In Jen Serravallo’s new book, The Writing Strategy Book (Heinemann, 2017) the lesson on pg. 97 called Photo Start. “Look closely at a photograph and try to reexperience the moment it was taken, thinking about what you see, hear, feel, smell, and so on.” Today I pick this photo below seen by holding my eye up close to the megaphone’s smaller opening. Inside I see:
That’s me, sitting with my dad!! The year is probably 1965 or ’66. My dad is in his early 30s. In the background are one-story rental houses. We sit on the sandy beach. I hold the beach bucket. My dad’s soft, terry cloth top keeps him from getting too sunburn. A sweatshirt protects my soft, toddler skin.
I went on an Ocean City website and learned on its history page that “By the 1970s, big business flourished and gave birth to the construction of more than 10,000 condominium units, creating a spectacular sight of high-rise apartments that assured every investor of a glimpse of the ocean and pounding surf.”
This is the Ocean City I know – tall skyscraper lining the beach, looking like this:
Yet, my 3-year old self enjoyed the wide beach and the walk back to the one-story rental house. I bet my dad carried me there at the end of the day. I snuggled up against his soft, terry cloth cover. I slept well after a day of breathing the salt air and having the ocean breeze wear me out. Then, as the sun rose over Atlantic, I arose. Back to the beach, I toddled to build a sand castle.
“Would you like a picture,” a voice said.
“Sure. Sit with me, Sally. Say cheese!”
“Cheese!” I repeated.
This writing idea and more are listed on my 2017 March Writing Challenge Inspiration Padlet.