Going to the Beach: An Annual Vacation

article image
Kathy Manney
Kathy and her mom playing in the sand at the beach in Seaside, Oregon, in 1943.

When I was growing up, our family lived within a hundred miles of the Pacific Ocean, and from the time I was an infant, we enjoyed annual vacations to the small Oregon beach town of Seaside.

I was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1942, a time when many husbands and fathers were away fighting in World War II. Between 1942 and 1945, Portland had three large defense ship building plants operating round-the-clock. During this time, thousands of women, known as “Rosie the Riveter,” worked in those shipyards to maintain America’s naval strength.

Sharing a bond and a sense of purpose while their husbands were at war, my mother, aunt and grandmother lived together and worked in the shipyards.

An annual vacation at the beach

During their annual summer vacations, my mother and aunt would take a bus to spend a few days or a week at the beach, taking me with them.

Some of my earliest memories are of the cyclone of gulls rising and swooping out over the ocean while smaller seabirds amused themselves at the edge of the water, scooting back and forth as the waves came in, breaking and spreading out on the beach. There was also the thrill I felt riding the merry-go-round near the beach or playing in the sand and on the swings stationed just below Seaside’s promenade.

After I grew up, married and had children, we enjoyed visiting Seaside as well.

Summers should be fun and memorable, and my early memories of going to the beach every summer are filled with warmth and good times, as well as adventure.

Schertz, Texas

Read more reader-submitted summer memories in Memories of Summer Fun.