Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hot Hazy Humid Then and Now

picnic at mayo beach 1940

It's hot which is nothing new here in Washington, DC. What is new is the heat index telling us how hot we FEEL. I could live without this. I have been living through these sweltering summers almost all of my life, but it's disconcerting now to know small children and older people should not even be breathing the air. On these hot summer days all eyes turn toward the Eastern Shore.

Way back when, before the Chesapeake Bay Bridges, a trip to the beach was most likely by car or ferry and did not necessarily mean the Atlantic Ocean. Ferries could take you to places like Betterton or St Michael's- once thriving communities. Now you can still find sleepy piers on either side of the bay while the traffic swarms down Route Fifty towards Rehobeth or Ocean City.

My parents used to go to beaches on the DC side of the bay like Chesapeake Beach, Mayo, and Woodland. There were nets to catch the nettles that didn't work very well, and the water was shallow, but it was wet and there might be a breeze. Cousins Koula and Thelma had a cottage in North Beach, and their friend, Johnny Monaco had a place in South Beach. Johnny would catch soft shells or fish for dinner. Sometimes Mom and Dad would sneak into the dances at Beverly Beach where no "immigrants" or "mediterraneans" were allowed, but Dad was light haired and blue eyed and got away with it.

The heat may not be new, but at least some things have changed.


  1. Clogger B10:59 AM

    Great memories of the beach in the old days. I recall our driving over just for the day and then eventually piling into our travel trailer which we kept parked in a court in Rehoboth Beach (when Patsy and the boys joined us we slept 6 in our 24 ft. abode.) Loved the picture. Beverly Beach is now private. Hot is Central FL, but decent air quality at least. Even the pup doesn't care to venture out into the hazy 95 degree heat!