Days at the Beach (and How I learned to Cuss!)
In No. 3, we left me “afloat” on a stuffed horse in a mud puddle!
Lois and Susie would go to Virginia Beach every summer before I started school. Those trips are well documented by mother’s photography. I loved the beach, and Lois and Susie both spent many hours helping me build sand castles, dig in the sand, and play in the surf. I think we stayed in a rental cabin or maybe a hotel room—that I do not remember exactly. I do know that Susie had a package of Ex-Lax in the room that I discovered. It looked and tasted like chocolate to me. I don’t member much more about that except that I got a good hard lecture about getting into other people’s stuff.
As I said, mother did not swear. That was not true of my father, at least “back then.” I like to think I had some influence on him tempering his speech somewhat. It went like this.
While at the beach, Susie took my mother and me to a nice restaurant with cloth napkins and white table cloths. Even as a toddler, I was impressed. I was seated in a nice high-chair by the table. I sat there for several minutes, looking around, when I looked up and saw this huge chandelier. Looking at this huge glass contraption overhead, calmly, in a loud child’s voice I said, not once by twice, “Well I’ll be gawwd-daaamned.” I forget exactly what happened at that point except that within microseconds, I was lifted out of the high-chair and whisked out of the dining room. Don’t know if we ever went back there again, or not.
I do know that my father got an earful about cussing around me, and by the time I was a more fully aware youngster, he swore only occasionally. As I matured, I noticed that he rarely swore.