The Park


I could write for hours about this picture that hangs in my office.  The year is 1965, the place is West Boylston Massachusetts, the date is July 4.  This town had a celebration that I have not seen topped in all my travels,, and I’m sure I will be  writing more about it come July 4th this year.  But a few nostalgic notes about this picture in my mind today.

The big white building in the foreground is the Goodale Street school.  I attended this school for 3rd and 4th grade.  There is a huge playground to the right of the school, out  of the picture, where the big  kickball games would take place at recess.  My friend and I were the home run champs on a regular basis.  In the classroom, I remember two incidences like it was yesterday.  The first was one morning when I was  in charge of sharpening the pencils.  The pencil sharpener was over by the  window, and the warm spring sun was streaming in.  The teacher called everyone’s attention to her, so I turned from my  duties.  The next thing I knew I was on the floor waking up.  I had passed out from the  sun  being  directly on my head, and everyone was crowded around to see if I was all right.  It was quite embarrassing for a 4th grader.

The second thing II remember well was a class play that we decided to put on.  Actually, I only remember one thing about the play.  I had to sit under a table, which had a long table cover, with a girl that I was sweet on (my first girlfriend).  No one could see us under there, and all the kids were hooting and hollering about us K I S S I N  G under there, which we weren’t.  Now that I look back on it, we probably should have!

Now I want to draw your attention to the street intersection right to the left and up from the school.  This picture faces West, so I want you to picture yourself on the northwest corner of that intersection (same corner as the school is on).  You are waiting for your newspapers so you can delivery your paper route, and they are very late.  Suddenly, as lady comes out of the red house that is catty-corner to where you are standing.  She looks over at you and says

“Hey, do you know why your papers are late today?”

“No, I don;t.  Do you?”

“Not sure but it’s probably because President Kennedy got shot today”

It was the first I’d heard about it, and I just stood there dumbfounded.  My papers came shortly after that and I got them delivered.  When I got home, all we could watch on our black and white TV was coverage of the news event of the day – John F Kennedy shot.

I know that’s just two little things from this picture, and there are dozens more I could share.  Watch for more July 3rd and 4th


In response to the prompt Transcript


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