Pepper Fee. Growing up Pines. 1968.
We moved to Sayville from NJ when I was 4 in 1968, and we would go to the then public beach at Barrett via town of Islip ferry boat, and later our own boat. Via their friends, my parents quickly learned of the bohemian enclave to our west called Fire Island Pines. We’d walk over from Barrett.
My dancer/artist mother adored the architecture in the Pines and afternoon Tea Dance at the Blue Whale. We were a bit of an offbeat family so I would often be at Tea Dance too. I loved it – for me as a kid it was magical.
In the evening my parents would go to the Monster in the Grove to dance and party – I would be sent off to someone’s boat to hang with their kids.
(Pepper’s parents at Talisman)
I never got to the Grove until I was an adult. I have a really good memory of my childhood – so I vividly remember the Pines of the 70’s – the beautiful beach houses, the music playing (Judy Garland!), the flags flying from the turrets. To me it was like Never, neverland.
We never owned property on FI but spent as much time every summer there as we could for over 10 years. It remains one of my family’s favorite memories. I know sometimes day tripping straights such as my folks were frowned upon by the FIP residents, and I don’t blame them – not sure I’d want a bunch of straights and their kid in my special haven either.
But I am so grateful that I got to be there, and experience that history, and to be able to share in the stories of others on this Historical site.
Thanks Pepper xoxo
(Pepper having a Hagen Das ice cream at the store in the harbor. The Pines was the first community to carry the brand.)
Today Pepper (seen here with her wife April and me) is part of our creative team. She has designed all of our merchandise, posters, and more.