Waterside Avenue and Crab Meadow Beach was in large part, the “cradle of my youth,” as it was for so many of us young folks growing up during the 50's & 60's. Vanessa Darling taught me to swim at Crab Meadow Beach in 1951, a gift that would serve me for a lifetime. As young children, we enjoyed this natural playground and as older kids, we remember trying to get served at the nearby Post Tavern, a popular watering hole and honky tonk that later burned to the ground.
When we began to drive, our “steel chariots” seemed to lock onto magnetic north, and took us to the submarine races at the Crab Meadow Beach parking lot. It was an uncomplicated time when the those lazy, hazy crazy days of summer were defined by soda, pretzels and beer. Portable transistor radios could be heard pumping out those those summertime songs as the heatwaves danced over the sand, a ghostly snapshot in time that easily rises to the top. This concept of “Neverland”, is the mindset of youth that allows an unbridled passion for life.
In our youth, we heard warnings from our elders that alluded to our naivety and lack of experience and seriousness. We scoffed at such remarks and in many cases, rebelled. We were going to show them, and we would do it our way. Our elders, of course were right but now looking back through the binoculars of life, I easily see an important component that helped get us to where we are. There was an unspoken social connection that was a larger part of life's puzzle than anyone could have ever taught in grad school. Being young, learning to swim, dancing in the sand, getting drunk, falling in love, watching the sunset with your best date. These were all the foundation of what eventually made us caring and responsible people. I'm grateful to be a graduate of the Crab Meadow Beach proving grounds of yore. To this day, each August, there is an “All Class Northport High School Reunion” that takes place right there...where it all began, so many years ago.
To this end, I offer “Boardwalk Angel”, a tribute to all those who have traversed these hallowed halls. Double click on the link.