A Teenager Remembers
I shared a postcard today of Daytona Beach, Florida. It was bought the first time that we visited my uncle Amos Jacob and my aunt Helen Irene Stahl after the family moves from Indian Head, Pennsylvania to Orlando, Florida. Jake was a cement mason and with a family of six, it was difficult to make ends meet with seasonal work. My parents kept one daughter, Anna Gail here until she graduated her senior year from high school, but back to the story.
Back then, driving and parking on Daytona Beach was permitted. After visiting my uncle on Mercado Avenue, my dad decided that it was time to drive to the beach to see the ocean. My brother, Ken, my sister Kathy, and I were ecstatic, wearing our swim suits under our regular clothing and clutching towels in our arms. There were no seat belts to curb our enthusiasm and we would often sit forward in the back seat to look out of the windshield to look for our first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean.
After what seemed like hours, we were at the beach. Dad drove the car down onto the packed sand. As we started down the slope to the beach, what to my wandering eyes should appear….no not Santa, but I did see a dear. She was shapely and clad in a bikini, the first I’d ever seen. The bottom was just a swathe of cloth and the top seemed little more than bottle caps covering the tips of her breasts. It was a jarring sight for a teenage boy. At the beach, it became just another part of the beautiful scenery as other walked around similarly clad.
It wasn’t all fun and games. The day was overcast and being pale people of the north, I soon had a second degree sunburn covering my upper back. It actually made me ill and ruined the rest of the visit. On our way back to Pennsylvania, it did earn me a front seat where I could lean forward away from the seat and the torture of a brother and sister. In the back seat, my mom Sybil wasn’t a happy camper either, wedged between two kids and earned my dad, Carl, the nickname Zoom-zoom.