Over the last several days, my posts have been tinged with sadness: my great-grandfather’s Moritz’s life story, the death of Pete Seeger, and the tenth anniversary of the death of my cousin Jeff. So today, thanks to my first cousin Robin, I want to post pictures of some of the happy days shared by my family. Robin sent me many wonderful photos, and I will post them all sometime over the next several days or so.
But today I want to post the pictures Robin sent of a family vacation to Cape Cod during the summer of 1962, the first family vacation we shared with my Goldschlager cousins, Beth, Suzie and Robin. I found a few others from my collection from that summer and later summers on the Cape.
That 1962 vacation was special in many ways. It was the first time that our family went to Cape Cod, a place that has become a place we all love beyond words. It was, in fact, the first time my immediate family went on vacation for more than just a weekend away. And it was the first time that we shared a vacation with the Goldschlagers. My Goldschlager cousins lived in West Hartford, which back then seemed to be a million miles away from where we lived in Westchester. We would see them for holidays and occasional visits, either in New York or in Connecticut, but this was the first time we were able to spend so much time just being together.
It rained many of the days that we were there, but we did not care. We were just happy to be together. We drew, played cards and games, polished beach stones, collected shells, swam when it wasn’t raining, watched television, walked on the beach, and just enjoyed each other’s company.
My immediate family was staying in a small cottage in Wellfleet in Paine’s Hollow, and my cousins were staying at a motel called Horizons in North Truro. We spent most of our days at Horizons because it was right on the beach and had an outdoor pool.
Although my family went on vacation alone in 1963 to a different part of the Cape, in 1964 all the cousins including Jody and Jeff, our Lehrbaum cousins, were together near Lake Sunapee. Somewhere I have some photos of that vacation. We all stayed in little cabins on the lake and spent another week together, collecting rocks, playing with frogs, swimming in the lake, even water-skiing for the bigger and more able cousins. It was another magical time for us, being all together.
In 1965 and 1966, we returned with the Goldschlagers and the Lehrbaums to Horizons and to Cape Cod. Here are some photos from those vacations. They are not great photographs (I was using a Brownie or Instamatic), but at least for me, they capture some happy memories:
For many years after 1966, Horizons was the place my immediate family would return to when staying on the Cape for vacations. In 1976, my cousin Beth and her husband Steven honeymooned there, and we, also newlyweds, met them there and sat around the pool, sharing our wedding stories and our childhood memories. We took our children there when they were little, and even my grandson stayed there when he was just two months old. One of the memories that never fails to make us laugh is of my Aunt Elaine coming into our motel room and standing on the bed to rearrange the drapes. I don’t remember why she was doing it, but the image can still make me laugh. Although we all have found other places to vacation and no longer stay at Horizons, I think for all of us Horizons Motel remains a place with special memories
Those were some of my happiest days—being with my cousins, finding our common bonds, getting to be together as not just cousins but as friends. Yes, those days were too few and too short, but they left an indelible mark that even now, some 50 years later, allows me to conjure up those days with a smile on my face.