Good morning, good day, and good health to you. My own health is fine, thanks for asking. Now please: mind your own business.
‘A good laugh had by all’ is a sweeping feeling, first known to me in elementary school. “Which elementary school” you ask? That which is of the park atop the High land. Though I have attended three different elementary schools, and one of them twice, in this case I regale you with a tale of that year where the Flyers made a valiant surge to the Wales conference finals and then didn’t again see the playoffs until the Messiah went on to win two more freaking Cups. Highland Park Elementary, two trolley stops from west Philly, 1988. A public school sandwiched between a monster Catholic institution and an Irish funeral home. My third elementary school-that brick and mortar castle where Goddesses like Miss Lodise strode gloriously across the carpet to teach me what the common denominator was.
I believe one day we played foot-ball, or Soccer-what have you-but with a tennis ball. Me, Eric Williams the Junior, Nick K., Doug S., Eddie Ko, Matt W., Leah (last initial missing), Sandy G., and Alan (last initial missing) all joined in a hearty and spirited roustabout foot/ball match that lasted every precious second of the mandated PA public school break. A post ‘feeding frenzy’ frenzy that allowed teachers to run out back and smoke, and granted a swirling force of 4th grade feet 30 minutes to kick a a ball mercilessly. A thundering heard of DELCO children battled for possession of the green orb. Fuzzy and spherical, it was attractive to us back then. Billy (last initial missing) brought it. I mean it was attractive as ‘something we wanted to hammer into oblivion’. And we did, that day. That March 1988 day!!! All of us, all, like, 47 of us; denim jackets and mesh half-shirts our clan-like war kits. Our adornments were our colors, and we battled for that ball till it hurt. Wearing sweatpants pulled up to the knicker-length with white (plain white) tube socks pulled up to our knees, Flyers jerseys with personalized name-tapes (Doug S. wore #5?), UCLA Bruins sweatshirts with brown bears smiling and holding hockey sticks, and little gosh darn alligators everywhere, we would bash that ball until the bell rung-or so we thought. Before the bell tolled for that group of hardened youth, we were halted. A spirited attempt at a goal sent that ball over the fence (for the 1200th time that school year) down Lynn Blvd. and out of our lives forever. We knew the feeling, but this day was different, in my recollection. For me, at any rate, it stuck. A few weeks later , the Flyers didn’t go to the Cup and, I was informed we would be moving back to Drexel Hill, where the fancy kids lived.
Swept back indoors by commands and signals from taller, older people, this class of 1996 (1988 HP signature series) made our way reluctantly back through the halls, and into to seats, where America’s present taught America’s future about America’s (select) past.
I would of course matriculate through the Haverford school district, but being a kid that bounced around 5 times before 5th grade always shaped my memories a certain way. Thanks for asking.