Oakwood Cottages: 84/365 P#3

Okay, I’m on board this month with poetry! It’s day 3 so I’m running behind. Here’s the Day 3 poem from Poets.org.  I know it’s April because magically, every morning I get a poem-a-day from them dropped to me via email. Usually I feel guilty that I’m not really participating so without the usual guilt, I begin..

Here’s my model:

Gold River
by Catie Rosemurgy

The arch in the bridge. The moment of architecture.
The island where you lost your mother’s keys. The photo she sent
of someone who looks like her walking to the point
where the land becomes reminiscent of dissolving of flesh.
The trees stamped onto our minds like traumas
are supposed to be. The frightening blanks where the stores were.
The sense the owners died. How many people killed by logs,
do you think, over the years? The moon sitting greedily
on your house. The carrying of one another
when young, light, and poisoned. The doorsteps
we were left on. The fox scat. The extra points in school. Who knew
how prominently quarries featured? Only once or twice in a lifetime
does one find the suicide or hear the primordial screaming. The towns nearby
that survive on museums of their earlier burning. The dreams set
in neighbor’s houses. The mounds with hooves and bones sticking out.
The gentle sloping. We will always be swimmers
digging into the thaw. The former newness. The various cuts of meat.
The places cats won’t go. The climbing out onto the banks. The naked man
working harmlessly in the woods. Like a milkweed or fox
you are something that parted the dirt here. The rotting
that sets in when you leave.

Here’s mine:

Oakwood Cottages, Briggs Highway, New York
Bonnie Kaplan

A fresh photo where I once spent my childhood summers

Still 19 bungalows, around the U

Still the outdoor fireplace, built by Uncle Sam, the hermit during a lonely winter with only his dog Mike for support

Still the flowerbed in the center, the lawns moved by my dad at the end of his own long work day

Still the casino for parties and Friday night movies and solo sax practice

Still our own bungalow attached at the hip to my mom’s “in-laws” in the main house

Still the forests for Peter Pan

Still the den of Ted E. Bear, the colony’s handyman, filled with promise of secrets, my brother dreamed of exploring

Still the camp house, the handball court, the path down to the pool

Still the wild blueberry bushes just ripe for picking by the end of August

And Still just down the hill from the Cherry Hill Hotel


Finally my mother put her foot down and refused to keep spending summers there. We didn’t care anymore. All of us were also ready to move on.

I was quick to shut off my present at Oakwood Cottages.

Just part of my awkward teenage past.

My grandparents held on, until they were too old to travel even the 7 miles from town. And finally it was sold as part of the family inheritance to the present owners, who waited patiently for it so they could own both sides of Briggs Highway.

I did not want to go home again but Tuvia needed a piece of my past.

Categories: A Photo A Day 365/2010, Nablopomo April 2010, Poetry Month 2010 | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

Post navigation

20 thoughts on “Oakwood Cottages: 84/365 P#3

  1. terry berkman rosenbaum

    thanks for the beautiful words – my memories of oakwood cottage summers are fresh and always sweet.


  2. Barbara Kaplan Daniels

    Little Barbara Kaplan here. In Virginia with my husband and children. Had my dad’s unveiling today. Both folks are gone. Mom first and then dad 19 months later. This photo and the great words are just what I needed today. My best to you and all of your family.


    • Elaine Kapperman

      I was searching Oakwood Cottages after being in touch with Ruth Diamond and saw your posting.We are talking about having a Oakwood Cottage Reunion. How are you? Sorry to hear about your parents. My dad died many years ago but mom is 91 and still living in Ellenville in the house we grew up in. My aunt and uncle live across the street. I live in Massachusetts with my husband- we have 2 step-children and a grand-daughter, Would love to hear from you- I am on facebook and my email is elainekapperman@gmail.com I was Elaine Pressman..

  3. @ Wow Terry and Barbara, the same day. So glad that you stopped by to check out my site. All good here in Nyack, NY but my parents and brother Jeff and his family still live in Ellenville. He’s the mayor and a great guy. Still funny but calmer, sometimes. My parents are still here in their house,our house. I am retired as a full time teacher but I work as a Director of the Hudson Valley Writing Project at SUNY New Paltz. Great.
    And you????

  4. laurie berkman liner


    although i was a kid at oakwood my memories are vivid. i have been back over the years and showed the bungalow to my husband and kids. thanks for sharing the picures and thoughts.


    ps. we live in tappan

  5. Ruth diamond Fabes

    Hi- I’m here,too! Good to here from all these names!

  6. Gloria Salit

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond —– Alex and I have the most wonderful memories of summers at Oakwood —- our children still speak of it with fond memories (Michael & Jeri) ( Susan was too young to remember)Estelle and Sandy Horvitz and we take a ride up there every summer or two.We’ve met the Russians some years back and last time we were there –there was a chain and a sign No Trespassing. We are planning our next ride up within the month —– hope we find someone there ! We live in Fort Lee,NJ perhaps our paths will cross again someday ??

  7. nicci

    I use to rent buses to your uncle Sam (Meta) is he still around?

  8. Shain

    BSD Was there in 1968 anyone else from that time would love to hear from you

  9. Les Halpern

    We spent many happy summers at Oakwood Cottages. My father, Marvin Halpern, who recently passed away, was the camp director in the late 1950s – surely anyone who was there in those days will remember him. I recognize many names from the posts above – the Salits (Hi Gloria and Alex), the Kaplans (Hi Barbara and Bonnie!), the Horvitzes (who we still see regularly). Good memories from my childhood here.

  10. Barbara Marder

    I spent my childhood at oakwood cottages with my family
    I remember going to camp and herb diamond being in charge
    Think about those days often…..

  11. Audrey Nathanson Young

    I went to oakwood cottages . My family went for many summers. The Gibsons , Horvitz ‘s, and theNathanson clan. Wonderful family.

    • Audrey Nathanson Young

      Please post pictures !!!P.S. It’s my fathers birthday today. The wonderful Chuck Nathanson❤️

  12. Scott Horvitz

    Great to see so many family and friends who have visited this blog. They were fun summers from a long time ago!

  13. Gary Drucker

    Brings back great memories. Spent several summers playing softball, whiffle ball, swimming down yonder, and picking blueberries with Sonny Kaplan. I remember the fire we had at the big bush in the center of the oval. Started by throwing sparklers on 4 July.

    • Scott Horvitz

      And Mel Kaplan was my godfather!

    • Hey Gary how are you? Your sister Thea?

      • Gary Drucker

        We, wife Marjorie and I are well, retired and living in Connecticut. She was also a full time teacher. We have three grandchildren.

        Thea is living in Jupiter Florida. My mom just passed away in May . She was 98. I have been thinking of Oakwood often these days. Yearning for simpler times.

  14. Wow how about that. I remember Mel well and his kids..

  15. Thea Drucker Kittay

    Gary just told me about this site. Very cool to see some names from the past. They were the best times of my youth. I remember playing maj jong with Stephanie, Debbie, Terry, and you Bonnie. And, oh my, as teens going up to the Cherry Hill Hotel to gang out with the band and the wait staff. Just the best!!! Hope all is well and getting thru with awful time. Stay save.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: