An excerpt from my email to my sister.
It starts with a Garfield cartoon of Jon: First frame: two heads, Jon and Garfield, Jon's talking... There's nothing like a nice, brisk walk. Second frame: Same two heads, but the thought bubble is from Garfield, and Jon's mouth is shut. "You're so right." Third frame: long shot - Jon pulling Garfield along the sidewalk in a wooded area in a red coaster wagon. Jon, "For some of us." Garfield, "Faster, faster."
Remember tying the handle of our coaster wagon around our waists with clothes line rope and roller skating to the Park Forest library?
Remember the time we tried to take the short cut through the Cook Forest Preserve and it was so muddy we like to never got the skates cleaned up enough to roll afterward?
Remember making Some Mores in that forest as we sat upon a Sit Upon to Sit Upon that we'd made ourselves?
Remember B. catching her marshmallows on fire deliberately, then eating them off the tip of a stick we'd cut and shaped ourselves?
Not bad for a bunch of city slickers...
edit: Mom recently told me Park Forest was the first bedroom community built in the country after the end of WW II. I was nine months when we moved to Chicago, and starting third grade when we moved to Park Forest. I remember in sociology class with Mr. Bateman, we read an Eric Fromm book that had details about the way we'd played and how our mothers acted, which I thought was perfectly normal until the class discussion. Everyone could not figure out what a game of snail was. They were HORRIFIED when I described taking a broken piece of wall board off the debris piled at a new house site and using it to draw a hopscotch "snail" on the black street.
"That's dangerous!" The class universally felt that our mothers were criminally negligent for allowing us to play unsupervised in the street while they coffee klatsched inside someone's house in the neighborhood.
"What about the cars?"
"We were considered bright enough to get out of the street when the occasional vehicle came along. You CAN hear them a long way off, you know..."
At that point, Mr. Bateman stepped in and directed our attention to a notice that the material was collected in Park Forest, Illinois.
"Where did you live, Sandy?"
Losing my pique, i shrugged and admitted, "Park Forest." The class loosened up and laughed, pugnacity forgotten.
For once, I did not fear his 100 point subtract-the-number-right-from-the-numbe
Afterward Mr. Bateman, expression unnaturally severe, said that the scores on that test were unusually high in our class only, then frowned, pondering the possibility of just this one class being bright enough to pull off a new cheating method he'd missed. Rising to the challenge, BS pointed out that in my arguments during the discussion, I'd made it all so vivid that it stuck in everyone's mind. A twinkle in his eye, Mr. B smiled at his A row (the students in the first row. BS and I habitually sat right under his lectern in both Sociology and Anthropology) then allowed that was probably the explanation. He thrived on intellectual challenge.