On This Street... [Memoir]
How many games of touch football were played on this street?
How many first downs reached? How many passes picked off? How many touchdowns scored?
How many games of kickball and four square?
How many races run, and ropes jumped?
How many activities paused, momentarily, to allow a car to pass? How many drivers asked to park in the driveway or a little ways up?
How many bicycles raced? How many wheelies done?
How many knees skinned, and elbows bruised on this street?
How many dukes put up to settle scores before things were cool again later that afternoon or the next day? How many fat lips traded among friends?
How many straw boat races held during the spring thaw, or after a heavy rain, in the gutters along the curb?
How many kids with fistfuls of nickels and dimes and quarters scrambled to catch the ice cream boy after being lured by the jingle-jangling bells on his three-wheeled ice box?
How many stops did the milkman make?
How many footfalls trampled the pavement, as kids stampeded home from the elementary school just up the block?
How many brown, withered leaves, from bygone silver maples and elms that once shaded it all summer long, settled here before being cleared away?
How many memories were made on this street?
More than they’ll ever be, ever again?
(c) Bob Campbell/bobcampbellwrites.com
4/8/2021 05:08:35 pm
On this street there used to be vacant lots that lay waiting for young families to build their dream house. Families would move into their new homes and their children were quickly assimilated into the "gang." These vacant lot were also sites of gardens, boy's baseball fields and adolescent hideouts.
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Bob Campbell, an essayist and novelist, likes his bourbon neat. His debut novel, Motown Man, was published by Urban Farmhouse Press in November 2020.