5.3.2013. When we were in Florida, I started telling Pat how the taste of cantaloupe reminded me of Sunday mornings out at Castlewood -- when Ewald would get us little kids up to go to early Mass with him, then make breakfast for everyone else when we got back to the "club." Along with the bacon, sausage and eggs, fresh cantaloupe was always on the menu. When I was old enough to be trusted with a knife, I got to cut it in long slivvers. The taste of cantaloupe -- and the sounds of bluejays, and the smell of creosote -- always takes me back.
Pat was shocked that I'd never told her about Castlewood, not in all the hours we shared childhood stories nor in all the chapters she edited for "Tribe of the Breakaway Beads." So here I sit, recapping.
For quite a while, I was the only one on the internet writing about the history of the old resort area near the Meramec River.
I have two portals to the Castlewood experience:
Historic Castlewood. This page is about Castlewood in general and links to the memories of the many people who have written me over the years with facts and memories.
Our Castlewood. These were my first pages, compiling initial memories from my mother and me. Castlewood is the place where we both spent our childhood weekends, although they were very different. Hers were a little wilder: she was the baby hanging out with her older brothers and venturing down to the river before its dangers closed down the beach areas; mine was more supervised, with a cautious city-boy father always on the look-out for us, especiall during fireworks season.
(I should probably spend some time revising these pages...)
I have visited Castlewood a couple times in recent years. Our old club burned down but I walked through the old oak forest to the cliffs overlooking the railroad tracks and river. Nowhere could be richer in "ghosts" for me than this strip of countryside, which is now a state park. I bump into my childhood with every step. The fragrance of the oak trees and there decades of mulched ground knock me over. The last time I went, my brother Tom went with me and Jim. He had the same reaction.