I had a job in Staten Island, opting to self-report, sailing at dawn feeling like Sinbad the Sailor.
I’ve written many times about the Staten Island Ferry, how wonderful it is and the best deal in town, since it’s free.
Toss in The Statue of Liberty as your hostess, and what more can a thin girl ask for on an early September Sunday.
I always think of my mother who loved her so. Her eldest sister, my Aunt Tillie, lived on the Island, so when I was small we’d often visit. I remember a tiny, red kitchen with pictures of Jesus and JFK on the wall, while she cooked spaghetti and chain-smoked Larks.
This was before the Verrazano Bridge was built and you could still take your car across. My dad wouldn’t even be at a full stop when my mother would jump out yelling at me to hurry, “Get a seat, get a seat, on the right, on the right, so we can see the lady!”
Left coming back the other way. “Look Sue, she’d say, “she’s home, and waving at us.”
It was as if my mother knew the statue personally. I could almost hear her on the phone from Connecticut, “Hi Lib, how ya feelin today. Did ya eat? I’ll bet it’s chilly there in the harbor.”
I thought, as I sat facing her bundled in my hoodie, no one else at 6 a.m. seated outside, with what’s been going on in our beloved country…bombings, hatred…a cut throat election with candidates hard to trust, it was really great to see her, and just like old times, she waved right at me and I’m pretty sure said…
“Don’t be afraid Susannah, I’m here, Liberty reigns no matter what.”