Sunday, January 13, 2008

The way-back machine


Time: Summer, 1958
Place: Panama City, Florida


In the summer of 1958 we visited Florida, as we did every summer of my childhood. My father was born and raised in the Florida panhandle not far from Panama City.

This was my great-uncle Jack's beach house. It was a small single-story place on an inlet built long before the high rise condos and hotels. The powdery white sand beaches were lined with family owned motels with names like the Silver Sands.

There was quite a bit of drama on this particular morning. We'd arrived the night before, pulling dad's 1957 Chevy Bel Air station wagon into the carport long after dark. The kids were all wound up at the thought of going to the beach the next morning and the men had chartered a boat to go deep-sea fishing.

My brother Bob was the first to wake up and seconds later started screaming frantically. My poor mom shot out of bed and ran into the room to see what had happened. He babbled incoherently until we finally got him calmed down enough to understand him.

"We can't go swimming!" he wailed.

"What do you mean?" my mom asked.

"It SNOWED last night," he screamed.

There was no landscaping around the beach house and the sand in this part of the Gulf was pure white and my brother mistakenly thought it had snowed during the night.

This photo was taken later in the day, after the men returned from their fishing trip. We were struggling to hold up the catch. I have no idea what those are....gars? You'll see my mom back there in the shadows, leaning against Uncle Jack's car. She was so cute - still is!

Thanks for traveling with me in the way-back machine.

Be sure to check the post just below. It reveals the winner of the contest.

Tomorrow the drywallers will be here to finish their work and we'll discuss the difficulties of remodeling.


diane said...

What a great memory. Giggling...because your brother's young eyes couldn't tell the difference between snow and sand at dawn but old enough to understand a manly, puffed chest, flexed bicep pose while displaying "today's catch". Too cute.

Suzanne said...

Yeah Diane, but you'll notice I'm holding up the lion's share of the catch of the day.

charlotte said...

love that...and your sewing machine is too cool! btw, have tried to respond with email to you after your comments, but it won't send to that address. is it correct?

Suzanne said...

I should be correct.

Otherwise we'll just blame the ghost in the machine!