Romance

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From 1961 through 1965 I spent the school year sequestered seven miles from the nearest town with two hundred boys and no girls. It was not an environment conducive to developing relaxed everyday relationships with the opposite sex. Hebron, Maine and Santa Barbara, California are about as far apart as two places in the contiguous United States can be. My family and friends were in Santa Barbara, which left me indisputably marooned for most of the year. I know many individuals look back on their high school years as one of the happiest and most stimulating periods of their lives; I look back on these four years with a sense of loss and dread. I can take solace in the fact that I finished the job and graduated, but it was surely more about enduing my high school years than enjoying the high school experience. Summer vacation was like a furlough from prison during this span, and it caused me to appreciate the river more than I might have otherwise. Even at the age of fourteen when I made my first visit to Comfort Island, I had more than a passing interest in girls. From that 1961 summer to the present, I’ve held an opinion that the river attracts an abundance of smart and attractive women. I sensed a magical quality to the 1000 Islands the first summer I spent there. It is simply one of those spots that are so beautiful and special that it takes on an added dimension. I’m not much good at glad-handing and I’ll never make it as a politician, but I did develop a boldness when it came to meeting attractive girls. A girl sunbathing on her family dock was an invitation to stop and introduce myself during those carefree teenage summers. “My name is Tad. Do you like to waterski?” The spiel varied but the intent was the same; to meet new a... ... middle of paper ... ...ork out of the will-she-love-it-here equation. Kira and I have been lucky enough to share forty summers together in the 1000 Islands since that year when we married. And while some couples do not share a love of the islands initially, I have also seen cases of the dissenting member of the marriage gradually becoming an enthusiastic member of the community as time passes. Summer and the 1000 Islands are so given to romance that it is no wonder it holds special memories in the hearts of many. A sad reality is that summers end and then most of us young and old alike return to college or distant communities to resume the more responsible aspects of everyday life. A few tears at the moment of departing for another winter is quite common. Each year a bit more of our life is consumed, and one never knows if there will be another year in the magical 1000 Islands to come.

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