GREENWICH, Conn. – Una Frederick, 90, can remember going to Island Beach in the days when women wore rubber bathing suits and residents could dance at a bar there.

“It was such a great time then,” she said.

Frederick, a lifelong Greenwich resident, has been going to Island Beach with her family since 1918, when she was born and the town beach first opened to the public.

It was such a cherished and integral part of her childhood that she now visits the beach every day that it doesn’t rain, along with her daughter, Eunice Frederick, 63.

“The air is good out there,” she said, “It’s just peaceful.”

They meet up with a group of friends at an area of the beach that Greenwich resident Rosemary Tencza, 84, refers to as “Varicose Vein Alley,” a place in the shade, off the sand, where the seniors sit in chairs. “It’s very relaxing, a lot of us old timers are here,” Tencza said.

Many longtime residents convene every Saturday and Sunday to talk, grill and enjoy the beach, she said.

“There are a lot of good memories here,” Tencza said.

Frederick boards the ferry every afternoon, and sits in the back of the boat on the bottom floor to watch people as they come on.

For many years, she would recognize the faces of the residents, but today not as much, she said.

“The town has changed a lot,” she said.

But she enjoys taking the ferry.

“It is so nice to ride over to the beach,” she said.

Not too long ago, when she was in her 70s, Frederick and her friends would sing songs, such as “Money Lies Over the Ocean” and “God Bless America,” until they docked.

“People could hear us when we were coming in and sometimes they would clap for us,” she said.

But Frederick’s memories of Island Beach date to 1924, when her mother would take her and her sisters out on the ferry to spend the day there.

Her mother and father were immigrants from Ireland who got married in Greenwich.

“In Ireland, they didn’t have much sun, so my mother thought it was good for us,” she said.

They would have picnics, play in the water and in the sand, she recalled.

And over the years, Frederick spent practically every summer there, later bringing her six children every weekend.

One of her biggest memories of the beach was the year when heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney and radio personality Dennis Day came out for Island Beach Day, she said.

For years, the town held Island Beach Day, an afternoon of games, activities and food.

“It was really big to have him come out,” she said, “But there were so many stories like that.”

And now, her daughter Eunice Frederick continues the tradition.

“It’s just nice to go out,” she said. “I look forward to everyday.”

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