The Great Outdoors – JP Edition

jamaica pond

The Pond

The Pond, Daisy Field, Kelly’s Rink, Parley Vale, Pinebank, the Library, the Curley, and so many others.

A few of the places from my teenaged wasteland that can conjure up a smile and a slight shake of my head.

I love the pond. Love! Summer, winter, whenever!

The boathouse, where my pond adventure started. I met George. From there it was Louie and Johnny and then the West Roxbury girls: Deneen, Lena, and Kari. And Tracey, always Tracey. Al, the old man that ran the place, let us have the upstairs (next to the ladies room) for a hangout. Our parties were amazing. I hazily remember a Halloween party and having to climb up the backside of the boathouse and through the window. In heels. Because someone lost the key. Sometimes I’m surprised I made it out of my teens.

I swam (well technically I got thrown in) since swimming wasn’t allowed. Had my sweater used as the flag. I learned how to hate red wine and how to smoke. I have a scar on my leg from when Grimace thought I would flinch when he held the knife against it — not quite sure who actually won that game of chicken. Chris found the old man dead in the water. Oh and the time Tracey almost killed a carful of people when she ran across the Jamaicaway like a crazy person and then yelled, yeah yelled, at the driver for almost hitting her! Ha.

So many great times at skating. I remember Sunday mornings when no one else was there; having the whole thing to myself. Heaven! Friday night skating and the boys racing from corner to corner. The girls laughing and flirting. I met a boy there; he stole my heart for a bit. He told me I should drink more whiskey (that relationship lasted a whole lot longer). Getting so cold that it hurt when you walked inside. The gross bathrooms and the 25 cents it cost to get in. It’s gone now. The building not the memories.

The parties at Daisy. Nothing else to say really. A mass of people and beer. Cops and running.

The rocks at Parley Vale always remind me of Elizabeth and Dineen. I’m not sure why. I was always surprised no one fell.

Of course no great outdoors adventure would be complete without a climb – the rooftops. No mountains or hills for we, the urban warriors. No, we had the buildings. The Curley and the Connelly and those damn Mickey Mouse cops. I remember Karen and Joann and Michelle. I remember the boys we liked and sometimes fought over. The ones with the cars. And the ones without. The sugar bowl and rolling down the hill. Paul or Bobby singing some stupid Boy George song; I think it was Bobby. Under the bridge outside the gym. Nipper rolling up on some girl trying to work his charm. Basketball inside.

I remember leaving JP. I walked away and my returns became less frequent until they stopped all together. That’s one of my greatest regrets. Walking away. Thinking there would always be time. Hard to believe I’m not that girl anymore. Hell, I’m not even sure I would recognize her if I saw her.

Oh and I would kill – KILL – my kids if they tried even half of what I got away with!

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