Once again, summer has come and gone.
Yesterday we were packing picnics for the fireworks. Today we’re packing up the beach towels, and packing the kids off to school.
Tomorrow it will snow.
But before we pack away the memories, let’s think about the remarkable place called Compo Beach. It’s not particularly big, but we pack a ton of fun into it.
Compo means different things to everyone — a remarkably broad and impressive roster of activities. Here’s a completely random list. Feel free to add your own.
- Romping on the lifeguard stands the minute the lifeguards leave.
- Sitting with the same friends, at the same spot, in the same formation, at the same time — with different weather, tides and conversation every day.
- Friday night Sabbath services.
- Boats, boats and more boats — from humble catamarans and Boston Whalers to big-boy yachts.
- Dozens of different languages. It’s the UN — but you can always count on the group at South Beach closest to the cannons. I’m not sure if they’re Ukrainians or Russians, but I know one thing: They sure have fun.
- Kayaking, jet-skiing, windsurfing.
- The ever-popular Joey’s by the Shore. Long lines move quickly. The menu has more items than most restaurants. And despite the crowds and sand, Joey’s — plus the nearby pavilion — is always very, very clean.
- Sand castles. With actual buckets. It never goes out of style.
- Private parties at the small building near the marina. This may be the best secret in town: You can rent it — dirt cheap.
- No glass bottles on the beach. The Parks & Rec crew does their best to enforce this rule. Beachgoers do their best to break it.
- Running through the bathhouses.
- The playground. Remember the uproar when it was built? Neighbors and others seriously predicted it would “ruin the vista,” and attract riffraff at all hours of the day and night. Seriously?
- Softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball. Also Frisbee, Kadima and tag.
- Sunset-watching to the west. Then turn around, for an equally impressive moonrise in the east.
- Walking, jogging, biking, stroller pushing. Motorcycling.
- Wading. Venturing further into the water. Serious jetty to jetty swimming.
- Throwing elaborate parties, with tablecloths, flowers and silverware, on South Beach. Catered clambakes, for your company party. Or just tossing burgers on the grill.
- Playing cards all day long in the wooden pavilion.
- Reading the daily quote at the lifeguard shack. Asking the lifeguards for help — whether a cut or a lost kid. Marveling at the lifeguards’ professionalism — hey, most of them are just kids.
- Camp Compo.
- No saving tables. Saving tables.
- Enjoying the beach when there’s no one else there. Enjoying it when the place is packed. And every other time in between.