Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

You Can Never Go Back Home

I’ve been on Long Island for two weeks now. It’s very different visiting my childhood home and family as an older retired man.  Something happens when you get into your 60’s. I see things differently and my distant past is like an old black and white movie I may have watched on TV.

My Childhood Home on Einstein Place, Smithtown NY

My Childhood Home on Einstein Place, Smithtown NY

While driving around my hometown of Smithtown, LI with my brother Terry I started remembering back to my old barn styled house on Einstein Place. What a magical and innocent time that was.  We entertained ourselves outdoors without the aid of smart phones, X-boxes, Facebook and Nintendo.  Life was so much less complicated for children and I would imagine most adults as well.

Miller's Pond, Smithtown, New York

Millers Pond, Smithtown, New York

We went fishing at Miller’s Pond and played army for hours on end in the woods behind our neighborhood of Colonial Oaks. We caught box turtles and bull frogs, road our Sting Ray banana seat bikes to the local stores and smoked cigarettes we lifted from our mother’s packs behind the IGA supermarket.

The Street I Grew Up On

The Street I Grew Up On

I have great memories of those times, although they seem like a distant and disparate dream. Intellectually I know full well it wasn’t a dream. I was very fortunate to grow up on Long Island in the late 1950’s and 60’s. What a difference 50 years makes on a culture. Fast forward and those neighborhood streets that were once filled with kids laughing and playing games are now deserted. It seems all the kids are indoors playing computer games and posting to Facebook. Their parents are coordinating “play-dates” in-between shuffling them to soccer and/or dance practice.

Yes…it is a very different world we live in and the childhood experiences I had will never be replicated by another generation of children due to the evolution of our American culture and technological revolution that has impacted everyone from little children to senior citizens.

I’m just glad I got to grow up during the last phase of the innocent / analogue years. One thing is certain to me and that is you can never go back home. The town I grew up in has changed dramatically and I now realize my real home is the one I have made for myself in North Carolina. Its important however to cherish and savor these visits with family and friends because I never know when (if) I will see them again.

Life is short and my parents are getting up in years. I’ve enjoyed spending time with my brother Terry, a few old friends and my parents, in addition to taking my camera out to some favorite scenic locations in this area.

Here are a few of the photos I have taken over the past 2 weeks here on Long Island. You can click on each one to enlarge. Enjoy!



10 comments on “You Can Never Go Back Home

  1. sueslaght
    May 22, 2014

    An eloquent post and beautiful photos. I recently visited my childhood home on the Canadian prairies. Simpler times of climbing trees and catching tadpoles.

  2. Airlie Pelletier
    May 22, 2014

    I know how you feel. Seeing how things have changed even since I was a child has been an eye opening experience. I love America, but am happy to be raising him in his young years overseas where in so many ways it still is like the 1950’s!! 🙂

  3. Airlie Pelletier
    May 22, 2014

    *him as in my child.. He woke up as I wrote this and I was rushing 🙂

  4. Patrick Keough
    May 23, 2014

    Yes sometimes I feel like just stepping back in time if that were possible. That is why I love traveling to Eastern Europe, Central America and Ireland because those places have a slower more relaxed pace.

  5. Barbara Murphy Cush
    September 3, 2017

    Such a poignant post, Patrick. Growing up in Smithtown in Colonial Oaks on Einstein Place has a special place in my heart. So many fond memories of our
    youth. So many wonderful times with all the families on Einstein Place. I still have pics of Mary Ann, Mary Faye, Margee, Jackie, Eileen and I from our elementary school days. I hope that you and your family are well. Regards, Barbara

    • Barbara Murphy Cush
      September 4, 2017

      Einstein Place/ Julia Murphy and Carole Murphy. Smithtown General Hospital Guild Circa 1960s

    • Patrick Keough
      September 4, 2017

      I remember that car so well and great old photos thanks for sharing them. We had an idyllic childhood i n many ways – feel so blessed.

  6. Mary
    September 10, 2017

    I really enjoyed your story there r memories too wonderful to forget.thank you pat for writing and taking photos!!!

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