A good way to live   2 comments

skellieI wanted to write something today about growing up in Red Hook. As I was trying to decide what to write I remembered someone in Pennsylvania where I lived for twenty years saying how it must have been rough growing up in a big impersonal city. How much better it was to grow up in a small town. He told me this on a hot summer day. He felt summers must have been terrible stuck in the city. He had no idea what he was talking about.
Outside people do not understand Red Hook or the people who lived there. It was more of a small town in many ways than that tiny town in PA. Our parents grew up together and our grandparents knew each other when they were young. There were no strangers down in the Point. Any street we went down we all knew who lived there.
There were differences from that small town of course. We never needed our parents to drive us to a friend’s house. Our friends were within walking distance. We didn’t need to arrange for a game of baseball, football, softball or anything else a few days in advance to get enough kids together. In the Hook if you walked down to the fields with a glove, bat and ball the odds were real good you would soon be in a game.
We could spend the day on the block with street games that today’s kids don’t understand. If you can’t play it with a joystick they aren’t interested. Who remembers Skellie; Kick the can, Kings, Knuckles, Stickball, Handball, Points? As an aside as I was looking for a graphic for this blog I came upon a site selling a stencil to use to draw a skellie board on the sidewalk. You can buy one with instructions for the game for only $250. All we needed was a piece of chalk.
Remember the open Johnny pumps on a hot summer day. The teenagers directing the water around using a can with the top and bottom removed. The younger kids running and laughing in the cool spray. It was the Brooklyn equivalent of the old swimming hole.
Our parents sitting in lawn chairs in front of home passing the time together. We didn’t have air conditioning back then so everyone met on the street. That is how we lived back then. It wasn’t perfect, we weren’t rich but it was a good way to live. I would love to go back for a while, now that I have grown smart enough to appreciate it.


Posted June 9, 2013 by kevingcox in Random Thoughts

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2 responses to “A good way to live

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  1. Great story about our childhood. Keep bringing back our memories!!

  2. great Kevin….your good at this !!! xo

    Susan (aka Susie)

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