They turned into a tourists’ trap. My lovely memories of growing up on Governor’s Island. They coaxed a few of us into telling our stories to the tourists, but not me.
I was fifteen. Richard Geraldo was my best friend then. I lived in number 16, he in 17. We’d send secret codes to each other by a series of intricate rapps on the walls. Our mothers hated it.
Our dads were soldiers- so was everyone else’s. The kids at school told us that the island was our cage. We’d say, “No. the island is our freedom.” They were so many places for us to be alone, alone, that is, with the company of a girl.
The best part was winter. There was a chasm not too far from our houses, and when it snowed, we’d jump in. I’ll admit to a few broken bones.
It was perfect, until everyone had to leave.