The Mustard Seed
June 2015
Cracker Barrel

June brings lilies, roses
Fills the children's hands with posies.
~~ Sara Coloridge

I meant to do my work today
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree
And a butterfly flitted across the field
And all the leaves were calling me!
~~ Richard Gallimore

Let's continue our trip around Irondequoit Bay 
Schnackel Drive down in Ide's Cove, is one of the many coves of Irondequoit Bay.  The Bay is connected to Lake Ontario, one of the 5 great lakes in the United States.  The road, Old Bay Front Road, starts at the top edge of Point Pleasant, a small sleepy quiet town with a movie house, the Hub, a food store, a post office, a meat market, and a simple no-nonsense restaurant and a middle school.  A street car once ran through this hub of town named Point Pleasant.  The street car tracks are still there, all covered up with grass, weeds, stones pebbles and cigarette butts.  Transit buses now transport people to and from the BIG city Rochester, NY.   
In the first part of my reminiscence I said that you enter a different world when you drive down Old Bay Front Road.  You will come to Schnackel Drive, but you can't enter that road unless you're a local and know the trick of going past it and make a circular left turn to drive onto that road, going down the unpaved road.  This part of the road has two wooded slopes -- one on the right and the other on the left which have cottages seemingly built into the woodsy slope.  This gives the impression that you are driving on the roofs of those cottages.  I think there were 3 cottages there.  It's amazing how that path developed into a one lane road.  You hope you don't meet a car coming, especially during a heavy rain or snow!  Actually, Schnackel Drive is a one lane road all the way until it peters out.  This slope ended sharply at the road and there are stepladders firmly attached to the wooded slope.  At the tops of those stepladders are/were outhouses. We'd cross the road cautiously.
During bad weather or emergencies, we used chamber pots.  Don't ask me how we handled the disposals!  Thank God the sewage system made life bearable with indoor plumbing.  Happily, I was there only on weekends.  I really lived at the Rochester School for the Deaf (RSD).
In summer times, the cove "pool" was always full of kids of all ages playing in it.  Each cottage had its own dock.  These docks were of all sizes  and shapes and had all types of boats.  The shoreline was very irregular, with a mixture of grass, bulkheads, floating docks with ramps and planks.  Our home had a dock, two bulkheads and wade in with sand.
A tall post was fastened to the long sturdy dock for a line with 2 pulleys to be used as a clothes line fastened to the upper deck of the cottage for all the clothes to be strung out on the line.  It worked so well for several years until one day the pole cracked and down came a good days wash (4 sheets for 2 beds, pillow cases) onto the grassless yard.  Horrors!!  After rewashing, they were hung up on lines for winter in the basement.  It took a while before we could find another decent pole!
As I said previously, the "pool" was always full of kids.  We'd play with different inner tubes.  Two of them were truck or bus tires.  Those were fun for 2 or 3 kids to sit on.  Once a group of us thought it would be fun to swim across to our docks from the pontoon plane landing.  About half way I happened to glance to the right.  What a shock it was to see a water rat swimming alongside.  It's as if I was seeing the Loch Ness monster.  With frozen arms, I got to my dock.  That was the last time I swam in the "pool"!
Other small (mis)adventures in brief that I like to remember:
  1. Riding my bike all the way down from top of Old Bay Front Road down onto Schnackel Drive and ending up at my house, over our bulkhead into our neighbor's water by their dock!

  2. Getting knocked out helping a scared little girl from the huge upright framework of a new dock.

  3. My brother at age 2 almost drowned in 2 feet of water on our little beach.  About 15 years later he won a High School championship in swimming.

  4. Rowing out of our cove into the bay with cousins to row along the shoreline to 'fish out' junk thrown in the water and then dump the 'historical artifacts' into deeper water.

My brother and sister-in-law recently went down Schnackel Drive to "visit" for old times.  They said the area has a run-down look.  Several homes were missing.  Others were being renovated.  It's best not to go back to see Schnackel Drive in Ide's Cove.  It can be disappointing.  I'll just remember how scenic that cove was.
~~ Ruth Peterson

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