The Handoff

Aug 28, 2012 | 0 comments

  These days, one of the topics of conversation among us of the older generation concerns the village children and grandchildren.  Most of them, of course, live elsewhere, but in the summertime, especially, they come to Oysterville.  They come to play, to visit grandparents and, sometimes to get married.  It is gratifying to all of us, even those without grandchildren, that family connections with Oysterville endure.

I sometimes wonder if my own grandparents would have shared that thought.  They were of the generation that wanted their children to ‘expand their horizons’ by leaving the peninsula.  They felt there wasn’t a future here for them and, in those days, that was probably true.  On the other hand, their old age revolved around letters from their children and the infrequent visits of their grandchildren.

Getting here in the 1940s and 1950s, especially from California (where I was) or New York (where my first cousins lived) was something of an ordeal.  Visits tended to be infrequent but for long periods of time.  I was lucky to come every summer and even luckier to be here for a full year during seventh grade.  Oysterville and I bonded.

Most of today’s younger Oysterville generation live closer – in Portland or Seattle – and, of course, getting here is far easier.  There are now real highways and bridges and cars that don’t boil over on the KM Hill.  Kids come frequently, even in the winter, and they, too, are bonding.  Some households are into the fifth generation of kids absorbing the magic of Oysterville.

In fact, almost half of the residences here in the National Historic District belong to folks who had childhood connections to the village.  It’s nice to know that our parents knew one another – sometimes even our grandparents and great-grandparents.  And, it seems as though the handoff to the next generations will continue for a long time to come.

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