Excerpts of A Walk Back Home
On other nights, you might find a neighbor kid in our front yard leaning his head and forearm against the tree, counting with his eyes tightly closed as the children dispersed in all directions.
“Twenty-four, twenty-five,” he would count. The giggles and laughter of the hiding children would subside to whispers as the neighbor boy neared the end of his count, and then…absolute silence. He would then quicken the count: “Twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty; here I come!”
Under the dim streetlight, he quickly turned to begin his search while listening for any clues as to where the children of Parmalee Avenue were hiding. It’s a scene that has been played out for many generations, in every suburb of every city throughout the United States, children sharing the hours before bedtime. For these children the reality of war was a thing of the past or a newsreel at the Saturday matinee. For these children there was only the present, moments of innocence, moments to make memories that would last a lifetime. As the evenings grew colder, the last holdouts of the streets retreated indoors to join their families for quality time around the radio to be bonded in mystery and laughter.