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Remembering My First Visit to Provincetown (May 23-26, 1980)

Provincetown_postcard My first trip to Provincetown occurred over Memorial Day weekend in 1980, which was a week after my 23rd birthday.  I went with a fellow I was dating at the time who I had met in March at the Everard Baths.  Gordon was older, i.e. around 30, and lived in Poughkeepsie where he managed a Best Western motel.  

 

Provincetown_skyline After work on Friday I took the train up to Poughkeepsie from NYC and we drove to the Cape that night.  Rather than stay at one of the charming and much livelier guest houses in town, we stayed at a sterile Best Western (Gordon got a discount).  It was a bit secluded but at least it was close to the beach. 

 

A-house-ptown Two popular dance tunes I remember dancing to at the A-House were Funkytown and Call Me (by Blondie).  The weekend was also memorable because it was the first time I tried marijuana - but it wasn't a great experience.  Rather than smoke it Gordon put in a Pepperidge Farm chocolate sandwich cookie (no longer made).  After ingesting it I became paranoid and was convinced that two female friends of Gordon's who we went to a lesbian bar with were witches.  Later that evening Gordon wanted to bring someone back to the hotel with us but I was still feeling out of sorts and nixed the idea, which annoyed him.

 

Mount_st.helens Another memory I associate with this first visit was the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the Pacific Northwest.  It monopolized news headlines that entire week - and there was another eruption over the weekend.  

 

 

Capecod_traffic The trip back on Monday was trying because of heavy traffic on the only road leading off the Cape. (NOT a good idea to leave in the early afternoon at the end of a holiday weekend.)  Then there was another major bottleneck around Hartford.  This made Gordon very testy and we barely spoke for the rest of the trip.  In total the trip took seven hours (1-8:00), three hours longer than Friday's stress-free drive to P-town. 

 

 

FireIslandPinesSIgn Between 1980 and 1995 I'd vacation in P-town seven times (the other visits were a lot more fun).  Then, beginning in 1996, I took a share in Fire Island and began spending many summer weekends out in the Pines - and I didn't return to P-town until 2013. 

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