by Steve Clem on May 23, 2009

As school is wrapping up for my sons in the next two weeks, I take myself back to my own summer memories growing up in Morningside.

It was a neighborhood where everyone, every single kid, got along. It was The Sandlot meets Stand By Me meets The Wonder Years.

Whether it was a game of backyard football, or rigging up plastic sheeting to serve as a slip n’ slide, a full day of playing army in the backwoods, or a night of kick the can or hide and seek, it was rare that there wasn’t something happening in the old neighborhood.

I wish so much that my sons could have that same experience. But it is a different time indeed.

We didn’t have cable TV, well maybe we did, but we barely got to watch it.

We didn’t need to play video games. Granted, there were daylong Atari tournaments for sure, but it wasn’t the same addictive quality that video games have over today’s youth.

We didn’t have sports practices and games, music lessons, swimming lessons, etc., etc., etc., stacking up on our daily summer schedule.

It is sad, really, to think that there was a time when we used to let kids wake up, and start an unknown adventure every day. Explore the woods. Pick up a baseball. Gather up change and walk to the corner store, Johnny’s Market. Look for buried treasure. Go snake hunting.

I look back on those days as some of my favorite in life. Everything was so innocent. So pure. So right.


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Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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