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Dear Deer Island

Julia Gillard / Deer Island / Diner Journal

"I want to swim and read and write letters and stare at the sky. Staring at the sky is unquantifiable in its mental-health capabilities, and I've never seen so many variations on the colors gray and green." --Millicent Souris

It is a week of 93+ degree days. Trying to hold up against the heat like I was raised and resisting turning myself over to air conditioning til just last night. Cue first night's restful sleep in many. Nevertheless, I am infected by and nearly bursting with a love for this season of the year. Bordering on being incapacitated by enthusiasm for another week of predicted 90-degree plus days, I am charmed by everything in sight. Kids screaming from the kitty-corner blacktop and knee-deep public pool. Air conditioners chugging reliably and window fans stirring the soupy warmth. Hot breath staleness of subway tunnels gasping up staircases to the street.

The sounds of city summer mix with Radiohead's latest album to conjure memories of high school summer days. Tooling around county highways with windows down, that summer's Radiohead release fighting to drown out the whipping wind. The simple fact of being out late on a warm, warm night feels clandestine. Actual clandestine nights include bridge jumping, swimming by moonlight in the Mississippi and hiking down pitch black bluff paths to friends circled around shitty packs of Leinenkugel's. As my friend Sarah has pointed out, it's a miracle we didn't all die in high school.

There are others who apex in the summer. One talented writer, chef and professional badass named Millicent Souris shares a snapshot of her summer life in the most recent issue of Diner Journal. "Dear Island" is a tale of idyllic conditions plus recipe guide as told through the wry, New York worn eyes of a private chef on a strange private island. Lush accompanying photos are captured through the keen eye of Julia Gillard. Together, they bring to life this out-of-time preserved island of living 50s summer nostalgia.

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