Friday, March 15, 2013

Summer Place - Part One

Summer Place - Part One

            Once… in Maine and traditionally along the coast but now ever more “inland” and approaching “up country”… some “summer people” (people “from away”) purchased “an old place” and thereafter have their (the summer people as a population block) grip on it, with, in these times, often four or five generations of ownership by them (summer people but NOT necessarily the “same family” of “summer people). The  property…once of preferably patriotic merchant sea captain heritage… is… traded amongst themselves (“summer people”)… ever after. 
The antiques “in there; used to be FULL” are “gone” because the “summer people” either never got them because they (the original “sea captain’s family”) “had an auction there before they (the summer people) bought the place”, “they (the original family) sold all the antiques before they (the summer people) bought the place”, “they (the summer people) sold all the antiques AFTER they bought the place”, “they (the summer people) took all the antiques to the dump[1] when they fixed the place up” or… very rarely… “kept the good things” and “sold the rest” “I guess”.  This last is as rare as the antiques that were “in the place”.
            Growing up under the antiquarian tutelage of a grandmother who would “set off” from her kitchen table with a rubber banded “roll of money” at the slightest sign that a …takeover… by summer people of “an old place” or preferably “old sea captain  ****’s PLACE has “schooled me” in the very subtle trademark traditions of this whole… Maine… romance.
            If it were not for the perfection of the behavior of the summer people and their takeovers, the romance of the subtle trademarks traditions would have been lost through a simple fading away of local memory.  As it stands, the annual and ritualized annoyance OF the summer people and the… annoyances created BY… the summer people acts to “grind home” the trademark traditions and their romance.  Reduced in the same way that spring maple sap is evaporated over a wood fire in a shanty behind the farm house to produce …sweet syrup… the raw horror of a ‘summer people’s’ hostile takeover of an old sea captain’s property arks with each generation into a warmer, fuzzier and ever more …mystical… legend… presuming that the summer people …did not get… “the antiques from that place”.  IF… they “have” “the stuff”, that mystical legend is fuzzier BUT NOT WARM.  Then, of course, is the horrific middle grounds (note plural) where who has what and why and IF they know it …in both camps (the locals and the summer people) AND WHO of these is watching the flanks of all of this anyway.  (?).  THAT is from where and when my grandmother “set off”.
            With her rubber banded roll of money.

[1] Where the stuff was promptly retrieved and “taken home” by “everyone” (locals) within a ten mile radius of “the dump” and …is still being “shown as” “its an ANTIQUE” “from Captain ****’s HOUSE THEY TOOK IT TO THE DUMP CAN YOU BELIEVE IT”… to this day.

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