We Lived in Camelot

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Jack Prieto We Lived in Camelot The first two years we lived in Suffern were the Camelot period of my life. We’d just moved from Washington Heights and all the things that go with the city like traffic, winos, and junkies. These we were taught to recognize and avoid. In Suffern, was the way families on the TV lived. I was just young enough to still believe in Santa Clause one more time. The house had a huge fireplace with a chimney, so there was no need for explanations on just how Santa got in and left presents. The fire escape never felt right to me. And, as a bonus, we even got to cut down our own Christmas tree instead of buying it on Broadway. We had land that was all ours instead of some park where we had to watch out for broken bottles and dog poop. The boundaries of where we could go without asking permission first or being with an adult no longer stopped at the front door. Every day was an adventure with five acres to explore. To the north was a rock quarry where they mined ‘trap rock.’ I knew that’s what it was called since that’s what was painted on the side of a tool shack. It must be very exotic and rare since I couldn’t find the name anywhere else and we had an Encyclopedia Britanica. To the east was the NY State thruway. We were supposed to avoid that because it was more dangerous than crossing the street without an adult and there was what the grownups called a drainage problem but, I christened it Frog Pond. It was teeming with frogs of all sizes and they were easy to catch. To the west were our neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I know they told us their first names, but we’d been taught to be polite and only the closest of family friends could be called by their first name if they were adults. To this day I can’t remember what their first names were. They liked having my younger sister, Roxy and me visit on the odd afternoon and would always give

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