The Jewish Lady, The Black Man and The Road Trip by Carol Sue Gershman

The Jewish Lady

The Black Man

& The Road Trip

Carol Sue Gershman

 

We took the car out of the expensive New York City garage, piled the suitcases in, and drove

through the Midtown tunnel onto the Long Island expressway. The top was

down, and we were on our way to Montauk, New York, to visit my son Roger and his gorgeous family. I particularly loved going to the Hamptons. I had

spent many wonderful summers there and had sublime memories.

As soon as I left the city, knowing where I was going, a feeling of peace

and happiness came over me. I was familiar with the drive out, enjoying it year

after year: first the tunnel, then the congestion, then about 45 minutes out

of the city, there were signs to the small towns off of the expressway. Farther

along, we passed exits to Fire Island, where our family had spent summers.

Finally, we reached the turnoff that said “Montauk.”

The corner gas station on Route 27 indicated we were almost there. We

would soon pass Hampton Bays, where I had once had a summer share with

an exciting group of designers who filled the house with tons of friends and

wild binges. The landscape turned green and we were able to see parts of the

bay. After perhaps another eight miles, we reached the king of them all, South

Hampton, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

A delightful café, the Golden Pear, sat on the corner of the town and

was always packed with people. We waited in line for a table and ordered

bagels and tea. Afterwards, I took Xavier on a quick tour of South Hampton,

showing him the magnificent mansions, one after another on the sea. They

were exclusive homes passed on from generation-to-generation, with tennis

clubs snuggled between. I showed him the beach that I loved and where I spent

many summers after my separation from my husband Norman. Before leaving, we went

through the town’s business section, seeing Saks Fifth Avenue, Abercrombie

and Fitch, and countless upscale shops in a divine three-block radius. Finally

we passed the Drivers Seat restaurant in the center of town. It was there that

I became silent, going back into my thoughts remembering my unforgettable

love affair with Gerhardt.I came out of my reminiscence as we drove through the Hamptons, from South to Bridge to East Hampton. I told Xavier little stories along the way. He had

never been to most of the places I was showing him during our road trip. The

beauty throughout the Hamptons surpassed all other places, certainly Miami,

the vegetation lush with vegetables, fresh fruit, and rows and rows of Long

Island potatoes. There were polo fields, bays and harbors, quaint shops, longstanding

and short-standing restaurants, the hangouts where we would meet

guys, and the romantic beaches. The Hamptons never became commercialized

and remained practically the same as I knew them, so many years ago.

The road leading from Amagansett to Montauk is one of my favorite drives.

After passing the deluxe fruit stand, which is a landmark, the road turned. Then,

before our eyes, we witnessed the crashing waves of the sea coming from out of

nowhere. My heart pounded, the view, thrilling me, over and over again.

“Xavier, get ready for one of my favorite rides. The view is spectacular.”

The view from the top of the highway, where the sea formed this incredible

inlet, took my breath away. The road then turned back again to the highway

and the sign “Lunch” appeared. Everyone waited for summer to gather here,

as they were famous for the most extraordinary clam rolls imaginable. We had

to stop and have one, even after having a couple of bagels at the last stop. They

really could be shared because they were huge. We sipped our O’Doul’s during

our second lunch, one hour from the first, relaxing before going on to  my son Roger’s.

I looked at Xavier, thinking about all the young men I had known, and

said, with kindness, “Do you know you are the oldest guy I have ever gone out

with, since my husband?”

“And, you can be sure, you are the oldest lady I have ever known,” he

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