by Patricia Long Carey
(Christiansburg Va 24073)
Mitchell Park & Carousel
I was born and raised in Greenport, Long Island. I am so very proud of my town, we had so many good times growing up. Things were so simple, we didn't need money to enjoy ourselves. We went skating three nights a week, a movie once or twice a month, they didn't change that often.
Our hangouts were the Coronet or Paradise Sweets where we got a burger and coke. The town was nice until the city people would come for the summer and boy were we glad to see them leave after Labor Day, it was getting our town back again.
We had no trouble in school with bullies or drugs or weapons, we all got along just fine. My friends and I worked in the hospital after school and week-ends and we loved payday. We used to also pick on the farms in East Marion on Saturday mornings, up at 5am on the farm by 6am and we would walk cutting through the Sterling cemetery. Payday was great, that meant a movie or skating and of course a coke.
Summers were nice, all the beautiful yachts would come in at Mitchell’s restaurant and dock and we would all go see them. We always had things to do, never bored. I had my two children there in the hospital where I was also born. We moved about 30 years ago, lived in Texas, Georgia and finally settled here in Virginia. Through it all I never lost my Long Island accent and people remark about my accent, but you know I am proud to still have it. Well I could go on but will write more again about my wonderful town.
-Patricia Long Carey
Editor's note: I was one of those people that took over your town every summer. We were only there for a week at a time. We weren't from the city, just a different part of Long Island. And I have such fond memories of Greenport too.
We’d take our boat from the town of Seaford on the South Shore and steam for 7 hours until we reached our destination in Stirling Harbor. We'd spend the rest of the say settling in for a week's worth of fun.
I’d fish. Mom and sis would shop. Dad would tinker with the boat. At day’s end we eat dinner in one of Greenport’s many fine restaurants. One time my parents gave me some money and sat my sister and I down in one restaurant while they dined in another with some friends. I wasn’t more than 12 years old at the time and I felt like such a bigshot. I paid the bill and we walked back to the boat and waited for my parents to come back. No problems, it was safe.
Greenport has changed a bit since those days. Small shops and restaurants have come and gone. Mitchell’s burned and was eventually replaced with a park and carousel. But all the major things are still here. In the same place. And I find that comforting.
I am lucky that I still live on Long Island and can visit any time I want. No matter how many times I’ve been there, I never get bored. In fact, when I am bored the salty old town of Greenport is where I usually end up.