Lady Liberty, Then and Now

ANDREA SACHS'S excellent Lab Report ["Visiting a Statue With Limitations," Aug. 29] was as disheartening as it was informative, illuminating just how much military-like precision planning a visit to this treasured landmark now requires.

The article evokes comparisons to a similar visit, albeit in another era: the summer of my ninth year, 1954. On a splendid midsummer morning, my father suggested we visit the statue that very afternoon. No advance planning, no phone calls, no computers required.

I wore white sandals with ankle socks and a non-midriff baring two-piece dress, and carried a white pocketbook in my white-gloved hands, along with a Kodak box camera. My father sported a short-sleeved shirt under a suit jacket, which remained forever buttoned-up.

All ferry rides are exhilarating to children, and that afternoon's was no exception. Once on Liberty Island, visitors from within and outside our borders were evident. I remember no lines, no waiting, only a sense of calmness and reverence. Our seemingly endless climb up a winding staircase culminated at the Lady's crown. There was no time limit on how long we could gaze in wonderment at the city and ocean. Later, we strolled leisurely on the promenade below, snapping pictures as we pleased.

We bade farewell to the Lady and headed for home, but not before stopping for dinner at Chinatown's Joy Garden, a father-daughter favorite. But that's another story.

Lynne Gallagher

McLean