Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the Poconos

At some point in my youth, my parents discovered the Poconos. They found a resort called Mo No Mo Nock and got in the habit of going there for a few days every summer, often with Dad's golf buddies. Occasionally the kids went with them. I remember playing skittles, hanging out at the pool, and I remember they had a social director who engineered events like square dance night. I actually spent Woodstock weekend as an unhappy youth at Mo No Mo Nock.

I was sitting by the pool one day when I was almost kidnapped. A couple came up to me with their two daughters and asked if I'd like to spend the day exploring with them. My mother headed them off at the pass.
The last thing she needed was for poor Mr. Mustache to get involved with a strange family on what was supposed to be a family vacation. Later Mother said, "What is this, the Catskills?"

Mount Airy Lodge was the more expensive cousin of Mo No Mo Nock. Although my parents were too cheap to stay there, I remember my mother telling me they went there for lunch (I was in college by then). "Oh the clothes!" my mother commented on what she saw at Mount Airy Lodge. Apparently she was impressed by the ostentatious apparel worn by the diners.

Today, after forty three years, I finally went back to the Poconos. Route 611 is rather tacky and commercialized now. Driving up to Mount Airy Lodge to lose a few quarters, I came upon a Spanish diner. I ordered pollo guisado. The lady asked if I wanted plain rice or the bean laden rice next to it. I said "con frijoles". I am always happy to impress people with my high school Spanish.

Mount Airy Lodge is very pretty in a rustic parkish way, however I doubt my mother would comment on "the clothes" today. We live in a more informal time and people with real money don't go to the Poconos, unless, perhaps, they are skiing in the winter. The denizens of the casino were mostly seniors who apparently arrive by bus. I lost twenty dollars and went home. I stopped on the way at the outlet mall and bought a pair of leather gloves. This time I promise I won't lose them.

So the Poconos survive but it's different than the good olde days. Anyone up for a game of skittles?

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