Summer Pleasures

My dad grew up in Brooklyn.  Not today’s Brooklyn of hipsters and coffee bars and fancy food venues, but the Brooklyn of old.  The Brooklyn where kids played on the stoop and chickens were raised in yards.  The Brooklyn where boys ran free in the streets and jumped from roof to roof to show off for the girls. My dad has so many wonderful stories about his youth in the Marine Park neighborhood.  He told me this beauty the other night:

Dad: “When I was a kid….we all carried salt shakers in our back pockets in the summer.”

Me:  “Salt shakers?  In your back pocket?”

Dad: “Yup.  There was a truck farm where they grew tomatoes right down the block.  We’d play baseball all day long, and then, when we were really hot and sweaty, we’d run down to the farm, grab a few fresh tomatoes, find a cool spot under a big tree, sprinkle salt on the tomatoes, and ahhhh. That’s what summers were made of.”

I just love this story.  It captures so much about the simple pleasures of summer, of youth, and of the good old days!


3 thoughts on “Summer Pleasures

  1. As I read this, I was struck by just how much times have changed. Also, how those boys must have loved those tomatoes to carry salt shakers around. What a sweet slice.

  2. Fun story. I, too, perceive the churn of change. At the same time, I bet there are several present-day hipsters whose yen for heirloom tomatoes dusted with exotic Himalayan salt would mirror your dad’s recollection of summertime delight 😉

  3. The tomatoes immediately made me think of The Summer My Father was Ten! The boys in the book playing ball just like your dad — but your dad just enjoyed salted tomatoes – much better choice than the boys in the book! 😉

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