August 2006


My First…

The subject of this post may be inappropriate for those under 18 (or the legal age of majority in your jurisdiction).

Personally, I doubt it, but just in case, this is a warning that mature subject matter follows, once you follow the jump.

Yesterday I talked with my father who spends his summers in upstate New York in a small village named Lake Luzerne.

Lake Luzerne, for those who care, is a small village located about 60 miles north of Albany, 12 miles south of Lake George (a tourist trap), and on the opposite side of a hill from the metropolis of Glens Falls. It lies on the Hudson River and was established many moons ago to take advantage of a waterfall that could power a tannery and/or a lumber mill. I’m not really sure about the specifics, so I’ll leave the rest of the village history alone.

What I can tell you is that my Great-Grandparents, residents of The City (New York City), bought a piece of property and built a house (or maybe the house was already there). They promptly started spending their summers out of The City (where it can get incredibly hot and uncomfortable) and at their summer home in Lake Luzerne (where it can get hot, but at least there is a beach about half a mile away).

My Grandparents did the same, and my father as well.

Consequently one of the first long road trips that I took as a child was with my father and my siblings was driving across the United States to visit my grandparents in Lake Luzerne. We’d leave early in the morning from Denver–and by early I mean it would be 2 or 3 when we were on the road (sometimes I go to bed later than I used to get up). Quick trip up I-76, into Nebraska, and then onto I-80 hitting Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In Cleveland we’d leave I-80 and join I-90, hitting Pennsylvania and then entering New York State, which is surprisingly big. Total distance from door to door was 1,818 miles (not counting getting off the highway to get food, sleep, or whatever).

With my father in command, the trip was done as quickly as possible–as soon as a kid had a drivers license they were put in the driving rotation–spending the night in a flea-bag hotel was to be discouraged. Stopping at tourist destinations was also not done too often, although when I was a kid, the timing often had us spending the night outside of Chicago, and my father would take us to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Oddly, as an adult I returned to Chicago and was stunned to discover that there was more to the city than the Museum–my father never ventured any further north, and we would leave before it got too much beyond noon to minimize the disruption.

All of this takes me away from my story–for this is about my memories of Lake Luzerne.

Lake Luzerne is basically a village with nothing to do, except swimming and white water rafting. I do neither of these things because of a problem with my left ear–a problem that my doctor never could fix so I just stopped swimming when I was 24 or so.

Up until then, I went swimming. I also spent time reading books lying in the hammock under the trees, and going on whatever adventures my relatives suggested (loads of distant relatives spend time in Lake Luzerne each summer).

However the hammock was the site where I first successfully wanked.

Not that I hadn’t tried before, but it was where I first managed to get off in that meaningful “Wow! There be white stuff there! Let me try that again NOW!!!!”

Of course I was old enough to know what was going on and I did not immediately run inside and tell my grandparents or my father, but I enjoyed the moment, hidden in the hammock. I imagine today that I took a nap and enjoyed the feeling of being out in the open, between my grandparents summer home at my feet and a slightly busy, one of the few paved streets with traffic behind me.

Last time I was there the hooks for the hammock were still in the trees, but the hammock itself was gone.

There was no way to directly relive my 14 year old victory.

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