Summertime in the Belgrades
June 30 – July 6
It is the 4th of July holiday, the week leading up to it and the week leading away from the 4th and we live the rituals and traditions during this time that those who fought to establish this country might have dreamed for us: celebrations sane and simple; gatherings fun and festive; food typically and basically American; the parades, the fireworks, the flags.
After the two "Dam" novels, The Dam Committee and More Dam Trouble, which brought much hilarity to the Belgrade Dam area residents, we now have an historic novel about Waterville Lebanese immigrants in the good old 1950s, prejudice and all. Earl Smith portrays his very sensitive story through the eyes of a teenage girl who has no trouble flaunting custom. She is quite the free spirit and the reader can not help but root for her.
This week I'd like to introduce you to a couple of "characters": Lush Lawn Lenny and Unruly Ursula. Lenny has a huge, well manicured lawn right up to the water's edge, while just down the shore, Ursula has chosen to let the underbrush grow in beneath the large canopy of pine trees.
As a youngster, meaning more or less from the ages of 5 to 10, during the 1950s, the winter activities in Belgrade Lakes were probably not any different than those of any small New England village. Somewhere in town or perhaps on the outskirts, a hill was claimed and named the "sliding place."
The week began with a Father's Day visit from my younger daughter, Joan, and her husband, Taber. After visiting the farmers' market and picking up brunch, we headed home for a delicious meal made from fresh, locally produced ingredients.