Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rte. 110 in the 1950's

Here we go again.  Another Saturday ride to the beach, where I fight carsickness--squashed in the middle of the backseat. The youngest, the skinniest is wedged between Grandma and Auntie.  There was always some kind of hump on the floor that forced me to place a leg on each side of it.  Sometimes, I’d place both feet on the protuberance and my knees would stick up like straws in a frappe.  My sister drove and Mama and Dad rode with her, in the front.  Are we there yet?

Look the cows are laying down.  Get up! Get up!  Mama would explain that the cows lying on the ground meant it was going to rain.  Sometimes we’d stop—to look at the cows—if nature called—if I felt like throwing up.  Are we there yet?

Somewhere around the corners in Haverhill, hugging the Merrimack River, Dad would turn around and point at me.  “You may think you’re pretty smart, but the man that was born there was wittier.”  Then he’d lower and raise his eyebrows a couple of times, as we passed a sign that announced, “Birthplace of John Greenleaf Whittier”.  We would all groan.  Are we there yet?

Riding on Main Street into the town of Merrimac we’d pick out houses we’d like to live in.  We always picked old shacks for Dad and mansions for Mom.  I always liked long ranches with attached garages—that made them seem even longer.  Are we there yet?

The houses entering Amesbury were spread far apart and I was kept busy by keeping track of which side of the street had the most mailboxes.  Are we there yet?

Actually, we are there. 
The road ends in Salisbury Beach.
See the sun speckled waves
of the mighty Atlantic Ocean.
Car sickness and boredom forgotten!
Swimming, golden sand, fried clams,
roller coaster and arcade.

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