Thanks for sharing this!

Before Carpenter Country, I happily lived through years of Archie comic books, penny candy and ice cream on a stick.

Yes, WWII was raging, but it was still a great time to be a kid.

Home was a three room apartment in a two story building that covered an entire city block. Nationalities included Irish, English, Swedish, Italian, Polish and German.

Every Saturday and Sunday kids sampled each other’s religions–Jewish, Catholic, Protestant–what did it matter as long as we could all hang out together?

And there were lots of us. Sometimes the whole block echoed with the sound of our voices.

“Hey, do you want to play hide and seek?”

“Who’s got a jump rope?”

“How about a baseball game?”

“I have chalk, let’s play Potsie!”

Most mothers were home and very busy instructing us in logic, fear and foresight.

“Eat everything on your plate, someone in Europe is starving.”

“Make sure you put on clean underwear, you might get hit by a car.”

“Quit yelling, the neighbors will think I’m beating you.”

Each afternoon around 4 o’clock the sound of an ice cream truck’s bell could be heard tinkling its way down the street. At that moment all games came to a halt. Dozens of kids turned, looked up at their apartment windows and chorused, “Mom, the Good Humor Man is coming!”

Curtains parted, screens popped open and coins dropped down into our outstretched hands. Soon, we’d all be sitting on the curb licking melting treats and trying to figure out what game to play next.

What a life–

–anyone for Ringalevio!

You might also like these posts

Essay — Garden Pests Carpenter Country's weekly dose-of-nature essays tend to reflect the beauty we see. That preference doesn't mean we're oblivious to other aspects of the natural world surrounding us, including those who recently turned the lush stand of four o'clocks into stalky skeletons of their former selves.   Image source: ...
Essay – Clearing the clutter Some days the path ahead is cluttered with debris.   Image source: HL Carpenter   And some days the debris is bagged and ready for disposal.   Image source: HL Carpenter   Are you clearing the clutter from your life?   ***** ***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR ***** HL Carpenter...
Essay — Lizards and snakes, oh my! The hummers have migrated to their winter home. Fortunately, less flighty inhabitants of Carpenter Country are still here. The friendly anoles scramble through the shrubs and take care of garden pests year-round. This little guy was curious about the camera lens and brave enough to stick around while we snapped his pictu...
Essay — In the weeds We're deep in the weeds in Carpenter Country this week. The heroine of our current work in progress wants to be a botanist, and weeds are part of her life.   Image source: HL Carpenter   Weeds are part of our life too, like the scrappy little sidewalk-dwellers pictured above and below.   I...

We write. Visit us in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.

Posted in Essays Tagged with: ,