My North Wildwood

by Joe Costello / Joe Z
Casanovas 11th ocean Joe iezzi

Casanova-1“North Wildwood”. It was there that our family had a summer place. And there, with sand dunes for a front yard and the mighty Atlantic Ocean just beyond, that my cousins and I lived the best days of our youth.
We spent many mornings walking the hard sand by the edge of the sea with our grandmother. She, hunting for conchs for her delicious salads while we searched for treasure brought in by the tide from some mysterious place and time. Strange oceanic cargo, filled with imagined history and wonder and placed in our path for us to discover. A rusty pen knife, perhaps it had once belonged to a sailor marooned on a tropical island. A piece of driftwood, we were sure had broken away from the hull of a great ship boarded and sunk long ago by pirates. Even a dead horseshoe crab, conjured up images of creatures that co-existed with the dinosaurs.
I can still remember the smell in the air and see the gulls in my mind’s eye on those early morning excursions. The feeling of my toes gouging small pockets into the hard wet sand with each step has gouged similar pockets in my memory.
North Wildwood. The very name implies the sense of mystery I felt about the place. To me and my cousins it embodied all the adventure and excitment of Tarzan in his jungle, pirates and buried treasure and all our eager minds could dream up. It was there we built our club house and swore oaths of friendship for life and acted out our fantastic adventures. Even now, my memory can evoke their eager faces as we marched across the sand on a journey to danger and adventure and feel the excitment as one of us narrowly escaped the jaws of a driftwood alligator at the surfs edge.
No days in my life have been so wonderous and no nights so filled with expectation of the next days fantastic adventure. And, when the summer ended, no sadder eyes than mine looked longing back through the rear window of our family car as our summer home and Wildwood shrank into the distance and out of sight for another year.
They say you can’t go back again but a long walk on the beach, the smell of the Ocean, the sound of the Gulls,the cool breeze at 4 pm You Can go Back Again, Just For a Minute, but You Can Go Back.
See you all on the Wall. Say Hi. I will be the guy Daydreaming.

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