Memories of Bayside

Margaret Gruen will share her memories of growing up in Bell Park Gardens in Bayside in the 1950's.

"The Summer of Dappled Leaves" is the first chronicle from my book, "True Love."

I’ve named the summer of 2008, “The Summer of Dappled Leaves”.

I grew up in Bell Park Gardens in Bayside, Queens, in the 1950’s and the summer months were inextricably linked to my childhood. I remember the summer light – shimmering and dancing off the leaves and grass like a pulsating kaleidoscope. 

Time seemed to stand still in the summer and I remember people and nature immersed in the quietness and stillness of the summer haze.

As a child I loved to read and write, I loved my school, P.S. 46 and I loved my library, the Windsor Park Library on Bell Boulevard and Union Turnpike. I spent many happy hours in the children’s reading room, reading all the Nancy Drew mysteries, "Robinson Crusoe," "Gulliver’s Travels," "Black Beauty" – all the kid classics.

I loved the smell and feel of the books, I loved the texture of the covers and bindings and I especially loved being transported elsewhere.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that in “The Summer of Dappled Leaves," the summer of 2008, I found myself walking down the steps to the children’s reading room of the Windsor Park library – back to Bayside, back to my childhood.

As I was waiting for the Number 46 bus outside of the library for my return trip home, the skies took on a dark and threatening hue and following a loud clap of thunder, the heavens opened up and a beautiful summer rain started falling. 

Just like in my childhood.


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