By Barbara Marsh
I have been coming to Little Fresh Pond since the summer of 1955. My parents, Ann and Ray Sobotka, rented our house at 10 Justan Avenue, but then the entire Circle was known only as Gondola Gardens. In Gondola Gardens, other real old timers are the Whites, the Longs (John Barona’s parents - John and Dottie Long), the Bedells, the Hauquitzes, Deloiselles (now Debbie and Tony Mishik, and the Garbowskis), but it is possible that The Sobotka–Marshes are the longest residents on the pond! (not positive though)
I spend the first summer under the swamp maple by the lake in a play pen. When the summer was over and we returned to Queens, I cried for 6 weeks straight (if my parents’ tales can be believed). I missed Southampton!
In the winter of 1960, my parents bought the cottage. Starting then, our Southampton season gradually expanded from Memorial Day to Labor Day until Easter through New Year’s, even though our house was heated only with a fireplace and propane floor heater.
I first swam across the lake at the age of 5. My older brother, Mike, bragged to a cousin who was also 5 years old, that while she might be trilingual and really smart, she could not swim across the lake but that Barbara could. I had never done it before, but I could not possibly let him down. So off I went, flanked by our row boat, the Ann, rowed by my father, my Mom swimming on one side of me with a raft and someone else, probably Mike, swimming on the other. Of course I did make across, and have been swimming back and forth across the pond ever since.
Rick and I got married standing on our terrace by the lake in 1981.
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Little Fresh Pond Association, Inc. is a recognized 501(c)(3).
P.O. Box 936
Southampton, NY 11969