I was at a big gathering the other night with over 150 people in attendance. At some point I was feeling like I was a little sardine packed into a can with many other little sardines. Because at events like that, you are almost joined at the hip with your neighbors, you end up having conversations with perfect strangers out of nervousness. Actually, what happened was slightly different than that. I ended up ease dropping on a conversation two men were having across the table. One I knew fairly well and the other not so well. The not so well guy was talking about his old home he lived in and it happened to be in the little town I grew up in. It didn’t stop there. He lives on my old street….Bates Street. For years, before he moved there, it was boarded up and looked like an old haunted house. He had heard several stories about this house himself. We talked briefly and found it kind of neat that he lived on that street, and I used to, but never at the same time. That got me thinking about that little dead end street I grew up on….here are some thoughts I had, and I will continue at another time, but for now…..
It’s not a dead end street today, but it was when I was a kid…thank God. The end of that street was magical. A small brook ran perpendicular to our street and it was the place that all of us kids played. We built a makeshift bridge out of old logs…sometimes nailed together and sometimes just thrown together. There were many beaten paths through the woods. One went to a beautiful grove of pines that had a thick bed of pine needles and soft moss. At the base of the tree trunks, for some reason, we were able to always dig up black coal. I am not sure why and to this day it may have been buried there by a friend just to play a trick on me! We did that a lot…..we teased each other! Our little neighborhood gang built a sign for this lovely place and it was simply named Pine Tree Camp. (We were little!) ha ha My friends and I spent hours and hours there playing hide and seek and pirates of the ocean and cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians. Yes…. Girls played those things too! Especially when most of the neighborhood kids were boys! Oh there were a few of us girls but we did have to become a bit tomboyish! There were many things to do each day. There were polliwogs to put in jars and frogs later to catch and occasionally a giant snapping turtle would show up. When that happened, a strange man named Mr. Spear would be called in to investigate. He would come down to the brook….take a long look…..back his truck up to the brook…open up the back…..take out some kind of contraption and off went the turtle into the contraption….into his truck and off to his mysterious house in my town. Yup….we loved that brook that ran to the left and right of the end of our road….the one that went further than we could walk at that age……until next time…… :)