Aimless Saturday

Animals (domestic and wild) are prohibited from the water but they do walk the path with their masters. Today there were two kinds: tiny and pit bull. I really can’t explain how that works.

Is aimless the right adjective? Just checking as I start to type.

Devoid of direction or purpose.

Bingo! That’s us. Aimless Saturday in Connecticut. Beautiful, sure, but aimless nonetheless.

With the Phillies safely ahead in a game they’d later lose I asked Helaine if she’d like to go to the beach? She said, “Yes.”

We are not conventional beach people. We don’t wear bathing suits. We’re not particularly partial to sand. Helaine is fair enough to be at risk of sunburn from the light in the refrigerator. A sunny day at the beach would turn my wife crispy.

As it turns out in our 26 years here I’ve never looked at the Connecticut shoreline as having conventional beaches. If I’ve ever been more than ankle deep in Long Island Sound I don’t remember it.

Our beach of choice is West Haven where most people seem to be on our wavelength. The beach isn’t crowded but the paved boardwalk that runs adjacent to it is! We parked and walked up and back.

The bocce court had more spectators than a Pittsburgh Pirates game! A deejay on the inland side of the path played the kind of group dance music appropriate for a bar mitzvah.

I like the vibe on this beach. Though English is the dominant tongue Spanish is heavily spoken. Italian too.

Skin tones ran the gamut from light to dark (though Helaine is the fairest of them all in every sense of the word!). At least one woman wore a ħijāb.

Animals (domestic and wild) are prohibited from the water but they do walk the path with their masters. Today there were two kinds: tiny and pit bull. I really can’t explain how that works.

It took a long time for us to discover this beach and then take advantage. I wish it would have happened sooner.

“Clean” Gene Tognacci

I just opened an email from an old friend, Gene Tognacci. When we met, he was 16 or 17 and I was closer to 20. He was working at getting through high school. I was working at a local radio station.

Actually, that’s a story unto itself. The station was WMUM/WQXT (That’s a postcard of the station when it was WWPG – mailed 22 years before I got there. The next picture down is the view from our front door.). We were at 3000 South Ocean Blvd in Palm Beach, FL. Our building fronted the parking lot at the Lake Worth, FL Municipal Beach.

That’s right – I was 20 and working as a disk jockey on the beach at one of America’s swankiest resorts. All day long there were girls in bathing suits strolling by my front door.

Trust me, I was oblivious to any ‘good life’ implication that imparted. I was 20. I wasn’t too bright.

Anyway, Gene was a high school student who hung around the station. I think he even did janitorial work for us. He really wanted to be in the business&#185.

It’s funny what you remember.

Gene had a 90cc (in other words puny) motorcycle. It turned out to be the focal point of one dayI still remember.

One day I borrowed the cycle and drove up and back on Route A1A. As I returned to the station, it began to rain. I didn’t know what to do, so I attempted to pick up the bike and put it on the porch, out of the rain.

I was soon at the hospital emergency room!

The photo on the left, of a soaked and hurting Geoff, was taken at Good Samaritan Hospital by another mutual friend, whose name has faded into the mist.

Like all good friends, Gene and I once had a dispute. I lent him some money, the root of most arguments!

It probably wasn’t a lot – though in those days with me making $130 a week, the threshold for ‘a lot’ was much lower. Gene hadn’t paid me back and I was steamed. I have no recollection how long this had been going on, or if I had been fair to Gene. Who knows? I was no bargain myself back then.

I’ll let Gene describe what went on next:

And, you may recall, I had been dodging your requests for payment (being equally broke) for weeks and it wasn