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Summer Vacations with “Ga & Popu & Pop”

Summer Vacation lies ahead for me next week – a chance to get away, enjoy family, relax and re-energize for the months ahead.  Each year we go it always rekindles very fond memories of an annual tradition in my family that goes back as far as I can remember.  As a boy, the anticipation of getting “Down the Oshun” as we say in Baltimore – of the beach, the boardwalk, steamed crabs and game nights at the dining room table – would have me excited weeks in advance.  Even greater was the anticipation of being together with my extended family – my aunt & uncle, grandparents (Ga & Popu to me) and my special roommate and great-grandfather, Henry “Pop” Gawlis.

For years, Pop and I palled around together walking the boards or sitting on the porch walking others walk the boards.  Even at age 90, he had a keen interest in passersby who wore 2-piece bathing suits; I understand that better now than I did then.  At night we shared a room and fell asleep listening to the transistor radio broadcasts of Oriole games.  In the summer of ’69, I recall us staying up very late by a 7 year old’s standards and listening with rapt attention to hear Chuck Thompson & Bill O’Donnell call the final outs of Jim Palmer’s no-hitter against the Oakland A’s.

As I look forward to next week’s trip I think about the family bonds that were strengthened at such weekly rentals as The Brass Eagle, The Buccaneer and Captain’s Bridge – modest 3 or 4 bedroom condos that were like summer palaces to me.  I also reflect on how the fond feelings of spending times like those with my grandparents may have planted the seeds for why I count it as a joy and privilege to spend my days in a community of older adults like we have here at Springwell.

Have a great week and I’ll see you all soon!

Phil Golden, Director