Summer Visitors | Essex Column

The 4th of July celebration in Essex is less than a month away and the Essex Fire Department is having a raffle to cover the cost of the fireworks display.

Call Norma Goff at 963-4083 or email her at nwg13@willex.com for more information or to buy raffle tickets, which are only $5 each. You can also get tickets from any member of the fire department. The fireworks show will cost $5,500 this year. If raffles aren’t your thing, just write a check with a notation that it’s for fireworks and send it to the fire department.

There will be a Gathering of Women at the Essex Community Church on Wednesday, June 11. This event features a salad lunch and panel discussion, and starts at 12:15 p.m. Donations will be accepted. Call Peggy Hunn at 963-4445 for more information.

On Thursday, June 12, the ferry will switch to its summer schedule, with two boats running each hour between 9 a.m and 7:30 p.m. Summer visitors are already starting to appear, and soon the roads and lanes of Essex will be filled with out-of-towners.

I try to be patient with their driving styles, since we’ve all been tourists in unfamiliar places before:

There are the bumbling, slow moving, semi-lost visitors as well as impatient city folks racing to the ferry, tailgating all the way through town. There will also be more bicyclists and walkers on the roads, as well as daydreaming bird watchers, amateur photographers and those simply awe-struck by the natural beauty hereabouts we generally take for granted.

Beware when using the crosswalks in town, because you may encounter drivers who come from places like Boston where they never yield to pedestrians, and to whom stop signs are just an annoying impediment. Patience is hard to come by, but I occasionally remind myself of my very worst episode as a lost driver, when Ginny and I were trapped one night in Brooklyn on a narrow one-way street, with do not enter signs and baffling traffic lights.

Getting desperate, my only escape was to make a flagrantly illegal U-turn in the middle of an intersection. Traffic stopped for a second, my tires screeched and without so much as nicking a parked car, we made our getaway. They were so awed by my foolishness they even forgot to blow their horns.

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