Monday, May 5, 2008
If there were such a thing as a Kid Paradise during the 1970’s in Mathews, the Islander Motel and Restaurant on Gwynns Island would hands down be IT.
OK. This picture has to be blurry. I apologize. But never fear. I have other unblurry ones that will be featured in future editions of The Islander: Unattended Children Gone Wild.
The Islander, pictured above, used to be a combination “anyone can join for a small fee” county swimming pool, restaurant, lounge (shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but people actually drank in Mathews, they don't do it anymore) and marina on The Most Beautiful piece of waterfront property known to man.
If that man lives in Mathews.
It was also where I learned many of life’s lessons.
I’m feeling frisky today, so let’s take a Pop Quiz, shall we?
1. You are 12 years old and either your mother or your father’s mother is responsible for your well being and determining Some Activity for you to do over the summer. The ideal solution is:
a) a nice Baptist summer camp;
b) arts and crafts with your parents, to include a performance of Koom-By-Ah beside a campfire at night;
c) to be dropped off, with no adult supervision, at a swimming pool exactly 8 miles from home and 6 As the crow flies. This would be The Islander Pool. It was 8 feet at the deep end and had a diving board along with a "life" guard.
2. You are 12 years old, and you and your younger sister have been dropped off at The Pool at the Islander. Some of the things you do are:
a) swim in the pool;
b) hope that some nice young couple will walk off with your younger sister so she doesn’t cramp your style and
c) go rooting around in the marina trash cans for aluminum cans for money.
d) A,B & C
3. The reason you are rooting around in the trash cans located every 5 feet on the dock of the marina is:
a) You want to help them keep up with their trash maintenance;
b) You are searching for a spare quarter to put in the nab machine (Who remembers –or even knows--what a pack of nabs is? Anyone? Bueler? Anyone?)
c) Your father’s mother promised to pay you a certain amount of money, namely a PENNY for every aluminum can you procured, no matter how much disgusting Pabst Blue Ribbon was swirling around in a hot, hellish vortex of NASTY at the bottom of each can, so therefore you stood on your head in trash cans trying to locate any and all things aluminum.
4. When you were left unattended like every other child in the county at the time at the Islander swimming pool, what are some of the things that occurred that your parents never witnessed?
a) I was running away from Mark Fry, rounded a corner too soon, ran square into a metal telephone box (back in the days of public telephones) and cut my head enough to receive a “butterfly stitch.”
b) I got married and they never knew.
OK. Enough. The Islander is going to be the subject of many future posts here, because there are simply too many stories to tell in one sitting.
Sadly, the Islander currently is in a state of decay, although it has so much potential, and is really only used as a marina and a place for the occasional hotel guest. Hopefully with sense enough not to round that corner too quickly and run dead into the metal telephone booth.
Or dig for beer cans.