A Wee Memory Break

My father really liked this song, “Cindy Oh Cindy.” Hearing it again opened up my memory banks…

I have just thought of something that I haven’t thought about in many years.

Once upon a summer’s day, my Grammie and her new husband, John, took me to Island Beach State Park for swimming and fishing. I think I was 11 years old. John was a retired Dutch sailor. He told great stories and played the harmonica like nobody’s business.

We had a long drive down to the park, and when we got to the first gate, there was some kind of problem and they were turning people away. We got up to the booth, expecting to be told we couldn’t come in: but then the man in the booth saw John and burst into Dutch.

It turned out he and John were old, old friends who hadn’t seen each other in donkey’s years. The man’s name was Rudi.

“You wait a minute,” he said, “I wrote you a note, then they let you in.” He scribbled something onto a piece of paper–a happy old man with the tip of his tongue slipping out as he concentrated on writing in English–handed it to John, and waved us through the gate.

Grammie read the note aloud. It said, “This are my frends, please let them in.”

And she said, “You could get into heaven with a note like that.”

I’ll bet they did, too, all three of them.

7 comments on “A Wee Memory Break

  1. What a sweet memory! My family used to take day trips from Philadelphia to IBSP. I think, when the park was full, they turned people away. We always tried to get there as early as we could even though we had our little kids. I love and miss that Jersey beach. It’s just so different from the other Jersey beaches. Thanks for sharing that precious memory.

  2. What a story! I guess it pays to have friends. Beyond that, I’ve found the Dutch to be wonderful people. I have a close friend whom is of Dutch extraction, worked for a wonderful Dutch immigrant some years ago and have always admired their warmth and wisdom.

    One of the best pieces of advice I ever got came from a Dutch aphorism: There is no such thing as a last good deal.

    Love the song too and remember hearing it frequently in my early years. So wholesome and sincere.

  3. Great story, Lee. When I first moved to Fort Smith,AR the “Oldies” station played 50’s & 60’s songs. Years later they included the 70’s. But when they added the 80’s a few year ago, the 50’s when bye bye – sad.

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