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You'd made the record score on the colony pin-ball machine, winning an unheard of 15 free games, consecutively, managed to even impress your dad in the process.Your grandparents had already completed their annual summer sojourn to the colony, and left you with a tidy stash of cash, that you were tapping into 2 to consume egg creams and malts in the colony concession.All the while the excitement bubbled inside you, like a geyser, so eager to get to the colony to see friends not heard from in almost a year. Would your name still be where you wrote it on the big rock under the tree near the handball court?Would the pool, by some miracle, have given birth to a diving board during the winter? Hopefully not the dweeby guy with the glasses and the acne....He drove a beaten up blue/green station wagon, with half-bald tires and a filthy, grimy windshield that was a miracle could be seen through.Strapped to the roof of the wagon were long, metal cylinders and black, steel and iron poles that, after a little "movie guy" magic, were suddenly transformed into a giant screen, which wound up erect at the far end of the casino, in front of the stage.
You felt it the first moment your parents opened the car door in the small town to pick up a few things, maybe milk, juice and rolls, on the way to the colony that first weekend.
I think of those nights our parents shared in those small little colonies dotted all about Sullivan and Ulster counties, in the 1940s and 50s and 60s, when they fled the city for little shacks in the country, with no air conditioning, no tv, one colony phone, and little else but their desire to enjoy.
And I look at our lives now--fancy cars, the Hamptons, back yard pools, and damned if I'm still not that you had really settled into your summer.
And in August they were throwing a big thing outside of Monticello, with a lot of groups-The Who, Santana, Hendrix--but no way your parents would let you go, at 12. It was the day before the night of the first camp dance, and I was petrified.
I'd planned to ask Rhonda Klein, but Joel Rose had gotten there first, and even though I was plenty annoyed , and Ellen Brenner had intimated to me that Rhonda preferred me to Joel, he was my best friend, and my partner in stickball, and we shared a salamander collection, and I just kind of felt there were some things you didn't do to another guy, especially over something as silly as a girl.
You had even adjusted to being a half day behind on box-cores, because the Daily News and Post didn't get the late boxes upstate, and the Record was always a day behind, anyway.