our day to “drive the ferry”! You see each evening Hector Massa (our camp director) would choose a few campers to “drive” the ferry with Captain Manny Souza. We’d be seated on a high stool and hold onto the giant ship’s wheel with captain Souza “assisting us”. What an incredible view of this beautiful harbor we’d have.
The sea scent continued to jar my memory to the wonderful times I had with my dad and my uncle Danny at the Bristol Teepees. My brother, cousins and I would swim, snorkel, raft and the most fun having our dads toss us into the air to dive. The day seemed to go on forever it was always a highlight of the week when we got to go.
Then there were more memories from the Bottom of Maple Street in Warren where we’d swim with my cousins and their neighbors when we visited my aunt Virginia. There was a large rock that came into play during high tide and the always fun adventure of walking on the railroad tracks (now the East Bay Bike Path).
There are the times spent with my mom clamming or qua hogging (she couldn’t swim and this was her only beach pursuit).
My memories took back to the mid seventies when I live in Newport and would head down to First Beach for a walk and to listen to the surf. Walk the cliff walk or sit at the Purgatory Chasm and take pictures. Flying kites on second beach or riding around ten mile drive and Fort Adams.
The sea air is my tonic, my zen, my home…