The weather in Central Florida was beautiful yesterday and it promises to be beautiful today, too. Although cooler weather is coming this weekend, it’s been in the 80’s here for the last few days. Even though it’s not yet Spring, I’m already thinking about the Summer and many summers past.
When I was a kid in Brooklyn, one of the great treats we had was our periodic convoys to Paramus. This was actually Paramus Bathing Beach, a very large, man-made lake in Paramus, New Jersey, with surrounding camp grounds and picnic areas.
Since we were in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (think of the area in the John Travolta movie, Saturday Night Fever-that was where I grew up), we had to start early in the morning to get there by late morning or early afternoon. One or two dozen cars, lined up and headed for the George Washington Bridge and the wilds of our neighboring state.
It was really like a giant block party, with lots of families in the neighborhood packing up ice chests, full of beer and soda, and each family would bring a special dish, made by the lady of the house, as well as the ubiquitous hot dogs and hamburgers.
It wasn’t uncommon for there to be 50 people, or more, in our group and everyone shared what they had with anyone who came over to the various tables, to visit. So there was plenty of food and drink, as well as lots of laughs.
No thought of saturated fats and trans fats were unknown at the time. We had great fun gorging on the unhealthiest food and drink imaginable, by today’s standards. Everybody set up a charcoal barbeque and then, it was non-stop eating, all day long.
These days, if you indulged in one or two hotdogs, you’d need to compensate by taking a couple of my POWERHOUSE OMEGA FORMULA enteric coated capsules, just to boost your omega-3 fatty acid intake.
But in those days, no one knew or cared about any of that. Not even the doctors. Hell, most of the adults I knew smoked like fiends and didn’t worry about it. Who knew?
Like most of the kids, I loved to get in the water and swim, play volleyball, or softball, then dry off by the heat of the barbeques and play cards. This scenario was repeated many times throughout the day.
One of the fathers in the group, Sal Delisio, had this tradition: every time we visited Paramus, at some point during the day, he would dress up like a cartoon character, like Superman, red cape and everything, and strut around the entire park, gathering and leading a throng of screaming, laughing and cheering kids, of all ages, as he went, like the Pied Piper of Paramus, all around the park grounds.
He would lead them all to the foot of the 25 foot diving tower. Then, with a howling hoard of kids shouting encouragement, he would climb to the very top of the diving tower and jump off the board, into the lake, to the screams and cheers of all the kids.
We’d stay until dark. Then weary, but happy, pack up all our stuff, climb back into our cars, reform the convoy and wend our way back to Bay Ridge.
Even though a real beach, at Coney Island, was only about 20 minutes away, by car, these caravans to Paramus were the highlight of every summer and we looked forward to them. I think it was more the shared friendship and the communal “family” outing that was the attraction, more than anything else.
Most of the adults from these fond memories are gone now, as this was probably 40 years ago, or more. I don’t even know if Paramus Bathing Beach still exists. But it was the site of many a happy memory from my childhood, one of those simple pleasures that I remember with great fondness.
Well, now I have a pool in the back yard. And if the no-see-ums (which are thick as can be at this time of year) don’t eat me alive, I may occasionally go for a swim. Or just knock out a few reps of one of the great modified knee pain exercises, from my PAIN-FREE PROGRAM
And of course, I watch my diet and drink pure water and take the best quality supplements I can.
But every once in a while, I yearn for those carefree days of youth, when I didn’t know or care about the health benefits of all these measures, back when I believed myself to be immortal and invincible, like all young kids do. And if I was ignorant, I was happy, too.
Til next time, my friend, be well.
Yours for a pain-free tomorrow and optimal health,
“The Wellness Warrior” TM