Memories of Eighth Street

Lately, “for no particular reason” as Forrest Gump would say, I have been uncharacteristically sad. I wish I knew why.

Things have been going ok, have been going relatively well actually.

I was cleaning out some things at my rented storage building today and found an old photo album which had been misplaced. It had photos of my grandparents and my folks, my Aunts and Uncles…many long dead now. One of the pictures was of Mom and Dad, and Uncle Pinky and Aunt Sis sitting at a card table playing Rook….had to be about 1974.

They used to get together quite often when we lived on 8th street, since they lived right next door. We boys and girls who lived on 8th street also would get together almost every day and play. God, there were a bunch of us there in the 60’s.

Lemme see: Me and Mike. Rickey Bowers, Mike and Lynn Brown, David Hayes and his three sisters, Debo Spears, Barbecue Ingle, Stanley Crawford, Russell Fox, Hiram Sizemore, Alan Butler (sometimes at his grandparents) the Butler girls…three of them, sisters. There was Kenneth Treadaway, (Coway drive…as was Debo) and sometimes Ken Stephens would wander over from 7th street. Did I forget anybody? Probably.

It was precisely this time of the year, every year, that we were getting geared up for summer. Baseball and swimming. Fishing, golf, and nightly games of “freedom”. Around the clock monopoly marathons at Hiram’s house. Guitar playing. Spending the night at somewhere else besides home.

Waiting for the the rolling store and the ice cream truck. Reading comic books all day long. Our lives back then was a combination of “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Wonder Years”.

We, the white middle class kids of America growing up in the fifties and sixties, had mostly wonderful lives. Sure, there were problems. But we tend to forget those. We tend to dwell on the good for the most part. It’s just how humans think. Why else would a woman ever have more than one child?

So I suppose my recent wave of sadness is simply nostalgia biting me in the butt. It’s missing the people who are gone, and the times we had.

But…I’m still looking forward to tomorrow…and this week. My little grandchildren, my big ones, my kids. All of my family. We make new memories now for a new generation of our humanity to one day be nostalgic about. It’s the way of life.

And that’s how it should be, although it’d be good to play a game of Rook…or even “Magic” again…while there’s still some time.

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