In an essay for the Home & Garden section, Kevin Baker remembers the small town in Massachusetts in which he grew up — a place, he says, that is “dear to those who know it.” What place do you remember especially well from your own childhood? Why are those memories important to you?
In “When Rockport Was My Own,” Kevin Baker writes:
I grew up in a small town called Rockport, on the north shore of Massachusetts, home to no more than 5,000 people when we first moved there, and dear to those who know it. It is a place of rugged natural beauty: a shore of granite outcroppings that jut into a cold blue sea, a movie set of a New England village with streets full of small shops and not a traffic light in the town.
… Yet Rockport wasn’t merely quaint. It was a real place, a community in balance with itself that provided guideposts to a wider, adult world for its young people — including the way out. As a boy, I explored them all, pedaling my bike between Toad Hall Bookstore and the public library, both built from the town’s own granite. I learned to write professionally at the town ball field, next to the railroad yard, with its Victorian turrets flanking the grandstand, its wooden scoreboard and a tricky hill that toppled many a visiting right fielder. I made $10 a game — a fortune in 1972 — as a 13-year-old stringer for The Gloucester Daily Times, but I had to learn to type to keep the job.
Students: Tell us about a place you remember from your childhood, and describe what it meant to you then and why — even if it is a place you still visit today.
Teachers: Here are 10 ways to teach with this feature.
Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.
Essay on A Hazy Memory from Childhood
1084 Words5 Pages
Recalling a favorite childhood place is not an easy endeavor for a person of my temperament. Through a hazy memory instances and occurrences come fleeting through my mind like clouds floating across a colored sky. I can recall happy memories, and sad ones. Both are there, only their shapes differ; clouds too offer up different shapes. My problem lies in the actual choosing of a place that I can call favorite. Many different places come to mind, but each one has to be ruled out, for always some glitch appears and floats across a foggy memory that has not yet been burned away by the hot summer sun.
My impulse is to enter upon memories that cause some pain in my being. If I had the choice, I would wipe these memories clear away, so as to…show more content…
The reason for my fascination with the shape of a boat's wake eludes me now, but I do remember that I was not alone in my observation and analysis. My younger brother also shared in the boat wake vigil.
Arrival at our lakeshore property brings me to my favorite place: a wooden dock, about fifteen feet long and six feet wide. On this dock I spent some of my happiest childhood moments.
My brother and I had a fleet of toy boats. Boats of every type and colour. And to the tip of each boat we tied a long piece of string. We then wrapped the other end of the string around and around a small piece of wood which would thereafter be a handle. By grasping the handle in our small boy hands and placing the boats in the water, we immersed ourselves in endless hours, nay, in endless days of fun and adventure. We raced around the dock with our small boats splashing in tow, inventing stories of adventure and intrigue, manipulating the boats to do high flying daredevil jumps or to cruise at optimal speed creating the perfect wake. Only when we splashed our sister for the umpteenth time and Mom could no longer concentrate on her summer novel were we forced to desist from our fun. And then it was along the purple sands, around the lake debris, and over the slippery green rocks to our neighbour's dock, with our boats trailing behind us.
At our neighbour's dock something happened that I will never forget: an action that seemed so simple and uncomplicated to a boy