Mark and I met in Hollywood, Florida this summer with the aim of completing a task.
My family moved from Ambler, Pennsylvania to Hollywood in the summer of 1962. I was just 7 years old, Mark was 13. Dad chose to break out on his own, and purchased a small start-up manufacturing business called Everbest Products. In the first several years, we spent summers living on Hollywood Beach, in the Dolphin Motel (recently torn down). It was an idyllic time for this young family -- in spite of the 7 AM swim workouts in the nearby chlorinated saltwater pool.
We eventually moved down the beach to a six-story condominium, Darby Hall, this during my middle and high school years. It was a life spent in and around a pool and the beach/sea, again a particularly memorable time for my family.
Mark and I returned this summer with the cremation ashes of our parents, with the intent of sprinkling them on the beach adjacent to the Dolphin Motel and Darby Hall. As we reflected at dinner last night, this was a ceremony for the living, a kind of personal closure, a gesture of kindness from two appreciative kids whose lives were shaped significantly by generosity of these parents in this place. We're clear that there are no perfect families, but the time the Spedding family spent in Hollywood was highly memorable and happy.
Description of photos (top to bottom): photo 1: mom with lifeguard John G., taken in the summer of 1963; we sprinkled our parents ashes in the approximate location of his lifeguard stand (photos 2-4); photos 5-9: taken on the beach adjacent to our apartment in Darby Hall