I grew up on a bustling block in the north shore of Chicago. The location offered many conveniences such as being within three blocks of all of my schools until I entered high school (but I still walked there, too). Very few footsteps led me to a plethora of tennis courts, a massive playfield, lagoon and bike path that ended at a floral paradise and I was within blocks of the many offerings of downtown.
However, what I remember most of my childhood on that convenient street was the cocoon of camaraderie, fun, and safety. One could hear the symphonic sounds of summertime and see a string of smiles!
There were tons of kids on that street. We would play “Kick the Can” until the parents would start calling our names to go in, sibling by sibling. We’d have block parties. We’d jump in swimming pools made of plastic that were less than a foot deep and thought we had it made.
We could hear the bouncing of a basketball before it took aim and swooshed through the net. The woosh of the wiffle ball as it soared across a yard. Neighbors would just play in one’s yard even if the homeowner wasn’t there. We could hear the smacking sound of the tennis ball hitting the garages and the groan as another tennis ball made its way into the gutter, resulting from an overeager groundstroke.
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