For those that grew up in the Garden State, summer meant time spent at the Jersey Shore. It was a kid’s paradise with sandy beaches and ocean waves framed by a lengthy boardwalk clustered with amusement rides and games of chance. We spent many summer vacations in the town of Seaside Heights, with my father eventually purchasing a small bungalow there when I was about 10. I have great memories of playing at the beach, crabbing off the docks, and going on the thrill rides with siblings. My Dad and I passed through the town recently on a cold and wet day, driving by the old house and even taking a short stroll on the boardwalk. It was depressing. That area is now known more as the home of “Jersey Shore”, the MTV show featuring dysfunctional Italian-American 20 year-olds, and that vibe can be felt up and down the wood-planked walk. It is no longer the place of my youth. However, around the corner from a small stand selling “Free Snooki” T-shirts, there was a familiar and reassuring landmark; Berkeley’s Salt Water Taffy. Although it may be true that you ‘can’t go home again’, if you’re lucky, every once in a while you might just get a small taste of your childhood.
With the advent of Spring, I have been doing some landscape work around my house; moving shrubs, planting flowers and expanding our garden. Digging up the soil, the shovel seemingly hits a rock every time the metal spade plunges into the good earth. I toss the rocks to the side, soon creating a sizable pile. For the most part, the rocks were ordinary; somewhat brown, slightly round, lumps of stone. Then my shovel struck an unusual rock. A medium green-colored stone with glossy black inclusions at one end. Even covered in dirt, it was beautiful. I placed the stone on the porch before returning to the garden. My very next shovel-full revealed yet another unusual specimen. Then another. I am not a geologist but it quickly became apparent that the group of stones represented a trove of minerals not native to the area. A few of the minerals even had identifying labels, written in old script, that were now too difficult to discern. The group of rocks has me puzzled; who’s collection was this and what else might be buried on the property?
Talk about making one step forward but two steps back. I had mistakenly read the IF topic this week when receiving an old correspondence regarding a past entry for, ‘forward’. However, my drawing still seems appropriate.
I fractured my toe earlier this week while working on a project in New York City. As you might imagine, I was quite vocal when the injury occurred.
Science has determined that of the five senses, the olfactory has the greatest memory recall. Think of smelling a “fresh from the oven Turkey” and you may find yourself immediately transported to a time of sharing a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends. As an artist however, there are many more visual triggers that stimulate my memory. Seeing a Victorian glass bird ornament, I instantly return to my grandparent’s home with their collection of hand-blown beauties clipped to the branches of a Christmas Tree.