Posted by: Ofer Aronskind | May 25, 2010

The old neighborhood

I recently bumped into someone from my old neighborhood. Well, not exactly my neighborhood but one town over. You see, I grew up in Little Neck, Queens. The next town over was Great Neck. What separated us was just a few backyards and a whole lot of money. Great Neck was rich with enormous houses and expensive cars. Little Neck was middle of the road middle class–nothing fancy about it. The Little Neck kids (myself included) played our sports on an asphalt dead end whereas the Great Neck kids had parks and tennis courts and pools.

Often, we cut through a couple of backyards and across the Lake Success Golf Course to get to their grassy soccer fields. Almost always the security guards from the country club would chase us away. It was fun, it was an adventure. In the winters we’d sneak onto the golf course and go sledding or play tackle football in the snow. I guess as a kid I didn’t think much about it. We had what we had and they had a whole lot more.

When I was mining my childhood for ideas for my soon-to-be published book called “The Celebrities of Summer School“, I thought back about the place where I grew up. I liked the dichotomy between the have’s and the have-not’s (or at least nowhere near as much). I like the setting of a golf course separating two towns–a hilly terrain through which one must cross to get to the other side. I used this setting for my book and changed the name (just slightly) to protect…. who the hell needs protecting anyway??!!


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