A Blueberry Patch Was the Site of My First Kiss

29 Apr

The summer of 1969 was famous for many reasons; the July walk on the moon of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the Woodstock concert in August. But for me, even though I remember those events vividly, and lived just 1 ½ miles from Yasgur’s farm, for me the summer of 1969 was the summer of my first kiss!

It happened near my grandparent’s bungalow colony in town of Kauneonga Lake. It happened on the path between the two sections of the blueberry patch that covered the ground between the bungalow colony and Cooper Drive.

Why it happened there, I do not know. But I remember it as if it was yesterday. My first kiss was very shy. I was 14, I think he was as well. Perhaps 15, but no more than that. Looking back, I realize that kissing on that path was a very poor choice. I had lots of boy cousins, a brother and friends who could have seen us. But they did not. We kissed in the middle of the path, then went our separate ways back to our respective homes.

To be honest, the kiss did not lead to dating. We were just friends. I have no contact with him, although I remember his name and what he looked like.

We, of course continued to see each other. But it was a one-time event.

There were other boys I dated in the Catskills over the years. But not one was ever serious. Usually they became my friends.

One Catskill friend took me to my high school senior prom. He was a freshman in college, so it was a big deal. Another boy I met while working at Daitch Shopwell was beloved by my grandparents. He and I remained friends for years. We both married others — not people we met at the Catskills.

The boy I loved the most in the Catskills, never really took me seriously. I think it was the age difference. I was 16 and he was 22. I was smitten. I also met him when working at Daitch. He had a great voice and would sing and play the guitar during our breaks. To this day when I hear the song, “You’ve Got a Friend,” I think of him. But to be honest, although I remember what he looked like and the sound of his voice, I cannot remember his name!

Not all Catskill summer romances end. Two of my cousins married the girls they met in the Catskills. Both have been married over 30 years and are grandparents. They and their families still come up to Kauneonga Lake every summer.  And there are many others I know who also married the love of their lives that they met while teens in the Catskills.

Although for me, the Catskills was not the place I met my husband, it was the place I brought I children to visit every summer. A place of great fun and memories.  My children got to spend wonderful times with their many cousins at the lake and in the house where I spent my summers.

As for the walk and kiss in the blueberry patch; it was not unwelcome. I still hold it in my heart. I am sure I picked some blueberries on the way back and ate them.   Although my love for that boy did not last, my love for blueberries has lasted forever.

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