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Here's Da Way It Is Marguerite Rivas sipoet Hey RS, Fair enough! Heck, I'm not S.I. Poet for nothing, ya know. Staten Island is not just my home, it's my work, too. I guess that you wouldn't know a lot about me from my posts, except that I'm fascinated by what makes us "tick." Anyway, I was born in Richmond Memorial Hospital, the fifth of six kids, to parents that met at St. Mary's Beach in Tottenville sixty or so years ago. I grew up in Huguenot before the big development hit. The road was barely paved; I remember a lot of little gray pebbles covering it. I lived on Darlington Avenue in one of the 'lily cup' houses. The Advance did a story on them a while back. They were these little stucco California style ranch looking houses that were built to accomodate, I think, factory workers or something. Not sure about that. Anyway, seeing the kids skate on Alison Pond a week or so ago reminded me about all of the little ponds in the woods behind our house. The woods went on for miles. When a kid was missing for a little too long, a search party would go out and search the woods, fearful that a kid had slipped into one of the ponds. It was wild. My island home was so beautiful! What a wonderful place to grow up. Of course, it was all nearly obliterated by the time I reached college age. Went to Our Lady Star of the Sea School, then St. Joseph by the Sea, then Tottenville when it moved from Tottenville to Huguenot. Hung out at the Four E's a bar in Tottenville, the Orange House, (when I was still underage), the Beachcomber and the Swiss Chalet. The Orange House was a trip. You only went there when you weren't old enough to drink. They would serve anyone. There were a few exciting raids, though. My friends and I hung out at the beaches mostly. We'd collect driftwood and build a fire, bring some beer or whatever and hang out for hours at Huguenot Beach or at S.S. White's beach. These were the best times of my young adulthood. The warmth of the fire, the stench of the burning telephone pole leftovers, pissing in the reeds.I had really long hair in those days, and I remember how wonderful it felt to go to bed and still smell the smoke of the fire in my hair. I'd go to sleep with fire in my hair, and the sound of the waves in my head, a little sand-gritty, too. Not to mention the mellow buzz. It was great. In the 70's it was cool for girls to wear overalls. I can't tell you how many of us ended up with wet backs for not being careful enough to get the straps out of the way. This was, after a few beers, and we didn't give a *%$# anyway.These were most excellent times. Now you could never have these great beach parties, especially because these million dollar homes line the beachfront from Huguenot to Annadale.
Well, that's all for now. RS thanks for prompting me to write this. I'd forgotten about it, especially here in the dead of winter.

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