On that Perris Island trip, near the end when the rain came, we spent the afternoon with Billy Bell. He lived on the Virginia Peninsula in a big house, as I remember. On the way, we visited a battle ship in North Carolina- hugeness and gray is what I recall most. Very gray. Probably because it was inclement weather as well.
If I mentioned before, I loved tunnels and Dad knew this. I never made a secret about what I liked encouraged by their willingness to fulfill my wishes if possible.
We took the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel to the peninsula. It was a very rainy, foggy day, so Dad took no personal pictures. He bought the canned pictures. We did not fly. I was fascinated by looking at those tunnels burrowing into that gray water, and then we were in them! We took a break at the restaurant and even in the wet weather walked out the fishing pier. All that water to get across!
Billy Bell had a enormous black cat that wasn't too friendly. I explored the house, as 9 year olds tended to do when adults were talking. I love the freedom I had as a child. I would never dream of walking through a house now, even though that is part of my job. I have to ask and it feels very weird.
Billy Bell carved wooden ducks. He must have realized I was a little bored and the cat wouldn't play with me, so he gave me one. I still have it to this day. If I had any computer savvy, I'd
take a picture and scan it. It is a mallard. I thought that was the best thing, because he actually made it.
So even though there was no pond to canoe, no sunny weather to play outside and no kids for distraction, I still cherish this memory with my wooden mallard duck.