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Summer in New York meant long drives on the state thruway, huddled with my friend Angela on two little seats my dad had built for us in the backseat of the family pickup truck, which was black, just like the one I drive today.
We’d listen to Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” with the windows down. I would pet the labrador’s giant head while my parents talked and sang “Peggy Sue” or “Spooky” up front.
I was young – 7, 8, 9 years old. Every summer, we’d spend as many days as we could in the Adirondacks, a beautiful, forested, mountainous, 6.1-million-acre patch of lakes, bears and cabins in northeastern New York.
My grandfather, Bill, owned one of those cabins. It had a kitchen with its own elevation change. It had a bed with at least three soggy mattresses piled on top of it, onto which Angela and I would leap, over and over, yelling “Hiya! Polka!”
You don’t have to be cool or try to act grown up when you’re in such a place.
We learned this from the adults.
They’d stay up all night playing poker and spend most of the day drinking beer in a rowboat called “Queen Mary.” One time, they sculpted a hefty, wooden cow in the front yard,
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