George, Ralph and Clem were all born and raised in Lindenhurst. Each was married now with a growing family of his own, but as young adults they made a pact. They all agreed that once every five years, whatever their circumstances, they would meet, without fail, for at least a weekend each June, for a picnic at Fireman’s Park on Wellwood Avenue. Fireman’s Park, during their childhood and teens, was just a really nice little place for young people to hang out and to get to know each other. The three young friends spent all their free time, after school and during summers, sitting on benches, telling awful jokes and ogling the prettiest Lindenhurst girls. In honor of their glory days there, the friends really wanted to return for a regular visit with their wives and kids.
The first time they went back all seemed to have gone well, and there were no big complaints. It was quite a relaxing enjoyable weekend with lots of good food and reminiscing. Their wives and kids got along quite well. Yet another five years went by, though, and something seemed to have gone quite wrong. What had once been such an exceptionally peaceful halcyon environment was somehow now filled with all sorts of trouble. The nearby Long Island Railroad station, once so spotlessly clean and tidy, was now riddled with litter, as were the grounds of the park. Previously lovely trees, flowers and bushes were all barren and abandoned, as if no one seemed to have bothered to pay any attention to them in quite a long time. It was as if that section of their beloved Lindenhurst might just as well have become a ghost town.
Over the course of their absence, naturally, all sorts of changes had inevitably transpired. New people and businesses were coming into Lindenhurst and no one seemed to be the least bit concerned about some little street corner park anymore. They stopped some local passers by to ask about what could possibly have happened to their favorite place. No one even seemed to have any idea why they were bothering to complain in the first place. It turned out that the one time idyllic spot, by now, wasn’t even a part of people’s lives or memories anymore. It was time for the friends to face up to the fact that their beloved hangout now only existed in their own memories. They packed up their things and went to Argyle Lake in Babylon, a few miles away.