, Newburyport, MA


September 10, 2013

Summertime on 'paradise' island

Having gone through the phase of swimming out back, we kids were ready for bigger things. Older kids went to Plum Island. There were more things to do there. In order to get there we had to thumb rides.

Kids in my area of Lower Prospect Street in Newburyport would walk to Water Street as soon as possible. Cars would come along going to Plum Island. As we walked along we’d put out our thumbs to passing cars. In those days, the traffic was very light. Our destination was Rolfes Lane, where Bummer’s Rock was. Matter of fact, it’s still there. The owners of the property left it as a memento. If we were first there, we’d sit on the rock to thumb. It was a good spot because cars also came along from Newbury and elsewhere. When other kids came along, they would spread out on the turnpike.

When a car stopped to pick us up, we’d all pile in, most often sitting in other’s laps in the front seat and the back. Very few cars went along with only one or two people in them.

Occasionally we’d stop to swim at Plum Bush. That was a bit before the bridge. The swim hole reminded us of New Hole, which was out by Four Rock. It was a pretty wide area with muddy banks we could dive in the water off of. You wouldn’t recognize it today because it’s all grown in.

But the most fun was at the center of the beach. It had a large parking lot that handled all the cars. The beach went right out straight from the parking area. It was very wide, as I recall. It went out about 50 yards or so before it dropped down to the water. The sand was soft and granular. It didn’t cling to you. Most bathers sat near the water. Behind them was this wide area of beach. We would throw a football around to each other. Sometimes we would punt the ball back and forth. If we got into a game, there would be many kids on each side. The game didn’t go on forever because we would get tired from running in the soft sand.

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