Dear Jimmy, (missing home)

This was the first week at camp, one like you could never have known. You couldn’t have, you were far too young to know what I don’t know now. You were a kid on Long Island’s South Shore. You might have gone to Montauk or Cape Cod, but this week for you was probably the beaches of Pt Lookout with Aunt Carolyn (dead over a decade now) eating Entenmann’s Cookies and experiencing life with the anxiety at the margins. Beach, sun, evening visits from the ice cream truck, Italian Ices, pizza—these were all at center of the universe. You might remember some textures like the sand in your toes or the flourescent burn from the first few days out.

No, the pictures I can share with you 33 years later are in the woods—not an ocean for hours—with three whose life runs through you now and probably ran through you then, somewhere, in some unreleased packet. They are you now.

I think we are all getting excited about the beginning of Summer and the prospect of exploring some possibilities at camp (Miles in Minecraft?). I am trying to make sure these three have some sense of who you are, what your world is like, and how those you knew that they never could in the same way are narrated. I want to use the time at camp with them to help them understand the stories we shared, the people we knew, and the places we saw.

I guess I am writing to you because I feel like a see you all the time now, it’s fun seeing you again, even if remotely through my blog. I have no pictures of you at that time, I really don’t know exactly what you look like, but I know the people you know. I have found a lot of their traces in old photo albums. They need to be part of this story we make for you over the coming weeks.

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5 Responses to Dear Jimmy, (missing home)

  1. Mint, gold, beautiful. I bet Jimmy would have loved the camp experience you provide the 3 little ones now. I just adore all those photos and free expressions.

  2. GNA says:

    Dear Jimmy,

    I remember you. You were part of the would-be Fat Albert-Long Island Crew. Running around like maniacs. Dirty. Cussing. Kicking up dirt.

    You were that one kid, who punched and ran, but I knew you cared. I could see you through the snot and rough patches. I saw you shine. You glowed Jimmy. I knew then that you would be a good man, a brilliant and loyal friend. I knew you would be fearless. You would break shit. And, you would be brave enough to fix it.

    I knew then, even through the muck and mire, you little ratty-ass, punk Jimmy, I knew then …

    I knew you would be an excellent father.

    I knew you would find an amazing woman, one who shined as brilliant as you, and that together you would make gorgeous, healthy, free children, the next generation of punk-ass, brilliant kids.

    Yep. I knew you. I remember. Better yet, I know you now.

    It is a privilege and a pleasure to know you Jimmy, Jim Groom, my brother from another mother, my long-lost childhood friend.

    Have fun at camp and don’t let the bedbugs bite.

    GNA

    (the tall, skinny gothed out kid in the corner)

  3. Giulia says:

    wow. those three kids just warm the heart. what great captures of them. I also really love the introspective activity of writing a letter to your younger self.
    To top it all off, having GNA, the word artisan write such a thoroughly beautiful, heartfelt letter. I am moved.

  4. Reverend says:

    @Alan,
    Taking a page out of the cogdog blog.

    @GNA,
    I think out connection are when and how we grew up—though I am sure the how is quite different—is the space wherein this whole internet becomes human again, where the people behind it shine. You were a number of kids I knew then, though none as poetic or brilliantly complex, but at the same time us then and now was the real amazingly beautiful storytelling you did on ds106radio with you #songstogrow by I am simply taking a page from your book here. What’s more, I started as a blogfather, these are my roots, I abandoned them unfortuantely, but I still love where this whole mess got started from. My nuggets.

    @Giulia,
    The letter to my younger self feels like the constant, implicit tone and voice of this blog. I wonder iof making it explicit robbed the process of something. Either way, it was fun to experiment with that idea of a younger me and a space that my kids might read sometime in the future and wonder what the hell was up with this guy 🙂

  5. Bryan says:

    “…with three whose life runs through you now and prob­a­bly ran through you then, some­where, in some unre­leased pack­et. They are you now.”

    Robbed it of nothing, Reverend. Pure gold… Camp is for magic. Keep it going.

    Bryan

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