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A summer night in the Station

One of the many bilingual stores in Huntington

One of the many bilingual stores in Huntington Station. Credit: Ann Rita D’Arcy

The younger generation has proclaimed its dissatisfaction with the boomers for, apparently, staying alive when the polite thing to do would be to drop dead and stop collecting Social Security. But I’m still here and plan to remain ambulatory.

The short walk in my longtime hometown of Huntington Station would take me past two bodegas, three small churches and many automotive-related industries.

First, I noticed a guy waving a plunger around while talking to someone in a tow truck. "This looks interesting," I thought. "You looked geared for battle there, sir," I said. He explained he was trying to suck out a large dent in his car’s hood with the plunger. It looked like a watermelon had dropped from a second story and landed on the hood. His task seemed kind of hopeless, but I wished him luck and moved on.

One of the churches had a sound system set up outside, and I could hear prayers and singing in Spanish. As I got closer, I noticed it was not the usual dire warnings against sin but words of hope and encouragement for a young couple getting married. The parking lot was spotless and filled with rented chairs and decorated with a balloon-covered arbor.

The crowd was dressed with style and elegance, and I could feel the joy emanating from the occasion. "Buena suerte a todos!" I hope they always feel this happy, I thought, and that everyone does get good luck.

Just a few feet from that spot, an entanglement of businesses was attached to homes, or maybe it was the other way around. I navigated over a bumpy and root-lifted section of sidewalk that the town had missed during its recent and much appreciated upgrade and saw a boy around 10 years old deliberately set off a car alarm. He noticed me and ran away. The alarm was silenced quickly. I was glad it would not disrupt the wedding.

After another few minutes of walking, I heard a karaoke machine set up at a backyard party and was stunned to find out that there are people who truly sing worse than I do. With that cheery thought in my head, I arrived at the gym and was happy to have a pool lane all to myself to swim in.

Heading home, I noticed the same young troublemaker doing wheelies on a rusted bike on the road. He spotted me, rode up on the grass and zoomed right into the not socially distanced zone, asking, "How do like my motorcycle?!" I said I really liked it and, because I am a mom, added, "Be careful."

Walt Whitman traversed this area before it achieved its current level of awesomeness, and I thought maybe I should be like him, wandering around, from the supermarket to the gym or any of the bodegas. Or I could be like that "Kung Fu" guy, roaming the earth. Walking around the Station on an August evening will bring out the philosopher in anyone.

Reader Ann Rita D'Arcy lives in Huntington Station.

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