Friday, June 29, 2007

Nothing Happens Until July 4th

Nothing happens on Cape Cod until July 4th.

I worked on Cape Cod for many years. I witnessed various and sundry businessmen down there trying to fight this iron law like a white whale. They'd tow banners from biplanes and make radio ads and hire performers and put out sandwich boards and generally set their hair afire after they got that little flurry of interest and money on Memorial Day. I used to see their businesses slip beneath the foam, tangled in the lines trailing from the leviathan of the springtime's cold water, high winds, and overcast skies all the time. The smart ones just opened the doors on July 3rd, and sold everything they had until they found themselves unscrewing things from the wall and putting tags on them, and running out of even the banana popsicles.

They'd show up on July Fourth, oh yes. And every Friday afternoon until Labor Day you'd know better than to to try the two bridges that allow you to enter Cape Cod over the canal that makes it an island, really, if you didn't have two hours to kill. The rentals turn over at Saturday morning at eleven, so don't try going the other way, then, either.

Let's go down to Main Street in Harwichport. The Finast has Hood ice cream. And look, the Modern Theater sign says they have talking pictures now.


tjl said...

"the springtime's cold water, high winds, and overcast skies all the time"

20 years of family visits to Yarmouth have left no doubt that springtime on the Cape is always chill and wet through the end of June. There's a good reason why nobody wants to go there until after the 4th. On the other hand, September is usually lovely, with warm days and clear nights. Why don't they extend the season through October, instead of rolling up the sidewalks right after Labor Day?

SippicanCottage said...

Yes. The locals all know that Columbus Day is the nicest time of the year on Cape Cod.

Internet Ronin said...

As I attended college in a west coast beach city with heavy summer tourism despite the perpetually overcast month of June, I understand what you are talking about, although I have never been there. If I do visit, I'll go in October ;-)

That reminds me that, in our neck of the woods, we celebrate the 4th on the Saturday prior. The park and lake behind my parents' house is the place to be at sunset, and almost everyone in the area (pop. 15,000) is there or in the back yards of the houses nearby.

Members of a local family are professional pyrotechnics operators and, although always busy with a paid job elsewhere on the 4th, for about 20 years, they've lighted up the night sky here with a fireworks display that rivals the best Disney can do. And we have wonderful seats in the back yard - not front row, mind you, but who needs front row seats for fireworks?