Way Back When: Virginia Beach
It’s Labor Day weekend. The official end of the tourist season, although it will feel like summer in Southeastern Virginia for at least another six weeks.
Did I ever mention I collect vintage postcards of Virginia Beach? Well, I do. And this seems like the perfect occasion to break out a few. These date from the late-1930s to the 1940s, when oceanfront hotels were graceful two- and three-story inns with wraparound porches. Without air conditioning.
Eventually the low-slung family-owned hotels would be demolished to make way for high rises that blotted out the afternoon sun on the boardwalk. But at least the big blocky hotels have AC.
It was also a time when the Cavalier Hotel sat on 60 acres, surrounded by sunken gardens and an elegant grand lawn.
You can’t stop progress, but many correspondents back in the day seemed to think it was a swell time to be in the city by the sea.