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October 03, 2022

The Alpine

By Julian O. Long

The Alpine

If summer come and we
return there, will it be the
same without them -- the family
that for all our years in that place
were so woven into its texture that
removing them was unthinkable
a death, death of Friday nights
with whole families dancing to
YMCA little girls hanging to their
fathers' trouser legs, sullen teenage
boys glowering at the bar as we swayed
and glided from dance floor to porch
outside. Once, at a dance a bat flew
in through an open door, but the twins
chased it back outside with tennis
racquets, death of that: death
of lovely fried walleye dinners in
the long dining room with fireplaces
at either end and live jazz for
background; you don't remember
if Thursday night bingo stopped with
the death of the materfamilias who
always presided -- did you go that
summer, or was it one of several
when you carried your deposit over
because of your own catastrophes and
then the pandemic. The check that
returned your deposit spelled death.
You called and heard of a family
dispute stemming from the brothers
who had founded and sold it and bought
it back so that it had remained a family
business all those years beyond your
time there back to the nineteen
twenties, a dispute that couldn't be
resolved short of putting the place
on the block. In an interview the old
man, paterfamilias, waxed philosophical
about the sale, but his daughters said
it was killing him. The new owner
promises to honor the history of
the old place. You hope to live to visit
again, think of enchanted evening
'verandizings,' as you came to call them
on the long sleepy porches where late
summer moons cast a shine on the little
harbor water, lakey voices calling out
across . . .

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-02-14
Image(s) © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
2 Reader Comments
10:12:10 AM
I hope you can go again .
Kevin M. Clay
04:02:05 PM
Nice work, Julian. It's hard to do nostalgia without sounding a bit daft, but you pull it off.
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