Monday, May 15, 2006


The boys of summer

I found this picture when I was cleaning my Aunt’s house two months ago. I love this picture. I scanned it in very LARGE so I could zoom in really close and look at the faces of these boys.

The boys of summer.

If you look in their faces you can still see the boyhood wonderment, the sense of adventure. They can’t even fathom that in less then 10 years all of their lives will change. Some for the better some for the worse. Some will die in a war, others will turn to the bottle and mental abuse, just like their dad. Some will move away, Some will stay in the small town they were born in and raise a family, they will go to the high school and watch the foot ball games every Friday night even if their kid isn’t playing anymore.

Thousands of fortunes will be made and lost. Love will blossom, hearts will be broken and yet they will endure on.

These bonds that are created when you are a group of friends with nothing more on your mind then the pick up game of baseball in the empty lot that used to be where old man Johnson’s Car repair used to be before it burned to the ground. Before girls and then women and mortgages and being forced to take over your fathers business because “college” is for those “other people”. These bonds can never be broken. For one shinning moment in time they were free. Free of the burdens of society. Where rich kid stood side by side with the share cropper to play a game, where if you could hit the ball, nothing else mattered.

The sun on your back, the smell of the sparse grass and the taste of the dust when you slid into the old tire that served as second base. Do you think that Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds can even remember this? I don’t think they ever had the opportunity and that is sad.

I can remember my sandlot gang. We were amazingly identical to the kids in the movie, except as the token fat kid I didn’t play catcher, I played center field, I had the arm for it. I once threw a kid out at home from the centerfield fence.

But this isn’t about my memories, it is about the thoughts and memories of the boys in the picture. When this was taken the only thoughts they had were of fun and sun and being home in time to do chores and eat supper.

This photo was taken around 1928-31. No one can identify the boys.

I can hold this picture in my hands and smell and taste the summer of 1977.

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