Picture Post – 07/09/2012 – Back to the Beach

I didn’t learn to swim until age thirteen when I got lessons in my high school’s pool.  But I had spent lots of time in the water for at least five years before.  On many hot summer days, as soon as my Mother felt I was old enough to accompany my brother and friends to the lake, I would be off to Lake Ontario to splash in the water, toast to a dark brown lying on the beach, dine on hot dogs and fries, and have the best treat of all – an Abbott’s  frozen custard.

We would be off around 10 AM, with our swim trunks and towels, taking the bus downtown where we would transfer to Lake Avenue bus which brought us to Ontario Beach Park, where we would rush to the ancient bath house to rent a locker and change into our trunks.

The neighborhood by the lake is known as Charlotte.  But unlike my sister’s name and the big city in North Carolina, our Charlotte is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable.

Whenever I go back home, my brother and I have to drive to the lake to stroll around the park, have a hot dog lunch and Abbott’s custard, and reminisce about those happy days of long ago.

Naturally, I had my camera with me on this yea’s trip.  The photos all look much better if clicked on to enlarge.

Abbott’s Custard just across the street from the park.  It’s in the same building, but the exterior has been fancied up.

The main entrance to the park and beach.

The old bath house which I believe was built in the late 19th Century.

Looking back on the beach and bath house from fishing pier.  The day we went there was the last day of school – thus few people.

The beach and park are next to where the Genesee River empties into the lake.  There are two lengthy piers extending out into the lake, one on each side of the river.  The piers protect the beach from whatever pollutants may be in the river.  Also, the piers separate the shallowness of the lake near the beach from the deep river channel through which ocean going vessels reach the Port of Rochester a short ways inland.  At this point the lake is about 40 miles wide, so one cannot see Canada on the other side.

Looking back at the river from the pier.

US Coast Guard Station on the other side of the river.

Looking at the lake from the park.

Closer to the beach.

The end of the beach at the pier.

This busload of kids had just arrived – probably their school let out early.

A little bit of trivia:  The five Great Lakes – Superior, Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario – contain 21% of the Earth’s fresh water!



Filed under Picture Post, Reminiscences

2 responses to “Picture Post – 07/09/2012 – Back to the Beach

  1. naturgesetz

    Quite a change from your childhood: everybody on the beach is fully clothed.

    Swimming in fresh water is certainly better than not being able to swim at all, but I’d rather have the salt water of the ocean, which s what I swam in as a boy.. Still, that’s an amazing statistic about the Great Lakes.

    • Ed

      Hee Hee! I guess it depends on where you grew up. I hate swimming in salt water. It doesn’t feel nearly as refreshing to me. Even after rinsing off my skin always feels itchy and sticky. And there are far fewer nasty creatures in a fresh water lake or river – I never saw a whale, shark or walrus in Lake Ontario! Actually, I prefer a pool to either.

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