In the late 1960s and early '70s, New London cared for its youth, enough to create summer activities. There was Ocean Beach, YMCA and the BP Learned Mission.
Ocean Beach was the place to go. City buses transported kids daily to and from the beach for free. They just had to pay the walk-in gate fee. There were employment opportunities at the snack bars, entrance gates, gift shop and concessions.
YMCA was inexpensive, with many programs and a pool. Entire families would go for recreation.
The "Mission" was a great neighborhood place for kids, especially in summer. They could go to socialize, play games, go to the beach, on field trips and have lunch. Parents knew children were safe and could work with peace of mind.
This is the community spirit I found when I came to New London.
Gone are the Ocean Beach rides and admission is sky high. Gone are the YMCA and the swimming pool. The "Mission," which is now Child and Family Agency, has limited space for neighborhood kids. Summer jobs are very limited. Summer camps are for 12 and under.
I miss the community spirit. I miss the "good old days." How about you?