For the longest time, I knew a frightened, awkward, inquisitive little girl with freckles and blue eyes – the only brunette in a family of blonde children. She was the oldest child, and often wondered where she came from, why she was treated differently than the others and if anyone loved her. She had keen senses and was nearly always alone with her thoughts.
The discovery of her favorite number 25, happened around the time she lived on Deepwater Street, on Point Shirley, an area of Winthrop, Massachusetts when she was about 8 years old. Next to Point Shirley, jutting out into the sea, was Deer Island. She wanted to know something about the people who lived there and wanted to go there, to find out why the house was so big and far away from everyone else. The tall, metal link fence with rows of pointy wires on top, circled the entire castle, with boxes of lights perched high on round poles. The people didn’t want visitors, she thought. She tried to understand the whispers from the adults, but couldn’t.
Her back door was about one hundred child steps to the road which led to the beach, where she often went, alone. Inside the house with the back door were tears and hurts and fear, and when she walked the hundred child steps on the gravel road, she floated into a joyful place in her mind.
Directly across the bay was Logan Airport in Boston, and she was sure that one day, a silver plane would hit the house,
and kill them, or the roof would shake so hard that it would rattle off of the house and everyone would be too cold to survive. She worried for everyone, even the ones who were always angry.
Once, while walking along the edge of the bay, heading for a tide pool where tiny crabs hid under rocks, she noticed a glint in the sand. Without hesitation, she dropped to her knees and dug. Buried treasure! She had found a few quarters and held the damp, sandy coins in her small hand, studying them. The little girl had dreamed of becoming an archeologist when she grew up and was blinded with excitement! She quickly relinquished the lovely thoughts and felt guilty and filled with shame. The coins weren’t hers, after all. She painstakingly considered what she should do with the treasure.
Throughout her life, she continued to find quarters wherever she went. “Guess what I found today?” she’d say to her family. The answer was always the same and remains so.
Oddly, instead of the story above, I had planned to write about my lucky number 25 and what makes 25 a unique and special number. I then noticed that I had written 25 blog posts. Ironic, wouldn’t you say?
The story above is true and a memory from my childhood.
For fascinating, factual and disturbing history of Deer Island, please click the link here.