Pompton Plains was a suburban prototype in the mid-1970's. Just green enough to still be considered far from the city (New York), with a neighborly fashion not uncommon in the previous decades, and just enough concrete not to blend into the rolling horse farms and golf courses toward the central part of the state. My family lived in a two-story brick house on Birch Road.
Families had parties at the firehouse and kids road their bikes up and down the streets of non-developmental subdivisions. One summer was particularly memorable for me, a three-year old, and would prove to be the last round-up of memories that I'd hold from my suburban childhood, as the next summer I would move into a one hundred-year old farmhouse on thirty acres in rural Pennsylvania.
It was the fourth of July and the whole neighborhood was pilgrimaging to Main Street and the park where the fireworks would be displayed. Upon my father's six foot two inch shoulders, I moved along, above the crowd; in my hands rested a half-eaten package of Fig Newtons that I munched on contentedly. The energy and excitement that extended around me as everyone moved toward the park, the wave I seemed to ride, replays itself in my mind like a brownish-orangish 8 millimeter film.
It was one of the happiest moments I had for years to follow, as the adjustment to secluded rural life affected my social and emotional self deeply.
For that instant on Independence Day, I rode into the future without even knowing.