Addy's Summer Place

Short story collection published in 2006; author Connie Porter; illustrator Gabriela Dellosso, Renee Graef, Susan McAliley, Dahl Taylor, John Thompson, and Jane Varda


Mr. Walker has been away, working for a railroad company, and the company gives him passes for his family to visit him at Cape Island for the Fourth of July holiday. The train ride is exhilarating, and Addy is happy to see her father again. They have fun with some leisure time, enjoying ice cream at Banneker's (the only place that will serve black people), and a walk in the woods, where Mr. Walker notes that someone's been stealing from his traps. Addy takes Esther to play in a nearby creek, and a young white boy makes conversation with them--until his older sister reprimands him severely for talking to "those people" and yells at Addy to learn her place. Addy is angry with the girl, and secretly wishes her ill will. But the very next day, Addy spies the girl stealing a rabbit from her father's trap. She chases the girl, who drops the rabbit and escapes from Addy. Addy follows, and finds where the girl lives, in a rundown shack with at least one abusive parent and another child (a baby). The family, though white, is far worse off than Addy's, who at least have some money and their love for each other. Addy surreptitiously places the rabbit where the girl will see it, and leaves, pondering their disparate circumstances.

Later that day, Addy, Esther, and Mrs. Walker go wading in the ocean. Addy is grateful for her family, and for the ocean, which is big enough for everyone to enjoy, regardless of their race, income, or social class.

Looking Back

When Addy traveled to Cape Island, she was faced with segregation the whole way. Even waiting for the train: African-Americans had to stand on a different part of the platform, separated from the whites-only waiting room. Certain cars on the train were also whites-only, and in 1866, only one hotel in Cape Island allowed black people to stay in it. Many businesses were also whites-only. Eventually, vacationing African-Americans built their own places to stay in or be entertained. As more freed black people earned and saved more money and segregation laws lessened, more were able to get away for a while and enjoy vacations.


My short story collection once belonged to an Amanda C., who signed her name on August 29, 2006.

Sam's not on vacation with the rest of the family, but it's not specified why. Probably he couldn't get time off work.

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