Avis Johnson: Booth With a View

After being plucked from an open incision in my mother's lower-abdomen in the fall of 1948 and subsequently carried home from the hospital all wrapped up in pink and possibilities, I've been living in Provincetown. Not the Provincetown of today. Post war Provincetown was a different place. 

A quaint and humble seaside paradise moving at a more Bohemian pace. This was “the” place for misfits, artists, poets, writers, fishermen and families, many with deep roots to Nova Scotia and Portugal. They settled here because of the abundance of fish, amazing light, creative isolation, the sheer beauty, and the opportunities town and our natural harbor provided.

At ages 88, 92, and 67, respectively, my mother, Marian Goveia Cook, her sister Beata, (my favorite aunt) and I, all still live and work here.

If you decide to make a trip to town be sure to stop in Lopes Square, down by the pier which was named in honor of Admiral Donald B. MacMillan. Although my mother, my aunt, and I never ventured into the arctic like the Admiral, we all have at least one thing in common; we are authentic Townies. While you're in the square have some good, fast food at John's Footlongs.

Order from the window on the left; chances are my mother will be serving you. Park at the Municipal Parking lot and I might be greeting you, or choose the Grace Hall lot ($1.25 cheaper per hour) and visit with Beata, one of our “ambassadors” and the first lesbian I ever knew. She has an amazing memory and fascinating stories about how life used to be back in old P'town and she shares them weekly in our local paper, the Provincetown Banner.

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