Last week I mentioned the reunion of Coast Guard brats held this past weekend on Governors Island. I took the opportunity to talk to as many of these folks as I could and it was a priviledge. Many had not been back on the island since the 1960s and they were conspicuous on the ferry ride. They were the ones soaking it all in from the bow. Reunionites had come from as far as Portland and Seattle to be part of the weekend’s events,and without exception they were quite approachable and happy to share their stories.. I committed the faux pas of asking one if he and others were doing the “tourist thing” in the city. His answer was that he wasn’t a tourist, but coming home. A few told stories of having Girl Scout meetings in the casemates of Castle Williams, something I had read about but never heard discussed in the first person until last Saturday. I had always wondered what it was like attending a Boy Scout/Girl Scout meeting, teen dance, or Halloween party in a Second System fortification built just prior to the War of 1812. Did the participants find it strange? Unsettling? Mordant, but perhaps in a vaguely pleasurable way? The answer is that, even as young children living on the base with their military dads and families, they understood and appreciated the uniqueness of their situation. They understood how special it was even as it was going on, which is quite a gift. A brother and sister mentioned living with their family in one of the houses in Nolan Park back in the day. Another watched the original World Trade Center buildings rising across the harbor from her living room in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some were old enough to have attended the 1964-65 World’s Fair. It was everything you volunteer for. The New York Times was on hand.