Earlier today my hometown newspaper, The Mahopac News, released an article about my upcoming appearance at the Mahopac Public Library. Here’s the link. I was truly flattered—the author did a wonderful job, etc … etc.
Anyone who knows me well knows I have mixed feelings toward Mahopac. I have long resented the close-mindedness I was exposed to—the racism, the anti-Semitism, the general distrust of the outside world. There are a million examples swirling through my mind. One I recall vividly comes from a picnic at my father’s office building. A man we casually knew bemoaned all the “city” people coming to Mahopac. Later on my mother (disgustedly) explained to me that “city” was code for “black.” She wanted me to understand both the thought process, and why it was so terribly wrong.
That said, Mahopac was, in many respects, a wonderful place to grow. The games of night tag in Gary Miller’s back yard. Riding our bikes up Kings Ridge, past Dave Fleming’s house, watching him shoot hoops in his driveway. The walks to Rodak’s for sodas and M&Ms. A general easiness with living; an uncomplicated, peaceful way of life, where the days seemed long and youth—precious youth—spanned forever. Truth be told, while I hate elements of Mahopac, I love Mahopac. I love what it brought me; what it showed me; mostly what it handed me: A blissful childhood.
As the article noted, whenever I visit my parents (who live in the neighboring town) I drive the two miles out of the way to pass my old house. It looks different now—fresh paint, flower beds, new lights. But it’ll always be the place I was raised.
It’ll always be home.