This short story juxtaposes my reaction to my son’s Little League experience with my sleepaway camp memories when I was about the same age. It also focuses on one of my first romantic obsessions, Carolyn Marcus, a brilliant athlete whom I met and “fell in love” with at that camp (and who, unfortunately, I am unable to find or learn anything about). When another camper from back then attempted to put together a reunion, one of the people he contacted, and whom I was subsequently able to contact, was Leah Cohen, whom I had mentioned in the story and who was Carolyn’s counselor. She sent me a photograph of her six campers, with Carolyn sitting at one end. I set it as wallpaper on one of my computers since looking at it always gives me a little shot of nostalgia. Immersing myself in this story is a much more powerful dose.
This story is largely true (although my real brother is named William and is nothing like the Larry in the story). When I reached out to contact Varda, it was partly idle curiosity. But also because she represented Dean’s to me where I first fell in love. Reconnecting with her and revisiting Dean’s (although in real life I went alone) had their own rewards, but reconnecting to those memories and feelings were not among them. It was only when I wrote the story that I rediscovered that lost world and time.