As Mark leaves the sunny beach, with a cold beer in hand, he takes one last look at the rolling waves that wash away the grime of his countries sins. He has been in this town for just about 20 years and he and the town have undergone a few changes. Gone is the body he worked so hard on during his youth and gone too is the hopes of a better town that lost its way in the 1990's. The old power station is a mess of bricks & dust across the water, torn down to make way for more over priced condo's no one will live in. The marsh, the mangroves and backwater pools, on the other-side of the station, are now a Wal-Mart.
Mark's family was a blue collar bunch from the "Rust Belt" where most families held picnics on the 4th, Labor Day and Memorial Day with all their neighbors invited. The CEO & the line worker all played softball together. They all shopped at Sears, no one compared what Ms. Lombar was wearing with what Mrs. White was wearing. Mark and his friends, Rick, Mike, Dave and Mo, all played outside for hours each day. Staying inside when there was no school wasn't cool...it was school at home, why the hell would any self-respecting 10 year old stay inside if it wasn't Raining or bone chilling cold out side. Today, neighbors may not even speak to each other, maybe the bullshit wave as they drive their oversized SUV or European Auto past the guy down the block. Rick's father was a welder at the local steel mill, Mike's father was a Manager at an office downtown and Dave's father was a union leader with the local chapter of woodworker. Mo, no one knew his father. He was never there, no one spoke about him and his mother seemed to have a lot of friends and strangely his mother never worked. As I grew older i got a clue of what Mo's mother did but who would think such a thing at 10. All our Mom's were home all day, making the house look a picture of Better Homes & Garden. At night the mom's would chat on the phone with each other and bitch about their husbands or Dallas, they had no clue of the world that was changing around them.