Food, History

My Ode to the Bagel

Picture it: Saturday morning of 1986, one hour ’til Pee Wee’s Playhouse airs on the television. These were the days before DVR, so timing was of the essence. My Mom would awaken me and my brother from a deep slumber with one of the only phrases she knew would entice us out of the nest of our warm, blanketed beds. “Wanna go get bagels?!,” she would shout, as she opened the door to my bedroom, closing it as quickly as it opened. She knew I was a sucker for a good bagel.

I would hurriedly pull on the closest pile of clothing I could find and dive into the minivan with my Mom, making the short trip to the adjacent town of Babylon in Long Island, NY. We could have even walked or ridden our bikes to this place. The waterfront town was idyllic and stunningly beautiful. It was one of my favorite places to roam and explore, but we didn’t have time to meander on Saturday mornings. I had and important viewing schedule to stick to.

As we pulled up and parallel parked in the center of town – there it stood. On early Saturday mornings, the only two shops in the bustling town that appeared opened were the bagel shop and the bakery located directly (and conveniently) across the street from one another.

I will never forget it. The bright orange glow of the Hot Bagels sign fixed in the window, the words slightly blurred by the steam from the molten heat of the bagel ovens colliding with the cool, crisp air on the street side of the thick glass.

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Summer Nostalgia

A friend of my Dad’s recently shared this photo of his lifeguarding crew from around 1962, the summer he and his group of friends worked together at the Babylon public pool in Long Island, New York. Though this was before my time, it made me feel a certain way just looking at the picture. Thinking of what it was like back then, seeing the happiness on their faces and youthfulness in their appearance.

The folks in this photo were friends, some dated each other, they all hung out together and shared laughs. It was a moment in time that they all fondly remember and share collectively.

Eventually, summer faded and they all went on to pursue their own version of life. Most went to college, got married, had kids, built careers. This was just a fleeting moment in time, but the memory of their summer together lives on through this photo. It is captured bliss. The feeling it brings me is one of nostalgia, though I wasn’t even alive at the time this picture was snapped, it is a sense that we all have within us.

Living on Hilton Head Island, the feeling of summer nostalgia is all around. Driving down the beach roads, clusters of families vacationing together can be seen riding bikes, building sandcastles, sharing meals and making lifetime memories. It is a special thing to have the opportunity to witness on a regular basis.

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